Houston Ball Organization Dances To New Heights
By Jennifer Roosth Photography by Jenny Antill Clifton, Priscilla Dickson and Wilson Parish
THE SCENE: The 2018 Houston Ballet Ball, themed Swan Lake, was the Ballet’s biggest Ball yet. After Hurricane Harvey displaced the Houston Ballet from the Wortham Theater Center, their home performance venue and original Ballet Ball venue, the organization moved the event to Houston Ballet Center for Dance. In a one-of-a-kind custom venue, created by Richard Flowers and The Events Company, guests were immersed in the glamorous contrast of the White Swan and Black Swan in Swan Lake by Artistic Director Stanton Welch. The 500 guests were greeted by the Houston Ballet Academy students, dressed as white swans, while one black swan and henchmen, floated through the venue.
THE VIBE: Everything from the floors and table linens to the centerpieces and feather chandeliers, were white on one side and black on the other. The décor transformed the outdoor space into a glamorous black and white tented ballroom. The week-long build-out converted the area into Houston’s own Swan Lake. The cocktail area, draped in gray linens, featured two flying swans over a custom pond, while silver curtains covered the entrance into the dining room that was split down the center by a mirrored runway with five crystal chandeliers hanging above.
City Kitchen created a multi-course dinner reminiscent of the black and white muses. The meal began with jumbo lump crab meat with white asparagus and Belgian endive, charred lemon coulis and shaved black truffles. Guests were then served a dual entrée of prime aged beef tenderloin with savory leek wrapped bread pudding and oven roasted salsify, along with grilled sea bass with black beluga lentils and wilted baby kale. Dessert, titled “black and white deconstructed,” consisted of chocolate genoise with bittersweet chocolate ganache, white cake crumbles, ile flottante and dark chocolate truffles coated in white chocolate and topped with chocolate mousse. Following dinner, attendees crowded the mirrored dance floor and danced the night away to the sounds of Party on the Moon that was generously underwritten by Diane Lokey Farb.
THE CAUSE: The event was chaired by Hallie Vanderhider and this year, Houston Ballet honored United Airlines for its generous support for the past 15 years. Representing United Airlines was Vice President of Community Affairs Sharon Grant. The annual event raised more than $1.4 million dollars for organization, making it the largest and most successful in its history. The impressive silent auction item packages included a to two-week stay for five at Villa Da Motta in Veddo di Maccagno, Italy; a VIP, one-of-a-kind New York Fashion Week package including two tickets to Spring 2019 fashion shows for Oscar de la Renta, Naeem Khan, Carolina Herrera and Pamella Roland; nearly 20 exquisite pieces from Tenenbaum Jewelers including an 18k yellow gold diamond bangle and a Cartier “Santos 100” watch; and a private ladies and gents lunch with tireless Houston Ballet supporter Lynn Wyatt for 22 at La Griglia.