"Italian Festival"

On October 2, 2010, just as the crowds began to collect and eat their Italian delights, just as the children at the puppet show came streaming out of the amphitheater, Boyd Plaza was transformed into a masquerade ball.  The music swelled as Jessica Gibbons stepped into the center of the plaza and began singing “La Violette.”  Twelve members of the crowd produced masquerade masks and began to slowly bow and curtsy, and then began their exquisite promenade.  Jackie Ball and Mindy Chester of the USC Dance Company joined the ball, performing playful classical choreography that meandered throughout the amazed onlookers.  As Jessica Gibbons lifted the aria to a magnificent finish, the dancers paused briefly to punctuate the close of the event, and then walked amongst the crowd, passing their masquerade masks to their audience as their applause filled the plaza.