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"A Star-Studded Retrospective" - Career Transition for Dancers 25th Anniversary Jubilee
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"A Star-Studded Retrospective" - Career Transition for Dancers 25th Anniversary Jubilee

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A Star-Studded Retrospective
Career Transition for Dancers 25th Anniversary Jubilee
In Memory of Caroline and Theodore Newhouse
Dedicated to Sono Osato Elmaleh and Victor Elmaleh

Their Founding Performing Arts Unions
The Barth Family
Cynthia G. Fischer
Trisha Brown
Twyla Tharp
At New York City Center, NYC

Presented by Rolex

Producer and Director: Ann Marie DeAngelo Executive Producer: Alexander J. Dubé
Lighting Designer: Brad Fields
Production Stage Manager: Lori Rosecrans Wekselblatt
Press: KPM Associates: Kevin P. McAnarney

Musical Director: Jim Morgan
Announcer: Ronald J. Hoffman
The Silver Jubilee Orchestra
25th Anniversary Chairs: Michele Herbert,
Anka K. Palitz, Nicole Sexton, Allen Brill

Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
November 8, 2010

(See America Dances! Review, November 2, 2009)

The New York dance and theatre community once again wound its way into a packed City Center for the Career Transition for Dancers 25th Anniversary Jubilee, this year appropriately called, “A Star-Studded Retrospective”. And, star-studded it was, with Angela Lansbury as Host, in gracious remarks welcoming the patrons of this worthy benefit for dancers who seek new careers or need help from dance injuries or even more serious catastrophes. CTFD, as it’s called, holds an annual benefit that embraces all American dance performers and choreographers, and every year the event seems to surpass in glamour, if possible, the previous year’s event. Tonight’s show opened with Nathalie Enterline, an acrobatic dancer with red costume, hat, and cane, who made frequent, brief, campy entrances. “Shall We Dance”, from The King and I, brought out the National Dance Institute Celebration team, in a piece choreographed by Christopher d’Amboise. This was a youthful, colorful, rambunctious athletic ensemble, and they energized the hall.

The CTFD Awards began by honoring its Founding Performing Arts Unions, the Barth Family, Cynthia G. Fischer, and past honorees. Ms. Lansbury’s comments, as always, were heartfelt and classy. “The Audition” dance, from 42nd Street, choreographed by Gower Champion, was led by Randy Skinner, and the tap-dance ensemble had the audience beating rhythm in their seats. One of my favorite Alvin Ailey dances was next, taken from Ailey’s Revelations, “Sinner Man”. Tonight’s performers were Daniel Harder, Jermaine Terry, and Marcus Jarrell Willis. Their speed and elevation were astounding, as expected. In a much more serene, sensual presentation, The Joffrey Ballet’s Fabrice Calmels and Valerie Robin danced Gerald Arpino’s Light Rain Pas de Deux, to a score by Douglas Adams and Russ Gauthier. I was so appreciative of my front side orchestra seat, as this pas de deux was so compelling and alluring. The dancers literally wound themselves about each other in dim, incandescent lighting.

Picking up the beat, once again, was The Last Mambo, choreographed by Benito Garcia, to Tito Puente’s “Mambo Gozon”. Six couples, many not Latino, were impressive in full clavé rhythm, bodies up to speed, transporting us to San Juan. Tonight’s programming was brilliant, as large ensembles were often followed by duos, and here we experienced MOMIX’ Millennium Skiva, with Todd Burnsed and Yasmine Lee. No matter how many times I see a MOMIX work, it’s always fresh and exciting, as this work was tonight. Two dancers on skis lean forward and back, defying gravity, even somersaulting on skis, amazing feats. Soon, Judine Somerville, a CTFD client spoke, and then Yuriko Kajiya and Daniil Simkin from American Ballet Theatre appeared to dance the dynamic Act III Pas de Deux from Don Quixote. I’ve been watching these two dancers for years, even when Mr. Simkin won a Gala Award and was then hand-chosen for ABT. They have recently blossomed into a unique, vivacious partnership, and they were thrilling to watch. Their leaps, fouettés, fast-then slow spins, and chemistry were all breathtaking. Naturally, the audience went wild.

Just as the audience was still on the edge of its seats, Miguel Quinones came out for David Parsons’ Caught. I’ve seen this piece with numerous dancers, male and female, but Mr. Quinones was a cut above. He seemed made of rubber fiber, his body twisting with extra gestures as he was “caught” in the strobe lights, seeming to float mid-air. It’s always a thrill to hear audience members gasping, who are new to this eye-deceiving work. Trisha Brown, Artistic Director and choreographer, received the 59th Capezio Dance Award tonight, and she was visibly moved. Anthony Giacoio of Capezio presented her award. Another CTFD client, Ronald J. Hoffman, spoke, and then it was time for the big shows, with Bebe Neuwirth, a regular onstage at CTFD events, leading an ensemble of twelve in “All That Jazz” from Chicago. Ms. Neuwirth, now onstage in The Addams Family, is as svelte as svelte could be, a role model for all of us. Her dancing and singing remains in peak form.

Now the ROLEX Award of a glittering watch was presented to Twyla Tharp, Artistic Director and Choreographer, by her longtime friend and collaborator, Edward Villella, Artistic Director of Miami City Ballet. First Mr. Villella praised Ms. Tharp and gave her the watch; then Ms. Tharp praised Mr. Villella and offered to share the watch. They created a performance of their own. The show-stopping finale, “I’m Really Dancing”, a World Premiere composed by Marvin Hamlisch and choreographed by Ann Marie DeAngelo, brought out numerous surprise guests, like Marvin Hamlisch on piano and Angela Lansbury on dance and vocals. Rupert Holmes wrote the lyrics, with Davis Caldwell doing arrangements and orchestrations. Additional performers included a star-studded cast: Karen Ziemba, Charlotte D’Amboise, Desmond Richardson, Bebe Neuwirth and Ann Reinking, Chita Rivera, Randy Skinner, Marge Champion, with Nathalie Enterline back onstage, Benjamin Needham-Wood, the American Tap Dance Foundation Youth Ensemble, with Tony Waag, Artistic Director/Choreographer, ABT II, and the World Cup All-Stars.

Kudos to the entire team that produced and performed on this show, kudos to ROLEX and Capezio, and kudos to Career Transition for Dancers.

National Dance Institute Celebration Team
in Shall We Dance
Courtesy of Richard Termine

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater
in "Sinner Man" from Revelations
Courtesy of Richard Termine

Bebe Neuwirth and Celebrity Ensemble
in "All That Jazz" from Chicago
Courtesy of Richard Termine

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For more information, contact Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower at