NY thieves mug Russian ballerina, nab pointe shoes

Natalia Osipova in the title role, performs during a dress rehearsal of the ballet "Esmeralda" at the Bolshoi Theater in Moscow, Russia, Thursday, Dec. 24, 2009. The premiere of Cesare Pugni's 'Esmeralda,' which takes its story from Victor Hugo's novel "Notre Dame de Paris" is to be held on Friday. In reviving "Esmeralda," the Bolshoi theater has chosen to re-create a version choreographed toward the end of the 19th century by legendary Mariinsky Theater ballet master Marius Petipa. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

June 16, 2010 7:14:48 PM PDT
Police say muggers punched a Russian ballerina in the face and took her pointe shoes while she was returning home from a performance in New York City.

Natalia Osipova was walking home on Manhattan's Upper West Side around midnight Tuesday when she was attacked by two men. They punched her in the face and stole her bag, which contained pointe shoes valued at about $100.

American Ballet Theatre officials say she suffered minor injuries and was cleared to perform by doctors.

Osipova is a star of the Bolshoi Ballet. She's a guest artist at the American Ballet Theatre and is scheduled to perform Saturday at the Ballet Theatre's performance of "Sleeping Beauty." She is to debut as Juliet in "Romeo and Juliet" on July 10.

Police are searching for the suspects.