In March, the Russian-speaking community united for a grand Ball, steeped in the finest traditions of the 19th century. It proved to be a true celebration, delighting all who were fortunate enough to attend.

In a spacious and exquisitely adorned hall, more than a hundred impeccably attired guests assembled: gentlemen in tails or suits, charming ladies in beautiful evening gowns. The event commenced with a dignified polonaise, followed by a lively waltz, and soon thereafter, the dance floor came alive with guests dancing in whatever style they pleased. The programme extended beyond traditional ballroom dances. Enchanting performances by renowned vocalists such as Marina Bloom, Maria Gow, Olga Panasenko, and the esteemed opera diva and Mikhailovsky Theatre soloist, Olga Shanina, added a delightful dimension to the evening, leaving all attendees thoroughly captivated.  

Orchestrating a successful event is no small feat, and this annual Ball in Auckland, now in its fourth consecutive year, stands as a testament to this, offering a unique immersion into our cultural and historical heritage. Alexandra Pavlyuk, the adept leader of the dance group “Smuglyanka” and the perennial organiser of these splendid ballroom evenings, once again flawlessly orchestrated this grand affair. From teaching the simplest steps of the polonaise and waltz to crafting an original scenario for the Ball and curating an exquisite selection of music – Alexandra handled every aspect with finesse. The result? A magnificent ambiance brimming with beauty and solemnity. Moreover, the attire donned by the Ball’s attendees was simply breathtaking, with the remarkable detail that nearly all of it was crafted by their own hands. 

It’s noteworthy to observe a marked increase in interest in ballroom culture, underscoring the importance of nurturing this enthusiasm through such events. Therefore, a heartfelt thank you is extended to Alexandra Pavlyuk for her unwavering dedication and tireless efforts in putting together these wonderful ballroom evenings.

Gratitude is also extended to all those who contributed to the organisation of this charming and aesthetically pleasing evening.

Photos – Alex Korneev

Natalia Supra, Auckland

(translated by Lena Naumova)