As any balletomane surely is aware, one of our city’s great dance institutions, American Ballet Theatre, held its annual Fall Gala at the David H. Koch Theater a couple weeks back. The centerpiece of the company’s two-week engagement at Lincoln Center culminated in a one-night, special Gala program — featuring all of ABT’s star Principal Dancers, who performed excerpts from celebrated choreographers Harald Lander, Kenneth MacMillan, and Antony Tudor, alongside a World Premiere pas de deux by ABT Principal Dancer James Whiteside.
The event honored Katie Couric for her dedication to creativity and the incredible generosity she’s extended to ABT over many years. The Fall Gala also celebrated The Shubert Foundation, the nation’s largest funder of unrestricted grants to not-for-profit dance and theater companies, for its unwavering commitment to supporting live performing arts in the US.
As Couric addressed the gala guests in the David H. Koch Theater, she summed up the importance of the night and “the importance of the arts and their capacity to lift us up, transport us to a different time and space, and, yes, even unite us. “You don’t need to be a journalist to understand that we are all living through some very dark times at home, and especially now abroad,” she shared. “It is against this backdrop that, now more than ever, we need to appreciate the importance of the arts and their capacity to lift us up, transport us to a different time and space, and, yes, even unite us.” Amen, Katie!
And with artistic director of American Ballet Theatre’s Studio Company, Sascha Radetsky, who is one of the true gents in the world of dance — not to mention a massive talent — and ABT president Sarah Arison, who works vigorously to advance and lead the many arts organizations that are important to her, ABT has a very bright future.
Gala guests who gathered for the black-tie dinner and dancing on the Promenade of the David H. Koch Theater included Annette Bening, Mick Jagger (yes, that Mick!) & Melanie Hamrick, Amy Astley, Anh Duong, Brandon Maxwell, Brynn Whitfield, Candace Bushnell, Carly Cushnie, Crystal Kung Minkoff, Ivy Getty, Jessel Tank, Jonathan Cohen, Jordan Roth, Molly Ringwald, Morena Baccarin, Pritika Swarup, Sutton Stracke, Tommy Dorfman, Ubah Hassan, Zac Posen & Harrison Ball and more.
While we are on the subject of dance and artistry, Jonah Bokaer celebrated his annual “BREAKING THE RULES” gala just before Halloween by treating honorees: Katonah Museum Director Michelle Yun Mapplethorpe, Fashion designer Austin Scarlett, and costume maker extraordinaire Machine Dazzle with bouquets of flowers and special dances choreographed just for them and performed before dinner at The Robert, in the Museum of Arts & Design overlooking Central Park.
“BREAKING THE RULES” benefits the programs of Jonah Bokaer Arts Foundation which include scholarships and residencies for young dancers.
Guests included Barbara Tober who introduced Machine Dazzle as a “force of nature”, arts parton Helen Yee Little, Maureen Buckfire, Susan Baker & Michael Lynch, the Lithgow Family, Frederick W. Beinecke, Michèle Gerber Klein, Charles Renfro of Diller Scofidio + Renfro, Elbrun & Peter Kimmelman, Mary Barone, Elizabeth Seacord, Dusty Childers and Patty Tang among many others in Halloween costume.
Festivities climaxed with an after party featuring RECESS Young Patrons, a booming group of young philanthropists co-chaired by Ernesto Estrella Cózar and Matthew Minot-Scheuermann, unveiling their original score, “EL DON.”