Wednesday, October 14, 2015

This season’s premieres

A sliver of the Empire State Building as seen from Fifth Avenue. 7 PM. Photo: JH.
Wednesday, October 14, 2015. Beautiful Autumn day, yesterday in New York with temps in the high 60s and rainclouds passing through undecided.

I went down to Michael’s — which was really buzzing — to lunch with Sarah Arison, Leslie Ziff, Tim Landi and Leslie Stevens. Arison and Ziff are board members of the American Ballet Theatre (ABT, as everyone refers to it). Tim is Chief Advancement Officer of ABT.  I don’t know exactly what that entails although I’d guess from the word, he’s in the business of always looking forward for the company. And Leslie represents them public relations-wise.

Ballet is an acquired taste that came for me with the opportunity to see some productions. For many, it’s like the opera, or a sport or sports team. People have serious favorites. I don’t have the familiarity to have a favorite. What I learned mainly about the ballet was that it is an art, borne of grit, dedication, discipline and emotional commitment. It graces both spectator and dancer with the rewards of human achievement. The dancers embody all of that.
Leslie Ziff, Leslie Stevens, Sarah Arison, and Tim Landi.
Yesterday’s lunch was about the upcoming 75th Autumn anniversary of the ABT, launching their Fall Season – October 21 through November 1. I also learned yesterday that unlike the NYC Ballet, the ABT is a traveling company, traveling two-thirds to three-quarters of the year. All over America.

This season’s premieres are: After You, with music by Johann Nepomuk Hummel; Mark Morris’ ballet having its New York premiere with all-new costumes by Isaac Mizrahi; Aftereffect, a Company Premiere with choreography by Marcelo Gomes and music by Peter Ilyitch Tchaikovsky; Monotones I and II, choreography by Frederick Ashton and music by Erik Satie; and Valse-Fantaiusie with choreography by George Balanchine, with music by Mikhail Glinka.

The Gala Evening will take place a week from today, Wednesday, October 21st at the David H. Koch Theater. The Morris and Ashton pieces will be performed along with a Revival Premiere of Twyla Tharp’s The Brahms-Hayden Variations.

The evening’s Gala Chairs are Sarah Arison, Melissa A. Smith, Sutton Stracke, Monica G-S Wambold and Leslie Ziff. Toni and Martin Sosnoff will be honored with The Melville Straus Leadership Achievement Award. Dinner and dancing will follow the performance on The Promenade of the Koch Theater.

After You has been generously supported through an endowed gift from The Toni and Martin Sosnoff New Works Fund.

Monotones I and II has been generously supported through an endowed gift from The Toni and Martin Sosnoff New Works Fund.

The Brahms-Haydn Variations has been made possible by the generous support of Patsy and Jeff Tarr and the JCT Foundation. Additional support provided by Michele and Steve Pesner.
Taxiing through the Park on my way home from lunch, I was looking for some autumn leaves to photograph when we came to a stop at a light and I saw these kids playing what looked like soccer, as their mothers were off to the side chatting. The boys looked like no more than 5 years old. Standing off to the side, outside the frame of this photo, was a little girl about the same age and appearing not to be part of the game. Suddenly, the ball fell in her direction. She caught it away from one of the boys ... and she was in the game! It was sweet to see; she held up her end.
Last night at the Four Seasons restaurant, Dalia and Larry Leeds celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary. They took over the entire restaurant holding cocktails in the Grille Room followed by dinner and live performances on a stage suspended over the pool in the Pool Room. Among the hundreds of friends joining them was John Gutfreund, who was a member of the wedding. We covered the 50th here on the NYSD. That was spectacular also and also at the Four Seasons.
Dalia and Larry Leeds.
John Gutfreund and Larry and Dalia Leeds. John was in their wedding sixty years ago. In many ways, New York is always a small town.
In the Gallery connecting the two dining rooms, they commissioned a life size montage of the big day in 1955. It was a black tie affair.
Garden of Edenites? greeting guests arriving at the Grille Room of the Four Seasons. On the mezzanine was a full orchestra.
The collage of the wedding and the young married couple in October 1955.
The bride ... and with the groom.
Dalia's table in the Pool Room.
On my way home I walked a few blocks up Madison Avenue in the 60s to get some of the current windows along this million dollar shopping mile.
Loro Piana.
Roger Vivier.
Giorgio Armani.
J. Crew.
Sophia Cashmere.
J. Mendel.
Kate Spade.
Anya Hindmarch.
Tory Burch.
La Perla.
La Perla.
Dolce & Gabbana.
Anne Fontaine.
Bottega Veneta.
Emilio Pucci.
Ralph Lauren.
More Anniversaries. Last Thursday night, the New York Botanical Garden hosted the 25th Anniversary of their annual Rose Garden Dinner. They honored Julie Andrews and Stephen Scanniello, who is the Curator of the Peggy Rockefeller Rose Garden, in recognition of their enduring passion for roses.

I wasn't present. I was sent these photos and my immediate reaction was to hear Julie Andrews' voice singing Lerner & Loewe's "Then You May Take Me to the Fair" in Camelot. Don't ask me why that one except seeing this lovely lady's face in these photos brought the smile of amusement and pleasure. All those great scores – "The Boyfriend," "My Fair Lady," "Camelot," "The Sound of Music," "Thoroughly Modern Millie." I could see from the photos that I was not along. Notice the smiles everywhere in these photos. The lady loves the rose, and so is the voice.
The evening began with cocktails in the world-renowned Peggy Rockefeller Rose Garden, followed by dinner and dancing in the Garden Terrace Room.

The Chairmen of this year's Rose Garden Dinner were Friederike Biggs, Maureen and Richard Chilton, Janet and Tom Montag, Wendy Keys Pels, Katharine and William Rayner, Marjorie and Jeffrey A. Rosen, Gillian and Robert Steel, Nonie and John Sullivan, and Julia and Hans Utsch. The Honorary Chairmen were Mary and Marvin Davidson, Anne and Tom Hubbard, and Eliot and Roly Nolen.
Julie Andrews.
Stephen Scanniello and Julie Andrews.
Hope Chilton, Maureen Chilton, and Julie Andrews.
Stephen Scanniello, Maureen Chilton, Julie Andrews, Sigourney Weaver, and Gregory Long.

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