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2009 June 5

So You Think You Can Dance?

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Jim Simpson, Sigourney Weaver and Charlotte Simpson Jim Simpson, Sigourney Weaver and Charlotte Simpson
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(NEW YORK) The annual June Conservatory Ball at the New York Botanical Gardens, which attracts New York's most serious fundraisers, is often referred to as an "older" event when compared with the Winter Wonderland Ball held traditionally in December. Maybe so, but who says this crowd doesn't know how to party? Last night's affair, which began with a cinematic outdoor cocktail party held in the Perennial Garden, quickly evolved into a frenzied dance-off from the minute a brass quintet instructed around 500 revellers like Sigourney Weaver, Anne Grauso, Alexandra Kotur, Gillian Miniter and Bronson van Wyck to enter the Conservatory Tent.

"These people are putting us to shame," laughed Jamie Creel, in town from Paris, admiring one particularly well-turned-out couple (i.e. John and Laura McCloy, she in a red and white polka-dot gown) mid-waltz. Even as the lobster ravioli was served, Bill Cunningham was fixated on the dance floor, populated by those who saw little need for sustenance during such an occasion. Cartier, which sponsored the evening, was represented by Frédéric de Narp, who gave a dapper bow when thanked for his support. (His six children remained at home for the evening.)

Christian Leone, host of the evening's rowdiest table, decided to take the more seasoned guests to task. "OK, let's go," he commanded, coaxing Nina Garcia and then Alexandra Lind Rose to hit the dance floor. Moments later, the crowd was mesmerized by his Roberto Bolle-esque moves. "It's true--Christian is an excellent dancer," confirmed Malcolm Kutner, who would know. But as for the women within Leone's arm's reach? Borderline afraid. "No, no, darling," said one when asked to revel. "I just can't keep up with you!"

"Despite my best intentions, I've been out quite a bit this week," confessed Alex Kramer, citing a particularly late night at the birthday party of Shoshana Gruss, Dani Stahl and Ali Wise. "But this is a good one--and how can you say no to Christian?" Indeed. The event, which raised over $1.5 million for the NYBG, was governed by good energy. "Whatever happens," declared Creel with gusto, "There will be dancing!"
ASHLEY BAKER




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