Solange Makes Her Ballet Debut With Support From Beyoncé

Inside the 10th annual New York City Ballet Fall Gala.

Solange at the New York City Ballet wearing a black suit
Photo by Sean Zanni/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

On the evening of Wednesday, September 28, there was a quiet commotion happening on the upper level of Lincoln Center’s David H. Koch theater—where Solange Knowles, Julia Fox, Queen Latifah, A$AP Ferg and more had assembled for the New York City Ballet’s Fall Fashion Gala. This year marked the tenth anniversary of the event, which was originally conceived by NYCB vice chair Sarah Jessica Parker and consistently attracts the Bloombergs and the Rockefellers of the world. (A-list talent doesn’t tend to miss the party, either: Gwendoline Christie, Andy Cohen, Laverne Cox, and Claire Danes were among the 2022 co-chairs.) But a series of special collaborations were the biggest draw to this season’s fundraiser—namely, Knowles, who was tapped by NYCB to create an original score as an accompaniment for choreographer Gianna Reisen’s piece “Play Time.” There to witness the artist’s history-making debut as the second Black female composer for the dance organization were both friends and family—including Knowles’s mother Tina Lawson and, much to the delight of those who managed to spot her, Solange’s sister, Beyoncé Knowles-Carter.

Photo by Jose Perez/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images

In fact, the “Alien Superstar” singer was the reason for the stir in the mezzanine. Immediately before Solange’s ballet world premiere hit the stage, Beyoncé and Ms. Tina made their way to their seats, sneaking into the front row where Solange was already seated with the Standing on the Corner artist Gio Escobar. Whispers that the ultimate VIP was in the building spread as Tyler, the Creator navigated his way into his seat behind Solange (he snapped a quick picture of her for his Instagram story before ducking out once the piece had come to a close.)

A$AP Ferg and Renell Medrano

Photo by Getty

Kristin Davis

Photo by Getty

Julia Fox

Photo by Getty

Gwendoline Christie

Photo by James Devaney/GC Images

Once the curtains rose, Beyoncé was utterly locked into the performance, bobbing her head along with the tunes her sister had made—an amalgamation of Solange’s signature, dissonant, jazzy sound. And the dancers, who were dressed in dazzling, Swarovski-studded costumes created by the designer Palomo Spain, drew audible gasps from the crowd. At the end of the show, Solange joined the cast onstage along with choreographer Gianna Reisen and designer Alejandro Gómez Palomo. While taking her bow she received an enormous bouquet of red roses and, from her seat on the upper level, Beyoncé could be seen taking videos of her sister waving to the crowd.

Photograph by Clint Spaulding

Photograph by Clint Spaulding

Soon after, Bey’s security guard ushered her and her mother out of the theater, whisking them through the halls of Lincoln Center and back into their black car.

And the show, as the saying goes, went on. Pieces choreographed by Justin Peck with costumes designed by Raf Simons and a particularly moving dance series by Kyle Abraham featuring music by James Black and costumes by Giles Deacon brought the crowd on their feet. The gala, which this year honored its founder Sarah Jessica Parker (who left the event shortly after arriving due to a family emergency), included an intimate dinner, where Solange took her seat at a table with her friend Melina Matsoukas—who wore a Loewe dress—Clemens, and Lopez. Nearby, Kristin Davis made her way between tables in a glittering Empire frock and matching mask, and Fox made herself comfortable in a Space-Age silver gown by Zac Posen. Solange’s big night at the ballet was clearly a success in the famed artist’s eyes: she merrily chatted with friends including Latifah and Cox, and sipped wine late into the evening.