NO BOX SEATS FOR WOODY: For diehard dance fans, the Youth America Grand Prix is a night at Lincoln Center that is not be missed. Thursday’s Bulgari-sponsored gala was no exception with Paloma Herrera, Teresa Reichlen, Melissa Hamilton and Isabella Boylston performing at the David H. Koch Theater alongside up-and-comers in the “Stars of Today Meet the Stars of Tomorrow” event.
The Bolshoi Ballet’s Evgenia Obraztsova and Semyon Chudin held the crowd rapt with their pas de deux from “The Pharaoh’s Daughter.” And Mariinsky Ballet’s Xander Parish drew the most laughs — in a good way — for his overachieving performance in the New York premiere of “Ballet 101.” The fashion designer B. Michael took a bow for his costumes worn by Joffrey dancers in Alexei Kremnev’s world premiere of the artistically-lit “Windy Sand.” Karen LeFrak, who wrote the music, joined him on stage, and back in her seat she had her own rooting section in friends Soon-Yi Previn and Woody Allen.
During the YAGP intermission, the director chatted with fans of his own genre. As it turned out, the New Yorker is a bit of a modern dance buff, having studied with the late Martha Graham. “But I was not very good. I was the disgrace of the class…” Allen said. “Diane Keaton and I studied for a couple of months. She was quite good, but I was embarrassing.”
The pair didn’t line up at the barre in the name of research. “We idolized Martha so much we wanted to learn how she did it, and what she did, to get closer to her work,” Allen said.
The filmmaker’s own body of work will be the subject of much introspection in Barcelona, where a museum of sorts is being built in his honor. Still in the blueprint stage, The Woody Allen Centre will be housed in the city where he shot the 2008 Oscar-winning “Vicky Cristina Barcelona.” Allen said he is of course pleased, even though he can’t quite picture the finished product. “Yes, but I’ve only seen, you know, lines on the page. I’m not good at that abstract…I can’t figure that out too well.” he said. “They look like just boxes to me so I can’t tell. But I’m sure they know what they’re doing.”
He continued, “I can visualize a film but I can’t visualize a museum. I have no idea what they’re doing. I’ll just go over and look at it and be amazed or, you know, crushed or I don’t know what. Film is really different psychology or body rhythm, just a different thing. The other is architecture and this is flowing images.”
Allen’s and his wife’s summer travel plans don’t include Spain, though they will be in Los Angeles and then back in New York for him “to do some filming” with Kristin Stewart, Bruce Willis and Jesse Eisenberg for a yet-to-be-revealed film that is in preproduction. “I’m just hoping for the best. I can let you in on that,” he said.
In the run-up to that, the director’s “Irrational Man” with Emma Stone, Joaquin Phoenix and Parker Posey will debut at next month’s Cannes Film Festival. Before guests like Peter Bacanovic, Irina Dvovorenko and David Koch joined gala chairs Amy Astley, Veronica Bulgari, Bella Thorne, Hailey Baldwin, David Hallberg and select guests for a psot-perfomance dinner, Allen greeted his own share of admirers.
“Can I just say how much I enjoy your work?” one woman asked. “Oh sure, you can say it.” Allen said. “Tell her — she’s with the press.”