Esteemed journalist Katie Couric was celebrated by the American Ballet Theatre last night, as the company honored her dedication to creativity, unwavering support, and generosity towards furthering their mission at a Gala program at Lincoln Center’s David H. Koch Theater. The evening also recognized The Shubert Foundation, the nation’s largest funder of grants for not-for-profit production companies and an ABT supporter since the 1970s, for its crucial enhancement of public life via the advancement of the performing arts.
Accepting her accolade from ABT artistic director Susan Jaffe, Couric remarked how now, more than ever, is a time for the world to come together and find moments of beauty and shared joy through creative expression. ABT’s annual Fall season is now underway, and what better way to ring it in than with a special program featuring some of the ballet world’s most stellar dancers, who performed excerpts from celebrated choreographers Harald Lander, Kenneth MacMillan, and Antony Tudor for a packed theater.
A highlight of the celebratory evening was a world premiere pas de deux by ABT Principal Dancer (and social media sensation) James Whiteside. His Latin American dance-fused ‘Danzón No. 2’ brought together Isabella Boylston and Aran Bell with a pianist and percussionist on stage, for a precise and beat-perfect performance that was fresh, scintillating, and modern with unexpected costumes by Reid Bartleme and Harriet Jung.
Festivities continued upstairs on the Promenade, with a black tie dinner, dessert, and dancing until late. Among the crowd were major figures of entertainment, fashion, art, dance, music, and design, including Annette Bening, Mick Jagger and Melanie Hamrick, Amy Astley, Candace Bushnell, Molly Ringwald, Jordan Roth, Sutton Stracke, Brandon Maxwell, Tommy Dorfman, Bach Mai, Zac Posen and Harrison Ball, Ivy Getty, Jessel Tank, Brynn Whitfield, Ubah Hassan, Alexandra O’Neill, and many, many more.