Posted by: vlibrizzi | May 24, 2009

Our first ever ball!

Last night, C. and I joined about 1550 other INSEAD students and alumni at the annual Summer Ball at the Fontainebleau chateau. Neither one of us had ever been to a ball before, let alone to a ball in a huge French castle (Cinderella anyone?) so we were so excited to go! 

The ball started at 10 pm and lasted until 4:30 pm (and, yes, we made it to the end! Why not? We didn’t want to miss a thing!)

INSEAD had rented three main spaces in the chateau: a large room on the second floor where the bands played, a fancy, chateau-like room on the main floor with lounge music and golden doorways, and the main patio and terrace where they erected a huge tent and had multiple DJs playing all night long. Suffice it to say, C. and I lost each other in the maze of people and rooms a few times. 

Insead of having a sit-down dinner (could you imagine serving dinner to 1500 people?), they had really fancy finger foods and champagne all night long—salmon and sesame lollipops, foie gras finger sandwiches, mini creme brulees, etc. Then, at around 3 am, they served breakfast which consisted of croissants, crepes, coffee, and tea. It was all so French, and so much fun! 

But the best part of all was getting to be there, dancing, and chatting, with so many friends. It really was a once-in-a-lifetime experience—-that is until C.’s five year reunion when we get to do this all over again! 🙂

Here are some of the photos we took last night:



Before we left for the ball, C. took a photo of my french twist (I thought that hair-do was appropriate for the setting 🙂 ). But the French don’t call it a French twist. Instead, according to the nice woman who did my hair, it is called a “banane” (or a banana). I guess it kinda looks like a banana, or as one friend pointed out, maybe not a banana, but a pineapple 🙂







Some friends and I posing in front of our apartment after having a quick, but yummy dinner at a local Italian restaurant. According to one friend, Italian pasta is the best thing to keep you going all night long. So we all dug into our pastas before we went to the ball—and it worked! 








I snapped this photo of the gates of the chateau before we entered the ball. As you can see, security was high around the gates, but the chateau does look beautiful at night, doesn’t it?






C. and I with some friends from our continent (they’re from Canada:) ) in front of the chateau before going into the ball, which was in the back rooms of the chateau.






C. and I posing for a photo on the famous steps of the chateau where Napoleon gave his speech to his soldiers before he was exiled to Elba. 










This is a photo of one of the bars in the tent at the chateau. The colors of the party were orange (the French love orange, for some reason), black, and gold. Very classy! 

The theme was: A Touch of Gold. 





C. took a photo of the tent from above, as he listened to an INSEAD student band play their set in another room of the chateau.







This is a photo of me (holding my drink and C.’s drink while he snapped the photo) in the lounge room. It was a beautiful chateau room where people could go to chat and take a break. 





C. with some friends in the main tent. It was like a line-up of a mini United Nations—Korea, Pakistan, and the US. all in one photo!







In the main tent, they had a percussionist playing along to the DJ music. You can see him banging on his drums in the photo to the left. 







Here is a photo of some friends and I taking a break in the lounge room to chat and give our poor feet a bit of a rest. 







By the end of the night, the main tent was packed and people were really upset when the party ended. So, one of the DJ’s came back on to play three more songs before they shooshed us all out to take the “Survivor’s Photo” on the steps of the chateau. As you can see in the photo, lots of people “survived”!

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