The polonaise, a ceremonial dance from the 17th century, was often performed by Polish nobility at court balls and other royal functions. But on the evening of 18 January, the dance ushered in a new tradition – one that saw the Singapore diplomatic corp moving in tandem with the local business community at The Peak’s inaugural Diplomatic Ball.
Held at the Shangri-La Hotel, Singapore, the evening brought together over 200 guests, including high commissioners and ambassadors from five continents. Traditional outfits, ranging from bespoke cashmere cheongsams to billowing Nigerian agbada robes, brought a dazzling array of colour to the black-tie affair.
In his opening address, H.E. Zenon Kosiniak-Kamysz, Ambassador of the Republic of Poland to Singapore and Dean of Singapore’s Diplomatic and Consular Corps, said: “We decided to begin the ball with an old traditional Polish dance. Next year, I hope you will get to enjoy another dance from another part of the world. After all, celebrating the diversity of culture is something very Singaporean.”
Between ballroom rhumba performances by The DanceSport Academy and live tunes from four-piece band Ernesto & Friends, guests enjoyed a five-course dinner prepared by Franco Brodini, executive chef of Shangri-La Hotel, Singapore.
Proceeds from ticket sales that evening raised $31,000 for the MILK (Mainly I Love Kids) Fund, a Voluntary Welfare Organisation helping children and their families break out of the poverty cycle.
Speaking about the event, honourary counsul Kishore Daryanani of the Democratic Republic of Congo said: “The diplomatic community usually meets at events where things feel more formal, so it was wonderful to have one and all gathered in an evening of dance and conviviality.”