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At five o’clock on the eve of the opening night of American Ballet Theatre’s spring season, Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg’s 10-year-old son, Jack, was rushed to the hospital with a broken ankle he got playing around with his pals. At 5:45 p.m., Caroline was already slipping into her Carolina Herrera black cashmere top and long black skirt, and clipping on the drop diamond earrings and diamond bracelet that belonged to her mother, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. At 6 p.m., she kissed her 15-year-old daughter, Rose, and her husband, Edward Schlossberg, goodbye, checked on Jack and his ankle, jumped into her car with her daughter, Tatiana, with a school chum in tow and swept off to the Metropolitan Opera House, where from the great stage she welcomed 1,200 guests to ABT’s glittering gala. Once a Kennedy, always a Kennedy.
Her speech was graceful. “Since I was a little girl, the opening of ABT has meant spring is here. I always came with my mother and we looked forward to it every year. Also, it’s Tatiana’s 13th birthday and I am happy to continue the tradition of bringing my children here to the ballet.” Caroline also saluted Kevin McKenzie, who is celebrating his 10th anniversary as the artistic director of ABT, and her co-chairman of the evening, Blaine Trump. “No one works harder for ABT than Blaine,” she said. And she meant it and ABT knows it.
After a tour backstage, Caroline and the girls went off to celebrate Tatiana’s birthday with family and friends, but the rest of the 1,200 crowded into an adjoining tent for the gala dinner and dance that raised more than $2 million in the process.
Leading the way was Blaine in a beautiful lavender and blue vintage Christian Lacroix gown she said she dragged kicking and screaming from her closet. She brought along her mother, Jean Beard, who was wearing a beige and silver beaded dress under a shocking pink taffeta stole and thrilled to be at her first ABT opening. They were not the only two dressed to the nines and the 10s and beyond. ABT’s Russian prima ballerina Irina Dvorovenko, who danced a waltz with an equally splendid Ethan Stiefel from La Bayadere choreographed by ballet legend Natalia Makarova, arrived looking like an Erte illustration in a strapless camouflage-printed Roberto Cavalli dress laced seductively up the back with her husband and fellow ABT principal dancer, Maxim Belotserkovsky, who soared in the Act I waltz from “Swan Lake” with inspired choreography by Kevin McKenzie. Max was also in charge of unlacing Irina when he got her home. Who else would tell you these things?