All photos by Drew Altizer Photography
Dancers and diamonds were the showcase last Sunday at the Smuin Ballet’s 2015 ‘Unforgettable’ Gala, a benefit to raise money for the Smuin Ballet Company, a boutique dance troupe known for its ingenuity and original approach to classic ballet performance.
Held at The Galleria, a four-story atrium structure in San Francisco’s blossoming design district, the evening began with a festive cocktail hour held on The Galleria’s verandas, which provided quintessential views of the main stage and dining area below. While guests sipped specialty cocktails and noshed on assortment Asian-inspired appetizers, Smuin performers mingled with the crowd while draped in a dizzying array diamonds courtesy of the event’s primary sponsor, Bulgari.
Guests of the event included Smuin supporters, former performers and a number of popular politicos and regulars on the San Francisco social scene, including former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown, Board of Supervisors President London Breed, San Francisco Giants announcer Renel Brooks-Moon, State Senator Mark Leno and Wilkes Bashford.
Ceclia Fushille, Artistic Director and founding member of the ballet company, had the pleasure of delivering the exciting formal program and welcomed news that Smuin had recently found a new and hopefully permanent city home in the Potrero Hill neighborhood . This new office and rehearsal space will serve [hopefully] serve as the company’s new headquarters. Following this thrilling announcement, guests were treated to a number of performances by Smuin’s talented dancers, including an inspired number to Nat King Cole’s ‘Unforgettable’, a crowd favorite and fitting choice for the theme of the evening.
Guests enjoyed delectable delights from the likes of Grgich Estate wines along with a feast of smoked trout and rice noodle salad with Asian pears and a savory braised lamb Osso Bucco. During the dinner, an energetic audience partook in a lively auction hosted by Michael Tate, which featured sought-after and one of a kind items like a football day with renowned sportscaster John Madden and a walk-on performance during Smiun’s annual Christmas Ballet. After dessert the crowd continued to mingle and dance the night away, celebrating a record $378,000 in funds raised in support of the ballet company’s productions.
Tickets for Smuin’s latest ballet, ‘Untamed’ are on sale now, with performances in San Francisco, Walnut Creek, Mountain View and Carmel.