Alvin Ailey gets warm welcome

Dance org benefit a rousing success

Despite the freezing weather that had scantily clad females huddling next to heat lamps, Thursday’s fund-raising fete for the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in Los Angeles was a rousing success.

Fans of modern dance convened at the gorgeous Hancock Park estate of Skadden, Arps honcho Michael Lawson and his wife, Maddie McFadden-Lawson, to rub shoulders with Ailey artistic director Judith Jamison and her heir apparent, Robert Battle.

“We love being here in L.A.,” the New York-based Jamison said, after pretending to steal Debbie Allen’s coat for a bit of added warmth. “And we cannot wait to open here tomorrow.” Her famed dance troupe performs at the Dorothy Chandler through Sunday.

Honorary host Dennis Haysbert did his part to bring Ailey out west. “I sponsored a portion of the evening myself,” he said at the jammed cocktail party, “and I brought Allstate in as the major sponsor as well. I think we each have to do whatever we can to keep the arts alive.” — Jenny Peters

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