Alvin Ailey Gala; Photo by Christopher Duggan Photography
Parsons Dance Gala; Photo by Christopher Duggan Photography
YoungArts Gala; Photo by Christopher Duggan Photography

Capturing Iconic Gala Events

by | Jun 10, 2024 | Dance | 0 comments

It was such an honor and a privilege to photograph three iconic galas this season: Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Parsons Dance, and YoungArts. These are such important events that highlight the unique talent of really important dance companies and artists.

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater 65th Anniversary New York City Center Opening Night Gala

Alvin Ailey Gala; Photo by Christopher Duggan Photography

I’ve been documenting the Ailey gala for many years. I first connected with them when we were introduced at a business networking group, and I’ve been photographing this special event ever since.

On November 29, 2023, I had the privilege of documenting their 65th anniversary gala at New York City Center. It was a truly memorable night, with a live vocal performance by Cynthia Erivo and the emotional farewell to dancer Kanji Segawa, who had been with the company since 2011. 

My photos from this event were featured in Vogue, which was such an honor. Fun fact—one of my photos of Ailey performing Revelations is also featured at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture =)

Alvin Ailey Gala; Photo by Christopher Duggan Photography
Alvin Ailey Gala; Photo by Christopher Duggan Photography
Alvin Ailey Gala; Photo by Christopher Duggan Photography
Alvin Ailey Gala; Photo by Christopher Duggan Photography
Alvin Ailey Gala; Photo by Christopher Duggan Photography

Parson’s Dance 2024 Gala

Parsons Dance Gala; Photo by Christopher Duggan Photography

I documented this spectacular event at the Edison Ballroom, an iconic venue in the heart of Times Square. I hadn’t photographed an event there in a few years—it was good to be back.

The dance performances were uniquely integrated into the event. Tables were placed around the perimeter of the space, and the dancers moved in the center. There were also two premieres of never-before-seen works!

I’m excited to photograph these talented dancers again at Jacob’s Pillow this summer.

Parsons Dance Gala; Photo by Christopher Duggan Photography
Parsons Dance Gala; Photo by Christopher Duggan Photography
Parsons Dance Gala; Photo by Christopher Duggan Photography
Parsons Dance Gala; Photo by Christopher Duggan Photography

2024 YoungArts New York Gala

YoungArts Gala; Photo by Christopher Duggan Photography

The YoungArts gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art had an enchanting atmosphere, set against the stunning backdrop of The Temple of Dendur exhibit.

During the dress rehearsal, the light coming in from the giant window on the north wall was soft and beautiful. By the time of the performance, it was dark outside and there was stage lighting, but I’m glad to have witnessed that gorgeous natural light. The space transformed before my eyes thanks to the talented decor & floral designer, NAME.

It is so special to see YoungArts alumni thriving in their respective fields. I’ve known some of the dancers since they were 15 or 16, and seeing them grow up and become talented young adults makes me really proud =)

YoungArts Gala; Photo by Christopher Duggan Photography
YoungArts Gala; Photo by Christopher Duggan Photography
YoungArts Gala; Photo by Christopher Duggan Photography
YoungArts Gala; Photo by Christopher Duggan Photography
YoungArts Gala; Photo by Christopher Duggan Photography

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