Friday, January 29, 2010

Film, Fashion, and Form

The electrifying Evidence dancers at a reception hosted by Hermès at its Madison Avenue flagship store for the friends and supporters of Evidence, A Dance Company to celebrate the acclaimed dance troupe’s upcoming 25th Anniversary.
This past Tuesday they had the New York premiere of "Falling for Grace" at the Asia Society. Present was the film’s star, writer, director and producer, Fay Ann Lee (Grace Tang). You could call it her film. The romantic comedy co-stars Queer as Folk and Desperate Housewives' Gale Harold, supported by an all star cast including Lewis Black, The Good Wife's Christine Baranski, Margaret Cho and Lost's Ken Leung.  Introducing the film as a tour de force of sheer will, inspiration and talent, Whoopi Goldberg held the audience rapt and spellbound. 

Dressed in stunning Shanghai Tang ensembles, guests such included Kathleen Turner, Debbie Bancroft, Geoffrey Bradfield, Samantha Daniels, Jamee Gregory, Kimberly Guilfoyle, Tracy Stern and Adelina Wong Ettelson.
Susan Shin, Gale Harold, Nick Dietz, and Taylor Mikolasy
Also: Angel Sanchez, Miguelina Gambaccini and Thuy Diep, Jennifer Creel, Lara Meiland, Susan Shin (who makes a cameo appearance in the film), Anisha Lakhani and Dayssi Olarte de Kanavos, Fern Mallis, Edward Tricomi, fashion stylist Mia Morgan, Liliana Cavendish, Sandra Ripert, Dominic Chianese, Countess LuAnn de Lesseps, Sonja Morgan and Alex McCord, Judge George Daniels, David Dinkins and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly.

Falling for Grace
most recently has been purchased for television in Italy, Spain, Latin America, Russia, Poland, France and Germany with many others to come.  The New York premiere at Asia Society is “Grace’s” return home after an exciting and fulfilling journey across the country. Falling for Grace will open in NY theaters on March 19 and for those who miss it on the big screen, Gaiam, Inc. will distribute the Falling for Grace DVD.  
Douglas Marshall and Carson Griffith
Adelina Wong Ettelson and Whoopi Goldberg
Kimberly Guilfoyle and Angel Sanchez
Fay Ann Lee and Gale Harold
Jamee Gregory
Kathleen Turner
Lady Liliana Cavendish
Fern Mallis
Samantha Daniels and Tracy Stern
Thuy Diep
Geoffrey Bradfield and Roric Tobin
Carrie Cloud, Kristian Laliberte, and Miguelina Gambaccini
Asasif Mandvi
Alex McCord, Sonja Morgan, and Countess LuAnn de Lesseps
Mia Morgan
Debbie Bancroft, Stuart Sundlin, and Lady Liliana Cavendish
Gordon Pennington and Melody Weir
Essi Metsakallio
David Dinkins
Whoopi Goldberg
Photographs by Patrick McMullan

Vanessa Noel hosted a fundraiser for Hanover Charities this past Wednesday at her boutique on 158 East 64th Street.
Lynn Whitfield and Vanessa Noel
Nicole Sexton, Peter Lyden, and Chele Chiavacci
Kim Taipale and Nicole Miller
Ashley Hilton, Townsend Ambrecht, and Brooke Hilton
Ailene Lopez, Lauren McCullough, and Morgan Stewart
Veronique Pittman and France Choe
Ken Starr and Diane Passage
Dr. Paul Alfano and Jennifer Alfano
Barry Weinbaum, Joey Mills, Mike Dean, and Carmen Jones
Jon and Susan Nagel
Anna Rhodes and Steven Victor
Jonathan Warner and Gary Evans
Marcy Blum
Leon Morrison and Kim Basquez
Lynn Whitfield, Matt Tucci, and Angelena Cornish
Donovan Jones and Penny Davidson
Baird Williams, Matt Tucci, Townsend Ambrecht, and Margeurite Wincek
Hannah Carpenpier and Townsend Ambrecht
Brooke Gomez and Carol Lee Podell
Marta Billeci and Win Foreman
David Frank Ray, Anna Rhodes, and Steven Victor
James Lowther, Ryan Jones, and Jeffrey Caldwell
Kelly D'Halluin and Nicola D'Halluin
Darnella Thomas and John Turner
Paola Gocci and Valerie Evans-Freke
Efrain Perez, Vanessa Noel, Masai Hasaguchi, and Joey Mills
Mark Gilbertson and Geoffrey Bradfield
Larey Allen and Janet Finonian
Edward Siegel, Kim Basquez, Jon Nagel, and Susan Nagel
Margeurite Wincek, Ryan Duffy, and Baird Williams
Roric Tobin, Lisa Price, and Geoffrey Bradfield
Photographs by Patrick McMullan

Hermès hosted a reception at its Madison Avenue flagship store for the friends and supporters of Evidence, A Dance Company to celebrate the acclaimed dance troupe’s upcoming 25th Anniversary. They introduced a limited edition scarf in the African motif “Voyage en etoffes” to commemorate the milestone. The French design house has been a supportive friend to The Company for several years.

A portion of the scarves sales will benefit the much loved company. The scarf retails for $375 and is available for purchase at Hermès, 691 Madison Avenue at 62nd Street.

Reginald Van Lee displays Evidence Commemorative calendar.
On hand to welcome guests were Maureen Baltazar, Senior Vice President, Hermès, Ronald K. Brown, Evidence, A Dance Company founder and  Artistic Director, Reginald Van Lee, Evidence Board Chairman and Joyce Mullins-Jackson, Board Vice Chair along with Board members Joanne Hill, Gail Monroe Perry and Andrea Hoffman whose company Diversity Affluence forged the relationship with the luxury goods company.

Founded by Ronald K. Brown, Evidence, A Dance Company’s mission is to promote understanding of the human experience in the African Diaspora through dance and storytelling and to provide sensory connections to history and tradition through music, movement, and spoken word, leading deeper into issues of spirituality, community responsibility and liberation. For almost a quarter of a century, Evidence under the artistic direction of Brown has won critical acclaim and performed on stages around the world.
2010 will mark The Company’s 25th Anniversary which will be highlighted by major celebrations, a special performance at the Vancouver Winter Olympics, a tour of Africa and the Grace in Winter Silver Ball at The Plaza Hotel in New York on February 8. 

This year they will honor Ronald K. Brown and longtime supporter and Chairman of the Board Reginald Van Lee and Booz Allen Hamilton. There will be a special performance by Tony Award winner Jennifer Holliday and jazz great Peven Everett. Actress and dancer Victoria Rowell will host the evening.
Ronald Brown, founder & artistic director, Maureen Baltazar, Sr VP Hermes, and Reginald Van Lee with the limited edition Hermes custom scarf for Evidence, A Dance Company’s 25th Anniversary.
Reginald Van Lee, Board Chair with Bruce Michael, Executive Director. Fashion doyenne Audrey Smaltz and friends.
Reginald Van Lee, Joyce Mullins-Jackson, Andrea Hoffman, Joanne Hill, and Ronald K. Brown.
Reginald Van Lee, Prince Kunle Omilana, John Wegorzewski, and Princess Keisha Omilana. Happy shoppers at Hermes.
Evidence founder Ronald K. Brown, Hermes CEO Robert Chavez, and Joanne Hill.
Long overdue, this marvelous documentary demonstrates, that no matter who constitutes the actual members of a Family, abiding “Love” is the most important factor.

Through the comments and visual close-ups of a diversity of very expressive children – a real “Rainbow Tribe” – one moves from giggles through cheers to tears by their extraordinary wisdom and insights. Whether the Family has Two Moms, Double Dads, a single Mother or Father, is racially diverse, naturally born or implanted, adopted or assembled, replete with additional four-legged members, family is formative and vital to one’s well-being.

The film delightfully highlights same-sex families, as well as mixed heritage families, the traditional stereotypes are significantly and charmingly challenged.
Parker O'Donnell, Blake O'Donnell, Rosie O'Donnell, Vivienne O'Donnell, Kelli Carpenter, and Chelsea O'Donnell.
As we all know, iconoclastic Rosie O’Donnell has always insisted on doing her life, her way. In “A Family Is A Family Is A Family” we witness perhaps her greatest achievement – beyond the apparent trappings of success – a love-infused unique family whose happiness and “normalcy”is obvious to us all.

The 40-minute humanistic documentary also features musical performances by kids and their parents, as well as Ziggy Marly, Bonnie Rait, Doris Day, Sweet Honey in the Rock, Frank Sinatra, They Might Be Giants and Rosie herself. I would highly recommend this be seen by all, and screened in every school, for it offers the best of entertaining lessons in tolerance and acceptance.

— Jill Lynne
VP HBO Documentary Films, Sheila Nevins, President of HBO Documentary Films, Richard Plepler, and Rosie O'Donnell.
Featured Children in A Family Is A Family Is A Family.
Wednesday night the Atlantic magazine and its president Justin Smith and publisher Jay Lauf, along with Boykin Curry and Celerie Kemble hosted their annual State of the Union Dinner at Le Cirque. This dinner was begun, I believe during the last Bush Presidency – at least that’s when I was first invited to attend – and brings together a group of wide array of New Yorkers involved in media, business/finance, philanthropy and the arts. Many are friends and friends of friends, or familiar figures from those worlds.

It’s what I call “serious pleasure.” There’s a cocktail reception that begins at 7:30 as people are gathering. Then comes dinner – which at Le Cirque was guaranteed to be excellent. Then the Presidential STU speech is viewed on a large screen for the whole room to see. We see exactly what is seen on television.
And then after the speech there is a discussion led by James Fallows, the Atlantic’s National Correspondent (Mr. Fallows was once a speechwriter for President Jimmy Carter), in which everybody participates.

It’s a “serious pleasure” in that it’s not your everyday social dinner in New York, although many of the guests are actively involved New Yorkers, and the discussion aims toward the constructive, almost unique when it comes to political discussions.

Among the guests Wednesday night were Julia Stiles, Chris Meloni, Frederic Fekkai, artist Makoto Fujimura; New York’s Schools Chancellor Joel Klein, Damian Woetzel of the New York City Ballet; Partnership for New York President and Founder Kathryn Wylde, Ted Roosevelt IV, the ubiquitous Peggy Siegal, HP Chief Marketing Officer Michael Mendenhall; Sony’s Rob Wiesenthal; Vartan Gregorian, Bill Weld, Carolyn Barley Britton, Terry Fassburg, Siemens Chief Marketing Officer Tom Haas, and Goldman Sach’s David May, among many others.
David May
Vartan Gregorian and Kathryn Wylde
Ta-Nehisi Coates
Deb Fallows, Jay Lauf, Tom Haas, and Jim Fallows
Joel Klein and Kathryn Wylde
Richard Johnson and Mauro Maccioni
Boykin Curry, Reshma Saujani, Celerie Kemble, and Rob Wiesenthal
Judy and Makoto Fujimora
Julia Stiles and Chris Meloni
Michael Mendenhall
Leslie Marshall, Boykin Curry, and Celerie Kemble
Richard Johnson, Shirin von Wulffen, and Frederic Fekkai
Photographs by Patrick McMullan

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