Ann Johansson / For The Times
By Ellen Olivier
Eva La Rue of "CSI: Miami" said that as a teenager, she attended an L.A. ballet school where the superstars of ABT, Mikhail Baryshnikov and Natalia Makarova, used to drop in for classes during their West Coast tours. To dance alongside her ballet heroes, she said, "was the thrill of my life."
La Rue numbered among the sponsors of "Stars Under the Stars," a Sept. 14 fundraiser in San Marino for American Ballet Theatre. Held on Avery and Andrew Barth's spacious lawn and tennis court, the dinner and ABT dance performance attracted 300 guests and raised more than $200,000 for the ballet company.
Mila Kunis of "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" said she came to watch in preparation for her role in the movie "The Black Swan." She is not a trained dancer, and said, "The director just asked if I was coordinated." Her schedule now includes ballet classes seven days a week.
Before dinner, Andrew Barth announced ABT's fall schedule, which includes Beijing and Orange County in November. He added, "Some people think Orange County is as far away from here as Beijing, but I promise you, it is not as far to get to Orange County to see ABT as it is to fly to Beijing."
Lana Hebert, left, with husband Art, gets drinks as they arrive to a fundraiser held for American Ballet Theatre at a private home in San Marino, Sept. 13, 2009.