It was a sweet night over at the Metropolitan Opera House yesterday, where celebs and socials celebrated the annual American Ballet Theatre Spring Gala and the debut of “Whipped Cream,” a new ballet by choreographer Alexei Ratmansky. The ballet, which marked the return of principal dancer David Hallberg after a two-and-a-half-year absence, felt like an edgy and modernized sequel to “The Nutcracker,” with exquisite costumes and sets designed by pop surrealist visionary Mark Ryden. With dancing cookies, cakes, and other sweet confections, the ballet storyline centers on a little boy who eats too much whipped cream, gets sick, and ends up in the hospital. As he recovers, he dreams about a Viennese pastry shop coming to life.
Sitting front and center at the performance were actresses Blake Lively and Katie Holmes. The beauties brought Cannes red carpet vibes—Lively in a neon yellow Oscar de la Renta dress (she was accompanied by the house’s co-designer Fernando Garcia), and Holmes (who brought her niece and mom) in a red strapless embroidered dress from pal Zac Posen’s Fall 2017 collection. Nicky Hilton also stunned in a mini bedazzled Oscar de la Renta dress paired with silver pointy pumps and a matching silver Edie Parker clutch, which said “Nicky” in cursive on the front. She blended right in with the ballet theme and Candy Land aesthetic, matching perfectly when taking pics with the cast post-show. “I used to be a ballerina when I was 6, so I love the ballet. I love doing it, and I love watching it,” Hilton told The Daily. “I love coming [to the ABT] whenever I’m in town.” As far as how good of a dancer she is? “I don’t know about that!” [Laughs]. Others who came out for the spring festivities included Misty Copeland (she MCed the night), Hilary Rhoda (in Monique Lhuillier) and husband Sean Avery, Amy Astley, Hamish Bowles, Elettra Wiedemann, and Melanie Hamrick (the 29-year-old ballet dancer who has a son with Mick Jagger). “My earliest memory of the ballet is when I was 4-years-old in ‘The Nutcracker,’ running around. I’m in it now every year!” Hamrick told us.
Following the performance, guests made their way to The Promenade of the David H. Koch Theater for the gala dinner. Catered by Cloud Catering and Events, the menu featured a deconstructed beet salad, chicken roulade, and, of course, whipped cream for dessert. The space was lit up in pink, with guests mingling and sipping on champagne and later on dancing into late hours of the night. Caroline Kennedy served as honorary guest at this year’s gala, which honored Hamilton James, Blackstone president and ABT chairman emeritus. Co-chairs for the evening included Diane Kruger, Kate Bosworth, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Sofia Coppola, Amy Astley, Katie Holmes, Giovanna Battaglia, Anh Duong, Calvin Klein, Allison Sarofim, Sarah Arison, Wiedemann, and Beth Chartoff Spector. Swarovski was the lead partner for the evening, with over 80,000 Swarovski crystals adorning the sets and costumes. Proceeds from the gala support the American Ballet Theatre and its educational community engagement programs.