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Center Donors Dine and Dance Toe-to-Toe With 'Swan' Troupe

December 01, 1988|ANN CONWAY

"May your swan have a glorious flight!" said Thomas Kendrick, his bubbly-brimming glass raised to American Ballet Theatre on Sunday night. Kendrick, president of the Performing Arts Center, was among guests who gathered at the Center Club in Costa Mesa to celebrate ABT's "Swan Lake," which will have its world premier at the Center on Friday night.

Amid shimmering ice swans and tables done up with burgundy roses and tiny toe shoes, the Center's major donors dined and danced (rocked is a better word; party-goers flipped over the band, "Star Flight") with members of ABT and toasted the historic night to come.

The elite bash was staged five days prior to the "Swan Lake" opening, Kendrick explained, "because the dancers have to perform twice on Saturday and twice on Sunday."

While guests hoped that Mikhail Baryshnikov, artistic director for ABT, would sweep into the affair, the elusive Misha did not. Along with ABT design consultant, Pier Luigi Samaritani, he was busy-busy on stage at the Center (a few guests, however, managed to sneak away from the soiree to ogle the geniuses at work).

Faces in the crowd: Kathryn Thompson with Gus Owen; Janice (stunning in holiday-red silk) and Roger Johnson; Jeanette and Harold Segerstrom; Marilyn and Frank Lynch; Deborah and Stuart Karl; and Susan (a knockout in a marigold cocktail suit) and Tim Strader.

To mark the opening of ABT's engagement on Tuesday night, the Center Dance Alliance staged a posh party of its own at the Center Club for its major donors and founding president, Stewart Woodard.

"Stewart pulled together a strong organization and laid the groundwork for our being here," said CDA president Janet Eggers, moments before presenting him with a framed montage highlighting his involvement with the alliance.

Woodward, president of the Pacific Symphony board, said he became involved with the Center Dance Alliance three years ago when the Performing Arts Center board asked people to step forward and lead support groups for the arts. "And ballet has become the Center's most prized ticket," he said. "Personally, I love it because, of all the performing arts, it integrates so many aspects--music, dance, acting and choreography."

The twinkle of it all. A "Night of Shining Stars" was the theme of the 35th annual debutante ball sponsored by the Newport Harbor Auxiliary of the Children's Home Society on Friday night.

Tiny lights blinked and winked in the trees that decorated the ballroom of the Newport Marriott. Frosted stars gleamed on stately columns. And silver starbursts glistened among the calla lilies that graced each table.

But nothing shone quite as bright as the eyes of the 26 debutantes (except, perhaps, the eyes of their proud parents).

After an elegant dinner, guests settled back to watch the young women enter the ballroom on the arms of their presenters, promenade around the dance floor and make their traditional St. James bow. Debutantes from Newport Beach were: Anastasia Arnold; Stephanie Argyros; Sonja Becker; Katrina Browne; Cammy Chabre; Ashley Corkett; Robin Dru; Lisa Ford; Jennifer Harrison; Sandra Lucas; Elizabeth MacKinnon; Molly Marr; Angela McGiffin; Patricia Murley; Stephanie Ortwein; Maria Richley; Rebeca Robboy; Brooke Roberts; Danielle Scott and Elisabeth Shanker.

From Corona del Mar: Ashley Eriksmoen; D'Elayne Kerr and Kirsten Lusk. Also making their debuts: Anne Marie Moiso of Laguna Beach; and Ellen Hunter and Laura Jones of Costa Mesa.

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