Marge Champion and
Donald Saddler

Martine Van Hamel and
Kevin McKenzie

Janice Becker and Fe Fendi

Chair Anka Palitz and ABT star
Paloma Herrera

Allan Brill, Patricia Kennedy and
honoree Gerald Arpino

Dance World Stars
Dazzle At City Center

Story by Edward T. Callaghan
Photos by Joe Schildkraut

AZZLING was the word outside New Yorkís City Center at the seasonís most extraordinary dance event, "Thatís Entertainment" Career Transition for Dancers 20th anniversary.

Rolex USA sponsored the gala, which featured a star-studded lineup of dance legends and upcoming stars of every stripe from ballet to Broadway to breakdance. And for a whimsical touch there were special treats of circus arts courtesy of Cirque du Soleil and Big Apple Circus.

With radiant Liza Minelli hosting, the evening jumped into high gear with a rousing opening number featuring dancers from American Ballet Theater and the World Cup Shooting Stars All Star Cheerleaders.

The evening included a stunning world premiere of Martha Graham Addresses a Century of Dance with Richard Move as Martha Graham narrating the visual movements of Balanchine, Isadora Duncan, Agnes De Mille and Graham.

Chair Patricia Kennedy, known as "the first lady of the Joffrey Ballet" for her support of the company, pulled in an elegant bicoastal crowd.

Special Baccarat CTFD awards went to Lewis S. Ranieri, chairman of the American Ballet Theater, presented by the acclaimed Donald Saddler, who was introduced by super-hot Broadway choreographer Jerry Mitchell.

Mercedes Ellington, sporting a huge feathered hat, introduced one of her early mentors, the legendary Marge Champion, who presented the second award to The Harkness Foundation for Dance.

Joined by actor Malcolm McDowell, Patricia Kennedy presented the Rolex Dance Award to her beloved Joffrey Ballet and its co-founder and artistic director Gerald Arpino.

In a most democratic fashion, the young dancers and the older patrons swarmed the dance floor for a nonstop evening of high energy partying, bumping up against such stars as Ben Vereen, Karen Ziemba, ABTís Paloma Herrera, Sandy Duncan were Cynthia Fischer and Ian Rice, Senator Norm Coleman, Lisa and Jay Larkin, Leila and Mickey Strauss, Sally Phillips, Laurence Krashes, Fe Fendi, Lionel Casseroux and Roberta Silbert Greene.

Anka K. Palitz was chair with vice chairs Helene Alexopoulos, Mercedes Ellington, Victoria Herbert and Laura Zackendorf. Dinner chair was Janice Baker. Anne Marie DeAngelo who chaired the artistic committee not only pulled in the top artists but also choreographed the smashing opening number.

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