by Noriko Roy.
The American Ballet Theatre (ABT) hosted its annual Holiday Benefit dinner and performance at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. The evening featured a special performance by world-renowned artists of American Ballet Theatre, including principal dancers Stella Abrera, Misty Copeland, Gillian Murphy, Cory Stearns and James Whiteside who danced to scenes from the company’s unrivaled repertoire, followed by a post-performance dinner and dessert with the dancers. The evening was sponsored by Harry Winston and Lloyd E. Rigler – Lawrence E. Deutsch Foundation. The key event producers and dancers lit up the red carpet with spectacular Harry Winston diamond jewels.
American Ballet Theatre Artistic Director Kevin McKenzie welcomed guests and noted “As America’s National Ballet Company, we welcome the opportunity to bring dance to the country and American dance to the world. We especially look forward to our return to Los Angeles and Southern California where we are so warmly received. This year’s Holiday Benefit will continue to support our work and ABT’s ongoing educational programs.”
The Holiday Benefit performance included excerpts from choreographer Benjamin Millepied’s Daphnis and Chloe, Alexei Ratmansky’s The Nutcracker, The Sleeping Beauty and Whipped Cream and scenes from ballet’s most treasured classics like Romeo and Juliet and Don Quixote. Demonstrating the versatility and strength of the company, the program also included contemporary repertoire by choreographer Jessica Lang and ABT Principal Dancer Jeffrey Cirio.
At the conclusion of the performance, American Ballet Theatre Executive Director Kara Medoff Barnett thanked the dancers and guests and acknowledged “We are so proud to continue and expand our commitment to the Los Angeles area. Our offices and rehearsal studios may be in New York City, but Southern California is our second home.” It was an eclectic evening where the guests had a chance to meet all the dancers following the dinner.
The Holiday Benefit previewed American Ballet Theatre’s upcoming performance engagements in Southern California. On March 15, 2017, ABT will present the World Premiere of Ratmansky’s Whipped Cream, a new full-length production set to a score by Richard Strauss, with sets and costumes by Los Angeles-based artist Mark Ryden. Whipped Cream will be continue seven performances at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts through March 19, 2017.