Love Ball Arabia 2019
29 March 2019
Love Ball Arabia held under the patronage of Her Excellency Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani and Natalia Vodianova in Doha as part of the Qatar–Russia cultural exchange
On 29th of March the Museum of Islamic Art in Doha welcomed a high-profile audience from around the world at the Love Ball Arabia, held as part of the partnerships established during the Qatar Russia 2018 Year of Culture in support of Naked Heart Foundation, helping children with special needs and Al Shafallah centre for persons with disability.
The fundraiser was held under the patronage of Her Excellency Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani and Natalia Vodianova, in partnership with Qatar Museums.
The charity gala managed to raise 7,4 million USD for both Naked Heart Foundation and Al Shafallah, thanks to generous and enthusiastic supporters including His Excellency Fahad bin Mohammed Al-Attiyah, Alessandra Ambrosio, Diane von Furstenberg, Anna Brewster, Carine Roitfeld, Cindy Bruna, Darren Criss, Elizabeth Chambers, Hailee Steinfeld, Hamish Bowles. Hans Ulrich Obrist, Imaan Hammam, Izabel Goulart, Jourdan Dunn, Maria Borges, Nicky Hilton Rothschild, Olivier Rousteing, Olivia Palermo, Caroline Scheufele, Sasha Luss, Sofia Sanchez de Betak, Stephen Jones and many more guests.
The evening comprised a gala dinner with an immersive theatrical performance, combining dance, music and art produced by acclaimed performers alongside actors with special needs. Presented by the incredible Iman Bowie, the programme included a unique performance by Sergei Polunin, accompanied by an outstanding musical piece “The Song of Distant Earth”. The dance was created specifically for Love Ball Arabia.
The performance was followed by an exclusive fashion show by Ulyana Sergeenko featuring the full Spring-Summer 2019 collection, complemented with brand-new couture pieces inspired by and devoted to Qatar. Each appearance on the catwalk was accompanied by the world's rarest Burmese rubies from Faidee jewellery house and among those strutting their stuff was Madeline Stuart, the world’s first supermodel with Down’s syndrome.
The festivities culminated in a charity auction held by Lord Mark Poltimore of Sotheby’s offering a variety of extraordinary lots from money-can’t-buy experiences to exclusive luxury items. Among the highlights were: 'Meet and Greet' with top players from Paris Saint-Germain F.C.; Daniel Arsham’s unique sculpture ‘Wrapped Frog’; lunch with Tom Brady and Gisele Bundchen; personalised fashion advice and a couture dress by Balmain creative director Olivier Rousteing; afternoon tea with Valentino Garavani at his Château de Wideville; exquisite diamond jewellery pieces from Chopard Haute Joaillerie collection; Ulyana Sergeenko unique Couture gown with Faidee limited edition ruby brooch; artwork by Markus Martinovitch, visual artist with autism ‘Mama in a dress with dots’; one of a kind ‘Naked Heart” ring with heart shaped 20,78ct garnet created especially for Love Ball Arabia by Russian jewellery and fashion house founded by designer Yana Raskovalova; and many more highly desirable items.
All proceeds will benefit the work of Al Shafallah Centre and Naked Heart Foundation, and will go towards developing professional support services for families of children with mental, physical and sensory disabilities, as well as enhancing advocacy campaigns in both Russia and Qatar. The Love Ball Arabia was itself evidence of the work of the two charities in advocating for a fully inclusive society that connects the world of people with mental disabilities with that of those typically developed. Many of the performers, contributors and artists of this evening’s event are themselves people with special needs and the Gala highlighted how these two worlds can enrich and influence each other.
Her Excellency Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, Chairperson of Qatar Museums, said –
“Love Ball Arabia was organised in support of one of the noblest purposes I can imagine: providing care and assistance to some of the most vulnerable people in our society—children with special needs. The two organisations we recognised tonight have done tremendous work in improving the lives of children with disabilities and inspiring the same qualities of hope, growth and renewal. I was deeply moved to see people from many different nations and backgrounds gathered at the Museum of Islamic Art in a universal effort to improve the lives of children with special needs.”
Natalia Vodianova, founder of Naked Heart Foundation, said –
“Love Ball Arabia is our inclusivity work in action: making sure people with special needs enjoy equal opportunities. Tonight's event featured performers with mental and physical disability alongside their typically developed peers and ballet icons, and brought to life the experiences of families like mine. I’m proud and honoured to champion inclusion in action in this engaging and fun way.”
The dinner’s bespoke menu was created especially for the evening by the renowned Moscow chef of the outstanding Severyane restaurant, Le Cordon Bleu graduate, Georgy Troyan, offering a contemporary twist on traditional Russian cuisine. The venue is an architectural masterpiece designed by the great Chinese American architect I. M. Pei. The museum showcases Qatar’s world-class collections of Islamic art spanning 1,400 years. Collected from three continents, including countries across the Middle East, and reaching as far as Spain and China, MIA’s artworks date from the 7th to the 20th century. At present visitors can also view there the magnificent installation titled ‘Folded Extracted Personified’ by Liam Gillick, which totally captivated the guests of Love Ball Arabia.