That night, much of the same crowd returned for a spaghettata to witness the spectacular performance of the famous Carosello dei Carabinieri, whose finale included a breathtaking charge of 300 sword-wielding soldiers who galloped down the field aiming at each other. Those Italians.
Guests not staying in their own palazzi checked into the Hassler, the city's haven for the rich and richer, where every now and then you can bump into everyone from Nicole to Madonna to Tom Cruise. La dolce vita.
If you weren't among the fans and fashionable ballet superaficionados at American Ballet Theatre's 65th annual opening-night gala at the Metropolitan Opera, you have only yourself to blame. Because if not, you missed a glittering fete with performances by some of the greatest dancers in the world and a show-stopping tour de force by the one and only Savion Glover, the famous tap dancer like no other.
Caroline Kennedy, in shimmering blue satin by Oscar de la Renta, was the honorary chairman of the evening, following as ever in the footsteps of her mother, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, who for years was one of the ABT's greatest supporters and mentors. One of the most moving of the many moving performances that evening was the pas de deux by Alessandra Ferri, now in her 20th year as a principal dancer with ABT, and Julio Bocca. The applause could be heard for what seemed like a mile away. For the first time at ABT's opening night in years, the company's beautiful prima ballerina, Irina Dvorovenko, did not slip into her ballet slippers. She just had a baby two months ago, so, wearing an ivory satin Roberto Cavalli with cascading ruffles, she was content to watch from the wings while her handsome husband, Maxim Beloserkovsky, danced in the Don Quixote suite.