The downtown Indianapolis Marriott Hotel grand ballroom was the scene of Dance Kaleidoscope’s annual gala billed as “The best party in town.” This year’s event was titled “La Vie en Rose.
Here’s what several in attendance had to say about the event. Art patron Alpha Blackburn, president of Blackburn Architects, says “For DK it was high art. The dancers gave an exquisite performance. The ambience was spectacular and well crafted. They know how to make every patron expect and experience a feel-good, fun-filled evening.”
Jim Strain, partner at Taft, Stettinius & Hollister LLP, who was present with his wife Cheryl, says “We attended for the umpteenth year. As in some previous years, we hosted some of our children, because, unlike other fundraisers, this is one that young adults can enjoy and not feel out of place. And sure enough, they had a splendid time. Also, Steven Taylor’s (event co-chair) impeccable taste showed in the look, feel and tone of the party.”
First time attendee Tania Castroverede Moskalenko, president & CEO of Carmel's Center for the Performing Arts says “The DK Gala was a fabulous event! From the luxurious décor to the delicious food, the exciting auction items to the post-dinner dancing, everything was done with great taste and elegance. The best part of the evening, however, was watching the wonderful DK Dancers perform David Hochoy’s choreography to the luscious music of Edith Piaf!”
Tickets for the event ranged from $95–$275 a piece. Tables ranged from $950–$2,750 each. Proceeds from the event will benefit DK — considered to be Indiana’s premier contemporary dance company — and are still being tabulated, with the total amount to be announced within the next few weeks.
The event began at 6 p.m. with cocktails available through a cash bar, providing enough time for the mostly formally-attired crowd of 400 supporters to mingle as they perused a wide range of high-quality items displayed in a silent auction.
Around 7:30 p.m. the guests moved to the ballroom that was bathed in violet lighting, revealing circular ten-top tables covered in white and surrounded by grey chairs with chrome trim. On many of the tables sat huge centerpieces that incorporated white feather plumes, which were accented with silver branches. "I was very happy with how beautiful the ballroom came together. It was a wonderfully elegant evening," says Stephen Taylor, who co-chaired the event with Wayne Zink, who was not able to attend.
After welcoming the guests, DK Artistic Director David Hochoy introduced the dancers, who were dressed in sumptuous costumes designed by Cheryl Sparks. They then performed selections from his “Piaf: A Celebration,” with music by Edith Piaf, a piece that was a 2011 Indy Fringe Festival hit. Piaf songs danced to were “Les Flonflons du Bal,” “La Foule” and “La Vie En Rose.”
Following the performance, guests dined on a first course of romaine spears with spicy marinated mozzarella, teardrop tomatoes, grilled asparagus and marinated shaved squash with champagne vinaigrette. The entrée was an asiago and potato crusted chicken breast with pomodoro and chevre fondant, accompanied by creamy rice pilaf, broccolini, glazed carrots and roasted baby yellow squash. Dessert was a sample plate that included chocolate crunch sabayon, white chocolate–dipped pistachio macaroon sandwich, and cream swan garnished with coddled cream and fruit.
Music was provided before and during dinner by pianist David Meek and friends.
After dinner, Hochoy announced the winner of the Hochoy Award and then introduced longtime DK costumer Cheryl Sparks, who is retiring. She was given a multi-hued, hand-blown, engraved glass vase by artist Joan Schneider, who also happens to be a former DK board member.
Following dinner and during dessert, David Hochoy and DK Managing Director Jan Virgin conducted a live solicitation titled “Fund-A-Need,” supporting choreography, costuming and educational programming. Thanks to the generous response of various patrons attending, the original goal of $15,000 was exceeded.
Following the program and after the close of the silent auction, gala attendees, who included many of Indianapolis’ most prominent arts patrons, took to the floor to move to the music of disc jockey DJnGO during a dance party that was scheduled to last until 1 a.m.
“I am very grateful to co-chairs Stephen Taylor and Wayne Zink, our Kaleidoscope of Dance committee, all the silent auction donors, the DK Board and everyone who came and made the gala the success that it was. It was a wonderful, elegant affair and everyone had a great time. We certainly proved that Dance Kaleidoscope throws the best party in town,” says David Hochoy about the evening.
For tickets and information about Dance Kaleidoscope’s next concert, “Piaf Plus,” March 14–24 on Indiana Repertory Theatre’s Upper Stage, call (317) 635-5252 or visit www.irtlive.com.
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