Ballet Austin Fete & Fete*ish Dazzle With Epic Romeo And Juliet Soiree’
By Rob Giardinelli Photography by John Pesina
THE SCENE: A beautiful Friday evening at downtown Austin’s JW Marriott was the setting where over 600 of Austin’s social and cultural elite celebrated an epic night for the ages. Ballet Austin pulled out all the stops for this year’s Fete and fete*ish events that coincided with the Ballet Austin performance of the epic Shakespearean drama that Romeo and Juliet, which would have made the literary master himself green with envy.
THE VIBE: The evening began as guests ascended the escalators to the foyer outside the grand ballroom, where they were treated to a lush, green backdrop to pose for photos with their beloved. The black-tie crowd mingled around the room in a manner that the Montagues and Capulets could have only dreamed, becoming apparent as the doors opened to the grand ballroom where Mandarin Flower Company pulled out all the stops. Befitting the theme, the room that was bedecked with florals, red on one side and white on the other, perfectly accenting the play’s original feuding families.
After attendees found their way to their tables, they were treated to a delicious multi-course meal during the evening’s program, which showcased the positive impact that Ballet Austin bestows to the community. The evening continued with words from several of the organization’s most beloved benefactors and concluded with a spirited live auction and paddle raise that contained novel experiences including batting practice with baseball legend Roger Clemens as well as the opportunity to be Mother Ginger during the upcoming Nutcracker holiday production.
As the live auction concluded, the doors between the Fête and the fete*ish after-party next door opened, where two sides were brought together yet again as all attendees danced the night away to the tunes of DJ Mel, showing that with the right amount of fun in the air, two sides can come together to create a magical experience.
THE CAUSE: Ballet Austin Fete was chaired by Cord and Anne Shiflet, and the fete*ish after party was chaired by Cassie LaMere and Cassandra King Polidori. The events raised over $500,000 that evening to go toward Ballet Austin’s programs which provide Central Texas residents with exceptional arts education and entertainment programming.