Image: © Joshua Halvatzis & Helena Curtis

It is a core part of English National Ballet’s mission to make ballet available to as many people as possible. We are therefore thrilled to announce that our annual fundraising gala raised £305,000 which will directly help us to achieve this.

Generously hosted by The Dorchester on Monday 6 March, the evening kicked off with a Laurent-Perrier champagne reception, followed by a delicious three-course meal in The Ballroom. Our guests then saw our world-class dancers and members of English National Ballet Philharmonic perform two newly choreographed works by First Artist Van Le Ngoc: Suite En Blanc and Fantantaisie Impromptu. And then, as a surprise for everyone, First Artist Tiffany Hedman and Soloist James Streeter performed part of William Forsythe’s electric In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated which is currently being performed as part of our Pina Bausch / William Forsythe / Hans van Manen programme at Sadler’s Wells.

On the night, we launched our Ballet Firsts Appeal to raise money to subsidise tickets for people who take part in our education programmes. For every £1,000 we raise we can subsidise 40 tickets – that could be one Dance for Parkinson’s group or two school classes watching us perform in a venue local to them, or 40 people wanting to affordably experience ballet for the first time.

Throughout the evening, guests also bid on exclusive silent auction prizes with top lots including skiing in Laax, a holiday in Sri Lanka and a drawing by Eileen Cooper CBE RA inspired by Akram Khan’s Giselle. However, the bidding got into a true frenzy when Tom Best, Honorary Charity Auctioneer for Christie’s Auction House, conducted the live auction. The top prize was a trip to Japan for when we tour there in July. The winner received two Business Class return flights courtesy of Korean Air, a five night stay in a Grand Room at the 5* Grand Hyatt Tokyo and tickets to the opening Night of Le Corsaire at Tokyo Bunka Kaikan, before meeting dancers for a photo on stage.

English National Ballet Philharmonic Music Director Gavin Sutherland with the winning bidder for ‘Orchestral Stardom’. Photo: © Joshua Halvatzis & Helena Curtis

Each guest then went home with a goody bag filled with gifts from our friends at Chanel, Omorovicza, MAC Cosmetics, The Lakes Distillery, Pulsin and Artisan Biscuits.

Gala committee
Laurence Bet-Mansour
Celeste Bickle
The Hon. Daniel Brennan
Alejandra Caro
Lynda Cooke
Felicia Foreman
Dorothy Ind
Natasha Kaplinsky
Ida Levine
Richard Luck-Hille
The Baroness Rosario de Mandat Grancey
Jamie McAlpine
Caroline Thomson (Chair)
Sue Sloan