Forget Your Troubles and Dance!

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Calvin Royal III and Katie Couric at American Ballet Theatre's annual Fall Gala.

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.

Mick Jagger with the evening’s honoree, Katie Couric.

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.

Josette Winograd, Dimitri Drone, Katie Ho, Krysten Hammond, Prince A. Sanders, Julie Wald, Petar Krbavac-Sanders, and Maneka Mahajan.
Prince Mario-Max Schaumburg-Lippe.
James Whiteside.
Di Mondo.
Jordan Roth, Zac Posen, Mathilda Gianopoulos, Molly Ringwald, Richie Jackson, and Harrison Ball.
Val Carlotti, Suzanne Hall, Kyle Ridaught, and Joey Grant Luther.
L. to r.: Amy Astley and Charlotte Astley; Christine Shevchenko.
Christian Zimmermann, Stella Abrera, and Sascha Radetsky.
Sarah Arison, Monica Wambold, and Ali Wambold.
L. to r.: Lauren Levison; Andrea Virgin and Erica Kasel.
Jane Fujishige Yada and Susan Jaffe.
Lee and Stacy Margolis.
Mick Jagger and Melanie Hamrick.
Joey Grant Luther, Cassandra Trenary, and Kyle Ridaught.
Zac Posen, Katie Couric, and Molly Ringwald.
Candace Bushnell Silva.
Kamie Lightburn, PJ Pascual, Amory McAndrew, and Alexandra O’Neill.
Crystal Kung Minkoff, Sutton Stracke, Elizabeth Segerstrom, and Deborah Valdez-Hung.
Jacek Mysinski and Calvin Royal III.
Paige Kozak and Sam Segal.
Richie Jackson, Jordan Roth, and Tommy Dorfman.
John Wattiker, Augie Schott, James Whiteside, Anh Duong, and Malcolm Carfrae.
Isabella Massenet, Prince Achileas-Andreas, and Pritika Swarup.

American Guild of Musical Artists dancers.

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.

Dancers of Jonah Bokaer choreography perform for the three honorees.
Broomstick performance by Jonah Bokaer.
Choreographer Jonah Bokaer and dancer Cecilia Whalen, wearing Austin Scarlett, dancing Bokaer choreography as tribute.

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.

Barbara Tober announces honoree Machine Dazzle; Honoree Austin Scarlett.

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.”

L. to r.: Honorees Michelle Yun Mapplethorpe and Machine Dazzle; Smith Freeman.
Patty Tang, Helen Yee Little, Evangeline Cheung, and Jennifer Bokaer-Smith.
Honoree Michelle Yun Mapplethorpe, Marianne Jacobsen, Helen Tschudi, and Jennifer Almashni.
Brett Glass, Brandon McNamee, Macy Tinder, Carrie Lind, and Sara Lind.
L. to r.: Elbrun Kimmelman; Sam Infurchia and Catherine Zimmermann.
Jen Bokaer Smith and Ronni Bowen.
Evangeline Cheung, Elbrun Kimmelman, Emily Woo, Savio Woo, Helen Yee Little, and Jonah Bokaer.
Noreen Buckfire, Patty Tang, Helen Yee Little, and JiaJia Fei.
Michèle Gerber Klein, Michael Lynch, Susan Baker, Rick Beinecke, and Madako Mori.
Dusty Childers.


Photographs by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images North America (ABT); Jill Nelson/ (Breaking the Rules)

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