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Thursday, May 17, 2012

ABT: The Spring Gala

New York has a leg up.  I'm not sure what it is about this city, but it reigns supreme in all.  It really can do no wrong in shopping, visual art, cuisine, and of course dance.  Monday night was American Ballet Theatre's Opening Night Gala - and I hate to miss a good party...

Performed inside the Metropolitan Opera House in Lincoln Center, over three thousand people are in attendance, and of those about a thousand are there for the gala dinner after.  It is a night that brings out the stars, in dance and screen.  It is truly a celebration of the great world of dance and the stunningly beautiful company that is ABT.
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The fun part about going to the opening night gala is that you get to see a sampling of what the season has in store.  Plus most of your favorite dancers dance that evening.  This year the performed sections from Le Corsaire, La Bayadere, Swan Lake, Romeo and Juliet, Don Quixote and more.

 My favorite was the Pas de Deux from Flames of Paris - danced by Natalia Osipova and Ivan Vasiliev.  They are both power house dancers, and he reminds me of a mini Misha.  He flies at great height and takes risks at every turn - which may have caused the quick spill he had, but he wowed the crowd even more after getting up and continuing. Natalia is one of the great ballerinas of our time.  Her ability to play roles like Firebird and then also Giselle is astonishing, and if you see her dance you will never forget her signature leap.  My other favorite of the night was Polonaise D'Enfants, performed by dancers from the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School.  Ranging from little guys to teenagers, these students are confident and electric on stage.  I especially love the tiny ones.  They are so sweet yet so beautiful to watch. One thing that was certainly missing was any work featuring their men without partners in tutus.  ABT is known for its great male dancers, thank you to Mikhail Baryshnikov, and I would like to see at least one work that showcased this.

Honorary Chair, Caroline Kennedy

Jessica Stam
After the performance guests are herded into a tent behind Lincoln Center.  With Honorary Chairs Michelle Obama, Caroline Kennedy, and Blaine Trump, you know this is going to be a swinging afair.  This year did not disappoint.  Though I thought the decor was a little limp, the food was tasty and the band was fun.  Who doesn't like to foxtrot to My Girl and then turn around to disco to KC and the Sunshine band?

I had all my men at the table wear red socks to honor the Red or Black Tie attire
Dancers Mary Kuusisto and Tiel Vicky
In my Couture Gaultier with friends Olivia Ucko and Catharine Soros
Such a fun night, and even better that it raised 1.8 million dollars to support the Company and its Education and Community Outreach efforts.  I'm a fan and can't wait for next year, but I do hope to see more from their vast collection of choregraphy besides the big greats.

1 comment:

SB said...

What a grand affair indeed! Oh to have been there...