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Las Vegas Society News  

Note: This is a past article from February 17, 2011
You can find the current Las Vegas Society News article HERE


An exquisite gala was experienced by guests of the 27th Annual Nevada Ballet’s BLACK AND WHITE BALL.Touted as the “crème de la crème” of society events, The Black & White Ball is one of the most highly attended events of the social season. Guests included an array of local celebrities, dignitaries, VIP’s and Arts supporters. Since 1985, this star-studded annual fundraiser has allowed Nevada Ballet Theatre the opportunity to present professional company dance productions to the Las Vegas community, provide quality dance instruction within its affiliated Academy and expose students in at-risk communities to the art form of dance through its well-known outreach program, Future Dance.

A pre-VIP event for invited major donors at Crystals at City Center was sponsored by

Afterwards Limousines drove the VIP guests to a cocktail reception at ARIA RESORTS.At the cocktail reception, dancers danced in front of the Pinyon Ballroom doors to the delight of onlookers. When the Pinyon Ballroom doors opened to the BLACK & WHITE BALL, the lavishly dressed guests in elegant posh black or white entered to beautiful settings of centerpieces that appeared to look like large entwined elephant husks festooned with flowers.

The following was the program for the event:

Bobby Baldwin and Audra Hendley, honorary Chairpersons and Paul & Christina Berry, dinner chairpersons welcomed guests.

Beth Barbre & James Canfield introduced Nevada Ballet Theatre performers who danced Cyclical Night excerpts with music by Astor Piazzolla

Dinner was served:

Appetizer: Tender green leaf Salad with aged Sherry dressing, Belgian Endive and Arugula, Tossed with Carmelized Pecans and Lingonberry Vinaigrette

Duo Entrée: Crispy Chicken and Skirt Steak with red wine reduction, baby beets, baby turnips, baby asparagus and micro leeks with potato hash and sweet truffle butter.

Dessert: Glazed Gianduja Chocolate Bar, with Vanilla Berries, Coconut Mousse Gateau and Candied Pineapples.

Wine and cocktails flowed and were generously provided by Larry Ruvo of Southern Wine and Spirits.

A raise your paddle bidding, hosted by Robin Leach and Chet Buchanan brought in $155,000.

A live auction with unbelievable prizes by auctioneer Christian Kolberg was extensively bid on. An adorable cockapoo puppy sold for $2.000 and was bought by Vanessa Houssels.

Chet Buchanan & Robin LeachAuctioneer Christian Kolberg

The audience was delighted with special dance performance of “Suspicious Minds” by the cast of

ELVIS by CIRQUE DU SOLEIL.Sponsored by Joel Bergman.

Of course, the most significant part of the evening was the honoring of the Nevada Ballet Theatre 2011 Woman of the Year’s celebrated actress, producer and author Priscilla Presley.

Pricilla Presley and her family

Priscilla Presley has established a successful and diverse career in television, film and publishing – making her one of the most accomplished and admired women today.

Pricilla was born in New York and her father’s career as an Air Force Officer enabled the family to travel extensively. She attended high school in Wiesbaden, West Germany, where she met her future husband, Elvis Presley, one of the most famous entertainers and performers of all times.. Although Priscilla and Elvis divorced in 1973, they remained close friends up until the time of his death.

From starring as a leading lady in one of Television’s most famous series, CBS’ Dallas, to her comic role in the Naked Gun movies, she is also the author of the New York Times best-selling book, “Elvis and Me.” Presley has been recognized by the prestigious Rhodes College for her extraordinary achievements as an actress, producer, author, businesswoman, mother and role model. For the last three years, she has been the Ambassador of the Dream Foundation, whose mission is to fulfill the dreams of adults battling terminal illnesses. In addition to most recently appearing in Dancing with the Stars, where she was paired with Louis Van Amstel, Pricilla has made her mark as an entrepreneur as well, having created and launched a successful line of fragrances and fine bed linens.

Tributes and introductions to the beautiful lady were by Vince Neil and Nigel Lythgoe (executive producer of American Idol) Vince Neil told about Pricilla’s wonderful capabilities.

Nigel Lythgoe talked about Pricilla’s contributions to the world of art and her extraordinary


Vince NeilNigel Lythgoe

Pricilla Presley was called onstage and was presented with her honored Award by Nancy Houssels, Wendy Plaster (NV Ballet Theatre co-chairs) and Mariam Afshai (Cartier Regional Director)

Pricilla’s appreciative heartfelt remarks were enthusiastically acknowledged by a standing ovation

Pricilla with Cast of Elvis DancersNancy Houssels, Presenters, Pricilla and cast

Among guests at the Black & White Ball were: Vera Goulet, Patrick Hutchings, Tony Estrada,Joyce Mack, Thalia Dondaro, Lisa Marie Presley (who is an image of mother Pricilla) Kris Guenra (who had the most exquisite rhinestone shoe ankle necklace), Nunzio and Nancy Truscello, Hedy Woodrow and Jennifer Hanson, Kinderle Hyp and Daniel Calugar, Dr. Judy and Robert Silverman, Nancy Houssels, Carrie Halkyard, Kim Litt, Vanessa Chamberlin Houssels (who bid and won the cockapoo puppy at the live auction and named him Vasari after her clothing store of the same name), Patty Yeager, Toni and Bud Pattingale, Attorney, Richard and Patricia Wright, King Dahl (who did the magnificent center pieces), Chesne and Veronica Bonazza and Lenny Talarico.


Playing throughout the evening was the music of NIGHTSHIFT

Each guest received a gift bag from Crystals.It was quite an evening!

PAST HONOREES: of The Black & White Ball include luminaries of the stage and screen such as Debbie Reynolds, Chita Rivera, Celine Dion, Bette Midler and Marie Osmond among others. Nevada Ballet Theatre has honored these legendary women for their dedication to the world of arts and entertainment. Many of them have enjoyed a special connection to Las Vegas.

NEVADA BALLET THEATRE under the artistic direction of James Canfield, Nevada Ballet Theatre is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, and the largest professional ballet company and dance Academy in the state. Committed to the highest artistic standards, this classically-based company is at home in an eclectic repertory, moving easily from the classics to the high-energy contemporary ballets. The mission of Nevada Ballet Theatre is to educate and inspire statewide, regional and national audiences and vitally impact community life through professional company productions, dance training and education and outreach.

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