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The most-famous American dancer of the moment, American Ballet Theatre’s Misty Copeland, will perform at the annual Opera Ball Gala for the Michigan Opera Theatre Oct. 3.

Copeland rocketed into the headlines this summer after becoming the first African-American ballerina named principal dancer in ABT’s 75-year history. For the gala, the 32-year-old will perform a pas-de-deux from “The Sleeping Beauty” with ABT’s Gabe Stone Shayer.

Copeland will also take part in “The Sleeping Beauty” when ABT stages the full production at the Detroit Opera House March 31-April 3, though which part she will perform and how many times she will appear have yet to be decided.

Not surprisingly, MOT officials are jubilant.

“I had expected we’d get two ABT dancers for the gala,” says Wayne Brown, MOT president. “But the fact that one is Misty is just over the top. We’re really excited the stars have aligned.”

Copeland last performed at the Opera House in 2009 with the ABT production of “Romeo and Juliet.”

ABT’s springtime performance will be presented in collaboration with Ann Arbor’s University Musical Society.

In a happy coincidence, Brown notes the exhibition “Dance: American Art 1830–1960” will be at the Detroit Institute of Arts during the run of “The Sleeping Beauty.” The DIA show, which will feature 90 artworks celebrating dance, will open March 30.

mhodges@detroitnews.com

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Opera Ball Gala to benefit MOT

6:30 p.m., Oct. 3

Detroit Opera House, 1526 Broadway, Detroit

Gala tickets: $750 per person

Young Patron Event tickets: $100 per head

For reservations, call (313) 237-3268.

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