PaperCity Magazine

May 2013 - Houston

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{Social} Plies and Pirouettes, a Spin with Lynn, Plus a Pair of Powerhouse Chairs Chairman Martin Fein Houston Ballet Ball's Oh-So Splendid Rite of Spring CATHERINE D. ANSPON REPORTS FROM UNDER THE ILLUMINATED BLOSSOMS. PHOTOGRAPHY FULTON DAVENPORT. Let's Begin with Diaghilev and Stravinsky Chairman Kelli Cohen Fein E very great party starts with the theme. For Ballet Ball 2013, chairs Kelli Cohen Fein and Martin Fein found inspiration in the consummate danse classique: The Rite of Spring, staged by Diaghilev and set to Stravinsky's chords, which took Paris by storm when it debuted in 1913. The graceful, well-connected chair couple took Rite of Spring as their gala motif, underscoring artistic director Stanton Welch's centennial reprisal of Rite, which was performed weeks later as one of the highlights of the Houston Ballet season. To realize their vision, the Feins enlisted decor impresarios Richard Flowers and Kirksey Gregg of The Events Company to remake the Wortham Theater Center into a spring bower; thousands of branches were set tableside, illuminated by an array of multicolored LED lights, making for a spectacular light show in the Wortham's Grand Foyer. Also contributing creative touches was Tony's, crafting the epicurean seated dinner headlined by strawberry salad, segueing into pan-seared snapper followed by berry-adorned buttercake. Late night, the Richard Brown Orchestra got the dance floor jammed after the culinary delights were concluded. Soraya McClelland Also drawing gasps of admiration was Miz Fein's gown, an entrancemaking baby-blue strapless evening frock bearing the imprint of blossoms, designed by Carolina Herrera. It was especially apropos for the night's motif because Miz Herrera herself jetted in from NYC to honor her good friend, Lynn Wyatt, who was celebrated that evening (more on that in a moment). Other fashion standouts were Jacqueline Kinloch in Escada, with husband United Airlines exec Leon (the couple in from Chicago), and Sharin Norman in a fluttery, diaphanous Chanel gown, with husband Larry. The Normans served as chairs of the silent auction, which was packed with extraordinary offerings, from a Nini Jewels jaw-dropping diamond-and-pearl ring to a timeless Rolex from I W Marks. Scott McClelland Larry Norman Harry Cullen Beth Beth Muecke Muecke Rose Cullen Sharin Sharin Norman Norman Stanton Welch leads Lynn's tribute dance. Wardrobe Cues: The Gown That Stole the Show Karl Stern Liz Decker Donna Bruni Ann Stern Mark Sullivan Ambassador Ambassador Edward Edward Djerejian Djerejian Tripp Carter Louis Skidmore Leon Kinloch Honoree Lynn Wyatt Leigh Smith Jacqueline Kinloch Diane Diane Lokey Lokey Farb Farb Reggie Smith Carolina Herrera Linda McReynolds Illustrious Lynn, Miss Herrera's in the House Victor Costa A ny gala that honors Houston's international social queen of style and substance, Lynn Wyatt, is guaranteed to be over-the-top. This was perhaps Miz Wyatt's first-ever Wortham dance performance, for Welch and a troupe of 17 Houston Ballet dancers, all gents, led illustrious Wyatt in the ultimate tribute number. Also intoning accolades, Ambassador Edward Djerejian and the aforementioned Miz Herrera contributed engaging remarks about their love for Wyatt and embrace of her motto: "Live a lot, laugh a lot, love a lot." Also applauded center stage was the Ballet's firstever corporate honoree, Vinson & Elkins, with Karl Stern accepting the award on behalf of the venerable law firm. All told, 500 attended and more than $760,000 was raised in this dazzling evening melding dance and social performance. Jerry Ann Jerry Ann Costa Costa Jane DiPaolo Jim Teague Rite of Spring, indeed Rite of Spring, indeed Jo Furr Jeff Smisek Diana Strassmann Walter McReynolds Dancie Ware Jim Nelson Phoebe Tudor Steve Wyatt Trey Wyatt Brad Wyatt Important Personages Jim Nelson, Houston Ballet executive director Rose and Harry Cullen Top underwriters Diane Lokey Farb and Margaret Williams, respectively squired by Mark Sullivan and Jim Daniel Phoebe and Bobby Tudor Jim Furr Barbara Van Postman with Joe Amberson Jo and Jim Furr Betty and Stephen Newton Dancie and Jim Ware Heidi and Marcus Smith Letty Loya Newlyweds Jerry Ann and Victor Costa The Wyatt boys: Steve Wyatt, Trey Wyatt, and Brad Wyatt Denise and Philip Bahr John Evatz of Nini Jewels, escorting Erin Florescu Shawn Stephens and Jim Jordan Linda and Walter McReynolds Cathy and Giorgio Borlenghi Soraya and Scott McClelland Jean and Henry May Melza and Ted Barr

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