Mick Jagger makes first appearance post 'heart surgery' at premiere of partner Melanie Hamrick's ballet
The rock star was present on Thursday night as the choreographer presented her first work Porte Rouge, which is based on Rolling Stones songs, at the Lincoln Centre in New York City.
Jagger did not appear on stage nor was he present in the audience, but he greeted the crowd thanks to a backstage microphone.
The discreet appearance came after reports that Jagger received medical treatment, reportedly for a heart valve issue.
Jagger has acknowledged undergoing treatment, announcing in an update earlier this month that he was feeling “much better” and was “on the mend” and thanking “all the hospital staff” – but he hasn’t specified the reason for the treatment.
Hamrick said later in an interview that Jagger was “doing great – thank goodness”.
“It was cute,” she said of his visit backstage.
“He wanted to watch the piece. It was really special that he was there and able to see it.
“It feels good [for the dancers] when the choreographer and the person who wrote the music are watching you. It gave everyone an extra special feeling.”
Hamrick, who dances with the American Ballet Theatre, created the ballet for the 20th anniversary of Youth America Grand Prix, the world’s largest ballet scholarship competition.
Jagger arranged the score of three Stones classics – "Sympathy for the Devil", "She’s a Rainbow", and "Paint it, Black".
Hamrick said presenting her first choreographic effort had been nerve-wracking.
It was Jagger, she said, who encouraged her to take the plunge when the idea came up, from YAGP founder Larissa Saveliev, for Hamrick to do something with Stones music.
“Mick was ‘who better than you?’ You’re a professional ballerina, you come to my concerts,” she said. “It went from there.”
It was Hamrick who chose the songs for the ballet. Jagger arranged the songs to fit.
She said: “We worked together and he said ‘just trust your gut ... go with what your instincts are and I’ll help you figure out how to make the cuts’.”
“I picked the songs I felt I connected with the most and I was like: ‘Can you make these work?’
“And he took it away. He was very good, he was ‘you do you’.”
The dancers included six from ABT and one from New York City Ballet.
But the obvious Jagger “character” appeared to be the Argentine ABT star Herman Cornejo, with even his flowing mop of hair resembling the Stones frontman.
“I feel like they have the same energy,” Hamrick noted.
The choreographer said she had to strike a fine line with channelling the essence of the Stones without imitating Jagger's moves.
“I studied some videos of his because I didn’t want to imitate but I wanted you to feel the essence, and I didn’t want him to tell me what to do, because I wanted it to be original,” she said.
Hamrick said she is planning for the ballet to reappear as a longer piece, with more Stones songs.
Additional reporting by agencies