The signature cocktail was the dark and stormy, but just before the Seaside Social benefiting the Portland Ballet Company began Thursday night the clouds lifted and the rain stopped. This allowed the 100 guests at Bob and Milly Monks’ gorgeous oceanfront home in Cape Elizabeth to take in the view and mingle on the wide deck and manicured grounds.
Every other year for the past 10 years, the Monks, who are longtime supporters of dance, have hosted this party to raise funds for the nonprofit company.
During the party, company dancers performed excerpts from last year’s performances and some of this year’s upcoming shows, which will include “Halloween Spooktacular” and “Armed Man.” Portland Ballet is probably best known for its annual “Victorian Nutcracker” performances.
Nell Shipman, the associate artistic director, introduced the dancers and provided insight into each piece the dancers performed. Board president Susan Barnicle said a few remarks and welcomed everyone to the party.
When she spoke, Artistic & Executive Director Eugenia O’Brien introduced Joseph Morrissey, the new director of the pre-professional dance program, and presented this year’s Dance Inspiration Award. Handed out every other year, the award went this year to long-time accountant Jack Sullivan, who recently retired from Runyon Kersteen Ouellette. The award recognized that his sound financial management has made a real difference to Portland Ballet over the years. Because if the numbers don’t add up, the show can’t go on.