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
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
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