Inside Ballet Hispanico’s Fab Gala at the Plaza

All the right moves: Ballet Hispanico Artistic Director and CEO Eduardo Vilaro and Kate Lear, chair of Ballet Hispanico’s Board of Directors, kick off the gala. Photos: ©Patrick McMullan Photo: Sylvain Gaboury/PMC

Ballet Hispanico is one of New York’s coolest cultural institutions, drawing top choreographers, as well the brightest up and comers from the Americas and Spain to celebrate Latino culture through contemporary dance.

So we were thrilled to hear the company’s annual gala was a smashing success—Kate Lear, chair of Ballet Hispanico’s Board of Directors, said the event took in over $1 million dollars for the ballet company’s  artistic and educational programs.


The party, called  “Carnaval,”  was held at the Plaza and drew 325 guests. You know anything with the word carnaval in it promises to be festive and fun—and it was!  After cocktails and dinner, there were some pretty amazing performances by the Ballet Hispánico Company, the rising stars of it second company BHdos, and students of the Ballet Hispánico School of Dance, along with live music by Latin band Los Hacheros.

Philanthropist Diane DiMenna

Attendees included Gala Chairs Jody and John Arnhold, Kate Lear and Jon LaPook, and David Pérez and Milena Alberti; Benefactors Martin and Perry Granoff, James F. McCoy and Alfio J. Hernandez, Charle S. Wortman and Laura Baldwin, Jessica Rodriguez, Beth Owen-Wade, Brian and Shirley Colona, Michelle and Stephen Dizard, the Fribourg family, Lisa and Mehmet Oz, Raul Pineda, Michael Rankowitz and Sheila Heffron, Olivier Rustat, Herb Scannell; Eduardo Vilaro, Lili Estefan, Rosie Herrera, Michelle Caruso-Cabrera and Stephen Dizard, Therese Caruso, Rita Rodriguez, Herb Scannell, James F. McCoy, Phil Colón, Olivier Rustat, Tina Ramirez, Richard Feldman, Sandra Rivera, Kathy Ross-Nash, Pedro Ruiz, Nancy Ticotin, Nancy Turano, Vanessa Valecillos, Rodney Hamilton, Linda Celeste Sims, Gale Brewer, the Manhattan borough president,  Marty and Perry Granoff,  John and Gaily Beineke,  Yue Bonnet,  Cecilla Caceres, Cosme Caceres, Anne Cohen, John and Paula Connor, Paul Ellis/PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, Winston B. Layne, Maggie Lear, Teresa Narvaez, Florence Peyrelongue, Ann and Richard Sarnoff,  Glenn Allen Sims, Heidi Stamas, and Richard and Maritza Williamson, Roger Kluge, and Denise Roberts Hurlin.


Ballet Hispánico honored Richard E. Feldman with the Civic Inspiration Award and Linda Celeste Sims with the Nuestra Inspiración Award.  Univision personality Lili Estefan, co-host of the network’s “El Gordo y La Flaca, served as host for the evening.

Eduardo Vilaro, Lili Estefan== Ballet Hispanico 2016 Carnaval Gala Celebrating 45 years of changing lives through dance== The Plaza Hotel, NYC== May 16, 2016== ©Patrick McMullan== Photo: Sylvain Gaboury/PMC== ==
Eduardo Vilaro and Lili Estefan take a spin on the dance floor.