Inside American Ballet Theatre’s Star-Studded Fall Gala

Celebrities like Mick Jagger and Katie Couric joined the company's annual autumn celebration, which featured excerpts from the classics along with a piece by students of ABT’s Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School.

When American Ballet Theatre (ABT) returned to Lincoln Center’s David H. Koch Theater for its fall gala on October 24, the company chose to spotlight the importance of the arts by featuring its dancers at every level. “For people who see the arts, it can really change their lives,” ABT’s artistic director Susan Jaffe said before the opulent, star-studded event began. And with renowned celebrities from across the arts in attendance—from singer Mick Jagger to actress Annette Bening and fashion designer Zac Posen—the magnitude of that statement wasn’t lost.

Sign Up For Our Daily Newsletter

By clicking submit, you agree to our <a rel="nofollow noreferer" href="http://observermedia.com/terms">terms of service</a> and acknowledge we may use your information to send you emails, product samples, and promotions on this website and other properties. You can opt out anytime.

See all of our newsletters
American Ballet Theatre Fall Gala - Inside
L-R) John Molner, Mick Jagger, Katie Couric and Jordan Roth. Getty Images for American Ballet

Before the program began, Jaffe, who was a principal dancer with the company for twenty-two years, took a moment to thank the gala’s honorees, the Shubert Foundation and journalist Katie Couric, for their support. “You don’t need to be a journalist to understand that we are living through some very dark times; at home and especially now abroad,” Couric said when she took the stage. “It is against this backdrop that now, more than ever, we need to appreciate the importance of the arts and their capacity to lift us up, transport us to a different time and space, and yes, even unite us.”

In her first New York gala program since being appointed artistic director at the end of 2022, Jaffe chose to unite the audience for the evening by illustrating what a dancer’s journey might look like in the company. Beginning with Pièce d’Occasion, which included costumes by Isaac Mizrahi, the new work featured moments from the youngest of dancers at ABT’s Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School to pre-professionals in the studio company and ABT apprentices. Then came the company dancers, performing eight excerpts from a mix of classical and contemporary ballets in ABT’s repertoire, including favorites like Swan Lake and Romeo & Juliet, as well as a Premiere choreographed by principal dancer James Whiteside. After the performance, attendees were invited to use that newfound inspiration on the dance floor, following champagne and a seated dinner on the Promenade of the theater.

2023 American Ballet Theatre Fall Gala
Katie Couric. Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images
American Ballet Theatre Fall Gala - Arrivals
Susan Jaffe. Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for American Ballet Theatre
American Ballet Theatre Fall Gala - Inside
Mick Jagger and Melanie Hamrick. Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for American Ballet Theatre
2023 American Ballet Theatre Fall Gala
Annette Bening. Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images
2023 American Ballet Theatre Fall Gala
Molly Ringwald. Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images
American Ballet Theatre Fall Gala - Arrivals
Sutton Stracke. hoto by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for American Ballet Theatre
American Ballet Theatre Fall Gala - Arrivals
Gillian Murphy. Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for American Ballet Theatre
American Ballet Theatre Fall Gala - Arrivals
Amy Astley. Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for American Ballet Theatre
American Ballet Theatre Fall Gala - Inside
Jessel Taank. Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for American Ballet Theatre
2023 American Ballet Theatre Fall Gala
Brynn Whitfield. Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images
2023 American Ballet Theatre Fall Gala
Tommy Dorfman. Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images
American Ballet Theatre Fall Gala - Inside
Christine Shevchenko. Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for American Ballet Theatre
American Ballet Theatre Fall Gala - Arrivals
Crystal Kung Minkoff. Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for American Ballet Theatre
2023 American Ballet Theatre Fall Gala
Carly Cushnie. Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images
American Ballet Theatre Fall Gala - Arrivals
Michelle Ochs. Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for American Ballet Theatre
2023 American Ballet Theatre Fall Gala
Candace Bushnell. Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images
2023 American Ballet Theatre Fall Gala
Uba Hassan. Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images
American Ballet Theatre Fall Gala - Arrivals
(L-R) Harrison Ball and Zac Posen. Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for American Ballet Theatre
American Ballet Theatre Fall Gala - Inside
James Whiteside. Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for American Ballet Theatre
American Ballet Theatre Fall Gala - Inside
(L-R) Ali Wambold, Stella Abrera and Sascha Radetsky. Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for American Ballet Theatre

Inside American Ballet Theatre’s Star-Studded Fall Gala