Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal’s Jeunes Gouverneurs stage princely soirée
by Naomi Gold
For their third Grand Ballets Canadiens gala, the Jeunes Gouverneurs choreographed a fabulously festive fundraiser fit for, well, a prince. Held in conjunction with the hugely successful springtime production of Didy Veldman’s Le Petit Prince, the benefit was led by JG co-presidents Jessica Drolet and Élise Sauvé. TV host Virginie Coossa served as emcee, while GBC CEO Alain “dance man” Dancyger and veteran artistic director Gradimir Pankov lent their support. Some 400 enthusiastic attendees were treated to scrumptious eats, silky smooth spirits, a silent auction, hair and makeup stations, DJ Thomas H spinning discs and the performance itself. After much schmoozing, grooving, mixing, dining and imbibing, thoroughly satiated attendees were ushered into PdA’s Théâtre Maisonneuve for the main event.
London-based, Dutch-born choreographer Didy Veldman created Le Petit Prince for Les Grands Ballets Canadiens and it premiered to critical acclaim in May of 2012. Based on Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s timeless classic, Veldman’s oeuvre is set in a more urban environment and performed as a series of earthly encounters. Evoking the fable’s pithy, philosophical musings whilst maintaining the simplicity of its message, it challenges viewers to confront their personal prisms and perspectives. The fast-paced, spectacularly performed ballet, with its mesmeric, at times hypnotic beats clearly resonated with spectators, who responded with a standing ovation and rapturous applause.
Post-performance, sybarites sashayed their way back to Maison Symphonique’s Salon Urbain for some high octane dessert refueling, serious fun and the event’s major announcement. Thrilled to learn that $83,000 had been raised, partygoers busted out all the right moves and danced like no one was looking. Eventually emerging from backstage, GBC pros pranced over to party central to unwind, recharge and biorefuel. Dancing like everyone was looking, they wowed and dazzled once again, until the proverbial wee hours.
Top corporate sponsors were Banque Nationale and L’Oréal Professionnel. Panache Coiffure stylists proved particularly popular as they preened and pampered tresses with curls, updos, and touch-ups throughout the gala.
GBC will be staging their flagship fundraising ball at Uniprix Stadium on April 18th. And in mid-April they welcome Boris Eifman’s ballet troupe from St. Petersburg who will perform Anna Karenina at Place des Arts. Gala tickets and information can be found on their website: http://www.
grandsballets.com. Eifman’s Anna Karenina runs from April 15-18; call the Place des Arts box office @(514) 842-2112.