by Rose O’Neill, FCLC ’21
Events consist of small details that come together to make a beautiful evening. At my internship with American Ballet Theatre, I am able to see the work every aspect of an event requires, and to appreciate the effort that goes into even relatively minor features. This past weekend, ABT hosted its Junior Turnout, a social event that included a silent auction for members of its Junior Council. My duties in preparing this event varied. One of my favorite details of the event that I worked on was the framed autographed photographs of company dancers. We used these photos to decorate the space and they doubled as silent auction items.
In the weeks before the event, I ordered the prints of the photos and then ran around to various stores buying frames in the correct sizes. 10 x 15 frames are harder to find than you would expect! Those, I had to order online. Once I had the physical prints, we laid them out on a table in the development office and the dancers came in to sign their photos when they had a free moment. After that came the arduous process of framing them. Pro-tip, courtesy of my mentor Fallon: If the back of the frame is held in place by pieces that need to be bent up instead of rotated, it is much easier to move them out of the way if one slides an ID card under them and uses it to push them up.
When we got to Spring Place, the venue for Junior Turnout, we arranged the framed photos in a display case. We had so many that some had to be put on a table! In front of each photograph we placed a label naming the dancers in it and explaining what the photo captured. At the end of the night, we placed the pictures in bags to be distributed to their respective auction winners.
My favorite photo we used is one taken by Patrick Fraser of Herman Cornejo and Zhong-Jing Fang. It is dynamic with a bright orange background and diagonal composition reminiscent of Baroque art. Both dancers have an arm wrapped around the other and Herman Cornejo leans over Zhong-Jing Fang as her other arm and flowy dress trail behind her.
Tuesday afternoon, I was excited when I walked into the office and there was a large version of this photo resting on an easel. It is being used to help get the #abtmember hashtag going. People watching the ballets this season will be encouraged to take a picture in front of this poster and use the hashtag when they post it. A couple of other photos I printed for Junior Turnout will also be printed as large posters in front of which ballet-goers can pose. Working in the office does have its perks; I was the first person who got to take a picture with the photograph of Herman Cornejo and Zhong-Jing Fang, and it is currently in the same room as my desk, so I can look over and see it anytime!