Legendary performer Mikhail Baryshnikov was honored at the 2014 Hubbard Street Spotlight Ball (photo by Mark Seliger).

Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, one of the world’s premier dance organizations, hosted the Season 36 Spotlight Ball on Monday, May 19 at the Fairmont Chicago Millennium Park. The event raised more than $775,000 for Hubbard Street’s artistic, community-focused, education and youth programming. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel attended to present Hubbard Street’s Spotlight Award to renowned performer Mikhail Baryshnikov, for his innumerable contributions to dance appreciation and artistic excellence in the United States. More than 550 additional guests included Nora Daley Conroy, senior advisor at Metropolis Strategies and chair of Steppenwolf Theatre Company’s board of trustees; Sean Conroy, vice president of Grosvenor Capital Management and Kenneth Griffin, founder and CEO of Citadel LLC.

The event began at 6:00 p.m. with cocktails and a VIP reception with Mr. Baryshnikov. Following the hosts’ remarks and a video produced by Emmy Award–winning HMS Media, featuring Hubbard Street’s 18-member main company of dancers, attendees enjoyed a three course dinner, Tito’s Handmade Vodka and Astrolabe wines, plus an exclusive sneak preview of Hubbard Street’s collaboration in progress with The Second City, to premiere October 16–19 at the Harris Theater for Music and Dance.

Calling Hubbard Street among “the greatest ambassadors around the country and around the world for the cultural quality of life we have here in the city of Chicago,” Mayor Emanuel welcomed Mr. Baryshnikov to the stage. For a select few performers, observed Emanuel, “the world is their audience. You have been one of those artists.” Mr. Baryshnikov then accepted the company’s Spotlight Award, thanking Emanuel for advocating for the importance of the arts, and praising Hubbard Street for building “a brand name” recognized around the world. “It’s a stamp of excellence,” said the Tony- and Oscar-nominated performer. To learn more about Hubbard Street Dance Chicago’s programming and educational initiatives, visit hubbardstreetdance.com to learn more.

Hubbard Street Gala Honors Mikhail Baryshnikov with 2014 Spotlight Award