The best compliment I’ve ever received was being mistaken as a ballet dancer. The thing is, they are beautiful creatures. Every muscle is constantly being worked, there is not an inch of their bodies that is not beautifully sculptured – you know, this little Mary may not touch, but loves to look!
Last Friday night I arrived at the Sarasota Opera House dressed in black tuxedo pants, white shirt with Diamante cuff links and my favorite ultra fitted white jacket… Be aware I went tie-less for a little rebellious edge – a hopeful chance to charm one of the creatures, plus a little bare bronzed skin, never killed anyone! My ticket gets handed to me by one of the staff members since I am running late and in a rush to get in — Tonight I am seeing ‘My Way’, the sixth performance in The Sarasota Ballet Company‘s 2011-2012 season. The evening showcases the works of George Balanchine, Dominic Walsh & Twyla Tharp. As I walk down the right aisle, Jim Brooks is on the other side of the row. He is a ballet aficionado, master hair stylist at The Met Salon & Spa, and dear friend of mine. We meet halfway to take a seat and after a brief and warm welcome we are silenced by the long list of donor names and sponsors. Let’s not kid our selves, I am no art critic, but if you ask did I enjoy it? My answer, like always…. I LOVED IT! In the past 3 seasons I have been going religiously. Time after time I am left inspired, and left feeling lucky to have such talent living in our town! Plus, seeing some of the dancers at Ivory on Thursday nights has never hurt the eyes!
The fashion moment of the night came in the vintage Oscar de la Renta dresses that were worn by the dancers during ‘Nine Sinatra Songs’ and the ballroom dancing shoes which had to be flown in from London. During the first intermission I spot the Walsh family, owners of The Observer Group, who are seated in the row behind me. We share a quick hello followed by a compliment on Preen & Chic’s launch. Emily Walsh wore a very chic sky blue cocktail dress which was cinched at the waist by a patented black leather slim belt. The color of the dress complimented her luscious locks (we all know pastels are amazing on red heads!) Victoria Leopold was also in attendance, but she opted for a very classic color palette. The black and white silk-back caped Halston Heritage cocktail dress was ultra modern. She tells me it was purchased at The Met. Black and white heels and a black calf skin Chanel bag finished up the best dressed look of the night. Unfortunately, she shared her need to take a sabbatical from her duties as board member to many of our local organizations. I really hope she continues her charitable work very soon. After all, the Sarasota Opera House main hall does hold her name and its not just because of her charming looks.
As it is custom, Jim and I grab a bite to catch up and discuss the night’s performance and the social mingling for the night. Just a block away from the Opera House we find Selva Grill, one of downtown’s hot spots which offers exotic Peruvian cuisine. This season Selva added five new drinks to their cocktail menu to benefit the Sarasota Ballet. Sitting outside of the restaurant sometime last year director Iain Webb, a group of dancers, and I were discussing future cocktail names for the arts menu. That is how the “Pointe-tini”came to be. I was honored that they took my opinion into consideration. Twenty percent of sales from the designated cocktail list goes directly to my favorite art form. Next time you are there order the drink I baptized! The Pomegranate Pointe-tini tastes better without the sugar rim.
The next and final performance for the Sarasota Ballet’s 2011-2012 season is ‘Theater of Dreams’ which runs from April 27th to April 29th at the FSU Center for the Performing Arts in which Kate Honea, Ricardo Graziano, Ricki Bertoni, and Jamie Carter, all current dancers for the company, will be doing world premieres as well as a performance of Octavio Martin’s ‘On The Outside.’ Add those dates to your calendar and purchase your tickets now! You bet Preen & Chic will be in attendance. Also, take note, because tonight is the Sarasota Film Festival’s Cinema Tropicale taking place at the Sarasota Yacht Club. Who does not want to mingle with film makers and aficionados alike. Get your self Preened up in your best tropical chic to the island-themed event which ticket includes food, drinks, and the amazing scenery that only Sarasota Bay has to offer! The dancers may not be around for that one, but yet again I make a good look alike.