The Cleveland Ballet hosted its fall gala, A Magical Evening with Swan Lake, on October 21, at the Union Club in downtown Cleveland for 220 guests. The event helped to raise more than $150,000.
Cocktail hour featured live music by a harpist, followed by dinner, dessert and a live auction. Afterward, guests were shuttled to Playhouse Square’s Connor Palace Theatre for opening night of the Cleveland Ballet’s 2022-23 season featuring its performance of Swan Lake.
This popular classic ballet was reportedly last performed in Cleveland in the 1990s. But, the 21st-century-form of the Cleveland Ballet co-founded in 2014 by Gladisa Guadalupe and Michael Krasnyansky, is now in its eighth season.
Justin Bibb, 58th Mayor of Cleveland, in recognition of the gala and the
opening night performance declared that for the weekend of October 21-22, Lake Erie was dubbed “Swan Lake.”
Without jeopardizing the story, the production of originally four acts was condensed to a captivating two-act work. Guest artist Ana Sophia Scheller, originally from Buenos Aires, Argentina and former member of the New York City Ballet, San Francisco Ballet and National Ballet of Ukraine, joined the company dancers for this production. She played the White Swan (Odette) as well as the Black Swan (Odile), alongside Canton native and Cleveland Ballet company dancer Zachary Catazaro, who played lead as Prince Siegfried. Catazaro, too, was a former New York City Ballet soloist. Cleveland Ballet is currently comprised of 32 dancers from nine countries.
Following the performance, Armenian-born dancer Emmanuel Martirosyan, who played the Jester, proposed marriage to his girlfriend Lana Lapiashvili on stage during the standing ovation. A surprised Lapiashvili, of the ballet’s wardrobe and costume shop, is originally from the country of Georgia, a neighbor to Armenia. The young couple met each other in Cleveland.
For more information on upcoming Cleveland Ballet performances, visit clevelandballet.org STORY AND PHOTOGRAPHS BY ANDREA C. TURNER