Susan Zanetti, Regina Eisenberg, Sharon Klonowski and Juliann Sutton

Cleveland Ballet Dancer Marla Aleyda with Zeda Blau and Dr. Michael Frank, new President of the Board

More than 200 people gathered at the St. Clair Ballroom at Key Tower on October 6, for the Cleveland Ballet Gala: Carmen: A Night in Spain. The celebration of the Ballet’s ninth season proved to be an elegant evening with formal dinner, cocktails, desserts, dancing, auction and live performances by Cleveland Ballet dancers.
Aigerim Alibek, on faculty at the School of Cleveland Ballet, performed an intricate Flamenco dance for the guests, followed by excerpts of Carmen performed by the company’s dancers.
Gala co-chairs were Linda Olejko, Madeleine Parker, Marques Hillman Richeson, and Dr. Kristin Voos. Corporate Chair was James Plum. Jan Jones served as Mistress of Ceremonies and Tony Quarles and The Discovery Band performed live after dinner.
The company’s season continues with 11 performances over two

Sherrie Massey, Tammy Coney and Chris Rodriguez

weekends of holiday favorite The Nutcracker at Playhouse Square’s Conner Palace. Performances are: Thursday, December 14 at 11 a.m., Friday, December 15 at 7 p.m., Saturday, December 16 at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m., Sunday, December 17 at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m., Thursday, December 21 at 7 p.m., Friday, December 22 at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m., and Saturday, December 23 at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m.
Additionally, the School of Cleveland Ballet will host a Nutcracker Tea at Township Hall, 83 North Main Street in Chagrin Falls, on Sunday, December 3, from noon to 2 p.m. The special Nutcracker Ballet Tea Party will feature food catered by Coppia Restaurant, tea and biscuits, a hot chocolate bar, and plenty of holiday sweets and treats.
Characters from The Nutcracker will be present for plenty of photo opportunities. The Sugar Plum Fairy will read the story in between holiday-themed crafts. Dancing Snowflakes will teach all young dancers in attendance dance steps from Cleveland Ballet’s performance. Tickets are $60 for adults and $50 for children but seating is limited. Tickets can be purchased at clevelandballet.org/nutcracker-tea. All proceeds benefit the School of Cleveland Ballet and its scholarship fund. STORY AND PHOTOGRAPHS BY ANDREA C. TURNER