Joffrey Ballet Spring Gala Celebrates Ashley Wheater’s 10th Anniversary

Ashley Wheater, Susan Oleari, Greg Cameron_Steve Becker Photography
Ashley Wheater, Susan Oleari, Greg Cameron

In the decade that Ashley Wheater has been Artistic Director at Joffrey Ballet, the city’s premiere dance company, he’s been part of the magic that’s elevated the Joffrey Ballet from struggling dance company to national (and international) prominence. Wheater was recruited and hired by the co-founders Robert Joffrey and Gerald Arpino and he took over as artistic director upon Arpino’s passing becoming the third artistic director in the company’s history. To celebrate his 10th year anniversary, this year’s annual Joffrey Ballet Spring gala  on Friday April 20 and chaired by Susan Oleari, the unofficial kickoff to Chicago’s spring/summer gala season had some special tones to it.

Madeleine Grynsztejn, Ashley Wheater_Photo Credit Dan Rest
Madeleine Grynsztejn, Ashley Wheater

Starting at the Auditorium Theatre, guests were treated to a one-night-only, hour long performance by the Joffrey’s Company dancers which featured pieces hand selected by Wheater. Then it was off to the Palmer House Hilton for an evening filled with cocktails, dinner and, dancing. With the upcoming North American premiere of Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Joffrey Ballet, the evening’s menu crafted by The Palmer House Hilton chef was inspired by traditional Swedish Midsummer fare.

 

Table Setting_Dan Rest

Noren Ungaretti, Julie Allen, Ra and Falona Joy_Photo Credit Dan Rest
Noren Ungaretti, Julie Allen, Ra and Falona Joy

Marcie Wright, Darrel and Nickol Hackett_Photo Credit Steve Becker
Marcie Wright, Darrel and Nickol Hackett

Anne Kaplan, Ed and Dia Weil_Photo Credit Dan Rest
Anne Kaplan, Ed and Dia Weil

The Joffrey Ballet’s spring gala raises funds for the Joffrey’s operations and programming, including its Community Engagement programs. The proceeds from the event provide students of all ages the opportunity to foster creativity and confidence through the art of dance. The Joffrey Ballet’s ‘Midsummer Night’s Dream’ will run from April 25th through May 6th.

Shelley Farley, Melissa Babcock, Michael and Kristina McGrath_Photo Credit Dan Rest
Shelley Farley, Melissa Babcock, Michael and Kristina McGrath

Jazelle and D.L. Morriss_Photo Credit Dan Rest
Jazelle and D.L. Morriss

Melinda Jakovich-Lagrange, Lucien Lagrange, Melissa Trandel _Photo Credit Dan Rest
Melinda Jakovich-Lagrange, Lucien Lagrange, Melissa Trandel

Hilary Pisor, Josef Lakonishok_Steve Becker Photography
Hilary Pisor, Josef Lakonishok

Larry and Mikki Goodman_Photo Credit Dan Rest
Larry and Mikki Goodman

Hans Pusch Molly Pusch, Robert Wierema Coco Meers_Photo Credit Dan Rest
Hans Pusch Molly Pusch, Robert Wierema Coco Meers

Chuck Jordan, Andrea Schwartz, Marci Holzer, Kristina McGarth, Michael McGarth _ Steve Becker Photography

Diane and Richard Weinberg, Shelley Farley_Photo Credit Dan Rest

Zach Lazar, Susan Oleari, Anne Lazar, Kathleen Klaeser, Patti Eylar, Greg Cameron_Photo Credit Dan Rest
Zach Lazar, Susan Oleari, Anne Lazar, Kathleen Klaeser, Patti Eylar, Greg Cameron

Photo credits: Dan Rest and Steve Becker

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Bolaji Sosan
Bolaji Sosan

pronounced: Boh-la-jee, like the Bellagio but w/o the O. SLC Founder and Editor, loves to write about topics at the intersection of career and lifestyle for today's young professional and future leaders.

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