Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Destiny Rising

Anne Surovek, Allen West and Mayor Gail Coniglio
Dancers snuck out for a break at the Pinkberry Yogurt shop during the NYC Dance Alliance Foundation's first anniversary at The Joyce Theater.
The NYC Dance Alliance Foundation (NYCDAF) celebrated its first anniversary at The Joyce Theater on January 16th with a dazzling evening of dance artistry “Destiny Rising” featuring outstanding NYCDA alumni, the dynamic choreography of NYCDA faculty and special guest performances by stars of prominent dance companies, all to benefit the NYCDAF College Scholarship Program.

Many of the performers who made their Joyce Theater debut are NYCDAF scholarship winners. 

Monday evening’s gala performance certainly lived up to its title, as audiences were treated to magnificent performances by well known alumni and tomorrow’s dance world stars. With a cadre of young dancers – some only 14 – these future stars executed performances that were astonishing in their level of technique, polish, poise and passion.
Anne Surovek, Allen West and Mayor Gail Coniglio
Destiny Rising Curtain Call with NYCDAF's Joe Lanteri
Launched  by Joe Lanteri, Founder & Executive Director of The New York City Dance Alliance, the foundation last August distributed an astounding $2.8 million in scholarships to promising young dancers at NYCDA”s Summer Convention last year.

As a result, The Joyce was packed to the rafters with aspiring young dancers many from colleges participating in the NYCDAF Scholarship Program including Marymount Manhattan, Philadelphia’s University of the Arts and Mercyhurst. They were there to cheer on their fellow students and celebrate an organization whose mission is the empowerment of young professional dancers through education.

The fast paced evening directed by Lanteri jumped into high gear with a sinuous and sensuous contemporary piece titled “In the Beginning” choreographed by NYCDA faculty member Lauren Adams and set to music by NYCDA alum Angela Brickhouse. Gillian Abbott. Jakob Karr, David Norworthy, Ida Saki, Corey Snide and Lea Ved were featured.

Lauren Adams "In the Beginning."
Joe Lanteri welcomed guests and in his opening remarks recapped the successes of the past year and shying away from raising the bar once again shared his belief that NYCDF would surpass its scholarship grants in 2012 thanks to new corporate and foundation interest in the program. He then brought out the young troupe of dancers from Plumb Performing Arts Center in Arizona to perform a brilliant work by Thang Dao. Kamber Hart, Shae Hart, Jordan Pelliteri, Dorie Reiter and Jacqueline Verge were featured.

Ballerina Catherine Hurlin currently at the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School at American Ballet Theatre twirled her way into everyone’s hearts with a charming piece “Flames of Paris” from the original choreography by Vasily Vainonen. (Catherine celebrated her 16th birthday performing with NYCDA in Orlando this weekend. She has been with NYCDA since age 7)

Next up was STEPS Repertory Ensemble performing “Knead” an athletic and fresh piece created by 2011 Astaire Award nominee Benoit-Swan Pouffer. Dancers were Clara Belenus, Landes Dixon, Jesse Dunham, Marielis Garcia, Ricky Kuperman, Kyle Mullins and Mindy Upin.

A special guest performance by alumni 3X NYCDA champion Melissa Hough and 2x Champion Garrett Smith, both with the Houston Ballet dancing Smith’s choreographic debut ”Unseen”. Set to Schubert’s “Death and the Maiden” the premiere enraptured the crowd.

Still another NYCDA alumnus Jason Parsons contributed “Without Sinking” set to music by fellow alumna Angela Brickhouse. The work featured NYCDA alumnae Noreen Carruthers, Kate Harpootian & Addison Reese.
Anne Surovek, Allen West and Mayor Gail Coniglio
Plumb PAC in Thang Dao's "Waiting Women."
Anne Surovek, Allen West and Mayor Gail Coniglio
Catherine Hurlin in Vainonen's "Flames of Paris."
Anne Surovek, Allen West and Mayor Gail Coniglio
Houston Ballet's Melissa Hough & Garrett Smith in Smith's ”Unseen."
Anne Surovek, Allen West and Mayor Gail Coniglio
Noreen Carruthers, Kate Harpootian, Addison Reese in Jason Parsons's "Without Sinking."
Anne Surovek, Allen West and Mayor Gail Coniglio
STEPS Repertory Ensemble performing “Knead.”
Anne Surovek, Allen West and Mayor Gail Coniglio
Marymount Manhattan Dance Company in Abdur-Rahin Jackson's" Short Cuts Take Longer."
Following this, the incomparable Camille A. Brown with slouch hat pulled down over her face danced her own solo piece “The Evolution of a Secured Feminine” originally commissioned in 2011 for Alvin American Dance Theater. Set to tunes by Betty Carter and Nancy Wilson, the piece via Ms. Brown has great humor and power.

The University of the Arts Dance Ensemble of Philadelphia performed an excerpt from “Variations and Improvisations” based on William Forsythe’s “The Vile Parody of Address” This excerpt was self curated by UArts dancers and alumnae and was based on a performance from the Winter Dances 2011 Forsythe Project directed by Douglas Becker. Dancers included several NYCDA alumni Noelle Cotler & Patrick Cubbedge and Brett Lockey, Emily Royston, Tommy Schimmel & Ashleigh Whitworth.

Camille Brown in her own piece, “The Evolution of a Secured Feminine.”
Former American Ballet star Susan Jaffe.
Special guest artists New York City Ballet stars Tiler Peck and Robert Fairchild, both NYCDA alumni performed the gorgeously provocative “The Man I Love” from “Who Cares” created by the genius George Balanchine and set to the music of George Gershwin.

Former American Ballet Theater prima ballerina Susan Jaffe made a special onstage appearance in support of NYCDAF’s mission and was greeted with a thunderous ovation when she came to the stage and spoke of the importance of education.

Young David Flores of Costa Rica now attending Marymount on a scholarship he received at last summer’s convention was charmingly eloquent in the effect NYCDAF had and continues to have on his life.

3 X NYCDA champion & the first recipient of The Astaire Scholarship this past year
Corey Snide took to the stage and endeared himself to the audience with his story of moving forward in achieving his life dreams by studying at Julliard.

The finale was a visually stunning, eye-popping piece by award winning choreographer Abdur-Rahim Jackson which opened with a small mountain of bodies, stage right that began writhing sensually before sliding to the floor and taking off on a high energy romp around the stage. Essaying Jackson’s exotic moves was a veritable army of young dancers from Marymount Manhattan Dance Company that included Zoey Anderson, Sarah Buscaino, Alessandro Cottone, Mia Deweese, Elizabeth Dunn, John Dwyer, David Escoto, Sindy Folgar, Andrew Fountain, Sarah Haarmann, Corey Hathaway, Holly Jones, Alexandra Lyons, Torrey, McAnena, Daniel Moore, Armando Morales, Brian Murray, Matthew Roberts, Kaitlyn Salisbury, Austin Sora, Danielle tamburro, Caitlyn Taylor and Britney Tokumoto.

Dance companies featured included STEPS Repertory Ensemble, Marymount Manhattan Dance Company, University of the Arts Dance Ensemble and special guests Foundation Star Supporters and Plumb Performing Arts of Arizona

Among the crowd giving the entire cast a very well deserved standing ovation were CTFD Executive Director Alexander Dube, Dance Magazine Editor in Chief Wendy Perron, Fred & Adele Astaire Awards producer Patricia Watt, philanthropist Jean Shafiroff, choreographer Scott Jovovich, playwright Jenny Lyn Bader, designer Berry Brown, actress Cassandra Seidenfeld, performer Michael-Demby Cain, choreographer Abdur-Rahim Jackson and his wife Alvin Ailey dancer Olivia Bowman Jackson,  Dance Spirit Deputy Editor Allison Feller, Complexions Artistic Director Desmond Richardson, NYCDA faculty member Kenny Easter and hundreds more.
Anne Surovek, Allen West and Mayor Gail Coniglio
Talk Back with the NYCDA choreographers and guest artists.
An engaging an informative talk back featuring the NYCDA alumni and special guests followed the performance.

After the final round of applause, the elated guests and dancers trooped across the street for an after party at Chelsea hotspot hot-spot Nisos for cocktails and a delectable Greek feast laid out by proprietor Steven Antonatos. There Joe Lanteri, NYCDA managing director Leah Brandon and General Manager Travis Fritsche greeted guests and accepted much deserved kudos for an extraordinary evening that will go far to assist the dance stars of tomorrow.

Meanwhile, some of those stars of tomorrow sneaked out of the party for some surreptitious smokes and a visit to the neighboring Pinkberry Yogurt!
Anne Surovek, Allen West and Mayor Gail Coniglio
Clif de Raita and Bruce Michael
Anne Surovek, Allen West and Mayor Gail Coniglio
Walter Rutledge and Johnny Gentry
Anne Surovek, Allen West and Mayor Gail Coniglio
Caitlin Taylor and Maria Triano
Anne Surovek, Allen West and Mayor Gail Coniglio
Sarah Bierstock, Patricia Watt, and Jenny Lyn Bader
Anne Surovek, Allen West and Mayor Gail Coniglio
NYCDA Winner and 1st Astaire Scholarship Recipient Julliard student, Corey Snide
Anne Surovek, Allen West and Mayor Gail Coniglio
Garrett Smith is congratulated by friends
Anne Surovek, Allen West and Mayor Gail Coniglio
Choreographers Scott Jovovich and Lauren Adams
Anne Surovek, Allen West and Mayor Gail Coniglio
Cassandra Seidenfeld Lyster and John Wegorzewski
Anne Surovek, Allen West and Mayor Gail Coniglio
Scott Jovovich and JoAnn Hunter
Anne Surovek, Allen West and Mayor Gail Coniglio
Melissa Hough and Beth Hough
Anne Surovek, Allen West and Mayor Gail Coniglio
Olivia Bowman Jackson and Wendy Perron
Anne Surovek, Allen West and Mayor Gail Coniglio
Olivia Bowman Jackson and choreographer Abdur-Rahin Jackson
Anne Surovek, Allen West and Mayor Gail Coniglio
Kelly McCormack, Wayne Petro, Liz Gallagher and Jim Roger
Anne Surovek, Allen West and Mayor Gail Coniglio
Annie, Caitlin, and Glenn Taylor
Anne Surovek, Allen West and Mayor Gail Coniglio
Michael Lockhart and Lisa Danias
Anne Surovek, Allen West and Mayor Gail Coniglio
Edward Callaghan and Alix Michel
Anne Surovek, Allen West and Mayor Gail Coniglio
Joe Lanteri and Berry Brown
Anne Surovek, Allen West and Mayor Gail Coniglio
Jean Shafiroff and Joe Lanteri
Anne Surovek, Allen West and Mayor Gail Coniglio
Young dancers Amanda Ulibarri, Corey Snide,Gaby Wright, Ida Saki, Ashley Lindsey, and Kate Harpootlian
Anne Surovek, Allen West and Mayor Gail Coniglio
David Jackson, Jahmal Chase, and Michael-Demby Cain
Anne Surovek, Allen West and Mayor Gail Coniglio
Alex Fraioli, Ida Saki, Amanda Ulibarri, and Gaby Wright
Anne Surovek, Allen West and Mayor Gail Coniglio
Jim Rogers, Joe Lanteri, Katie Langan, Kelly McCormack, and Wayne Petro
Anne Surovek, Allen West and Mayor Gail Coniglio
Travis Fritsche, David Garcia, Tom Pelliteri, and Lisa Pelliteri
Anne Surovek, Allen West and Mayor Gail Coniglio
Kamber Hart, Josh Good, and Shae Hart
Anne Surovek, Allen West and Mayor Gail Coniglio
Jacquelyn Berge and Jordan Pelliteri
Anne Surovek, Allen West and Mayor Gail Coniglio
Johnny Gentry, Olivia Bowman Jackson, and Walter Rutledge
Anne Surovek, Allen West and Mayor Gail Coniglio
Leah Brandon and Kathryn Dianos
Anne Surovek, Allen West and Mayor Gail Coniglio
The after party at Nisos
This past Monday night at Gotham Hall, The Old Vic hosted a Gala evening, Old Vic New York. The evening included a number of British and American theatre personalities such as Jeff Goldblum and Kim Cattrall, participating in an onstage theatrical revue led by Kevin Spacey.  There were musical numbers, sketches, comedy and more  celebrating 193 years of The Old Vic.

During Kevin Spacey’s 8 years as Arstistic Director of The Old Vic, they have produced nine American plays, employing more than three dozen Americans, as well as staging seven productions with American audiences, including Eugene O’Neill’s “A Moon for the Misbegotten” in 2007 and “The Norman Conquests.”
Dina De Luca Chartouni, Kevin Spacey, Sally Greene, and Alec Baldwin
Kevin Spacey, Nathan Darrow, Simon Lee Phillips, and Andrew Long
Kevin Spacey, Cerina Criss, Darren Criss, and Bill Criss
Jeff Goldblum, Emilie Livingston, Tom Korbas, and John Richardson
Tom Korbas, Stephanie Goldman, Rob Cooper, Lynne Berard, Kevin Spacey, Kate Hoth, Don Walden, and Joe Cardona
Kimberly Putzer, Reed Kelly, Elaine Paige, and Justin Mallinson
Bianca Colbath, Jessie James, James Connolly, and Melissa Banigan
Simon Lee Phillips, Susan Gossage, Johnny Grant, and Katie Thomson
Proceeds from the benefit support The American Associates of The Old Vic, a non-profit organization that supports the work of The Old Vic and in particular its commitment to presenting American plays and collaborating with American Artists.
Dina De Luca Chartouni, Alec Baldwin, and Isabella Chartouni
Michelle Herbert
Ann Keating, Stephen Fry, and Sally Greene
Kevin Spacey and Darren Criss
Mike Gelband, Debra Gelband, and Tom Marino
Rick Stevens, Sue Vaccaro, and Rick Morris
Michael Hintze and Hamish Jenkinson
Matthew Lemerle and Mary Lou D' Silva
Alexander Jilkes and Misha Nonoo
Adam and Olivia Flatto
Susan Gilchrist, Kevin Spacey, Dina De Luca Chartouni, and Anne Keating
Joanne Horowitz and Hamish Jenkinson
Jane del Missier and Christian Carmago
Aida Bicaj and Amy Nauiokas
George Kolasa, Sally Susman, and Justin Tarquinio
Gavin Stenhouse and Nathan Darrow
Kevin Spacey and Alan Cumming
Jay Snyder, Carol Holmes McCarthy, and Phillipe Delouvrier
Rachel Weinstein and Jason Pizer
Pat and Jesse Lovejoy
Kate Pakenham, Frank Converse, and Maureen Anderman
Bernadette Toomey and Anne Keating
Emilie Livingston, Jeff Goldblum, and Sally Greene
Stephanie Madden and Bruce Guthrey
Charlotte St. Martin and Karen Brookes Hopkins
Irwin Ackerman, Emily Ackerman, and Mary Ackerman
Jeff Goldblum and Kevin Spacey
Lex Fenwick
Carl Howell, Lucky Gretzinger, and Vance Garrett
Joe Melilo and Charlotte St. Martin
Remmel Dickinson and Pam Laudenslager
Jennifer Diamond, Nell Diamond, and Bob Diamond
Jeff Goldblum and Emilie Livingston
Sally Greene, Johnny Grant, and Haydn Gwynne
Sonjay Trasad and Amanda Wood
Joseph Wallace and Hugh Wilkinson
The Policemen's Ball, the Palm Beach Police Foundation's annual fundraiser at Mar-a-Lago on January 7, 2012, paid tribute to the Palm Beach Police Department's men and women in blue and civilian employees.

The gala drew nearly 600 supporters and friends, including officers and employees from the Palm Beach Police Department, local civic leaders including U.S. Representative Allen West, State Attorney Michael McAuliffe, Former FBI Director Louis Freeh, Palm Beach County Sheriff Ric Bradshaw, Palm Beach Mayor Gail Coniglio and members of the Town Council of Palm Beach.  Celebrity guests included rocker Rod Stewart and his wife, Penny; legendary musical producer David Foster, supermodel Veronica Webb and CIRCA CEO Chris Del Gatto; Ramona Singer, one of the Real Housewives of New York City and her husband, Mario Singer.
Tim Moran, Chief Kirk and Tasha Blouin, Eileen Burns, John Scarpa
Tim Moran, Chief Kirk and Tasha Blouin, Eileen Burns, and John Scarpa
Annie and Michael Falk were the Dinner Chairmen, and Eileen and Brian P. Burns, the past dinner chairmen, served as Honorary Chairmen this year. Michele and Howard Kessler, winners of this year's Palm Tree Award given in recognition of their outstanding community service, received the award during a special presentation by John Scarpa, the Foundation President, who  cofounded it with Vice President Tim Moran; and foundation Board Member David Mack.
The evening began with a tented poolside cocktail reception where guests enjoyed cocktails and hors d'oeuvres. They were then escorted to the Grand Ballroom where Palm Beach Pipes and Drums played at the entryway followed by the Presentation of the Colors by the Palm Beach Police Department Honor Guard.  The National Anthem was performed by Lou Galterio, and the Invocation was given by Fred Hess, a former captain now in charge of training and community relations. The gala took place during the first full moon of the year, and event designer Tom Mathieu masterfully executed the Planetarium-chic design.
Donald Trump, Penny Lancaster, Rod Stewart, David Foster
Donald Trump, Penny Lancaster, Rod Stewart, and David Foster
Scarpa welcomed the guests, and with Moran introduced Kirk Blouin, the director of Public Safety, who presented a very surprised Palm Beach Police Officer Joseph Recarey, the inaugural "Officer of the Year" award plaque and a $5,000 check from the foundation. Other evening highlights included an exciting live auction conducted by Bill Bone that included a dazzling white gold necklace with heart shaped links and diamonds totaling over 14 carats with a retail value of $20,000 that fetched $25,000.  The necklace was donated by the corporate event sponsor CIRCA, the leading global buyer of jewelry, diamonds and watches from the public. Three "Sheriff for a Day" experiences, auctioned for $18,000 each, and a Football Fantasy with the Tampa Buccaneers, that went for $5,000 were among other exciting items.

The proceeds raised from the live auction and ticket sales totaled approximately $750,000 and will benefit the Palm Beach Police Department and its employees.  Following the auction, the guests enjoyed a sumptuous dinner and entertainment provided by Party on the Moon that kept a constant crowd on the dance floor.
The Palm Beach Police Foundation is a charitable organization that underwrites programs, and accepts and manages tax deductible gifts and donations for the benefit of the Palm Beach Police Department and its employees. 
Mark Rose and Bridget Moran
Mark Rose and Bridget Moran
Tracy and Matthew Smith
Tracy and Matthew Smith
Howard Bernick and Nancy Brinker
Howard Bernick and Nancy Brinker
Gigi Falk, Annie Falk and  Kayla Falk
Gigi, Annie, and Kayla Falka
Darcie and Joel Kassewitz
Darcie and Joel Kassewitz
Anne Surovek, Allen West and Mayor Gail Coniglio
Anne Surovek, Allen West, and Mayor Gail Coniglio
Veronica Webb and  Chris Del Gatto
Veronica Webb and Chris Del Gatto
Rick and Susan Howe
Rick and Susan Howe
Daniel and Cheryl Szarszewski
Daniel and Cheryl Szarszewski
Ramona and Mario Singer
Ramona and Mario Singer

Photographs by; Eduardo & Annie Watt (NYCDAF); Lucien Capehart Photography (Policeman's Ball).
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