La Scena Musicale

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Benefit Ball Boasts Big Bucks for Les Grands Ballets Canadiens

By Naomi Gold (

Photo by Guy Labissionnière & Blue Strom Média
From left to right: Guy C. Hachey, COO Bombardier Aerospace and gala co-chair; Line Beauchamp, Quebec Minister of Education, Recreation & Sports; Constance V. Pathy, board chairperson of Les Grands Ballets Canadiens; Christiane Hachey, gala co-chair

Uniprix Stadium recently hosted 700 guests at the annual fundraising ball for Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal. The Asian-themed soirée began with champagne apéritifs, shrimp antipasto and sushi appetizers. Attendees then proceeded to the cavernous ballroom, where Nancy Martinez and her band set a harmonious mood with their jazzy tunes.

As the first of four scrumptious courses was served by Montreal caterer Agnes Dei, emcee Mireille Deyglun welcomed and thanked patrons for their support. Ecstatic GBC board chair Constance V. Pathy joyfully announced the company's upcoming tour to China and introduced ball co-chairs Guy Hachey, COO Bombardier Aerospace and wife Christiane. They imparted that $630,000 was raised, which delighted company CEO Alain Dancyger and artistic director Gradimir Pankov.
The gala's highlight was a bravissima performance of Mauro Bigonzetti's Cantata, which included the Gruppo Musicale Assurd, a quartet of female singer/musicians from southern Italy. The (all too) brief bravura excerpt brought the stadium down—eliciting a thunderous standing ovation.

Post-prandial fun featured plenty of prize drawings, including airfare to Europe and stunning Swarovski jewels. High-spirited band Alter Ego inspired guests and dancers to strut their stuff on the sprawling dance floor until early morn'. Gala partners and sponsors included Bombardier, Gian Rocco, Hotel Management International, Ogilvy, La Maison Ishi, SAQ and Solotech.

Tickets are still available for GBC's last show, which runs from May 12 to 21 at Place des Arts. Dancers will interpret works by two German choreographers: Marco Goecke's Pierrot Lunaire and a pas de deux set to the finale of Stravinsky's Firebird follows Searching for Home by Stephan Thoss. Artistic director Gradimir Pankov will present a spectacular roster of classical, neo-classical and contemporary works in 2011-2012. Canadian choreographer Peter Quanz kicks off next season with the world première of Rodin/Claudel, which is followed by Fernand Nault's beloved Christmas Nutcracker classic. The Nutcracker Market shopping emporium returns to Palais des Congrès in November. Dutch choreographer Didy Veldman's The Little Prince is another première performance to be presented in 2012. For subscriptions, tickets and other information, call the Place des Arts box office at (514) 842-2112 or contact GBC: (514) 849-0269; Prices begin at $20.00.

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