Thursday, December 7, 2017

Actors Fund's/Career Transition for Dancers Gala 2017

The Actors Fund's Career Transition for Dancers Gala 2017

This was Year #2 for Career Transition for Dancers' annual fundraiser, which I produced and directed, being held at the Marriott Marquis Ballroom in New York City. Or rather, The Actors Funds’s Career Transition for Dancers  Jubilee Gala (a mouthful!). No theme this year, but an internal one of the coming together of two wonderful organizations that continue to do great work for the performing arts and entertainment communities.  

Martine Van Hamel in the evening's welcome!

The Host was Bebe Neuwirth! She is the founder of the Dancers' Resource program at the Actors Fund.

Bebe Neuwirth
—I’m thrilled to be here tonight. This is going to be a very starry, exciting night. Not only are you going to see several heart-stopping performances by some astonishing dancers, but we are also honoring three extraordinary individuals that are generous supporters and wonderful friends of CTFD and The Actors Fund.

Honorees and Presenters

TV personality Kelly Ripa presented the CTFD Award to Carrie Ann Inaba for her unique contributions to dance in entertainment.

Carrie Ann Inaba, Ann Marie DeAngelo, Kelly Ripa (l. to r.)

Tony Award winner Christopher Wheeldon presented the CTFD Award to Robert Fairchild for his extraordinary work in ballet and on Broadway.

Christopher Wheeldon, Ann Marie DeAngelo, Robert Fairchild (l. to r.)

Director Rob Marshall and Jon DeLuca presented the CTFD Award to Catherine Zeta-Jones for her multi-talents in dance, on stage and in film.

Katherine Zeta-Jones, Jon DeLuca, Rob Marshall (l. to r.)

2017 Participating Talent

Former Cirquedu Soleil artist Sara Joel performed an extravagantly unexpected pole dance to music of Kristy MacColl — In These Shoes.  That sure got people into the room in order to start the show!  

Sara Joel

Sara Joel
Jacques D’Amboise’s National Dance Institute danced a spunky piece called The Rent Party with music by Fats Waller, “This Joint is Jumpin'!”  It was choreographed by Artistic Director Ellen Weinstein.

National Dance Institute

National Dance Institute

 Next came former ABT ballerina Martine Van Hamel in a special tribute to the act of transitioning —It’s not the dancing that is hard to give up, but it is the Art of performing that is hard to replace....

Martine Van Hamel

The Cobbler and the Ballerina is an excerpt from a piece that will be presented on Capezio’s 130th anniversary show at the Smith Center in Las Vegas on May 14, 2018. Choreography was by Ann Marie DeAngelo. Dancers Mary LaCroix and Barrington Lohr performed, and they were also recipients of the Caroline Newhouse grants this year.

Mary LaCroix and Barrington Lohr

Mary LaCroix and Barrington Lohr
Performing a Fred-and-Ginger-like tap duo were Sara Brians and Randy Skinner, to “Begin the Beguine” — a repeat of their performance on our 2013 Gala at City Center.

Rounding out the first half of the program was Jamal Story’s What To Say — Notes on Echo and Narcissus, in a riveting aerial piece with partner Kylie Shea.
Jamal Story and Kylie Shea
Opening Part Two was Buglisi Dance Theatre in Requiem — an excerpt from this stunning full work created in 2001. Catch it next time the company performs in NYC! 

Buglisi Dance Theatre

Josh Prince’s Broadway Dance Lab danced his very entertaining piece Housework. The music is from “Free to Be….You and Me” by Sheldon Harnick, performed by Carol Channing. 

Broadway Dance Lab
We were lucky to have Bob Fosse’s Steam Heat staged by Fosse veteran Dana Moore, courtesy of the Verdon Fosse Legacy LLC. 

Last but not least was the spectacular DNA — Denys Drozdyuk and Antonia Skobina — who performed this past year on Jennifer Lopez’s World of Dance. The number called Irresistible, to Michael Jackson’s “Smooth Criminal,” brought down the house…it was a good closer to a great evening! 


I've always been a huge fan of Michael Douglas! 

Ann Marie DeAngelo and Michael Douglas

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