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The Washington Ballet Jazzes Things Up At The Duke Ellington School During Annual Black Tie Gala

By Daniel Swartz on May 20, 2014
Photo: Joy Asico /
Photo: Joy Asico /
Be sure to check out all 237 of our photographs from this event HERE!
The Guest List:
All photographs by Joy Asico for

NORTHWEST -- Literally a tentpole event, The Washington Ballet's annual spring black tie gala took over the grounds of the Duke Ellington School of the Arts on Friday evening.

Boasting a playful 'Jazz Ball' theme, the all-evening affair treated guests to a glamorous 'night of philanthropy and regalement', as presided over by co-hosts Reginald Van Lee, Executive Vice President of Booz Allen Hamilton, and internationally acclaimed musician, composer, and educator Wynton Marsalis.

Guests of the gala began the evening with a social cocktail reception, which provided them the opportunity to mix and mingle with instructors, dancers, and board and committee members alike from The Washington Ballet.

Subsequently, during the seated dinner phase of the program, attendees were served a menageries of inspired entrees and divine desserts prepared by Susan Gage Caterers. The floral arrangements, which lined the tables and tent, came courtesy of the Embassy of Ecuador and were created by designer Suzanne Codi.

Music during the event was a team effort, with the award-winning Howard University Jazz Ensemble providing the soundtrack during the evening's earlier half, with DJ EZGruuv and DJ Blurry Vision taking the reigns as the night progressed.

Naturally, what with the night being hosted by The Washington Ballet after all, ticketholders were also treated to performances by the school's extensive repertoire of dancers, including students from TWB@THEARC and DanceDC programs.

The latter was especially important as proceeds from The Jazz Ball will primarily be earmarked for those community engagement programs. TWB@THEARC is a satellite campus of The Washington School of Ballet located in Southeast D.C., which prides itself on providing scholarships and sliding scale tuition for any students in need.

The interdisciplinary DanceDC program is equally academically minded and reaches over 600 city school children each year, with a focus on creativity and self-esteem through dance eduation.

Sponsorship tickets to Friday's gala started at $1,000, with tables commanding an impressive $15,000 price. The city's charitably minded more than reaped a return on their investment, however, what with all that jazz!

Be sure to check out all 237 of our photographs from this event HERE!
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