Tuesday, October 13, 2015

CTFD Gala 2015

Ann Marie DeAngelo (AMD)
" That rare event—a beautifully paced fundraiser with genuine glamour and excitement.  "

CTFD Gala 2015 was the perfect amalgamate (amalgamate: to combine, merge, unite, fuse, blend, meld) an eclectic variety of American dance reflecting something new in how the talents and choreographic voices intertwined, and were woven energetically. The evening was also an intimate invitation into our dancer journey.

“We are at a point in time when the past meets the future...”   
                                        --  Ann Marie DeAngelo

Peter Campbell
"These bagpipes are noisy and so are your cell phones, so please turn them off...."

American Dance Collage
The unexpected array of talent in this opening number not only pointed to the future, but kicked off an exciting blend of American dance styles....opening the door for more to follow.

Written by Ann Marie DeAngelo and Kathleen Fitzgerald
The poetry performed by actor/musicians, Thomas Campbell and Peter Campbell 

T’was 1776 they say, America’s real birthday
Tho culture young we did make TV, Talkies, and the art of Broadway 
But Dance did advance - certainly by our hand
As a need to be Free, it grew with variety...
Come with me and see! 

American Repertory Ballet
Choreography by Douglas Martin

Boots were worn for the 1st Hoedown, drills danced tight and neat                                          
Caller by the fiddle was clad in spurs, cryin’ Allemande left - talk now with your feet

Karen Moscato and Mattia Pallozzi
Choreography by Ann Marie DeAngelo

Karen Moscato and Mattia Pallozzi

From Europe we took it, made it our own dancers and dances fresh and homegrown
Though Ballet came from France, we shaped it and gave it another chance 

Mary LaCroix and Barry Lohr

T’was Isadora who paved the way for the Moderns to be born
Ruth or Ted or Martha, Alwin, Alvin or Jose - who  holds high the Torch today? 

Thomas, Peter, Jason (AMD) in rehearsal

Then came pounding feet, Blacks and Cloggers in the street
at Five Points they 
battledout/anew/form battledout/anew/form, battledout/anew/form, 
and American Tap was born
Jason Samuels Smith

Jazz Roots Dance Company
Choreography by Sue Samuels

5 and a 6 and a 7 and a 8 -- the sound of Jazz blew open the gate
Smooth as silk, sexy sweet -- Jaaazzzz dance - Soooo sleek...

Richie (in air) Bounce (on ground) with Thomas and Peter

Ephrat "Bounce" Asheria and Richard McQuire
with Thomas and Peter

From the Break came the back-beat, in the ghetto revolution for peace 
as the poets, markers, dancers  made
 “Hip hop”a global pheat
National Dance Institute
Choreography by Mary Kennedy

Host Cynthia Gregory then presented the Career Transition for Dancer Awards to philanthropists Andrew Faas, Irene and Fred Shen, and Misty Widelitz

Cynthia Gregory

Excitement came from a seminal artist of our time Misty Copeland, who represented American Ballet Theater (she's come a long way to say the least since she danced one of my ballets in ABT II.) I was surprised she was even available, and though had asked her if she'd do a classical pas, am glad she offered up a contemporary solo by ABT star Marcelo Gomes. She was extraordinary in this classic paring with violinist Charles Yang.


Ballin’ The Jack

Another seminal artist (two on one program!) was New York City Ballet's Robert Fairchild.  And currently starring on Broadway in American in Paris for which he has received many accolades. This solo with choreography after Gene Kelly was unadulterated American dance.  

Innovation followed from New York Song Dance Company (below) with tap/theater choreography by Noah Racey....an original (hard to use that word these days) representation blending the old and new.

I've Got You Under My Skin

Elena D'Amario

Bebe Neuwirth and Company
Next came the well-known modern American "classic" dance and show-stopper by David Parsons. CAUGHT!

Another American classic in Bob Fosse (and Ann Reinking's version) with the memorable "All That Jazz" from Chicago.  It is great to see the real deal, authentic members of the Fosse “tribe” executing to simple and absolute perfection those classic Fosse moves!  Chita Rivera was in the audience - another classic!
with Brad Fields and my book cover, Produce Yourself!

The segment following was an insight - reflecting on why everyone was gathered, and a moment in time to express a sentiment that all dancers share when the next step is unclear.  And thanking the thousands who have donated their time and talents for this cause.....also my testament to keep an organization such as this alive...

Mary LaCroix and Barry Lohr

"Dancers are fearless, dancers live positivity, dancers have an unwavering commitment to the dance-god, dancers are not afraid to put their soul's on display and share something larger than all of us. But we become vulnerable when we can't see a life outside the studio or on stage....truth is, we never really stop being dancers, the dancer stays alive in us always...like the mythical Phoenix which you can't kill...offering a message of hope and vision for the future be it for dancers, an organization or anyone."

Kids point to the future... in Ballet Tech’s Kids Dance: KYDZNY (2014)

Choreography by Eliot Feld

Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Douglas

They arrived 10 minutes before presenting the Rolex Award to Shirley MacLaine. I rushed them upstairs to our Production room - quickly giving them their staging, and script. Moments later I was on stage in the testimonial segment. After they came off stage from speaking Michael cornered me in the wing...."Yeah I know, I'm like a chicken without a head...there one moment, here the next...."  He laughed "We were thinking the exact same thing watching you upstairs -- on stage just moments after you had met with us!"

"Wish we could see her now - here's Shirley MacLaine!"

And Shirley was revealed center stage to the band playing "If They Could See Me Now" from Sweet Charity.  The audience simply stood up!

Shirley MacLaine
"Oh my, this is the best night I’ve spent in 600,000 years, and the best show I’ve seen in 600,000 years! 
....I have to say that dancers are the athletes of the gods...there’s nothing more successful than hiring a dancer for anything...we’re organized, we’re on time, we basically know who to be afraid of, we listen, we are content to wait, we are team players. That is what I think has sustained me all these years...which I think I will never forget nor will I not compliment the Art itself and what it took as a young kid to go every day and to be wedded to the idea of physical expression.
I sort of think the Art of dancing is the human beings attempt to preserve his or her imagination against time."

......dinner at the Hilton after a long day!

A classic Cha Cha to perfection danced with a sexy, sweet flavor by Arthur Murray....

Alena Sentyabreva and Christopher Gerges

An evening to remember!

Review Quotes:


"Ann Marie DeAngelo, the longtime producer and director has outdone herself this year with a smooth and satisfying program, balancing entertaining dance numbers with just the right amount of speechifying .... a gala that out-gala-ed the previous ones"

 "... choreographed with simplicity and style by the fearless leader of the event, Ms. DeAngelo"

"Ms. DeAngelo guided and rehearsed ... in some of her lyrical choreography..."

"...a great show... the lobby buzz was tellingly loud and positive."  !!

Broadway World:

"The spectacular show produced and directed by Ann Maria DeAngelo opened with a cast of 80 presenting an American Dance Collage" 

"....a fast-paced production...."



AMD with KL and Mattia

AMD with KL and Mattia

Marcelo Gomes in rehearsal for Misty with Charles Yang

AMD with Mary and Barry
AMD and Mattia

AMD and Mary

AMD and Joffrey Concert Group
AMD, Cynthia, Maria 

AMD and Mary
Mary and Barry
Musical Director Jim Morgan and Sue Samuels
12 Count Phrase "1"

12 Count Phrase "3"
12 Count Phrase "4"
12 Count Phrase "5"

Mary and Barry during Modern text

NOTE:  Performance photos curtesy of Richard Termine. Rehearsal photos Steven Speliotis, and studio shots John Hoenig.

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