The debut of “Carousel,” by Christopher Wheeldon, stirred up plenty of excitement last Tuesday night at the New York City Ballet’s opening-night gala, though no one’s heart could have been racing faster than the choreographer’s. “It was petrifying to watch,” said Wheeldon, who, as many noted, is as handsome as he is talented. “We only got into the theater today and didn’t get to run all the way through even once. I was on the edge of my seat.”
This story first appeared in the December 2, 2002 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Of course, watching the troupe’s dancers navigate through an excerpt from Peter Martins’ “Thou Swell,” in spindly Manolo Blahniks, created a cliffhanger moment or two. “I don’t know how they do it,” Jamee Gregory said. “I can’t even walk in them.”
Afterward, the chic set — who have all had plenty of practice dancing in their Manolos — including Anne Bass, Joy Hendricks, Coco Kopelman, Carol Mack, Kalliope Karella, Alba Clemente, Allison Sarofim, Georgette Mosbacher and Audrey Gruss, stirred up a little drama of their own at dinner and on the dance floor. Louise MacBain, who co-hosted with Charlotte Moss on behalf of Phillips, de Pury & Luxembourg, the evening’s sponsor, shimmied and shook next to her beautiful daughter, Alexandra, in matching red halter gowns. Candace Bushnell and Charles Askegard spun past, and Nina Griscom snuggled in close to her date, Leonel Piraino, an Argentinean actor.
The only one left on the sidelines was Marisa Noel Brown, just back from her honeymoon in India, where a horse rolled over her foot and broke it. “Everyone keeps telling me I’m such a trouper for coming out tonight,” said Brown, one of the few who can work a one-shouldered gown while wearing a cast, “but a night at the ballet is nothing compared to two weeks in India on crutches.”