ABT Stars Under the Stars 2013
Dance enthusiasts streamed into Jeanne and Anthony Pritzker’s palatial Beverly Hills home Sept. 12 for “Stars Under The Stars: An Evening in Los Angeles,” benefiting the American Ballet Theatre.
You’ll find my summary of the gala affair here in the “All the Rage” section of the Los Angeles Times online, as well as in the Sept. 22 print edition of the Sunday Los Angeles Times “Image” section, along with more photos of the guests, dancers and glorious ambiance.
Here are a few more thoughts…
The opportunity to meet ABT’s dancers was hard to resist.
Derek Hough among others dropped by, in his case following this week’s intensive rehearsals for the start of Season 17 of “Dancing with the Stars.” He spent a moment with ABT soloist Misty Copeland, (and then tweeted about the encounter); Christina Lyon, a former member of ABT and the English National Ballet; and other pals.
In this next DWTS season, Hough is partnered with Amber Riley, aka Mercedes Jones of “GLEE.”
While Hough (my favorite DWTS dance pro and a 4-time DWTS champion) didn’t have predictions for season 17, he said Riley surprised him with her talent.
“She has great moves,” Hough said.
Professional dancers, former dancers, dancers-turned-actors and yet more dance enthusiasts – about 200 guests altogether – came to enjoy cocktails, dinner and a magical program that event co-chair Andrew Barth described as “one-night only, one-performance only, under the stars.”
(Check out the gallery below to see more party pictures.)
Nigel Lythgoe, arriving with Priscilla Presley, said he started tap-dancing at age 10, later studying other forms of dance before eventually co-creating the hit TV series, “So You Think You Can Dance.” Aside from exposing the public to dance, the series has showcased artists, such as Katy Perry, Lady Gaga and Adele, before they became superstars.
“You don’t have to understand dance to enjoy it,” Lythgoe said, in explaining the show’s immense success.
Of his role as judge, he said, “We chop off (contestants’) legs, but we put them back together with their toes pointed.”
Dancers-turned-actors included Neve Campbell of the “Scream” films, Jenna Elfman of “Dharma & Greg,” Jane Seymour of “Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman,” and Eva LaRue of “CSI: Miami.”
“I became an actress by default,” said Seymour, who danced with the Kirov Ballet, until an injury brought her dance career to an end.
Campbell, attending with JJ Feild, said she started her career at age 6 as a ballerina on Broadway in “Phantom of the Opera.”
LaRue and Elfman, too, studied classical ballet as children. Moreover, Elfman – attending with husband Bodhi Elfman – said she danced onstage at the 1991 Academy Awards.
The party took place not just “under the stars,” but also inside and all around the magnificent Pritzker home, offering stunning views of Los Angeles. After a cocktail reception, which spilled onto the back patios, guests adjourned to the tennis court for dinner and on to a dessert bar for a chat with the dancers over S’Mores, cheesecake pops, fresh berries and other treats.
ABT dancers included principals Gillian Murphy and Cory Stearns; soloists Misty Copeland and James Whiteside; and Corps de Ballet members Melanie Hamrick, Luciana Paris, Devon Teuscher, Christine Shevchenko and Joseph Gorak.
Event co-chairs also included Avery Barth, LeeAnn and Ron Havner, Arthur Levine and Lauren Leichtman, Laura and Jamie Rosenwald, and Richard Merkin.
Also Joining ABT chief executive Rachel Moore and trustees Monica and Ali Wambold were Catharine and Jeffrey Soros, Amanda and Nick Stonnington, Ellen and Harry Levitt, Mary Wilson and Jefferson Riley, Linda May and Jack Suzar, Marna and Rock Schnabel, Sue and Michael Niven, John Palatinus, Robin Broidy, Melissa Barak of the Barak Ballet, Latin ballroom champion Alex Demkin, Alyce Williamson, Mary Buffet, Frank Mottek of KNX Newsradio and more.
Top photo: From left, Derek Hough of “Dancing with the Stars” with Christina Lyon, formerly a dancer with ABT and the English National Ballet, and Latin ballroom champion Alex Demkin at ABT Stars Under The Stars (photo: SocietyNewsLA.com)
Second photo: From left, Jenna Elfman, Nigel Lythgoe and Priscilla Presley at ABT Stars Under The Stars (photo: Brandon Clark/ ABImages, courtesy of ABT)
Third photo: From left, JJ Felid, Jane Seymour and Neve Campbell at ABT Stars Under The Stars (photo: Brandon Clark/ ABImages, courtesy of ABT)
Fourth photo: From left, Jenna Elfman, ABT CEO Rachel Moore, dancer Misty Copeland and event co-chair Andrew Barth at ABT Stars Under The Stars (photo: Brandon Clark/ ABImages, courtesy of ABT)
Fifth photo: ABT stars perform an excerpt from “Le Corsaire” as patrons enjoy dinner on the tennis court at ABT Stars Under The Stars (photo: Brandon Clark/ ABImages, courtesy of ABT)
Sixth photo: Cocktails indoors, dinner outdoors and ABT’s dancers under the stars at Jeanne and Anthony Pritzker’s home, seen here at twilight, at ABT Stars Under The Stars (photo: Brandon Clark/ ABImages, courtesy of ABT)
ALSO IN SOCIETY NEWS LOS ANGELES:
ABT Stars Under The Stars
Published Sept. 14, 2013 – Ellen Olivier, Society News LA