All that glittered was gold at the 50th Anniversary Ballet Ball last Saturday. Houston Ballet brought its annual ball back to the Wortham Theater Center for the first time since Hurricane Harvey devastated the performance hall, and the space was transformed.
The Events Company decked the ballroom with crystal and custom gold chandeliers and tables bedecked in sparkling gold linens and mirrors. Dressed in gilded costumes, Houston Ballet dancers greeted the 400-some black tie-clad guests after they walked the red carpet on Fish Plaza.
Beth and Nick Zdeblick chaired the ball, which raised around $1.8 million, alongside honorary chairs Phoebe and Bobby Tudor. The star of the night was Margaret Alkek Williams, who was honored for her leadership and dedication to the Ballet.
During the silent auction, guests bid on lavish packages including a weeklong trip to Nantucket, tickets to attend New York Fashion Week 2020, a loose cushion-cut Tanzanite stone and custom mounting experience from Tenenbaum Jewelers, and a chance to rent out Wortham Theater’s viewing booth for a performance of The Nutcracker during the 2020-2021 season.
Jackson and Company prepared an elegant dinner to match the setting. Guests were treated to courses of golden caviar French macarons and black truffle and potato panna cotta, lobster bisque, and aged angus beef tenderloin with haricots verts, rainbow baby carrots, polenta with caramelized shallots, and a gorgonzola tart. The dessert—“Chocolat a la Margaret!”—celebrated the night’s honoree with a gold-painted chocolate sphere filled with chocolate mousse, hazelnut dacquoise, and galcé raspberrie.
Company dancers surprised guests during dessert with a piece choreographed by Houston Ballet First Soloist Oliver Halkowich. Even Artistic Director Stanton Welch and Executive Director Jim Nelson joined in. The grand finale included a nine-foot cake—with a full 50 birthday candles—and gold confetti.
After the professionals performed, everyone joined in on the dance floor to the music of Sound House and The Tribute presented by Elan Artists. As the fabulous evening drew to a close, guests left with cake-shaped cookies as a nod to the earlier performance.