On Thursday night, the New York City Ballet raised more than $2.3 million dollars at their annual Spring Gala. Guests and company members walked the pink carpet outside lincoln center before heading inside for Ruinart champagne and light hors d’oeuvres.
Inside the theater, the night’s performances were introduced by NYCB’s new artistic director, Jonathan Stafford, and new associate artistic director, Wendy Whelan, both former dancers with the company. Whelan received especially thunderous applause when she took the stage, having danced with the company from 1984 to 2016 and achieving an almost mythic stature as one of the greatest dancers of all time during her long and illustrious performing career.
The one-night-only program featured the world premiere of choreographer Pam Tanowitz’s Bartόk Ballet, her first-ever work for New York City Ballet. Tanowitz’s premiere was set to Béla Bartόk’s String Quartet No. 5, which was performed by guest musicians the FLUX Quartet, and featured costumes designed by Reid Bartelme and Harriet Jung and lighting by NYCB’s Resident Lighting Director, Mark Stanley.
The Spring Gala performance also included the world premiere of Bright by NYCB resident choreographer Justin Peck, set to music by Mark Dancigers, with costumes designed by Reid Bartelme and Harriet Jung and lighting by Brandon Stirling Baker.
Rounding out the evening’s program was George Balanchine’s Tschaikovsky Suite No. 3, with music by Peter Ilyitch Tchaikovsky.
It was a truly lovely night.