The event: “Stars Under the Stars: An Evening in Los Angeles,” offering cocktails, dinner and a one-night-only dance performance Thursday night to benefit the American Ballet Theatre.
The starry crowd: Dancers, dancers-turned-actors and dance supporters, among them Nigel Lythgoe of “So You Think You Can Dance” and Priscilla Presley; Neve Campbell of all four “Scream” films and JJ Feild of the upcoming TV series “Turn”; Jane Seymour of “Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman”; Eva LaRue of “CSI: Miami”; Jenna Elfman of “Dharma & Greg” and actor Bodhi Elfman; ABT stars Gillian Murphy, Cory Stearns, Misty Copeland and James Whiteside; event co-chairs Avery and Andy Barth, LeeAnn and Ron Havner, Arthur Levine and Lauren Leichtman, Laura and Jamie Rosenwald, Richard Merkin and many more.
The setting: Jeanne and Anthony Pritzker’s home high atop Beverly Hills, opening to the sky from a central courtyard and from the back patios to panoramic city-to-coastline views.
The show: Excerpts from the classics: “Le Corsaire,” (“Not - truth be told - our most ‘PC’ of ballets,” said ABT’s CEO Rachel Moore, as she explained its pirate/slave girl motif); “Swan Lake” and “Grand Pas Classique;” followed by “Paganini” and “Depuis le Jour,” both choreographed by ABT dancers.
Quotes of note: “I have one job tonight and you’ll be relieved to know it’s not to perform,” said event co-chair Andrew Barth, on ascending the stage to thank event patrons for their generosity.
New and newsworthy: Just before dinner, Moore announced ABT’s new “Project Plié,” offering scholarships and other programs for dancers, teachers and young administrators of color and a partnership with the Boys and Girls Clubs of America. “The goal of Project Plié is to diversify America’s ballet companies,” said Moore. “We feel at ABT that we need to take a leadership role in helping to insure that America’s ballet companies look like America.”
And an aside: Derek Hough of “Dancing With the Stars” arrived, fresh from rehearsals with his newest partner, Amber Riley of “Glee.” So what’s his prediction for the couple’s prospects? “(Riley) surprised me,” Hough said. “She’s got great moves.”
By the numbers: ABT netted nearly $250,000, thanks to 200 guests and tickets priced from $500 and up.
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