Photo Credit: Igor Burlak Photography
Black-tie fundraisers rarely live up to the grandiose claims on their invitations, but Boston Ballet’s annual gala, The Ball of Enchantment, was as good as its word. The Park Plaza Castle was transformed into a fairy tale setting that would have had Hans Christian Andersen in tears and Walt Disney drooling, with a profusion of flowers so dense there couldn’t have been a blossom left in a greenhouse anywhere within a hundred miles. Cocktails were followed by a feast, served at elaborately set, candlelit tables, and the meal was punctuated by performances that included excerpts from Sleeping Beauty and Jorma Elo’s custom creation The Dark Side. The gowns were jaw-dropping and all the jewels came out of the vault, but the evening’s undisputed highlight came after the live auction, when guests took to the dance floor to shake their groove thangs alongside some of the world’s most elite dancers.
Prominent among the throng: co-chairs Hannah Grove and Alison Quirk, diamond sponsors Eleanor and Frank Pao, fashion plate Nina Fialkow and her other half, David, the dashing Peter Torrebiarte with the stunning Barbara Erickson, Pan-Mass Challenge founder Billy Starr with the gorgeous Meredith, perfect pair Audrey and Steve Reny, stunning Persian painter Susie Gheyssari and her handsome husband, Majid Bonakdarpour, the uber-stylish Lisa Blumenthal and her adoring other half, Tom, the aptly named Pixley Schiciano and her main squeeze, Ken, emcee J.C. Monahan, the flawless Uzo Erlingsson squired by the dashing Erik, stunning brunette Lianne Leventhal and the debonair Alex, and numerous other fairy princesses and Prince Charmings.
The evening raised a resounding $1.8 million for the ballet and its community programs, and the dance floor stayed crowded until well into the wee hours. The evening’s most arch remark: When artistic director Mikko Nissinen asked, “How often do you find two queens in one castle?” one man responded, “Every time you come to our house.”