A Far-East Extravaganza

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“An Evening in China”

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More than 325 guests attended this year’s Pacific Symphony fundraising gala, titled “An Evening in China” and held at The St. Regis Monarch Beach Resort May 11. The event, which transported guests through a journey of ancient China, began with a lavish cocktail reception on the resort’s terrace, opulently decorated with colorful kites, parasols and golden lanterns, all setting the scene for the Chinese-themed event. During the cocktail reception, ribbon dancers, musicians on traditional Chinese instruments, stilt walkers, calligraphy artists, kung fu presentations and lion dancers entertained guests before an elegant dinner in the Pacific Ballroom. After a feast of distinctly Asian flavors, guests were enchanted by a thrilling show of the art of ancient Chinese mask changing as well as a dance performance by Shen Wei Dance Arts. The pinnacle of the evening came with a live auction, which included generous packages from South Coast Plaza and local restaurateurs, and raised more than $1.34 million for the symphony. Topping off the evening, a special performance from the popular dance band JT and California Dreamin’ whisked guests into the night. —A.T.

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