Koch, Kusama, Rennert, Rosenquist, Gillibrand in New York

Paris Opera Ballet
William Harrison, Anne Harrison, Julia Koch and David Koch. Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

Billionaire David Koch said Bo Derek came to mind as he watched the Paris Opera Ballet’s opening-night performance of “Bolero” at Lincoln Center.

Standing on the promenade of the David H. Koch Theater last night, he described how the piece reminded him of the seduction scene between Derek and Dudley Moore in the movie “10,” which used the same music.

The Paris Opera Ballet version offered Nicolas Le Riche bare-chested on a raised circular platform, preening and seducing with big sweeps of the arms and precise swiveling of the hips. Around him 18 dancers whipped themselves into a state.

“Based on this, I think we ought to go soon,” Koch said of the idea of a romantic trip to Paris with his wife, Julia Koch. “I’d love to see the Paris Opera Ballet perform in Paris.”

As for the Mitt Romney fundraiser at his Southampton home on July 8: “I still can’t believe there was so much interest in this,” Koch said. “There were only 50 people there. And the Occupy crowd was very nasty.” He expressed relief that police and security personnel had kept the protesters off his property.

Julia Koch said she hadn’t been able to see the protesters. She was more troubled by the publication of an aerial shot of her home in the New York Times.

“I can tell what day they took the shot. I think of my children,” she said.

Lobster, Lamb

The Kochs took their seats for a gala supper of lobster, lamb and raspberries. They sat with Nancy and Henry Kissinger and Jerry Speyer and Katherine Farley, who had just returned from a trip to Paris and offered a travel tip.

“We had a great dinner at Spring,” Speyer said. “It’s run by a young American named Dan Rose.”

Ira and Ingeborg Rennert and Mikhail Baryshnikov attended the performance but skipped the supper and music by the Paris Swing Orchestra.

Polka Dots

Across town, Yayoi Kusama toured her retrospective at the Whitney Museum of American Art in her red-and-white polka-dot uniform with an entourage including the director of the museum, Adam Weinberg, and artist Chuck Close.

The visit lasted less than 30 minutes, with Kusama departing just as the museum opened its doors to the several hundred people invited to a preview.

They included artists Joan Jonas, Charles LeDray (carrying a Buffalo Bills baseball cap) and James Rosenquist, who told Fred Eversley of his encounters with Kusama.

“I used to take her out, but I never got into bed with her,” Rosenquist said. “She left New York after painting polka dots and naked girls on a set of church steps. I saw her years later at her gallery in Japan. She said, ‘I am the number one artist in Japan now.’ And I said, ‘I’ll be number two.’”

Brooke Garber Neidich, the co-chairwoman of the museum, greeted guests in the Whitney’s lobby. She wore a beige dress and a pin passed out at a dinner the night before that read “LOVE FOREVER Kusama.”

“Kusama said art lifts the soul,” Garber Neidich said. “That’s exactly what Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, the founder of the museum, said in 1931.”

Frick Garden

The Frick Collection hosted 500 guests last night for a garden party. That meant almost empty galleries and a rapt audience for the lily pond.

Marc MacAfee of Canaras Capital Management LLC recommended the caramel tarts being passed around on a silver tray as he stood on a stone path with Lacary Sharpe of Apollo Global Management LLC.

Allison Ecung, who works for the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association, wore a hot-pink dress by Betsey Johnson and matching fascinator.

Wallenberg’s Medal

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, the New York Democrat, and Senator Johnny Isakson, the Georgia Republican, celebrated Raoul Wallenberg’s posthumous Congressional Gold Medal at a luncheon yesterday at the Senate Hart Building.

Gillibrand introduced the legislation that awarded Wallenberg the medal; it was passed last night. This year marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of Wallenberg, who provided shelter and passports to thousands of Jews in Budapest during World War II.

Guests included Kenneth Abramowitz, the managing general partner of NGN Capital LLC, and Charlie Freeman, a managing director of Brevet Capital Management LLC.

Good Tastes

At last night’s “Best of Washington” party thrown by the Washingtonian magazine and AT&T Inc., about 1,800 guests packed into the National Building Museum for “Tastes of the Town,” offering samples from area restaurants, bars, bakeries and hot spots.

At the Patron stand bartenders in tight T-shirts passed out tequila popsicles. The “AT&Tini” featured a mixture of vodka, white cranberry juice and fresh lime juice.

Garrett Graff, the editor of the Washingtonian, indicated his preference for the candied bacon strips served by restaurant Founding Farmers.

(Amanda Gordon and Stephanie Green are writers and photographers for Muse, the arts and leisure section of Bloomberg News. Any opinions expressed are their own.)

Muse highlights include Ryan Sutton on dining and Jason Harper on cars.

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