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The School of American Ballet Announces 2014 Winter Ball, Celebrating 80th Anniversary, 3/3

The School of American Ballet (SAB) announces the 2014 Winter Ball at Lincoln Center's David H. Koch Theater on Monday, March 3, 2014, sponsored by legendary French jewelry Maison, Van Cleef & Arpels for the seventh consecutive year. Cocktails begin at 7pm and dinner will commence at 8pm, followed by The Encore dessert and dancing at 9pm. Attire is black tie. To purchase tickets, a table, or for more information, contact Natalie Schweizer at nschweizer@sab.org or (212) 769-6610.

This glamorous annual dinner dance is attended by 500 patrons, including the School's board members and alumni as well as leaders from the New York corporate and social communities. A highlight of the evening includes a one-time-only performance by the advanced students of The School of American Ballet choreographed by Silas Farley, who was selected by Peter Martins, Artistic Director and Chairman of Faculty for the School of American Ballet, for the second consecutive year.

The proceeds from this event enable SAB to distribute $1.9 million annually in student scholarships as well as support the School's renowned faculty and state-of-the-art facilities at Lincoln Center.

This year's event will be a Starry Night celebrating SAB's 80 years of dedication to the field of ballet. Ron Wendt Design will create an enchanting celestial atmosphere of silver and white.

Famed French jewelry Maison, Van Cleef & Arpels, will again act as the lead corporate sponsor for the gala. This long-standing partnership is a tribute to the friendship shared between SAB founder, George Balanchine, and one of the Van Cleef & Arpels founding brothers, Claude Arpels, who established the Maison in New York in 1939. From their shared passion for exceptional stones was born an artistic relationship that resulted in Balanchine's 'Jewels' ballet and its sumptuous costumes. To celebrate SAB's 80th Anniversary, Van Cleef & Arpels will debut two unique creations inspired by the Maison's cherished theme of dance.

Internationally renowned luxury house, J. Mendel, will sponsor the Winter Ball after-party, The Encore. Following dinner, 200 of the city's most sophisticated philanthropic young professionals will join the Winter Ball for a night of dancing and dessert. Dinner tickets include admission to The Encore and after-party-only tickets are also available. This sponsorship signifies a continuation of J. Mendel's direct association with the ballet, since Gilles Mendel, designer and fifth-generation member of the house his Franco-Russian ancestors founded in 1870, created costumes for two original New York City Ballet productions. The most recent of these, "Mes Oiseaux", was choreographed by NYCB Ballet Master in Chief and SAB Artistic Director, Peter Martins, and debuted at the NYCB Spring Gala in 2012.

Epoch Estate Wines', a small-production vintner dedicated to crafting wines from its estate vineyards on the west side of the acclaimed Paso Robles wine region, have been donated to the event and will be paired beautifully with the culinary creations of Glorious Food. The event is led by Chairmen Diana DiMenna, Julia Koch, and Serena Lese; and Young Patron Chairmen Noreen Ahmad, Amanda Brotman and Chelsea Zalopany.

The School of American Ballet, the official training academy of the New York City Ballet, was established in 1934 by legendary choreographer George Balanchine and philanthropist Lincoln Kirstein as the first and most essential step in their quest to create an American classical ballet company.

SAB, located at New York City's Lincoln Center, is the premier ballet academy in the United States, training more students who go on to become professional dancers than any other school. SAB's former students fill the ranks of the New York City Ballet and other leading U.S. and international ballet companies.

Van Cleef & Arpels was born in Paris' Place Vendôme in 1906, following Alfred Van Cleef's marriage to Estelle Arpels in 1895. Always striving for excellence, the Maison has become a worldwide reference through its unique designs, its choice of exceptional stones and its virtuoso craftsmanship, offering jewels and timepieces that tell stories and bring enchantment to life. Over the years, the Maison has remained faithful to this highly distinctive style characterized by creativity, refinement and poetry. Whether inspired by nature, couture or the imagination, its collections evoke a timeless world of harmony and beauty.

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