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Parties: Parties: Party En Pointe

by Catherine Bigelow | Photography by Drew Altizer

Amid a colorful swirl of talented, costumed dancers, Presidio Dance Theatre held its Spring Gala on June 1 at the War Memorial Veterans Building, where two levels of this Beaux Arts beauty set the stage for an elegant evening.

Led by cochairs Farah Makras and Sonya Molodetskaya, the fete leapt to life in Herbst Theatre, where the company performed The Little Lantern Ballet by artistic and executive director Sherene Melania — a dancer, teacher and social justice advocate. It starred an international cast of 95 dancers clad in sumptuous Kirov Ballet Atelier costumes. Post-performance, 150 patrons headed upstairs to the Green Room for a masterful McCalls feast, which was paired with wines donated by Venus and Narsai David.

Now in its 24th season, PDT is an offshoot of the Presidio Performing Arts Foundation. Its DanceOut! program provides free classes and performances as well as scholarships to public school students. The auction gala benefited this multigenerational, ethnoclassical dance company and its programming, which encompasses arts education, youth development and cultural diplomacy.

While the evening’s honoree, Cissie Swig, was not in attendance, the civic leader and philanthropist was presented with Presidio Dance Theatre’s 2022 Humanitarian Award.

“Tonight’s production is a fitting tribute: The Little Lantern is a story of women’s empowerment, capturing the power of uniting people, building community and spreading light,” toasted Melania. “This is Cissie’s legacy. She is a bright light in our world and a blessing to all who know her!”

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