Diane von Furstenberg was on hand last night, not only to film scenes for another season of her television series, but also as the woman of the hour at Martha Graham Dance Company’s Opening Night Gala at IAC HQ. It was announced that Diane would be the first designer to take part in the company’s new initiative, aptly named the Dress The Kick project, calling upon big-name designers to reinterpret Martha Graham’s legendary “kick” photograph in anticipation of the Martha Graham Dance Company’s 90th anniversary next year. With von Furstenberg currently holding the title of President at the head seat of The CFDA table, expect many more storied designers to join in on the project.
Frank Gehry and Peter Arnell, both legendary figures in their respective fields of architecture and film, were also honored for their contributions to the dance company. Earlier at The Joyce Theater, guests were treated to a performance of Steps in the Street with a set designed by Gehry, as well as a short film by Arnell chronicling Martha Graham’s history in establishing modern dance. “So the first words I’d like to say are oy vey,” Gehry said as he took the stage, perhaps with a bit of liquid courage. “To be apart of Martha Graham is sincerely a fucking great honor, and I think this is just the start. We’re going to keep going!” Arnell, a 35-year-long friend of Gehry’s, echoed the same excited sentiments. “It all came together so well tonight, and we have a lot of powerful Jews in the room!”
Later in the evening, the Martha Graham dancers stole back the show from the bold faced names, trading their minimalist costumes for tuxedos and gowns. A duo of gentleman, Lloyd Mayor and Lloyd Knight, who count themselves as modern dancers on the Martha Graham Dance Company, worked the crowd of deep-pocketed benefactors with their rapid fire jazz moves. “God, I was dancing with three people,” Mayor said as he came off the dance floor breathless. “One was an unknown woman who just swung into my arms!”