On Wednesday, December 4, 2019, The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts celebrated the Jerome Robbins Dance Division’s 75th anniversary with a unique gala that raised more than $723,000 in critical funds that will help the division document, collect, and preserve the history of dance and provide free services and programs for all.
More than 200 attendees moved through the Library for the Performing Arts in Lincoln Center viewing site-specific dances created specifically for the occasion by Ephrat Asherie, The Bang Group, Jean Butler, Adrian Danchig-Waring, Heidi Latsky, Michelle Manzanales, Rajika Puri, and Pam Tanowitz. Staged in the stacks, reading room tables, hallways, and stairways, these performances featured dancers including Chelsea Ainsworth, Chris Bloom, Jason Collins, Shelby Colona, Lindsey Jones, Jeffrey Kazin, Victor Lozano, Aishwarya Madhav, Georgina Pazcoguin, Nic Petry, Jaclyn Rea, Tommy Seibold, Amber Sloan, Gretchen Smith, Leslie Taub, Melissa Toogood, and Peter Trojic.
The performances concluded in the Library’s Bruno Walter Auditorium with a special performance of excerpts from Jerome Robbins’ Other Dances, featuring American Ballet Theatre Principal Dancer Sarah Lane and New York City Ballet Principal Dancer Gonzalo Garcia. Robbins originally created the work for a fundraiser to support the Library.
The Jerome Robbins Dance Division 75th Anniversary Gala was chaired by Caroline Cronson & The Jerome Robbins Foundation. The Committee for the Jerome Robbins Dance Division includes Charles Adelman, Dr. Jeffrey Borer, Beverly D’Anne, Hubert Goldschmidt, Perry Granoff, Allen Greenberg, Caroline H. Hyman, Peter Kayafas, Nancy Lassalle, Kate Lear, Marion Martin, Alison Mazzola, Madeleine Nichols, Dr. Meryl Rosofsky, Elizabeth Simpson, Edward Villella, and William H. Wright II.
The Jerome Robbins Dance Division is the world’s largest dance archive with an international and extensive collection that spans seven centuries. We provide a community space for dance professionals, researchers and the general public, offering programs and exhibitions, a dance studio for special projects, educational activities, residencies, fellowships, documentation of performances and oral histories and, of course, dance reference services, all free of charge.
Photographs by Patrick McMullan