The Filene Center stage at Wolf Trap glittered last night with beaded dresses, sparkling wine glasses and silver streamers that hung from the ceiling, all in honor of the 15th Annual Wolf Trap Associates Ball.
A crowd of more than 600 people, who had paid $150 each, suffered the heat of the night to be there. The inducements to attend included crystal party favors and the chance to dance on Wolf Trap's stage.
And dance they did. The guests swayed to the Gene Donati Orchestra's Viennese waltzes, bopped to "Chattanooga Choo Choo" and rocked to the disco beat of "Celebrate."
Some lapses in the music notwithstanding, the evening had an Austrian theme, with cabbage, sacher torte and Austrian crystal on the tables. There were even white chocolate confections depicting Mozart and a grand door prize of a round-trip for two to Austria.
Libby Hoppe, chairwoman of the ball, said Austria was chosen because "this summer we did 'The Magic Flute,' which is Mozart, and Mozart is Austria."
The ball raises money for the Wolf Trap Foundation. "We hope to raise $50,000 this year," Hoppe said.
Sen. Paul Trible (R-Va.) said he and his wife Rosemary were there because "Wolf Trap is near and dear to our hearts . . . We've come here since we were first married and picnicked on the lawn."
Asked if he was concerned about the Reagan administration's degree of support for the arts, Trible said, "There are limits to what the government can do. Events like this indicate that the private sector can and will respond. The genius of our cultural life has to be passed on . . . but I also recognize the government's limits."
Catherine Filene Shouse, 89, the founder of the performing arts park and Filene Center, seemed to harbor no doubts. "I have faith we'll have as great an appropriation as we had last year," she said. "Reagan understands the importance of the arts to the mind."
Most others weren't worried about funding or the future of the arts. They dined on crayfish, veal royale, spaetzel and torte served on silver platters, and talked of business deals, vacations and current events. "Watching you ladies, seeing how you were so excited by that Austrian crystal," one man said to the women at his table, "what do you think about raising the Titanic?"