Miami City Ballet 31st Anniversary Gala

MCB raises over $1,000,000 at Faena Forum

Alan Faena, Ximena Caminos, MCB Artistic Director Lourdes Lopez and George Skouras

Miami City Ballet celebrated its 31st annual gala, the first charity gala hosted at Miami Beach’s cultural cornerstone Faena Forum. The event raised more than $1 million to support Miami City Ballet’s work both onstage and in the community. The theme of this year’s ball—an ice-kissed fairytale—was inspired by the world premiere commission of Alexei Ratmansky’s The Fairy’s Kiss, premiering on February 10th at Miami’s Adrienne Arsht Center.

Guests experienced an evening with dinner, dancing and artistic prowess that began with a cocktail reception showcasing a life-sized glacier and a Miami City Ballet ballerina greeting more than 400 attendees. Notable Miami, Palm Beach and New York philanthropists, together with community leaders and ballet aficionados, sipped Bacardi cocktails from frozen shot glasses while child prodigy pianist Brandon Goldberg played jazz tunes. The dramatic ballroom was furnished with an ice bar and centerpieces featuring pointe shoes frozen into them. Miami City Ballet dancers dined at each guest table then hit the dance floor for an unforgettable party that included a surprise flash mob as snow fell from the balconies of the Forum.

“Tonight we celebrate our dancers and their exceptional artistry on stage, our leadership and distinct artistic élan, and our outreach programming serving thousands of young people and families each year,” said Susan D. Kronick, Gala Chair & Chairman of Miami City Ballet’s Board of Directors. “We extend a sincere thank you to every sponsor who stepped forward to ensure that Miami City Ballet remains one of the most vibrant and beloved dance companies in this country, and right here in our own backyard.”

MCB Founder Toby Lerner Ansin, Sanford Evans and MCB Dancer Ellen Grocki

The fantastical fundraiser, followed by a Remy Martin sponsored after-party at the Faena penthouse, was the perfect setting to announce Miami City Ballet’s new take on their annual production of the holiday classic George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker®, premiering December 2017 and featuring costume and set design by artistic power couple Ruben and Isabel Toldeo. “We are honored and delighted to collaborate with creative director Lourdes Lopez in visualizing a magical new Nutcracker for Miami City Ballet,” said Ruben Toldeo. “Every great city is reflected in its art forms and Miami City Ballet is certainly a reflection of this loving synergy.”

The gala was co-chaired by Alexa and Adam Wolman, Meghana Rajadhyaksha and Dr. Amar Rajadhyaksha, Tina and Dan Carlo, Susan Kronick and Edward Shumsky, Nancy and Jon Batchelor, Margaret and Mike Eidson, Christy and David Martin, with notable guests including Alan Faena and Ximena Caminos. Specially designed gift bags were presented courtesy of sponsors Neiman Marcus Coral Gables and Aqua di Parma at Brickell City Centre.

Photos by Manny Hernandez, World Red Eye and Daniel Azoulay Photography.