With the start of Houston Ballet's fall programming less than four weeks in the offing, Ballet Barre launched its 2011-2012 season Tuesday night with the first in a series of socials geared to up-and-coming ballet patrons. Read that successful young professionals with a taste for the cultural side of life.
This crowd also displayed a penchant for partying. Up Restaurant was the setting, where owner Haidar Barbouti opened the taps and the kitchen to provide an endless flow of chilled wine and brewskies along with savory bites for the after-work crush. RSVPs poured in the last few days and estimates were that all 300 showed up to support the ballet and get a look-see at the highly-touted restaurant and bar.
The party was supposed to have centered on Up's glam third floor terrace —facing west. But the multiple air-chillers just couldn't quite deliver as the mercury hovered above 100 degrees. So those guests with low tolerance for sweltering hung indoors around the entry and the bar. No complaints as the decibel level soared along with the energy quotient.
Kristy J. Bradshaw and Lindsey Brown, Ballet Barre chairs, and Ballet Barre events chair Beth Zdeblick were all smiles as more than two dozen newcomers signed up on the spot and many more made verbal commitments to officially join the party.
This is one of the best tickets in town. For a $130 commitment, guests receive tickets to four ballet performances, after-parties for each, plus the three annual Ballet Barre bashes, backstage tours, dress rehearsals and the $55 membership fee. You can't beat it for value, for networking and for meeting a great group of individuals. Among the new recruits taking advantage of this plum offer were Amber Akers and Adrian and David Lindquist.
Mingling in the crowd were a number of Houston Ballet dancers including principal Amy Fote, soloist Oliver Halkowich and Jaquel Andrews.
The partying throng included Christine Transier, Kristen Andreasen, Dr. Chris Cassady, Nick Zdeblick, Dr. Darrel Cass, Karina and Carlos Barbieri, Tatiana Sorkin, Christoph Meyer, Lauren Schaefer, Derith Hibbetts, Francisco Cabrera and Michael Yafi.