Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater Celebrates Its Opening Night with Honorary Chair Gabrielle Union

Photo: Rich Polk/Getty Images for cinema prive

Dance aficionados of all ages congregated at New York City Center in Midtown Manhattan last night for the opening of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater—the world-renowned dance company's 25th season since the untimely death of its celebrated founder, choreographer Alvin Ailey. With his fresh eye, energetic style, and persistence in giving dancers of all backgrounds a chance to perform, Ailey paved the way for the future of American dance. And one of the many legacies Mr. Ailey left behind was his beloved troupe, which inaugurated yet another year onstage yesterday evening. The event attracted many lovers and supporters of African dance, including InStyle's Man of Style Taye Diggs, Joan Smalls, and honorary event chair Gabrielle Union. When asked what she loved most about the theater, Union jokingly told, “It’s where real talent lives – the people who don’t need takes and extra editing and close-ups and filters and everything else that we frauds like to use.”

The show commenced with the company’s premiere of Chroma, a wildly dynamic effort by British choreographer Wayne McGregor, set to music by Joby Talbot and orchestrations by Jack White (of The White Stripes). After a brief intermission, Union took to the stage to give a speech and introduce the second act, Revelations, a historic work that, according to Union, “has been seen by more people throughout the world than any other work of modern dance.” She continued, “It doesn’t matter how many times we’ve seen before – it never gets old and it never loses its power to transport us.” Union then polled the audience, listing off legendary talents who danced for Alvin Ailey and inquiring whether or not they had seen them in the flesh.

But whether members of the audience had seen Ailey’s pupils perform or not, each was treated to a fantastic production by the future of his company, half of whom were formerly scholarship students at The Ailey School. And the admired choreographer’s legend lives on: The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater raised $2.4 million, which will go towards giving other students the opportunity to perform.

Plus, see more celebrities from this week’s parties!

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01 of 27

Idris Elba and Naomie Harris

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stepped out for the royal film premiere of their biopic, 'Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom' in London, England. Elba and Harris (in Alexander McQueen) also got the royal treatment and met with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. The film is currently in theaters everywhere.

02 of 27

Sarah Hyland and Jesse Tyler Ferguson

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came out to celebrate Ferguson's Tie The Knot Pop-Up shop at the Beverly Center in Los Angeles, California. Hyland (in a necklace by Dana Rebecca) and Ferguson were also joined by Sofia Vergara to support the shop, which will be open until January 10th.

03 of 27

Marion Cotillard

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looked radiant as she stepped out for the, 'Public Enemies' presentation during the 13th Marrakech International Film Festival held at Jemaa El Fna square in Marrakech, Morocco. Cotillard (in Preen) is serving on the jury for the festival this year and helped present her 2009 Michael Mann film, which she starred opposite of Johnny Depp.

04 of 27

Emmy Rossum and Jake McDorman

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attended the screening of 'August: Osage County' benefitting the Children Mending Hearts & The Episcopal School at the Landmark Theater in Los Angeles. Rossum (in Oscar de la Renta), McDorman and also others stepped out for the night dedicated to help the organization, which aids disadvantaged youth through educational and arts programs.

05 of 27

Joan Smalls and Gabrielle Union

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celebrated dance at the opening night benefit gala for the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater held at the New York City Center in Midtown Manhattan. Union (in Prada) was the honorary chair for the event and told, "For me, (theater) is where real talent lives." Smalls was also in attendance for the big night and admitted, "This is actually my first time, so I’m quite excited! It looks amazing – the fluidity and the artistry behind it—I’m impressed."

06 of 27

Colin Egglesfield and Ahna O'Reilly

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posed together at the launch event of Stella Artois’ Crystal Chalice held in New York City's Meatpacking District. O'Reilly (in Tory Burch) and Egglesfield were among the many guests who were able to get a look at the limited-edition Crystal Chalice designed with Swarovski elements.

07 of 27

Kelly Osbourne

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stepped out to celebrate the Make-A-Wish Greater Los Angeles 30th Anniversary Gala in California. Osbourne (in earrings by Graziela) was joined by more than 720 guests and honored basketball star Kobe Bryant with the "Shining Star" award. The Make-A-Wish Foundation grants the wishes of children who are suffering from life-threatening illnesses.

08 of 27

Jessica Biel and Rooney Mara

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celebrated the release of Biel's new film, 'The Truth About Emanuel' at the Tribeca Film and Well Go USA event presented by Tiffany & Co. at The ArcLight Hollywood Cinema in Los Angeles. Biel (in Giambattista Valli and Tiffany & Co. diamonds) stars in the thriller opposite of Kaya Scodelario who plays the trouble Emanuel and becomes obsessed with her mysterious, new neighbor (Biel) who resembles Emanuel's deceased mother. The film opens in theaters everywhere on January 10th.

09 of 27

Michelle Williams

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stepped out for the Louis Vuitton Design Miami Dinner held at The Raleigh Hotel in Miami Beach during Art Basel. Williams (in Louis Vuitton) attended the event with her stylist, Kate Young.

10 of 27

Sienna Miller and Stella McCartney

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got into the festive mood for the Stella McCartney Christmas Lights Switch On held at the designer's Bruton Street boutique in London, England. The two friends were also joined by Salma Hayek, Judi Dench and Dame Edna.

11 of 27

Karolina Kurkova and Gerard Butler

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were special guests at a private dinner celebrating Haute Horlogerie with the Roger Dubuis brand and Dom Perignon hosted by Butler during Art Basel Miami Beach. Kurkova and guests including Eva Longoria and Serena Williams were able to view the Roger Dubuis Excalibur Quatuor and Jeff Koons’ designed Limited Edition Dom Perignon bottles during the event.

12 of 27

Hugh Jackman and Deborra-Lee Jackman

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stepped out for David Lynch Foundation's fifth annual "Change Begins Within" benefit gala held at the Conrad New York hotel. The event helped bring awareness to service veterans and first responders about the benefits of meditation. "Coming together like this does bring awareness to it and it opens up to people who may not have known about it," said Deborra-Lee to "Yea and Jerry Seinfeld is going to speak so that’s always a good thing," added Jackman. The event hosted by Seinfeld helped raised funds to bring meditation training to 1,000 service men in New York City.

13 of 27

Katy Perry

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attended the ninth annual Unicef Snowflake Ball at Cipriani Wall Street in New York CIty as the newly appointed Unicef Goodwill Ambassador. Perry (in a Naeem Khan cape and gown) also gave a mesmerizing performance singing her hit songs, "Roar," "Firework" and "Unconditionally," which was inspired by her first Unicef trip to Madagascar this past April. Katie Couric, Mark Consuelos and Lindsay Ellingson were also in attendance.

14 of 27

Christina Ricci

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also stepped out for Unicef's Snowflake Ball wearing a Carolina Herrera gown where she enjoyed a special performance by Katy Perry. The evening also honored Danny Glover, a Unicef Goodwill Ambassador, who was awarded the Audrey Hepburn Humanitarian Award for his efforts presented by Audrey's son Luca Dotti.

15 of 27

Hillary Clinton and Donna Karan

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Talk about girl power! Women for Women International's 20th annual fundraiser earned the support of some of the most inspiring ladies, including Donna Karan, Sheryl Sandberg and Hillary Clinton. The event raised $2.1 million for the organization, which helps women in war and conflict-ridden countries enroll in education and training programs. “You cannot have real peace and security if you marginalize and exclude women,” Clinton told the crowd in the American Museum of Natural History’s Milstein Hall of Ocean Life. "There should be no ceiling on what women aspire to and achieve." Cheers, sister!

16 of 27

Anna Kendrick

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was among a star-studded guest list for the Boohoo viewing party for Beyonce's Mrs. Carter World Tour hosted by Stoli Premium Vodka at the Hyde Lounge in the Staples Center in Los Angeles. Kendrick was also joined by Kelly Osbourne, Jessica Alba and Zoe Saldana.

17 of 27

Julianna Margulies

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looked chic at the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation's 25th Anniversary Global Impact Award Gala Dinner held at the Best Buy Theater in New York City. Margulies (in Pamella Roland) was among guests to honor former Secretary of State and U.S. Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton's fight against HIV/AIDS.

18 of 27

Liv Tyler

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celebrated the launch of her new etiquette book, "Modern Manners: Tools to Take You to the Top" which she co-wrote with her grandmother Dorothea Johnson. The book launch was celebrated with Veuve Clicquot champagne and Beluga Vodka at the Stella McCartney flagship store in New York City along with Tyler's friends Charlotte Ronson, Leandra Medine and more. The book is now available for purchase at local bookstores and online.

19 of 27

Rashida Jones and Michael B. Jordan

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Gotham City got a visit from the most famous faces in independent cinema at the 23rd Annual Gotham Awards, held at Cipriani Wall Street. Rashida Jones (in a Proenza Schouler dress) presented the Best Actor Award to 'Dallas Buyers Club' star Matthew McConaughey—by way of co-star Jared Leto—while 'Fruitvale Station's' Michael B. Jordan accepted the Best Breakthrough Actor award. "This means so much to me, I grew up right across the river in New Jersey," he told the crowd.

20 of 27

Shailene Woodley and Lupita Nyong'o

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The Gotham Awards also shined a spotlight on women: 'The Spectacular Now's' Shailene Woodley (in Calvin Klein) presented the euphoria Calvin Klein Spotlight on Women Filmmakers Live the Dream $25,000 grant, while Lupita Nyong'o (in head-to-toe Lanvin) was on hand to represent her powerful film, '12 Years a Slave.'

21 of 27

Orlando Bloom and Evangeline Lilly

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celebrated the premiere of their new film, ‘The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug’ at the TCL Chinese Theatre in Hollywood. Bloom and Lilly (in Catherine Deane) reprise their roles as elves Legolas and Tauriel in the second installment of ‘The Hobbit’ series which follows the dwarves, Bilbo Baggins and Gandalf the Grey as they fight to save their homeland, Erebor, from Smaug. The film opens in theaters on December 13th.

22 of 27

Rita Ora and Kate Moss


stepped out in true glamour for the British Fashion Awards 2013 at The London Coliseum to celebrate the fashion industry’s creativity and success. Ora (in Vivienne Westwood) joined Moss (in Marc Jacobs) who was honored with the Special Recognition Award for her 25 years in the business.

23 of 27

Allison, Brian and Jane Stoddard Williams

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made it a family affair at the Winter Ball for Autism held at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. Williams (in Oscar de la Renta) arrived with her parents and was also joined by Kelly Rowland and Lindsay Ellingson for a night honoring those who have made a difference in the fight to find a cure for autism.

24 of 27

Jonathan Groff, Lea Michele and John Gallagher Jr.

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reunited backstage during the 'Spring Awakening' Off-Broadway Anniversary Reunion held at the Atlantic Theater Company's Laura Gross Theater in New York City. 'Spring Awakening' debuted on Broadway in 2006 starring Michele as Wendla, Groff, who played Melchior Gabor, and Gallagher Jr. as Moritz Stiefel.

25 of 27

The Beckhams

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Romeo, David, Brooklyn, Victoria and Cruz stepped out for the world premiere of the documentary, 'The Class of '92' at Odeon West End in Leicester Square in London. David, along with Nicky Butt, Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, Phil and Gary Neville, all star in the film which chronicles the rise of the six Manchester United football players between the years of 1992-1999. The film opened in theaters on December 1st.

26 of 27

Martin Scorsese and Sharon Stone

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attended the Marrakech International Film Festival in Marrakech, Morocco where Stone was honored with the lifetime achievement award. The actress was presented with the award by this year's jury president and her 'Casino' director, Scorsese, during the opening ceremony of the 13th annual event.

27 of 27

Bradley Cooper and Amy Adams

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came together to celebrate the premiere of their new film, 'American Hustle' presented by Pandora Jewelry and Moto X at cinema prive in West Hollywood, California. Cooper and Adams (in Diane von Furstenberg) star alongside Jennifer Lawrence, Christian Bale, Jeremy Renner, Robert De Niro and more in this '70s crime drama. The film opens everywhere December 18th.

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