Though Sarah Jessica Parker studied dance as a young girl, perhaps working with Mikhail Baryshnikov on “Sex and the City” propelled her to host the New York City Ballet gala on Wednesday night, which celebrated the centennial of George Balanchine. But it could also have been the glorious program, which featured videos of Balanchine drinking with Igor Stravinsky, as well as live performances by Placido Domingo and Wynton Marsalis. It certainly didn’t hurt that Parker was given the opportunity to wear not just one gown by Oscar de la Renta, but three. (She met with de la Renta to select the outfits from his fall collection: a green sleeveless flounce dress, a black tulle bustier with a tulle Venetian skirt and a nude and gold silver-embroidered ballgown.)
Though all the pieces were in place, Parker found her anxiety level high. “I was so nervous,” she told a series of well wishers, including Barbara Walters, at dinner on the Promenade following the ballet. “So nervous just thinking about all those German names.”
The mother-daughter chairman team — Nina Griscom and Elizabeth Rohatyn — both wore Vera Wang, “but not on purpose,” explained Griscom, who went on to thank the guests and the sponsors for their support.
“But I better shut up now, or my mother’s going to slap me,” Griscom told the crowd, which included Arie and Coco Kopelman, Sandy Hill, Moby and Candace Bushnell and her NYCB beau, Charles Askegard.
“Never in public,” Rohatyn joked, and she snatched the microphone away.