Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Everything is Beautiful at the Ballet

Wayne McGregor, Herman Cornejo, Alessandra Ferri, Misty Copeland, Jeffrey Cirio and ABT corps take their final bows following the premiere of McGregor's "AfteRite" at American Ballet Theater's spring gala. Photo: JH.
Wednesday, May 23, 2018. Yesterday was a rainy day in New York, with rain tapering off in the early evening with temps in the in the mid-50s.

On Monday night, I went over to Lincoln Center for the American Ballet Theatre’s
annual Spring Gala dinner and performance, presented by Harry Winston. It was a beautiful evening weather-wise, as well as the performances and the guests. I’m always reminded of that Marvin Hamlisch song (lyrics by Edward Kleban), “Everything is Beautiful at the Ballet.” Monday night at the Met was like that.

What impressed me was that a lot of women attending dressed for the occasion, often wearing a lot of color that lifted the room. This is not unusual although it seemed on this night as if there were an extra sparkle from them in the room. The men in black tie supplied the perfect background for their glamour.
The Metropolitan Opera House dressed for the spring gala.
Entering the Met.
Guests streaming in to the Opera House.
The evening a number of prominent New Yorkers, including longtime supporter of ABT actress Katie Holmes, who dazzled in a floral print dress paired with Harry Winston white diamond jewelry, and accompanied by her daughter Suri; Also in the crowd, Alec Baldwin, Sting and Trudie Styler; Jeremy Irons, Misty Copeland, Paola and Arnie Rosenshein; Olivia Palermo and Johannes Huebl; Athena Calderone and Victor Calderone; Susan Fales Hill; Dr. Sherrell and Muffie Potter Aston; Mary Snow, Ashley and Jeff McDermott; Christine Schwarzman, Sharon Hoge, Star Jones, Amy Fine Collins, Michele Herbert, Valentino and Giancarlo Giammetti; Kathy Steinberg, Leila Strauss, Brian Atwood and Jake Deutsch, Michelle Smith, Carly Cushnie.

The Spring Gala Chairs were Sarah Arison, Emily and Len Blavatnik, and Sutton Stracke. Co-Chairs included Amy Astley, Hamish Bowles, Malcolm Carfrae, Anh Duong, Lisa and Dick Cashin, Amy and Gary Churgin, Karen C. Phllips, Kathryn and Paul Raphael, Melissa Smith,, Stewart R. Smith and Robin A. Ferracone, Beth Chartoff Spector and Jason Spector.
Sarah Arison, Terry Zucker, Shari Loeffler, Angela Goding, and Noreen Ahmad.
Emily and Leonard Blavatnik.
Sutton Stracke.
The evening featured three world premieres highlighting; a performance of AFTERITE by Wayne McGregor, set to Igor Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring; a pièce d’occasion by Michelle Dorrance, choreographer and MacArthur Foundation Fellow, and excerpts from Harlequinade by Alexei Ratmansky, a recreation of Petipa’s commedia dell’arte masterpiece from 1900.
Herman Cornejo, Alessandra Ferri, Misty Copeland, Jeffrey Cirio and ABTcorps de ballet taking their bows for the premiere of "AfteRite."
Greeting Principal Conductor Charles Barker ...
One last pass ...
The final bow.
The great Metropolitan Opera House was filled to the rafters with balletomanes and fans, and from the moment the lights went down and the curtains separated and Ratmansky’s Harlinquinade opened the evening the audience was with them for the entire performance.

Following the performance, dinner was served on the Promenade of the David Koch Theater, followed by dancing to music by DJ Coleman.
Walking from the Metropolitan Opera House to the David H. Koch Theater for dinner.
Proceeds from the Gala support American Ballet Theatre’s dancers and mission to create, to present, to preserve and to extend the great repertoire of classical dancing. It is America’s National Ballet Company because they are dedicated to preserving and extending the great legacy of classical dancing. They have a chosen path with their artistry. ABT knows that by sharing art they can develop a global community of art enthusiasts that transcends cultural boundaries. The American Ballet Theatre team – from staff, artists, and the Board of Trustees, to dedicated volunteers – work tirelessly to produce innovative performances, reach the widest possible audience, and provide the highest quality education in classical dance. They were demonstrating their success with the audience Monday night.
Dinner on the Grand Promenade of the David H. Koch Theater.
Also, this past Sunday night at the Skirball Center for the Performing Arts, they held the Chita Rivera Awards for Dance and Choreography. This annual ceremony was originally named the “Fred and Adele Astaire Awards”. Our peripatetic, occasional correspondent Sharon King Hoge was there to report:

In this season of Awards Ceremonies
, the “Chitas” are the “Oscars” for on and off-Broadway choreography and dance. Named for Chita Rivera, “West Side Story’s” original Anita, a trained ballerina and two-time Tony winner who has been performing since her 1950 debut in “Call Me Madame,” the Chitas were presented Sunday night in a ceremony that assembled the vivacious namesake along with a crowd of well-toned nominees and spectators who were fascinated to see Sponge Bob characters and Carousel revelers out of costume and dressed up in contemporary fashion finery.

Sergio Trujillo was named Outstanding Broadway Choreographer for “Summer: The Donna Summer Musical,” and achievement honors were bestowed on dancer actress Carmen De Lavallade, composer John Kander, producer director Harold Prince.
Chita Rivera and Joe Lanteri of the NYC Dance Alliance Foundation.
Carmen De Lavallade, who received the Lifetime Achievement Award, with Cabaret star Joel Grey. Composer John Kander.
 Nikki Feirt Atkins.
And down across the riva (in Brooklyn) last weekend at 188 Eagle Street, a brilliant four-story mural was unveiled by British artist, D*Face. Titled 'Save The World', it was created in conjunction with the first U.S edition of the Moniker International Art Fair and underwritten by Kaspersky Lab — the latest project in a longstanding commitment to contemporary and street art. Moniker is among the most exciting contemporary art fairs with roots embedded deeply in urban culture.
D*Face next to his permanent mural in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.
D*Face will also produce a design for a special edition of the internet security brand's market-leading Kaspersky Total Security v.2019 product, which will be released in October 2018.

At the VIP Collectors Preview D*Face discussed his creative collaboration, "As a member of the creative industry, and especially as a street artist, my social identity is crucial to my work, so of course it's important to me to know that it's secure. Many of my fellow street artists have chosen to remain anonymous for their entire careers, keeping personal and professional life completely separate — that's no easy task. I think that really resonates with the issue of internet security and with the work that Kaspersky are doing. This was a great chance to collaborate with a brand with which I felt a genuine connection to myself and to my work. People need to feel in control of what they're putting out about themselves into the world and that's what Kaspersky Total Security offers — a way to stay in command of your social identity."
Moniker International Art Fair's Brooklyn debut galleries participated from all over the globe. Solo artist installations included INSA (UK), Egle Zvirblyte (Lithuania), Skewville (NYC), D'Face (UK), Icy and Sot (Iran), Brusk (France), Jose Miguel Mendez (Spain), Yok and Sheryo (Philippines/Australia), Derek Gores (California),ASVP (NYC), Gabriel Specter (NYC), Bom.K (France), Vermibus (Spain), Faith47 (South Africa). Participating galleries included COX Gallery (France), Heliotrope Foundation (NYC), Jewel Goodby Contemporary (UK), Jonathan Levine Projects (New Jersey), Le Grand Jeu (France), Over the Influence (LA & Hong Kong), PDP Gallery (France), Roman Fine Art (East Hampton), Merc'art (Portugal), Superchief Gallery (LA and NYC), TAG Fine Arts (UK), Thinkspace Projects (LA), Vertical Gallery (Chicago), and Vinyl on Vinyl (Philippines).
Aldo del Bo, Head of Global Partnerships and Sponsorships, Moniker Art Fair Director Tina Ziegler, and D*Face
"Brooklyn is the perfect place to make our international debut, as it has always had a long history with urban and contemporary art, " said Tina Ziegler, Fair Director. "We've been careful to avoid the trappings of 'elite' art fair traditions and ensure that Moniker welcomes everyone equally. Inclusivity and a sense of global collaborative effort are right at the heart of our art movement. The values that are important to the art we celebrate are equally important to the fair as a whole."

Photos: BFA (ABT Spring Gala); Presley Ann/Getty Images (Kaspersky Lab)

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