Inside NYC’s Posh 2016 Winter Ball

From left: Kristen Klark, Julia Koch, Marie Nugent-Head Marlas - thank you!
From left: Kristen Klark, Julia Koch, Marie Nugent-Head Marlas  All photographs: Erin Baiano

Fabulous ballet with exciting new talent and a glittery dinner with top New York socials has long defined School of American Ballets galas. The 2016 Winter Ball, which recently took place at Lincoln Center’s David H. Koch Theater, was no exception and raised nearly $1.2 million for the school’s ballet training programs.

This year’s dinner dance was attended by 500 guests, among them Julia KochPeter Martins, the SAB artistic director, Lisa Maria and Philip Falcone, Alexander Farkas, Fe and Alessandro Fendi, Stephanie and Andrew Finch, Elizabeth T. Peek, and William Perlmuth.

Koch, long a mahor benefactor for the school with her husband David, chaired the event with Joyce C. Giuffra, and Serena Lese.  Noreen K. Ahmad and Amanda Brotman Schetritt served as Young Patron chairmen. French jeweler Van Cleef & Arpels sponsored the dinner dance for the ninth consecutive year, underscoring the deep-rooted relationship between the jeweler and the ballet company. (George Balanchine, a dance world legend and the founder of SAB, was a friend of Claude Arpels who started the jewelry concern in 1939. Their shared passion for exceptional stones inspired a creative partnership that resulted in Balanchine’s Jewels ballet with three acts called Emeralds, Rubies, and Diamonds.) 

The evening’s highlight was the SAB student performance, for the second time choreographed by Peter Walker, who was selected by Peter Martins.CORP DE BALLET

“I was thrilled with Peter Walker’s choreography again this year,” said Martins. “What a delight it has been to share both Peter’s achievements as a dance-maker and the wonderful dancing of our young students with our school’s supporters at the Winter Ball.”


Designer Ron Wendt created an especially glamorous setting for the gala dinner, playing off a “Northern Lights” motif. Forest-green sequin tablecloths contrasted with masses of white azaleas rooted in gold polished brass boxes with pillar candles, while fifteen-foot tall gold and silver mobiles were suspended from the gilded ceiling of the theater to create an aurora borealis effect.

dinner setting