Sunday, June 5, 2016

Ballet Hispanico 'Carnival' Gala at The Plaza Hotel

Dress by Cynthia Rowley

Ballet Hispánico held a Carnival themed gala which dreams are made of at the Plaza Hotel. In fact, a lot of dreams will in fact come true as it raised more than $1 million in support of the company's artistic and educational work in New York City and around the country. 

Attended by 325 guests, this year's Gala, themed "Carnaval" was a Latino celebration of life through music and dance, featuring performances by the Ballet Hispánico Company, the rising stars of second company BHdos and students of the Ballet Hispánico School of Dance, along with live music by Latin band Los Hacheros.

Ballet Hispánico honored Richard E. Feldman with the Civic Inspiration Award and Linda Celeste Sims with the Nuestra Inspiración Award. The evening's festivities were hosted by Univision personality Lili Estefan, co-host of the network's "El Gordo y La Flaca." Proceeds from the evening will benefit the creation of new Company works, need-based financial aid and merit scholarships in the Ballet Hispánico School of Dance, and community arts education programs.

"We are thrilled to announce that we exceeded our goal of $1 million," said Kate Lear, Chair of Ballet Hispanico's Board of Directors. "The overwhelming generosity of our attendees and donors, along with the breathtaking talent of our professional and student dancers, made for a fantastic event with which to celebrate Ballet Hispánico's 45 years of changing lives."

Celebrating 45 years of sharing and reflecting the ever-changing diversity of Latino cultures, Ballet Hispánico is the new expression of American contemporary dance. Led by Artistic Director & CEO Eduardo Vilaro, the Company has produced world-class, multifaceted performances that have featured master works by Nacho Duato, cutting-edge premieres by Cayetano Soto and Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, and live music collaborations with renowned artists such as Paquito D'Rivera and Ruben Blades-to name a notable few. Ballet Hispánico has performed for audiences totaling over 3 million, throughout 11 countries, and on 3 continents. Through the work of its professional company, school of dance, and community arts education programs, Ballet Hispánico celebrates the dynamic aesthetics of the Hispanic diaspora, building new avenues of cultural dialogue and sharing the joy of dance with all communities. 

For more information, visit 

My good friend and fashion designer, Laura Ciccarello came with me to the gala. We always have so much fun together, and I was so happy she could make it so last minute! Speaking of last minute, I was planning on buying a carnival mask earlier that day, but just couldn’t get around to it. It was definitely pretty disappointing coming to a carnival gala without a mask, but as fate would have it there was a gold mask just sitting on the table, waiting for me. It wasn’t what I had in mind (I was thinking baroque lace), but it certainly did the trick! 

The Plaza Hotel is one of my favorite places for a gala. It was once said, “Nothing unimportant ever happens at The Plaza.” One of America’s most celebrated hotels, The Plaza opened its doors on October 1, 1907, amid a flurry of impressive reports describing it as the greatest hotel in the world. 

The dinner portion of the evening commenced with a special dance from Ballet Hispanico dancers in the historic Grand Ballroom. 

The 4,800 square foot beaux-arts style ballroom was transformed into a dancer’s dream scene.

Here is a view from our table, which seated some of the most high profile law firm guests. 

Laura and I quickly made friends with some of them! We had the pleasure of meeting Ryan Blicher and Rob Pohlus, both attorneys at one of the city's biggest law firms, Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison. 

Our appetizer included a vegetable medley with asparagus and greens. 

In between performances, I taught Ryan how to work his angles and take better selfies. A formidable skill if I may say so myself. ;)

I was so excited to hear that he’s an attorney, as my best friend Robin is also an awesome attorney in the city. One can never have too many lawyer friends… 

A Spanish themed dinner included a little bit of surf and turf with mussels, steak and rice. 

Finally a crème brule with cream and strawberries was served. All diet goals were obviously out the window at this point! ;) 

How cool were the Plaza themed wine glasses?! It’s been a dream of mine to have initial branded wine glasses to host my own dinner parties with for family/friends. 

Nothing quite compares to having dinner under the crystal chandeliers of the Plaza Hotel. It’s literally one of the most magical experiences and I wish I could just freeze this sliver of time and experience it, again and again. But, I guess this blog post will do to re-live the moment. 

I couldn’t help but to literally stop and smell the rose on the table, and just appreciate the evening, and that moment. There is nothing greater in life than truly living your dreams, and mine just happen to include lots of dresses, and one epic story. Till next time…

Xoxo The Style Socialite

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