Throwback: The Russian Ball

by WL Author

Private Club | PHOTOS BY Tony Powell
OH, THE GRANDEUR! Chairman Paul du Quenoy pulled out all the stops for the 50th anniversary Russian Ball, with an elegant white-tie affair for the old Russian aristocratic families to bring in the New Year. After the Washington Balalaika Society kicked off the evening by playing the old imperial anthem, “God Save the Tsar,” an elegant dinner followed, and then ballroom dancing to the music of the Richard Bray Orchestra. The evening included salutes to Vladimir Tolstoy, who turned 93 in January, and the ball patroness Grand Duchess Maria of Russia, the most widely recognized claimant to the throne of the Russian Empire. After the music faded and the lights dimmed, a few of the guests retired for nightcaps in the Billiards Room, with its framed antique photo of the author and humorist Mark Twain shooting pool in the same room back in 1907. Twain was one of the early American tourists to visit Russia (which he recalled in his travel memoir “The Innocents Abroad”) and would have undoubtedly approved of the Russian aristocratic revelry.

Related Articles