The New York City Dance Alliance Foundation (NYCDAF), a forward-thinking charity committed to shaping the future lives and training of young dancers, returns to NYU Skirball Center, October 1, for an eclectic and star-studded gala event to raise funds for college scholarships. With over 200 dancers sharing in $2 million dollars to attend the colleges of their choice since the Foundation’s inception in 2010, NYCDAF’s “Bright Lights Shining Stars” brings together performers and dance educators to further its mission to broaden and advocate for performing arts awareness and training. The evening’s presenters include Joel Grey (Cabaret, Chicago, Goodtime Charley), Bebe Neuwirth (Sweet Charity, Chicago) and Patricia Birch (Over Here!)—more appearances to be announced.
The one-night event will recognize Ann Reinking with the 5th Annual NYCDA Foundation “Ambassador for the Arts” Award, presented by Tony Award winner Chita Rivera The multi-award-winning American actress, dancer, and choreographer continues to impact, educate and inspire the next generation through her contribution to the entertainment industry over multiple decades. Past esteemed recipients have included Roberta Flack, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Katherine Zeta Jones, and most recently, Debbie Allen.
With generous cooperation from the Verdon Fosse Legacy, the evening will revisit well-known moments from Reinking’s career—a performance of “Dancin’ Man” by the original cast of Fosse(directed by Reinking), Charlotte D’Amboise and Amra-Faye Wright will perform John Kander’s “Nowadays/Hot Honey Rag” from Chicago, and Valarie Pettiford (Fosse) will perform “Life is Just a Bowl of Cherries,” the opening number from Fosse, along with a recreation of “Charlie’s Place” from Patricia Birch’s Over Here. Dylis Croman (Fosse, Chicago) and Phillip Attmore (Hello Dolly, Shuffle Along) mentored by Reinking through her Broadway Theater Project will also perform, to both showcase and bridge Reinking’s contributions across several generations and capacities. The evening will also include a special performance dedicated to Ann by longtime peer Bebe Neuwirth.
The evening will also feature performances by New York City Ballet dancers Brittany Pollack (Soloist) and Daniel Ulbricht (Principal) and Broadway performer Eloise Kropp (On the Town, Dames at Sea, Cats). Members of BHdos will restage Reinking’s Ritmo Y Ruido, which made its premiere on the Joyce stage in 1998.
“It is because of our supporters and patrons that we have been able to help so many dancers actualize their college goals over these last7 years,” remarks Joe Lanteri, founder and Executive Director of New York City Dance Alliance. “To be able to curate a celebratory evening like Bright Lights Shining Stars and honor the great Ann Reinking is a wonderful personification of how necessary the legacy and trajectory of the arts is to dancers of today and tomorrow.”
Additionally, with a national grassroots fundraising campaign in place, there are hundreds of schools working to raise funds for the Foundation’s scholarship initiative. The evening will spotlight this year’s highest fundraising studio, Inspire School of Dance from Naperville, Illinois, as the Foundations Star Supporters. Having raised a total of $20,000 in 2017, the studio will bring 20 dancers, ages 10-18, to perform and share the stage with this incredible lineup of professional artists.
All proceeds from “Bright Lights Shining Stars” will go towards scholarships for secondary and college training and continuing NYCDAF’s dance education advocacy efforts.
Bright Lights Shining Stars
NYU Skirball Center
566 LaGuardia Place