Los Angeles Ballet (LAB) celebrated its Season 16 Gala on Saturday, April 23 at the Broad Stage in Santa Monica and honored entrepreneur, philanthropist, and Los Angeles Ballet board member Bari Milken Bernstein, who received The Angel Award. The evening was hosted by Olympic gold medalist Tara Lipinski and chaired by Sharon Davis and Kirsten Sarkisian. The Angel Award is annually bestowed upon an individual who has demonstrated exemplary commitment and passion to Los Angeles Ballet and its mission. A resident of Beverly Hills, Bernstein has been a board member of LAB since its inception and one of its greatest fundraisers.
The Gala followed a performance of Los Angeles Ballet’s production of “Bloom” featuring the Los Angeles premieres of “Ghosts” and “Bloom.” In “Ghosts,” Master contemporary choreographer Christopher Wheeldon transforms the stage into an ethereal realm where ghosts manifest in a dark watery playground. In “Bloom,” Belgian-Colombian choreographer Annabelle Lopez Ochoa presents a dance inspired by Puja, a Hindu worship ritual during which offerings of flowers are laid out at the doorstep three times each day.
Now in its 16th season, the Gala supports Los Angeles Ballet’s mission to provide world-class performances and provide diverse arts education outreach opportunities throughout Southern California. As the arts continue to be underfunded and absent from public school curricula, Los Angeles Ballet strives to share the gift of dance with the broadest possible audience and to give back to the community that has so generously supported it. LAB’s A Chance to Dance offers free classes for all ages and their Power of Performance provides thousands of free tickets to special needs children and adults, military families, veterans, seniors, and others through collaboration with 50 social service community partners.
Founded in 2004, Los Angeles Ballet is known for its stagings of the Balanchine repertory, classical ballets and its commitment to new works.
Past honorees include Paula Abdul, Lawrence Bender, Sofia Carson, Governor Gray Davis and Sharon Davis, Robert Day, Jenna Dewan, Linda Duttenhaver, Derek Hough, Ghada Irani, Nigel Lythgoe, Lori Milken, Gelila Assefa Puck, Kenny Ortega, Jane Seymour, Adam Shankman, Anastasia Soare, Johnese Spisso and Ben Vereen.