American Ballet Theatre Fall Gala Raises $1.65 Million
American Ballet Theatre (ABT) held its annual Opening Night Fall Gala benefit last night at the David H. Koch Theatre, hosting over 700 patrons, sponsors, supporters, friends, alumni and members of the Board of Trustees. ABT's inaugural season at the David H. Koch Theatre marks the Company's first return to the venue since 1976. The gala, which serves as the opening of ABT's fall season at the Koch Theatre, raised $1.65 million dollars and a portion of the proceeds will support ABT's education and community outreach programs.
Sponsored by Badgley Mischka and Clinique, the evening featured a one-time-only Gala performance highlighted by the World Premiere of Alexei Ratmansky's The Tempest led by Marcelo Gomes as Prospero, Daniil Simkin as Ariel and Herman Cornejo as Caliban. The evening also featured a new production of George Balanchine's Theme and Variations led by Gillian Murphy and James Whiteside and a Pièce d'Occasion choreographed by ABT Principal Dancer Marcelo Gomes and set to Souvenir de Florence by Peter Ilyitch Tchaikovsky.
The star-studded Tempest themed affair had in attendance actresses Sigourney Weaver, Meghan Markle (from USA Network's Suits), and Bebe Neuwirth, as well as actors Alan Cumming and Taye Diggs; supermodels Elettra Wiedemann, Robyn Lawley, Jessica Stam, Alyssa Miller, Crystal Renn, and Maryna Linchuk; fashion luminaries Christian Siriano, Thom Browne, Carlos Souza, Genevieve Jones, Hamish Bowles, and Nicky Hilton; James Lipton, host of Bravo's "Inside The Actors Studio;" media stars Bryant Gumbel, Chris Cuomo and Star Jones; and Olympic Medalist and FIFA Women's World Cup's Kelley O'Hara. Also on hand to celebrate the fall season opening night were co-sponsors Mark Badgley and James Mischka, Leslie Ziff, Fe Fendi, Leonard Blavatnik, and David Koch. "We thank all of you here tonight for being our partners in our quest for unparalleled excellence on the stage, in the studio, and throughout our education programs," remarked Rachel Moore, CEO of American Ballet Theatre.