The National Ballet’s Annual Mad Hot Gala Raises Over 1.3 Million

This past Tuesday, a bevy of bedazzled patrons of Toronto’s art scene coalesced at the Four Seasons Centre of Performing Arts.

Decked out in sequinned gowns, oversized sunglasses and bellbottom suits evoking 70’s era fashion, over 1800 attendees came out to celebrate The National Ballet’s annual fundraising Gala, MAD HOT BALLET

This year’s discotheque theme was inspired by the free spirit of the 1970s and was present in many small details through-out the evening. Not only were attendees dressed to the nines in bohemian black-tie affair, but the disco theme was elegantly woven into the dance performances and event decor.  

The glittering evening began with an hour long performance to a live orchestra led by Music Director and Principal Conductor David Briskin. The performance included a world premiere of Joshua Beamish’s Lollapalooza, performed by Principal Dancers Harrison James and Jillian Vanstone. The pair wore costumes by Canadian fashion designer Jason Wu. Attendees were also treated to Justin Peck’s Paz de la Jolla, which will be performed as part of the National Ballet’s Summer Mixed Programme June 16 – 22 with James Kudelka’s The Man in Black and Alexander Ekman’s Cacti.

Following performances, a reception took place during which Toronto socialites mixed and mingled with star dancers from the National Ballet. After the reception (which included an Aperol spritz bar and a MAC Glitter Bar) 650 VIP guests were led back into the theatre to enjoy a private dinner onstage catered by Canadian celebrity chef Mark McEwan’s North 44 Caters followed by a night of disco dancing with the National Ballet dancers.

Since its inception in 2011, the Gala has raised over $11.8 million in support of the artists and activities of the National Ballet.The Gala raised over 1.3 million for the National Ballet, funds that will help produce more world-class shows, foster creativity amongst Canada’s talented dancers, as well as grow audiences at home and abroad. Below are some of our favourite outfits from the evening. 

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Photos by George Pimentel Photography.