American Ballet Theatre’s annual Spring Gala at Lincoln Center on May 20th celebrated the tenth anniversary of Alexei Ratmansky as artist in residence and presented his new ballet The Seasons. ABT also honored Andrew F. Barth. The gala chairs were Emily and Len Blavatnik, Pamela and David Ford, Sutton Stracke and Elizabeth Segerstrom (the Segerstrom Center For The Arts in California is ABT’s winter home). Harry Winston was a presenting sponsor.
Guests included Katie Holmes, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Liev Schreiber, Amy Astley, Joanna Fisher, Fiona Cibani, Diana Vishneva and Konstantin Selinevich, Britt Meyer, Grace Pen, Carol Perry, Douglas Runte, Hamish Bowles, Olivia Palermo and Johannes Huebl, Elizabeth An, Lauren Santo Domingo, Charles Fabius, Renee Fourcade, Alec and Hilaria Baldwin, Paul Sparks, Marshall Watson, and ABT dancers Hee Seo, Stella Abrera, Daniil Simkin, Sarah Lane, and Christine Shevchenko.
The Knights, the young chamber orchestra, held their annual benefit, a concert and dinner, on May 13th in Tribeca. Mela Hacklisch, their board chair, extoled, “To everyone here we offer sincere thanks for your extraordinary partnership and support that empowers our musical innovation. We’ve many surprises for you tonight!” and thus the orchestra launching onto a stunning concert that included Mozart, Mendelssohn, Shostakovich as well as contemporary music.
Pianist Inon Barnantan joined the orchestra on stage with Knights co-founder and conductor Eric Jacobsen welcoming him, “Inon’s invested in the future of The Knights and what we’re doing”. Virtuoso clarinetist Kinan Azmeh performed an original composition, “Wedding” and offered, “Falling in love is one of the true human rights that no one can take away from us. This music I hope is a little like that.”
Next came a new arrangement of the gospel “I’ll Fly Away”, led by Christina Courtin who led the audience to sing the refrain. Ending with a performance of “The Big Noise from Winnetka”, The Knights received a standing ovation.
Guests included board members Guillame Cuvelier, Audrey Francis, Carmela Haklisch, Graham Parker, Paul Sekhri, Kambiz Shekdar, Miranda Sielaff, and Gary Wasserman as well as guests Véronique Bich, Judith-Ann Corrente, Joanna Fisher, Thea Musgrave, Peter Mark, Susan Rose, Reni Rothschild, Julie Salomon, Connie Steensma, and Ann Ziff.
Capturing The Flag, the brilliant new documentary about voter suppression, was screened at the Museum of Modern Art. PEN America, MoMA trustees Lawrence B. Benenson and Barbara Jakobson, Alix Ritchie and Vin Roberti hosted guests, including the Emmy-winning filmmaking team of Abigail Disney and Gini Reticker, Broadway producer Darryl Roth, writer Andrew Tobias, Jill Iscol, and art collectors AC & Thelma Hudgins.
Following the screening, producer Elizabeth Hemmerdinger and director Anne de Mare — both Emmy winners — hosted a Q&A with the film’s “star”, Laverne Berry, discussing how voter suppression will be a serious issue in 2020.
And for some plain old Memorial Day fun in the sun down in Palm Beach. Every other year or so, a handful of owners at The Reef, Palm Beach’s iconic midcentury seaside condo, pool their resources for a much-loved “come one come all” Memorial Day weekend drinks party. This go ‘round, the hosts were newcomers Scott Sanders and Peter Wilson, along with longtime residents Steven Stolman and Rich Wilkie.
Photographs by BFA/PMC/Getty/Annie Watt (ABT); Richard Termine (Knights).