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Dinner and dance in honor of the Luminario Ballet

March 7, 2011 |  5:15 pm

The Luminario Ballet celebrated its third season Sunday with cocktails, dinner and a dance performance at its new studio in Los Angeles.  

"This makes us a resident company now," said company founder and managing director, Judith Flex Helle. "It's going to take some getting used to." The rehearsal space came courtesy of Steve Yablok, owner of the property and adjacent nightclub, Cafe-Club Fais Do-Do.

"They gave me a great deal," Yablok said. "On a daily basis, there are incredible, beautiful dancers here who bring grace and light into my world. To think, there's classical dance on Adams Boulevard -- it's a small miracle."

Former New York City Ballet principal Carrie Lee Riggins joined the party as a special guest. Fresh from appearing in "Black Swan" as one of Natalie Portman's dance doubles, she performed "Essays on Recovery Over/Under," a solo created for her by Jamal Story about her recent experiences with love.

The evening's other dances were "Luminate" by Josie Walsh, honoring her mother's passing, and "Lift Ticket," which Flex Helle choreographed, combining modern and classic ballet techniques with aerials. "Two Preludes for Piano and Violin," composed by Ricardo Veiga, rounded out the program with Veiga on piano and Manoela Wunder on violin.

Who else attended? Marat Daukayev, former principal dancer with the Kirov Ballet; Deborah Borda, president and CEO of the L.A. Phil; performance artist John Fleck, L.A. City Councilman Eric Garcetti; Bernard Philippe and Francois Chouchan of Le Salon des Musiques; and Mary Lewis, Grant Barnes and Dora Breece of the L.A .Philanthropic Committee for the Arts.

-- Ellen Olivier