Upon entering the David Koch theater at Lincoln Center for the New York City Ballet‘s annual fall benefit September 19, guests were greeted with colorful hot air balloons suspended from the ceiling. Mirrored tabletops on the promenade were adorned with red flowers and champagne flowed—much like the decadent ball gowns of the women.
Sarah Jessica Parker (pretty in a Olivier Theyskens/Prabal Gurung pink confection), Natalie Portman (in color blocked Dior), Amber Valetta, Tory Burch and Sean Combs enjoyed a cocktail prior to the evening’s three ballets. The orchestra pit slowly rose and fell throughout the opening orchestral performance of Short Ride in a Fast Machine conducted by Andrews Sill and the New York City Ballet orchestra. Before each of the three ballet premieres, video clips showed each choreographer and commissioned/guest designer discussing their collaboration.
To kick off the new works, choreographer Justin Peck premiered his latest ballet, Capricious Maneuvers, with music by Lukas Foss and costumes designed by Prabal Gurung. Incoming head of the Paris Opera Ballet (and Natalie Portman’s husband) Benjamin Millepied partnered with musician Nico Muhly and Iris Van Herpen on costumes on Neverwhere, which he dedicated to their son Aleph. Spectral Evidence with music by John Café and choreographed by Angelin Preljocaj capped off the evening’s world premiere ballets.
The last movement, George Ballanchine’s Western Symphony, was a large-scale production of the choreographer’s 1954 ballet with original costumes by Karinska and music by Hershy Kay. After the production, guests migrated back to the promenade for a seated dinner, followed by raucous dancing with the ballerinas until the wee hours.
Click through the gallery to see photos from the event.