"You would never see these stars together for more than one night," impresario Solomon Tencer told us as we sipped champagne at the intermission of the Stars of The 21st Century performance he had brought to the David H. Koch Lincoln Center Theater
. For almost three hours, we watched transcendent pas de deux from the great International ballet companies, handpicked by Creative Director Nadia Veselova-Tencer, his wife. "She is a genius," someone whispered in my ear of Nadia, who danced with Nureyev in the Bolshoi Ballet. "When Nureyev defected, it put a cloud on her career. She never got the acclaim or the parts she deserved," Tencer continued. "But, since we left Russia, we have done extraordinary things on every continent. And now, we do them in Moscow as well."
Solomon Tencer and Nadia Veselova-Tencer. (Photo: Jonathan Ziegler/PatrickMcMullan.com)
The talent was palpable. The dances evocative and emotional. "European is a different ballet," Russian born Tencer told us. "It's beautiful choreography, drama, theater. We try to do everything from unforgettable beautiful classics, to cutting edge 21st Century modern ballet." It was the 20th Anniversary of these one night only tour de forces, presented in Paris, Cannes, Bucharest, Panama City, Toronto and Moscow. This evening brought the Bolshoi, Kirov, National Opera, Ballet of Ukraine, Royal Ballet, Staatballett Berlin and Vienna State Opera Ballet stars to Lincoln Center.
"Some of the dancers are already giant legends," Tencer continued, "and some of them will be giant legends, but to be in this concept is the biggest opportunity, because the entire world is watching."
Afterwards, VIP ticket holders dined in the theater's second floor, where we sat with talk show legend, Montauk resident Dick Cavett
and his wife of two years, business author Martha Rogers
, PhD, a onetime friend who reconnected with him after his wife, Carrie Nye passed.
"Martha loves dance," Cavett said. "I think she really fell in love with me when, years ago, after we had already met in New Orleans, she came to NY. My first wife and I had an extra ticket, and said, 'Do you want to go to the ballet?' So we went and then afterwards I said, 'Do you want to meet Baryshnikov?' We went back to his dressing room. He came to the door and opened it, wearing a towel She couldn't wait to get back to Ohio and tell all of her friends. Baryshnikov and his towel: What woman wouldn't faint at the thought?"
Cavett had just interviewed Steven Colbert and was taking him to dinner the following night. A Yale
man, Cavett had given him a choice of five private clubs: The Yale, the Harvard, the Players, the Friars and the Century. Colbert stayed true to his Harvard alma mater.
Also returning to their roots, Southampton Media Trainer Jeannette Hektoen
-- who had helmed NBC
-TV's Talent Relations Department for 20 years -- and Cavett shared Johnny Carson
stories, at one time Cavett had written for him and then helmed a competing late night gabber on ABC
from 1968-75. Hektoen started out as Roone Arledge's right hand. "I liked Roone," Cavett said of his former ABC boss. "Did he pick Jeannette from a binder full of women?"
Brent Heimann, David Delaney, Irina Evstigneeva, Maxim Volkov, and Marcus Damm. (Photo: Jonathan Ziegler/PatrickMcMullan.com)