Scene Last Night: John Legend, Kimberly Davis, Gerald Hassell

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Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

Renee Robinson joins the Ailey parade of dancers at the gala.

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Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

Renee Robinson joins the Ailey parade of dancers at the gala. Close

Renee Robinson joins the Ailey parade of dancers at the gala.

Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

Agnes Hassell and Gerald Hassell, chairman, president and CEO, Bank of New York Mellon Corp. Close

Agnes Hassell and Gerald Hassell, chairman, president and CEO, Bank of New York Mellon Corp.

Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

Ailey dancers broke in the dance floor for gala goers. Close

Ailey dancers broke in the dance floor for gala goers.

Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

The band the Hudson Project performed at the gala. Close

The band the Hudson Project performed at the gala.

Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

Sandy Weill, chairman emeritus, Citigroup Inc. and Joan Weill, chairman, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. Close

Sandy Weill, chairman emeritus, Citigroup Inc. and Joan Weill, chairman, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.

Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

David Monn, an Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater board member, amidst the decor he designed for the post-performance gala. The scenery for "Arden Court," performed at City Center, inspired the rose motif on the orbs hanging from the ceiling. Close

David Monn, an Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater board member, amidst the decor he designed for the post-performance... Read More

Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

Martin Sorrell, CEO of WPP, and Cristiana Sorrell, senior adviser to the founder and chairman of the World Economic Forum, Klaus Schwab. Close

Martin Sorrell, CEO of WPP, and Cristiana Sorrell, senior adviser to the founder and chairman of the World Economic... Read More

Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

Kimberly Davis, right, president of the JPMorgan Chase Foundation, with the foundation's executive for the Northeast region, Kim Jasmin. Close

Kimberly Davis, right, president of the JPMorgan Chase Foundation, with the foundation's executive for the Northeast... Read More

Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

Kenneth Chenault, American Express chairman and CEO, and Kathryn Chenault. Close

Kenneth Chenault, American Express chairman and CEO, and Kathryn Chenault.

Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

Marion Fischer adapted some of the table decor into her outfit. Close

Marion Fischer adapted some of the table decor into her outfit.

In the ballroom of the Hilton New York -- carpeted for the evening in white Astroturf -- Alvin Ailey dancers strutted onto the dance floor.

The almost 1,000 guests who joined them last night included Martin Sorrell, chief executive of WPP Plc, and his wife, Cristiana Sorrell, a senior adviser to the founder and chairman of the World Economic Forum, Klaus Schwab.

Ailey board member and event designer David Monn stood near his table, BlackBerry in hand, surveying the scene.

He had transformed the prosaic hall into a white, candlelit wonderland.

The dinner came after the opening night of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s season at City Center, Robert Battle’s first as artistic director.

Singer John Legend performed Stevie Wonder’s “If It’s Magic” to accompany the lovely dancer Alicia Graf Mack. The program also included the premiere of “Arden Court,” choreographed by Paul Taylor, and Ailey’s own “Revelations.”

In the house: writer Susan Fales-Hill, in a gray-and-black fur coat, model Veronica Webb, in a floral-print gown, and Citigroup Inc. (C)’s Raymond McGuire, American Express Co. (AXP) Chief Executive Kenneth Chenault, and Bank of New York Mellon Corp. (BK) President Gerald Hassell.

Afterward, guests walked to the Hilton for a dinner of roast poussin and chocolate cheesecake. Event honoree Kimberly B. Davis, president of the JPMorgan Chase Foundation, offered some thoughts on the company.

“The dancing is magical, mystical,” Davis said. “My daughter was holding my arm during the performance telling me to calm down.”

Paper Flowers

At midnight, guests headed home, many with the giant paper flowers that had decorated the tables. They were prizes.

“They’re made in Paris,” Monn said.

A goody bag offered other treats: a Michael Kors tie, L’Oreal mascara and a grilled jalapeno and salty peanut dark chocolate bar, from the Danny Meyer restaurant Blue Smoke.

The event raised more than $2.5 million, said Joan Weill, Ailey’s chairman.

(Amanda Gordon is a writer and photographer for Muse, the arts and leisure section of Bloomberg News. Any opinions expressed are her own.)

To contact the writer on this story: Amanda Gordon in New York at agordon01@bloomberg.net or on Twitter at @amandagordon.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Manuela Hoelterhoff at mhoelterhoff@bloomberg.net.

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