"Thank you for everything. I love you," mouthed a clearly moved Jaffe to the audience as she bowed over and over through curtain calls. One by one, the principal male dancers, along with ABT director Kevin MacKenzie and Jaffe's former dance partner Robert La Fosse, appeared on stage with bouquets large enough to rival those at John Gotti's funeral. In the audience, ABT principals like Irina Dvorovenko and Julie Kent wept. The ovation lasted for nearly 40 minutes.
"It's really hard to be me right now," said Jaffe a few days earlier as she reflected on her decision to hang up her ABT slippers. "l have such mixed feelings. All of a sudden, you're not who you thought you were your whole life! It's going to a scary transition. But sometimes you just gotta take your foot off the edge -- and jump.""