Spend a Couple Hours »ABT Opening Night Gala

at Lincoln Center

When Stacy and I decided to attend an ABT ballet this season, the Opening Night Gala sounded the most fun. It was sure to offer the best audience attire and we certainly saw a bit of everything: from the absolutely elegant to the absolutely awful (short shorts and a see through top are not the way to go). Watching the parade of dresses was almost as fun as watching the performances. Though I have to admit I kind of failed you all by not taking more pictures of the audience.

The ABT announcement of the event kind of made it sound like Michelle Obama was going to be there (sadly, no dice) but we made do with a glammed up Carolyn Kennedy and some of you would be psyched to know we saw one of the Housewives of New York, but I can’t remember her name and wouldn’t have known who she was.

The real stars of the night, aside from myself who felt wonderful having an event to get dressed up for (I wore faded gold scalloped lace with rhinestones and a pink early 1920’s jacket), were the incredible dancers.

We got to see a mish mash of pieces, sort of a best of for the season along with some unique pieces only performed for that evening. It was maybe the best ballet experience I’ve had and I highly recommend you keep an eye out for Opening nights in the future to get the best of the ABT.

The highlights of the evening for me (aside from enjoying an outrageously priced flute of pink champagne with a dear friend during intermission) were:

Tchaikovsky Pas de Duex with Gillian Murphy and David Hallberg – this was a showcase of just how effortless seemingly and transcendent ballet can be. Spare and beautiful, both dancers were incredible, and Hallberg my favorite male dancer all evening.

Swan Lake Act II Pas de Deux with Paloma Herrera and Alexandre Hammoudi – a lovely, little girl dream sight. A stage filled with elegant ballerinas from one of the art’s most beloved stories.

Splendid Isolation III with Irina Dvorovenko and Maxim Beloserkovsky – this one blew me away with it’s inventive choreography which featured a huge skirted gown. Truly stunning, but sadly for anyone not in attendance, a performance solely for the opening night.

Lady of the Camillias with Julie Kent and Cory Stearns – this was the most romantic of the performances. Julie Kent, an experienced dancer with the ABT literally took her hair down and became one of my favorite dancers with just a few moments of graceful movement. At forty she is as perfect a dancer as I’ve seen.

If you are looking to purchase tickets to the season, The Bright Stream looks fun and unusual with fat ladies on bicycles, fake moustaches, and some sweet printed peasant wear that looked very Prada-esque. If you want to go more classic, the Swan Lake is surely lovely (and I recommend seeking out a Julie Kent performance).

Hope to do this again next year, it’s the kind of event that makes me love New York.

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Posted on May 17, 2011

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