Set at Lincoln Center’s David H. Koch Theater, The School of American Ballet’s 2016 Winter Ball was fit for a scene straight out of a Disney movie. The glamorous, black-tie event, hosted on Monday March 15, evoked scenes fit for a fairytale, but ended not with a prince finding his princess, but with nearly 1.2 million dollars being raised. Sponsored by incredible French jeweler Van Cleef and Arpels for the ninth year, the Winter Ball is also a long-standing partnership between one of the legendary brand’s founding brothers, Claude Arpels, and School of American Ballet founder, George Balanchine. The event kicked off at seven pm with cocktails, segued into dinner, and continued with a one-of-a-kind student performance. It wouldn’t be a ball without regally dressed attendees dancing well into the night. Dessert and dancing closed out the ball.
Fund raised at the Annual Winter Ball are used to support the world of ballet and the world class performers that come out of New York’s prestigious School of American Ballet. More specifically, proceeds enhance the extraordinary ballet training program by providing scholarships, supporting faculty, maintaining the facilities, and offering necessary student programs that extend beyond the classroom. Attended by 500 school board members, alumni, and leaders of corporate and social communities, the event is a staple in New York City’s nightlife.
The evening was decked out to impress. Designer Ron Wendt was inspired by the Northern lights, leading to emerald green table clothes with a hint of sparkle, white azaleas, and pillar candles. Silver and gold mobiles twinkled from above the dining room, being enchantment to the gilded theater of the David H. Koch Theater. Though the dining room and all it’s decorations were a sight to see, the real focus of the night was on the ballerinas training to become some of the best in the world. Choreographed by Peter Walker, students danced a one-time only performance for attendees. Walker was selected as choreographer for the second year in a row by Peter Martins, the artistic director and chairman of faculty for The School of American Ballet. Of Walker, Martins has said, “What a delight it has been to share both Peter’s achievements as a dance maker and the wonderful dancing of our young students with our School’s supporters at the Winter Ball.” And it was a delight not only for Martins, but for all who attended.
Photographs by Erin Baiano.