2018 Houston Ballet Ball:
PHOTO CREDIT: Wilson Parish, Jenny Antill Clifton and Priscilla Dickson
On the evening of Saturday, February 17, 2018, the Houston Ballet Center for Dance provided the elegant setting for the 2018 Houston Ballet Ball: Swan Lake. This year, Houston Ballet honored United Airlines for its generous support over the past fifteen years. Representing United Airlines was Sharon Grant, Vice President of Community Affairs.
Hallie Vanderhider chaired the magnificent event. Wearing a black Naeem Khan couture gown inspired by the evening’s theme, she greeted the nearly 500 guests to the venue, which was transformed to reflect the contrast between Swan Lake’s White and Black Swans. Houston Ballet Academy students, floating through the venue, punctuated the theme by portraying white swans, a black swan, and the black swan’s henchmen.
Upon arrival, party-goers enjoyed cocktails and hors d’oeuvre while perusing the silent auction items. Coveted packages included an up-to-two-week stay for five at Villa Da Motta in Veddo di Maccagno, Italy; a VIP one-of-a-kind New York Fashion Week package, which included two tickets to the spring 2019 shows for Oscar de la Renta, Naeem Khan, Carolina Herrera, and Pamella Roland; nearly 20 exquisite pieces from Tenenbaum Jewelers, including an 18 karat yellow gold diamond bangle and a Cartier Santos 100 watch; and a private ladies and gents lunch for 22 with Lynn Wyatt at La Griglia.
The evocative décor, created by The Events Company transformed the outdoor space into a glamorous black and white tented ballroom. It became Houston’s own Swan Lake. The cocktail area, which was draped in grey linens, featured two flying swans over a custom pond. A mirrored runway with five crystal chandeliers sparkling above it divided the dining room in half revealing two distinct sides. One was all black, while the other was all white, including the floors, table linens, centerpieces, and feather chandeliers.
In keeping with the theme, City Kitchen created an outstanding multi-course dinner honoring the black and white muses. To start, guests were served jumbo lump crab meat with white asparagus and Belgian endive, charred lemon coulis, and shaved black truffles. Next came a duo of prime aged beef tenderloin with savory leek-wrapped bread pudding and oven roasted salsify and grilled sea bass with black beluga lentils and wilted baby kale. For the finale, a one-of-a-kind dessert, “Black and White Deconstructed,” was served to the delight of all in attendance. It consisted of chocolate genoise with bittersweet chocolate ganache, white cake crumbles, ile flottante, and dark chocolate truffles coated in white chocolate and topped with chocolate mousse.
Following dinner, guests danced the night away to the sounds of Party on the Moon. The popular group’s appearance was generously underwritten by Diane Lokey Farb.
At the end of the evening, which raised a record $1.4 million for Houston Ballet, guests were presented with diminutive bags of swan-shaped cookies as a reminder of the iconic-ballet-themed experience.
Guests: Fady Armanious, Bill Baldwin, Kevin Black, Tony Bradfield, Pat Breen, Amy and Jeremy Cloud, Rose Cullen, Diane Lokey Farb, Ellie and Michael Francisco, Sharon Grant, Jennifer and Josh Gravenor, Melissa Jeneau; Sippi and Ajay Khurana, Kelley and Stephen Lubanko; Beth Muecke; Phoebe and Bobby Tudor, Stanton Welch AM, Margaret Alkek Williams, and Lynn Wyatt.
About Houston Ballet
Houston Ballet is committed to maintaining and enhancing its status as: A classically trained company with a diverse repertory whose range includes the classics as well as contemporary works; A company that attracts the world's best dancers and choreographers and provides them with an environment where they can thrive and further develop the art form; An international company that is accessible to broad and growing local, national, and international audiences; A company with a world-class Academy that provides first rate instruction for professional dancers and meaningful programs for non-professional dancers; A company with state-of-the-art facilities for performances, rehearsals, and ongoing operations.