Wednesday, February 24, 2016

The day, the dance, and the din

Monday meditation in Central Park. 3:00 PM. Photo: JH.
Wednesday, February 24, 2016. Rain, light, heavy, chilly with temps in the 40s and feeling like freezing, yesterday in New York.

The Day. I started out over at the David Koch Theater at Lincoln Center where they were holding the 2016 Annual New York City Ballet Luncheon. I’d not attended this luncheon before and was surprised to see that there were several hundred attending.

The program began at 11:15 on the theater stage. Peter Martins, who is Ballet Master in Chief for the NYCB, greeted the guests. The Janice Levin Dancer Award was presented by last year’s honoree Ashley Isaacs to Joseph Gordon. Mrs. Levin’s granddaughter took the podium to tell us a little bit about her grandmother's passion for the ballet and her active philanthropy in helping the company as well as the dancers’ basic needs.

The second, the Dancer Wellness honoree of the program, was Dr. William G. Hamilton, an orthopedic surgeon who specializes in foot and ankle injuries in performers and athletes. Dr. Hamilton told the audience how he “happened” into working with the ballet when some NYCB dancer came his way with injury problems – not an uncommon situation for professional dancers. He told how his experience in injuries came from sports including his own participation in football when he was in college. His diagnoses and treatments for his patients from NYCB brought him to the attention of George Balanchine, who engaged the doctor’s practice with the company and with the School of American Ballet.

The program said it:

“We are pleased to honor today Dr. William Hamilton, a very special member of the New York City Ballet family. For over 40 years this esteemed orthopaedic surgeon has brought to our Company his exceptional knowledge and skills, and has cared for our dancers with extraordinary understanding and dedication.”
Dr. William Hamilton, Goerge Balanchine, Collen Neary , and Peter Martins, circa 1982.
Since his association with the ballet began Dr. Hamilton has become a consultant also for the American Ballet Theatre, the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School of the ABT, the Ailey School, as well as various Broadway shows, and the New York Yankees and the New York Knicks. You can learn more about him here.

After the doctor’s brief but informative speech about his relationship to the ballet, Peter Martins introduced Donya Archer Bommer, a Director of the NYCB, to interview panelists about the ballet, their histories and their work including Mr. Martins, Justin Peck, Christopher Wheeldon, Silas Farley, Craig Hall, Lauren Lovette, Troy Schumacher and Peter Walker.
Janice Levin's granddaughter telling the guests about her grandmother's great enthusiasm and philanthropic support of the New York City Ballet.
Ashley Isaacs, left, listening as this year's honoree Joseph Gordon accepts his award.
Donya Bommer, Director of the NYCB, interviewing Peter Martins about the work of a choreographer and what he learned from Mr. Balanchine about how many hours it should take to create one minute of a piece.
Mrs. Bommer interviewing Christopher Wheeldon about his experience choreographing a dance.
These interviews were conducted  between four separate performances including excerpts from “AGON,” “MERCURIAL MANOEUVRES,” THE MOST INCREDIBLE THING,” and “4 IN 1.”

After the performances, guests moved up to the theater’s Promenade for the luncheon. The event was sponsored by Temple St. Clair Fine Jewelry” and “Ruinart.”
Teresa Reichlen and Adrian Danchig-Waring performing an excerpt from "AGON" with music by Igor Stravinsky and Choreography by George Balanchine.
Me, I ducked down to Michael’s to lunch with Elihu Rose, who is the active partner in the refurbishing and restoration of the Park Avenue Armory, which has been entirely converted from a military armory of the 19th and 20th centuries, into a non-profit cultural center for the Arts, as well as a number of art and antique fairs.  A major job in the restorations were the Armory’s rooms, once club rooms for the different regiments and created grandly in the high decorative style of the late 19th century. Yesterday I learned that the Tiffany room (Veterans Room) was under the direction of Louis Tiffany and his decorative arts movement in the 1880s.  The building itself was made a National Historic Landmark in 1986.
The Tiffany-Designed Veterans Room at the time of its opening in 1881 at the Park Avenue Armory.
The recently restored room.
Last night at the Pierre, The Director's Council of the Museum of the City of New York hosted their annual black tie Winter Ball. This event was the brainchild of the event's chair Mark Gilbertson, who with the Director's Council held their first one 31 years ago. Geoffrey Bradfield, the international interior designer, told me that he attended the very first. A small group of people had dinner at a restaurant on the East Side (no longer in business) and then a bus took the crowd up to the Museum on 104th Street and Fifth Avenue where they hosted a dance.
Last night's ball brought out several hundred New Yorkers, a big crowd, as you can see from the photo I took of the cocktail hour. It is always a fund-raising gala but the atmosphere is like that of a very large private party where many of the guests see their friends and acquaintances. This year's dinner dance was sponsored by Oscar de la Renta and Taffin, jewelry designer James de Givenchy's firm.
Last night's cocktail hour of The Winter Ball of the Museum of the City of New York at the Pierre.
Bronson van Wyck, Polly Onet, and Jack Lynch. Dimity and Horacio Milberg.
Fluff- and fur-bedecked. Nina Griscom and Mary Hilliard.
Bruce and Teresa Colley.
Scott Currie and Susan Magrino. Alejandra Cicognani and Jamee Gregory.
Guests entering the ballroom for dinner.
Kirk Henckels.
Debbie Bancroft and Geoffrey Bradfield.
Nina Griscom, Greg Calejo, and Thom Filicia.
Jamee Gregory, Mark Gilbertson, and Peter Georgiopoulos.
Marina Rust Connor.
Dinner is served.

Contact DPC here.