Donations give ballet company something to dance about

Pretzel Alex Stabler and Sita Acevado perform with Luminario Ballet. Submitted photo

Culver City’s Luminario Ballet celebrated the opening of its third season as one of Southern California’s most dynamic contemporary dance companies, raising nearly $20,000 during a recent gala event.

The ballet company, with a studio at 5253 W. Adams Blvd., combines traditional ballet with aerial dance and acrobatics to create unique dance experiences, and strives to portray the vibrancy and diversity of the region’s culture.

Guests at the festive evening of fine dining and dancing included Los Angeles City Council President Eric Garcetti and Deborah Borda, president and CEO of the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

Luminario’s managing director, Judith Flex Helle hosted the celebration with Russian Kirov Ballet dancer and teacher, Marat Daukayev. The evening included the premiere performance of Flex Helle’s aerial ballet, Lift Ticket. It also featured the premiere of Luminate, a romantic piece choreographed by Josie Walsh.

The highlight performance of the night was special guest, Carrie Lee Riggins, of New York City’s Morphoses Dance Company, who recently appeared in the film, Black Swan as Natalie Portman’s dance double. Riggins premiered a solo piece choreographed specifically for the gala by Jamal Story.

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