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
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.
Noren Ungaretti, Julie Allen, Ra and Falona Joy
Marcie Wright, Darrel and Nickol Hackett
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
Jazelle and D.L. Morriss
Melinda Jakovich-Lagrange, Lucien Lagrange, Melissa Trandel
Hilary Pisor, Josef Lakonishok
Larry and Mikki Goodman
Hans Pusch Molly Pusch, Robert Wierema Coco Meers
Zach Lazar, Susan Oleari, Anne Lazar, Kathleen Klaeser, Patti Eylar, Greg Cameron
Photo credits: Dan Rest and Steve Becker
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