Pointe of Departure

Aleksandra Efimova at the Joffrey Ballet's Pointe of Departure event.



I had the pleasure of attending “Pointe of Departure,” a fundraising event put on by the Joffrey Ballet’s Auxiliary Board at Archisesto in Chicago on Thursday, Feb. 10.

More than 300 people attended the event, which included cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, a DJ and a silent auction.

“Pointe of Departure” was unique because more than 40 artists were asked to create works specifically for the event that were inspired by a dancer’s pointe shoes.  The paintings and photographs were hung up on the walls, and as people mingled with each other, they bid on the artwork.

Two of my favorite artists were there – photographer Mila Samokhina and artist Jason Fricke, who does black-and-white line drawings of dancers, several of which are hanging up in Russian Pointe's offices. Both artists said they sold their works at the event, which they were very happy about.

Although I didn’t win any of the artwork, I did go home with a vintage ballet poster of Rudolf Nureyev. I can't wait to frame it!

It was fun to socialize with many of the lead dancers from the Joffrey Ballet, as well as with the other people who had come out to support them.

Russian Pointe was one of the main sponsors of the event, and we had more than 20 guests join us for the party.

Gene Meltser, an attorney with the firm Birg and Meltser of Deerfield, IL, said he loved seeing the artwork and meeting many interesting people.

“The cause was great, since it was about supporting the Joffrey,” he said. “I think it was a wonderful event.”