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arts & theater

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Misty Copeland named ABT's first-ever black principal dancer

Much beloved dancer and African American Misty Copeland has made history. The petite 32-year-old was named principal dancer for American Ballet Theatre, the first-ever in the company’s 75-year history.

Copeland’s promotion – after 14 years at the company – comes at a time when the woman’s growing celebrity and popularity brought her fame beyond ballet circles, the New York Times reported.

Copeland faced many obstacles in her climb to the top of the artistic world. She suffered through a high-profile custody fight with her mother, where Copeland fought to be emancipated from her, but her mother successfully regained custody.

Copeland grew up poor, one of six children in San Pedro, Calif. And she was late to the ballet world, beginning her formal dance training at age 13, about seven years later than most dancers. She was so gifted, however, that she was taken in by her ballet teacher. Besides being black, Copeland also was thought to be too short and too muscular to dance with an elite ballet company.

Copeland made her debut last week in the lead role of “Swan Lake,” considered one of the premiere roles in the ballet world.

By @juliekentofficial via @RepostWhiz app: Exciting promotions at ABT this morning!! Misty Copeland, Principal Dancer!!! ❤️ #MistyCopeland #ballerina #weloveyou (#RepostWhiz app) A video posted by Misty Copeland (@mistyonpointe) on Jun 30, 2015 at 10:19am PDT

By @efe_04 via @RepostWhiz app: You make it look so easy!! @mistyonpointe 💖👌🏽💋What an amazing performance!!! #abt #mistycopeland #swanlake #offbucketlist #stunning #inspirational #breakingbarriers #nyc #ballet (#RepostWhiz app) A video posted by Misty Copeland (@mistyonpointe) on Jun 25, 2015 at 11:51am PDT

Photos: 2014 Kennedy Center Honors

Photos: 2014 Kennedy Center Honors

Instagram artist creates surreal photos using only his iPhone

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Robert Jahns' Instagram account shows how technology and art can be combined to create breathtaking visuals. Mashable highlighted Jahns' work Tuesday morning and below is a look at some of his work.

"I love rooftop views and urban exploration. I really dig dance/people photography and landscapes as well," Jahns told Mashable. "Some edits require about 2 hours and other edits require several days."

Mashable reports Jahns uses ArtStudio, Filterstorm, PhotoForge2, VSCOcam and Snapseed  to edit his images. The photos are pictures taken by himself or collaborators.

See more of Jahn's work on his Instagram account.

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Meet the man behind those viral ‘maternity’ photos

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When Austin father-to-be Justin Sylvester came to photographer Kerri Lohmeier with an offbeat idea for a man-ternity photo shoot, she couldn’t resist the creative possibilities.

“It was too hysterical,” says Lohmeier of Harley K Photography. Sylvester’s wife didn’t think he’d do it, but he wanted to recreate some classic maternity poses — the cheesier the better.

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Sylvester’s comical photos, which poke fun at corny maternity images, blew up on social media this week, racking up more than two million views on the website Imgur. In a matter of hours, news of the goofy project, originally meant only for Sylvester’s wife, went viral with national media attention from outlets such as Cosmopolitan and MTV.

Sylvester’s photos proudly showcase his plump bare belly as he does things like eat ice cream and pose in Superman underwear while he lovingly gazes at his own gut. And you know how sweet husbands tenderly kiss their wives’ pregnant tummies? Well, Lohmeier manipulated one of the photos to show Sylvester kissing his own belly bump.

Lohmeier has been shooting traditional maternity photos for about four years but had never done a man-ternity shoot before. While her typical photo shoots are serious, she and Sylvester couldn’t keep a straight face for this one.

“We got props like ice cream, pickles, even his wife’s robe, and then used a few poses that I’ve done with women before,” Lohmeier says. “It’s awkward, of course, because he’s a man. We couldn’t stop laughing.”

The pair teamed up on a Sunday morning and knocked out the photo shoot in 30 minutes at her Central Austin home studio. “I mean, he was standing in his underwear the whole time,” she says. “It had to be funny.”

Unpublished Andy Warhol works found on floppy disks

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Pop art icon Andy Warhol, known for his colorful Campbell’s Soup cans, was one of the first artists to experiment with art on computers. And now a team of computer scientists has learned Warhol’s P.C. period is larger than previously thought.

The Andy Warhol Museum announced Thursday that the team has discovered more than a dozen unpublished experimental pieces on several 30-year-old floppy disks. The disks worked on the Commodore Amiga 1000, a computer released around 1985. It was popular in Europe and known at the time for its advanced graphic technologies. So advanced, in fact, that Commodore commissioned Warhol to use its machines for his creations and let him demo the Amiga before its debut in 1985.

HAGER: “You’ve found it to be very spontaneous, haven’t you?”

WARHOL: “Yeah, it’s great, it’s such a great thing.” (Via YouTube / theisotope)

And it’s all thanks to this YouTube video that Warhol’s new works were brought to light. As the story goes, artist Cory Arcangel saw the video in 2011 and asked the museum to check the disks.

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Without the technology to read the obsolete files, the museum waited until this year when it got the help of the Carnegie Mellon University Computer Club.

So what does the new art look like?

Well, it’s no surprise there’s a soup can involved, but researchers also discovered a three-eyed rendition of Sandro Botticelli’s "The Birth of Venus." According to The Andy Warhol Museum, Warhol embraced the Amiga as an art tool, writing: "Warhol saw no limits to his art practice. These computer-generated images underscore his spirit of experimentation and his willingness to embrace new media."

And Ben Richmond at Motherboard agrees. "Warhol of course always seemed like he'd be a natural for digital art: it's endlessly reproducible, it's new and experimental, and one can imagine his wry take on the 'everyone's face is everywhere' ubiquity that computers facilitate."

And as Arcangel says, "We can see how quickly Warhol seemed to intuit the essence of what it meant to express oneself, in what then was a brand-new medium."

An exhibition based on the discovered art will premiere in Pittsburgh May 10.

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