LONDON — Natalia Vodianova and Diana Vishneva, principal dancer of the Mariinsky and American Ballet Theatre, shut down London’s Coliseum in Covent Garden over the weekend for a dinner and auction in aid of the model’s Naked Heart Foundation children’s charity.
Guests included Charlotte Tilbury and husband George Waud, healthy food guru Melissa Hemsley, Martha Ward, Lily Donaldson, Nicky Haslam, Dynamo the magician, Pixie Lott and Oliver Cheshire, who dined on the theater’s stage while watching performances by the violinist Maxim Vengerov and dancer Marcelino Sambe.
Guests also witnessed the world premiere of “Zeitgeist” by The Royal Ballet’s principal dancers Natalia Osipova and Edward Watson. The performance, which was choreographed by Alastair Marriott, left more than a few audience members dabbing at the tears in their eyes.
Haslam was preparing for a performance of his own. “I am singing in a cabaret show on April 28 and 30 at the St. James Theatre,” he said. “It’s called ‘Spring Will Be A Little Late This Year’ and will be quite grown up. I have sung at Annabel’s and Bellamy’s restaurant before, but this is a legit gig; I had to sign a contract and all! I’m going to wear a white bolero and black tux pants and sing some songs by Cole Porter, whom I knew.”
Actor James Norton talked about a recent photo shoot with David Bailey, who alternates put-downs with flattery on the set. “He gets you completely off your guard…He’ll throw out a lovely compliment and it’s right at that moment, when you’re thinking, ‘What?!’, that the shutter closes.”
Norton has also been spending time in Russia, filming for the BBC’s new adaptation of “War And Peace” with Lily James. “I love St. Petersburg, it’s so melancholic but full of culture because of Catherine The Great’s patronage of the arts,” he said.
Sotheby’s Lord Dalmeny kept the jokes rolling as he presided over a fast-paced auction that raised 435,000 pounds, or $650,470, for Naked Heart and Vishneva’s foundation, which supports aspiring dance professionals.
The 11 lots included a set of original black-and-white prints of Vishneva by Patrick Demarchelier, a personalized Louis Vuitton case containing the dancer’s ballet slippers, an original Annie Leibovitz print of Vodianova, a Valentino couture dress and a seat on the stage for a private dance by Vishneva.