Los Angeles Ballet gala includes dance, fashion, music and horses

Mozart-era ambience casts spell at Los Angeles Ballet gala

The event: The Los Angeles Ballet’s annual gala previewed “Sechs Tanze” (Six Dances), choreographed by Jiri Kylian and set to the music of Mozart. The piece is part of the ballet company’s “Director’s Choice” program, which begins May 16 in three separate venues in Los Angeles.

The scene: To create a Mozart-era ambience, gents dressed as Prussian military men sat astride gray horses at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel for the event on Thursday. Inside, guests found a quartet playing in period costume, complete with characteristic white wigs.

The program: Before dinner and the dance performance, Wendie Malick of “Hot in Cleveland” and five dancers modeled fashions by Oscar de la Renta, the gala’s presenting sponsor. Lori Milken introduced Ghada Irani, the gala’s honoree and showed a video of Irani’s philanthropic activities, including her work on behalf of UNICEF in Syria.

The crowd: Artistic directors Thordal Christensen and Colleen Neary joined TV personality Paula Abdul, Jessica Szohr of “Gossip Girl,” football player Scotty McKnight, Lori and Michael Milken, Bari and Fred Bernstein, Wallis Annenberg, Linda Duttenhaver and Jamie McCourt, among others. Dina Leeds and Jeanette Trepp co-chaired the gala.

Quote: In a conversation preceding the dinner, Milken spoke of her friendship with Irani, their travels together and most of all, Irani’s love of dance. “Nobody deserves this honor more. ” she said. Irani "knows that dance is the universal language for communication and the expression of beauty and love.”

The numbers: More than 300 people attended the gala, which priced tickets from $500 and tables up to $100,000. Proceeds haven’t yet been tabulated.

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