For the eighth annual Couture & Cocktails presented by The Joffrey Ballet's Women's Board, the world of dance and fashion came together in grand style Oct. 4 at the Park West. Nearly 300 guests enjoyed a luxurious fall runway show that featured designer selections from Neiman Marcus Michigan Avenue interspersed with mini-performances by Joffrey Academy of Dance students.
Choreographed by Zzazz Production's Tracey Tarantino DiBuono, with dancers' segments produced by Academy Artistic director Alexei Kremnev, the show opened with a piece inspired by the Joffrey's production of "La Bayadere," which was followed by a fashion segment that showcased evening gowns reminiscent of old Hollywood. During the 40-minute show set to contemporary and classical music, dancers performed duets from "Romeo and Juliet" and "The Nutcracker," as well as a piece from the Russian Masters program's "Le Sacre Du Printemps."
Pamella Roland, a past featured designer for this event, added couture power by flying in gowns, each of which brought wild applause from the audience. Designs by Valentino, Alexander McQueen, Giambattista Valli, Dolce & Gabbana and Victoria Beckham also were presented.
For the finale, Fabrice Calmels, a principal dancer for the Joffrey, escorted a model clad in a dramatic black-and-red Carolina Herrera ballgown down the runway as the entire cast returned to the stage to a standing ovation. After the show, guests mixed and mingled with Joffrey dancers, while DJ Matt Roan spun hot mixes.
Women's Board members Kathleen Henson and Sonya Jackson co-chaired this annual event, which raised $200,000 for The Joffrey Ballet's programs and performances, as well as for dance and educational outreach opportunities for Chicago's youth.
Freelance writer Candace Jordan is involved with many local organizations, including some whose events she covers.
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