LAFAYETTE — The Krewe of Bonaparte held its 43rd annual “Le Bal Du Couronnement” Feb. 16 in the Lafayette Cajundome Convention Center.
The theme for this year’s celebration was “Bonaparte Works the Arts.” L’Empereur Napoleon XXXIX Robert Edwin Torian and L’Imperatrice Josephine XXXIX Denise Vidrine Torian ruled over the festivities.
The American flag was presented by the University of Louisiana at Lafayette Department of Military Science while the Star Spangled Banner was performed by Priscilla Foley Picard. At the sound of the captain’s whistle, the crest of the krewe was presented and the quest for “Joie De Vivre” began.
La Premiere of the Krewe Julie Simon-Dronet, and her husband, Keith Allen Dronet, were presented to the crowd. The 38 years of former Napoleons and Josephines made their entrance in grand Mardi Gras style.
Marquise de Lafayette, ball Captain Kimberly Michelle Landry, opened the Bonaparte Art Gallery with her Works of Art. The talented artist made the models of the Jazz Extension Dance Company come to life as she captured their beauty on the canvas.
Suddenly, all attention turned to the arrival of his imperial majesty, Napoleon XXXIX Robert Edwin Torian. Empress Josephine XXXIX Denise Vidrine Torian wore an original reproduction of the royal crown worn by Josephine and carried a rhinestone scepter, a gift from her royal family.
Looking for a fun night out among friends, Royal Maid Ashley Trahan Guidry created a masterpiece of artistic memories as “Painting with a Twist.” Royal Duke Thomas Michael Keating made Picasso’s artworks come to life. “Body Art” was portrayed by Royal Maid Caroline Richards Bayard with tattoos from head to toe. Royal Duke Dr. Jason Anthony Breaux also put his body into his art, as this artist cut off his ear, Van Gogh-style, to use as a paint brush.Royal Maid Jodi Landry Gibbens portrayed the “Street Artist,” known for her graffiti talents. The world-famous “Blue Dog” by local artist George Rodrigue was portrayed by Royal Duke David B. Orgeron, a veterinarian.
Royal Maid Melissa Gayle Bartels portrayed Andy Warhol’s “Pop Art” as Marilyn Monroe. Royal Duke Steven Joseph Dupuis Jr. painted his live model on stage, depicting “Living Art.” After the Royal Couples were presented, Napoleon crowned himself as Sovereign of his Empire and Emperor of the Krewe of Bonaparte. He then crowned Josephine as his queen. The president of The Greater Southwest Louisiana Mardi Gras Association Clifton Ralph Lane II and his wife, Marianne Escuriex Lane, were presented, as the maids and dukes of the Greater Southwest Louisiana Mardi Gras Association were acknowledged.
King Gabriel LXXVI Pothier Jean Voorhies III and Queen Evangeline LXXVI Ann-Riley Louise Lane were introduced to the audience. The monarchs toasted each other, the court and their guests. The young artist came onto the stage as herald James Benjamin Mathews delivered the invitation to the Krewe’s Royal Rulers for Mardi Gras Day 2015.
The Grand March followed. Music was then provided for the evening by the Bucktown All-Stars. Rebecca Landry directed the tableau, with the stage and royal costumes designed by Ted Viator and constructed by Viator and Associates, Inc.