Recalling Royal Bashes and Crown Princes of Old Europe, Ballet Ball Dazzles, Raises $1.6 Mil

Recalling Royal Bashes and Crown Princes of Old Europe, Ballet Ball Dazzles, Raises $1.6 Mil

Kristy Bradshaw, Phoebe Tudor and Stephanie Tsuru

UNDER TWINKLING CHANDELIERS, in a decked-out Wortham Grand Foyer made to recall the royal ballrooms of the Old World, some 500 guests gathered for the white-tie Ballet Ball of 2024, which raised $1.6 million.

The clusters of crystal chandeliers lit up an oval dance floor, “surrounded by custom, hand-painted, 20-plus-foot-tall dusty blue and gold panels, meant to replicate the beautifully adorned walls of the Hofburg Palace,” noted a Houston Ballet rep of event planner Richard Flowers’ handiwork.

“The venue dazzled with candelabras and fragrant floral centerpieces of white tulips, peonies, roses, hydrangeas, and gray dusty miller, atop lace-detailed blue linens.” The event was said to draw inspiration from Sir Kenneth MacMillan’s Mayerling ballet, which follows the story of the Austro-Hungarian crown prince of the 1880s.

The dinner menu was fit for old-school European royalty. Following a salad of baby greens with goat cheese, dried cranberries, pistachios and honey-champagne vinaigrette, guests enjoyed medallions of aged beef tenderloin with marchand de vin, caramelized shallot jam and braised red cabbage. For dessert: a mascarpone crepe with blood orange coulis and candied orange peel.

Coming just after dinner, the most delicious treat of the night might have been the surprise waltz-inspired dance number, featuring dancers from the Houston Ballet Academy, choreographed by former company dancer Hayden Stark, now an Academy instructor. Think handsome young gentlemen in tails swirling vigorously about with ladies in flowing gowns.

Shortly after the performance, guests and members of the dance company alike flooded the dance floor, stirred to their feet by the boisterous tunes of the Stratosphere band.

Cabrina and Steven Owsley served as ball chairs, along with Margaret and Jonathan Cox. The honorees were Akemi and Yasuhiko Saitoh, who, after years of supporting the company, were instrumental is bringing about the Ballet’s historic trip to Japan last year.

VIPs in the crowd included the Ballet’s creative leader Stanton Welch, Margaret Alkek Williams, Kristy and Chris Bradshaw, Leigh and Reggie Smith, Jim Nelson, Anne and Albert Chao, Phoebe and Bobby Tudor, Hallie Vanderhider and Bobby Dees, Rosanette S. Cullen, Brigitte Kalai, Alicia Smith, Fady Armanious and Bill Baldwin, Jo Furr, Jay Jones and Terry Wayne Jones, Melissa Juneau, Beth Muecke, Patti Murphy, Ileana and Michael Treviño, and, glamorous as ever, Lynn Wyatt.

Angel Rios, Lynn Wyatt and Richard Flowers

Chris and Kristy Bradshaw

Connor Walsh and Chae Eun Yang

Dr. Sippi K. Khurana and Ajay Khurana

Eric and Tonya Jordan

Fady Armanious, Hallie Vanderhider, Bill Baldwin

Henry and Jean May

Akemi and Yasuhiko Saitoh

Houston Ballet Company dancers enjoying the live music of Stratosphere

Melissa Juneau and Kent Willis

Jay Jones and Terry Wayne Jones

Rose Cullen, Jody and Kathy McCord

Kelly and Twana Faykus

Margaret Alkek Williams and Jim Nelson

Zoe Cadore and Ada Agbor

Marianne and Joe Geagea

Patti Murphy and Beth Muecke

Susan and Gary Binney

Tripp Carter, Karen Payne, Jim Nelson

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