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"Jump for Joy!", a Gala Benefit for Career Transition for Dancers 27th Anniversary Jubilee at New York City Center
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"Jump for Joy!", a Gala Benefit for Career Transition for Dancers 27th Anniversary Jubilee at New York City Center

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Jump for Joy!
Career Transition for Dancers 27th Anniversary Jubilee
A Dance Variety Spectacular
At New York City Center, NYC

Presented by Rolex

Hosted by Angela Lansbury

With Appearances by:
Liza Minnelli, Chita Rivera, Mercedes Ellington

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

27th Anniversary Chairs:
Anka K. Palitz, Susan & Stewart Wicht

Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
November 5, 2012

Once again New York dance enthusiasts were royally entertained at the annual Career Transition for Dancers (CTFD) in its 27th Anniversary Jubilee. The mission of CTFD is to assist dancers who are injured, retiring, relocating, or in financial need. These dancers may emanate from Broadway, modern dance companies, ballet companies, flamenco, belly dance, tap, ethnic dance, and so many more dance genres. Every year there’s a Rolex Dance Award presented by the Sponsor to a renowned and revered figure in the dance community. This year’s honoree was Liza Minnelli, and, instead of the usual reading of a speech, thanking a list of family, friends, and colleagues, Ms. Minnelli treated the audience to front stage, off the cuff improvised comments, recalling her childhood backstage, when her mother (Judy Garland) was performing, and her desire at a young age to dance, modeling steps that she saw and heard in the wings. She showered the audience with genuine, impassioned warmth, deep from her heart, and there wasn’t a dry eye in the house. This is one performer who truly loves show business.

Angela Lansbury was an elegant, sophisticated, yet, as always, witty host, and she brought out the four winners of the Award for Outstanding Contributions to the World of Dance: Joni Berry, Michele Herbert, Gerald M. Appelstein, and Arthur Murray International, which dates back to 1912. Nate Cooper, a campy, vaudevillian athlete and dancer, appeared intermittently, even opening this show. The first dance included Cirque du Soleil in a rousing ensemble production to Lloyd G. Miller’s music. Dancing Classrooms Youth Dance Company performed “Sing, Sing, Sing”, choreographed by Alee Reed. Of course, the music was by Benny Goodman. This was a vibrant, percussive, hot jumping performance. Natalia Magnicaballi and Michael Cook, of The Suzanne Farrell Ballet, performed a rare Balanchine work, “Meditation”, with incandescent etherealness. But, as this is an eclectic event, Jason Samuels Smith followed with his own tap choreography in a rat-a-tat “Jump for Joy”, danced to Duke Ellington swing.

“Mr. Monotony”, choreographed by Jerome Robbins and staged by Robert La Fosse, to Irving Berlin, was performed by the American Dance Machine for the 21st Century. Music of Orfeh filled City Center with pizzazz. After a Nate Cooper campy “Interlude”, Hybrid Movement Company danced “Spirito dell’ aquila” (Eagle Spirit), to Jim Morgan’s music, with numerous rhythmic and balancing tricks. Hubbard Street Dance Chicago presented a very muscular “Never Was”, choreographed by Alejandro Cerrudo, to Handel and Purcell. Jacqueline Burnett and Johnny McMillan were propulsive. Daniel Cyr, from Big Apple Circus, did a solo act for fun, followed by Natalie Enterline’s fabulous rendition of Sinatra’s “My Way”. She appeared courtesy of Tigerpalast Varieté Theater Frankfurt. “Baby I Love You”, choreographed by Bruno Collins to Aretha Franklin, was danced with engaging energy by Megan Murphy and Vicente Martinez. Three Couples from the Arthur Murray Dancers concluded the show with a rousing reprise of “Sing, Sing, Sing.” Kudos to all, and kudos to Career Transition for Dancers for their exemplary benefits.

Career Transition for Dancers
2012 Poster for 27th Anniversary Jubilee
Courtesy of Career Transition for Dancers

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