Inspired by Spring Production, Jete Society Hosts Mad Hatter Dance Party
The Washington Ballet’s Jeté Society, a social and networking group of young ballet patrons from ages 21 to about 40, hosted its annual dance party on Saturday night with a new theme and new venue for the more than 700-person crowd. Previously held at international embassies throughout the Washington area, the party moved to the Ritz-Carlton Washington D.C. for its 11th-annual event.
“Given that we had over 1,000 people last year, we knew that we needed to go for a larger space than an embassy, and the Ritz’s director of catering and sales has been great to the ballet with hosting our opening-night parties,” said Elizabeth Early, the dance company's manager of special events and stewardship. “It’s also a right location for this crowd—Georgetown, Foggy Bottom, and Dupont really draw more people.”
Although attendance dipped from 2011’s 10th-anniversary event, the $175 V.I.P. ticket still drew nearly 300 people for its private pre-reception and specialty lounge area and bars inside the main ballroom. The general admission ticket sold for $95 with the funds raised benefiting the ballet programs.
The party’s theme drew inspiration directly from the ballet’s newest show, Alice, a take on Lewis Carroll's classic tale, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Syzygy Event Productions worked with Digital Lightning to turn the reception and ballroom areas into a whimsical environment beginning with colorful, spiraling lights on the staircase leading from the entrance to the main space that evoked Alice’s fall down the rabbit hole. Downstairs, ballet dancers modeled the production’s new costumes, designed by Cirque du Soliel costume designer Liz Vandal, on pedestals throughout the reception space.
In the main ballroom, Syzygy draped all four walls in panels of pink, orange, yellow, and green fabric with complementary lighting. The team created two lounge areas in the V.I.P. section using brightly colored sofas and chairs accented by pink and purple mushroom-shaped ottomans. Grass- and confetti-covered bars decorated with over-size yellow, pink, and orange flowers lined the perimeter of the room.
DJ Pitch One got the young crowd on the dance floor early with an up-beat mix of Top 40 hits. About halfway though the night, six dancers performed a special modern dance choreographed by former company dancer Aaron Jackson, who has created a new number for the party each year.
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