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Patrons on their toes

A swanky new River Oaks mansion serves as a dream Houston Ballet setting

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7 Houston Ballet Ambassadors event September 2013 Melissa Mithoff, Ann Trammell, Pene Moore
Melissa Mithoff, from left, Ann Trammell and Pene Moore at the Houston Ballet Ambassadors season launch. Photo by © Roswitha Vogler/Photosbyrovo.com
12 Houston Ballet Ambassadors event September 2013 Nick Swyka and Shannon Swyka, Ginny & Richard Mithoff
Nick and Shannon Swyka, left, with Ginny and Richard Mithoff at the Houston Ballet Ambassadors season launch. Photo by © Roswitha Vogler/Photosbyrovo.com
13 Houston Ballet Ambassadors event September 2013 Lauren Strongin, Jerry Gauthier
Lauren Strongin and Jerry Gauthier at the Houston Ballet Ambassadors event. Photo by © Roswitha Vogler/Photosbyrovo.com
11 Houston Ballet Ambassadors event September 2013 Kate Precourt, Sean Kelly
Kate Precourt and Sean Kelly at the Houston Ballet Ambassadors event. Photo by © Roswitha Vogler/Photosbyrovo.com
14 Houston Ballet Ambassadors event September 2013 Jo Furr and Jim Furr
Jo and Jim Furr at the Houston Ballet Ambassadors event. Photo by © Roswitha Vogler/Photosbyrovo.com
10 Houston Ballet Ambassadors event September 2013 Richard Mithoff, Ann Stern, Karl Stern, Lori Wulfe
Richard Mithoff, from left, Ann and Karl Stern and Lori Wulfe at the Houston Ballet Ambassadors event. Photo by © Roswitha Vogler/Photosbyrovo.com
9 Houston Ballet Ambassadors event September 2013 Jim Jordan, Shawn Stephens, Jim Nelson
Jim Jordan, from left, Shawn Stephens and Jim Nelson at the Houston Ballet Ambassadors event. Photo by © Roswitha Vogler/Photosbyrovo.com
8 Houston Ballet Ambassadors event September 2013 Suzie Caddy, Kristy Bradshaw and Chris Bradshaw
Suzie Caddy, left, with Kristy and Chris Bradshaw at the Houston Ballet Ambassadors event. Photo by © Roswitha Vogler/Photosbyrovo.com
4 Houston Ballet Ambassadors event September 2013 Judy Waters, Phil Bazelides and Diane Bazelides
Judy Waters, left, with Phil and Diane Bazelides at the Houston Ballet Ambassadors event. Photo by © Roswitha Vogler/Photosbyrovo.com
6 Houston Ballet Ambassadors event September 2013 Ken Hyde, Mary Alice Parmet
Ken Hyde and Mary Alice Parmet at the Houston Ballet Ambassadors event. Photo by © Roswitha Vogler/Photosbyrovo.com
1 Houston Ballet Ambassadors event September 2013 Michael Parmet and Mary Alice Parmet
Mary Alice and Michael Parmet at the Houston Ballet Ambassadors event. Photo by © Roswitha Vogler/Photosbyrovo.com
5 Houston Ballet Ambassadors event September 2013 Stephen Strum, Don Erskine, Cynthia Christ
Stephen Strum, from left, Don Erskine and Cynthia Christ at the Houston Ballet Ambassadors event. Photo by © Roswitha Vogler/Photosbyrovo.com
3 Houston Ballet Ambassadors event September 2013 Michelle Garner, Scott Ensell
Michelle Garner and Scott Ensell at the Houston Ballet Ambassadors event. Photo by © Roswitha Vogler/Photosbyrovo.com
2 Houston Ballet Ambassadors event September 2013 Liliane Haddad, David Ruiz
Liliane Haddad and David Ruiz at the Houston Ballet Ambassadors event. Photo by © Roswitha Vogler/Photosbyrovo.com
0 Houston Ballet Ambassadors event September 2013 Margaret Alkek Williams, Jim Daniel
Margaret Alkek Williams and Jim Daniel at the Houston Ballet Ambassadors event. Photo by © Roswitha Vogler/Photosbyrovo.com
7 Houston Ballet Ambassadors event September 2013 Melissa Mithoff, Ann Trammell, Pene Moore
12 Houston Ballet Ambassadors event September 2013 Nick Swyka and Shannon Swyka, Ginny & Richard Mithoff
13 Houston Ballet Ambassadors event September 2013 Lauren Strongin, Jerry Gauthier
11 Houston Ballet Ambassadors event September 2013 Kate Precourt, Sean Kelly
14 Houston Ballet Ambassadors event September 2013 Jo Furr and Jim Furr
10 Houston Ballet Ambassadors event September 2013 Richard Mithoff, Ann Stern, Karl Stern, Lori Wulfe
9 Houston Ballet Ambassadors event September 2013 Jim Jordan, Shawn Stephens, Jim Nelson
8 Houston Ballet Ambassadors event September 2013 Suzie Caddy, Kristy Bradshaw and Chris Bradshaw
4 Houston Ballet Ambassadors event September 2013 Judy Waters, Phil Bazelides and Diane Bazelides
6 Houston Ballet Ambassadors event September 2013 Ken Hyde, Mary Alice Parmet
1 Houston Ballet Ambassadors event September 2013 Michael Parmet and Mary Alice Parmet
5 Houston Ballet Ambassadors event September 2013 Stephen Strum, Don Erskine, Cynthia Christ
3 Houston Ballet Ambassadors event September 2013 Michelle Garner, Scott Ensell
2 Houston Ballet Ambassadors event September 2013 Liliane Haddad, David Ruiz
0 Houston Ballet Ambassadors event September 2013 Margaret Alkek Williams, Jim Daniel

A lavish cocktail party held at the new River Oaks home of Melissa and Michael Mithoff set the stage for an exciting Houston Ballet season celebrating artistic director Stanton Welch’s decade-long tenure with the company.

The Mithoffs' modern manse served as an ideal backdrop for the Ballet Ambassadors season launch party, allowing guests to float from room to room, taking in Andy Warhol paintings and a spectacular aquarium along the way. The robust crowd was just another sign to Houston Ballet executive director Jim Nelson that the upcoming season was filled with promise.

“This is Stanton’s 10-year anniversary with the ballet, and the year is dedicated to him and all his work,” Nelson said. “Nights like tonight validate our efforts. We have very dedicated patrons and generations who come out to support us.”

This is also a year of firsts. The full company of 75 dancers will perform in Paris for the first time, as well as stopping in New York, Chicago and Montreal. The ballet is also teaming up with the Birmingham Royal Ballet, to co-produce Aladdin, an exciting venture for both companies.

Close to 125 guests noshed on chimichurri basted tenderloin of Angus beef, grilled wahoo with orange basil glaze and crispy leeks and sweet bites for dessert by Elegant Events and Catering by Michael.

Ballet Ambassadors at the event included Lynn Wyatt, Margaret Alkek Williams, Shawn Stephens and Jim Jordan, Ginni and Richard Mithoff, Gary Hollingsworth and Ken Hyde, Jay Jones, Jacqueline Kinloch, Karen and Gene Oshman, Lois and George Starkand, Ann Trammell, Pene Moore and Kristy Bradshaw.

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