Los Angeles Ballet (LAB) celebrated its Season 11 Gala on Friday, April 21, 2017 at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel. This year’s honorees are Academy Award® nominated film producer Lawrence Bender and Governor Gray Davis & Sharon Davis.
The Gala was hosted by Antiques Roadshow’s Mark. L. Walberg and the co-chairs are Leslie Kavanaugh and Kirsten Sarkisian. The evening included an exquisite performance of excerpts from George Balanchine’s Who Cares?, an homage to Broadway with music by George Gershwin, that was featured in Los Angeles Ballet’s recent production Balanchine – Master of the Dance.
The Gala supports Los Angeles Ballet’s mission to provide world-class performances, and provide diverse outreach opportunities throughout Southern California. At a time when the arts are underfunded and continue to be absent from public school curricula, it is Los Angeles Ballet’s mission to share the gift of dance with the broadest possible audience and to give back to the community that has so generously supported it. LAB opens its doors with free classes for all ages with A Chance to Dance, and provides thousands of free tickets with Power of Performance (POP!), to special needs children and adults, military families, veterans and seniors through collaboration with 50 community partners. The Gala also included a short performance by students that are served by A Chance to Dance.
Founded in 2004 by artistic directors Thordal Christensen and Colleen Neary and executive director Julie Whittaker, Los Angeles Ballet is known for its superb stagings of the Balanchine repertory, stylistically meticulous classical ballets and its commitment to new works.
“Our honorees truly understand the significance that the arts play in inspiring creativity and building strong societies,” said Thordal Christensen and Colleen Neary, co-artistic directors of Los Angeles Ballet. “They are wonderful supporters of the arts, and appreciate what it means that Los Angeles has its own professional classical ballet company.”
Past honorees include Paula Abdul, Robert Day, Linda Duttenhaver, Ghada Irani, Nigel Lythgoe, Lori Milken, Jane Seymour and Ben Vereen.
For additional information about Los Angeles Ballet and the 2017 Gala please visit Los Angeles Ballet.