The Los Angeles Ballet’s 2013 Rubies Gala was shining Saturday night as a-listers such as Nigel Lythgoe, Ryan Kavanaugh, Don’t Trust the B--- in Apartment 23’s James Van Der Beek, and stylist Johnny Wujek (no. 21 on THR’s Top 25 Stylists list) turned out to support the dance company.
More than 400 guests at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel applauded Lythgoe as the honoree accepted the Global Impact Award for his dedication to promoting dance across the world in both developed and developing nations.
“I am thrilled to see how dance is increasingly seen as a strong creative force in L.A.,” said the So You Think You Can Dance host and American Idol executive producer. “Dance isn’t just about art, movement or expression, it’s about connection.”
Following a three-course meal and preview performance of Rubies from Balanchine RED (the act is part of Balanchine’s ballet Jewels, inspired by the artistry of jewelry designer Claude Arpels, and features music from three different composers to reveal the essence of each jewel) guests were able to donate to the company during the emceed fundraiser. Kavanaugh—whose wife Britta Lazenga Kavanaugh is dancer for the L.A. Ballet—offered to match the first $100,000 given. After the initial $50,000 was made, the Relativity head took to the stage personally to entice the crowd with a walk-on part and four round trip airline tickets to the L.A. premiere of the studio’s reboot of The Crow. He told the crowd: “Relativity Media is pleased to support the arts.”
The event raised more than $600,000, which will be used to fund dancers’ pay, pointe shoes, costumes (a hand-embellished tutu costs as much as $5,000) and production equipment.
Balanchine RED performances will begin May 11. For a complete schedule visit http://losangelesballet.org/ticket-information.