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"Broadway & Beyond", A Gala Benefit for Career Transition for Dancers, 28th Anniversary Jubilee
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"Broadway & Beyond", A Gala Benefit for Career Transition for Dancers, 28th Anniversary Jubilee

- Onstage with the Dancers: Special Events

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Broadway & Beyond
Career Transition for Dancers (CTFD) 28th Anniversary Jubilee
Celebrating Theatre and Dance

In association with Misty Widelitz
At New York City Center

Presented by Rolex

Ann-Margret – Rolex Dance Award
Ann Van Ness and Harlequin Floors – CTFD Awards

With Appearances by:
Liza Minnelli, Cynthia Gregory, Angela Lansbury

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

28th Anniversary Chairs:
Anka K. Palitz, Susan & Stewart Wicht

Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
October 8, 2013

Once again New York dance enthusiasts were royally entertained at the annual Career Transition for Dancers (CTFD) in its 28th 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, 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 Ann-Margret, who was lavishly introduced by Liza Minnelli. Ann-Margret has co-starred with Elvis Presley, John Wayne, Kirk Douglas, and Jack Nicholson, and she’s performed at the White House. She and Ms. Minnelli embraced endlessly in joy, and Ann-Margret’s acceptance speech was ebullient and enthused. She even showed off her new Rolex. The recipients of the Career Transition for Dancers Awards, presented by the vibrant Cynthia Gregory, former Principal with American Ballet Theatre, were Ann Van Ness and Harlequin Floors. Ms. Van Ness is the CEO of a nonprofit for domestic and international human services. She has a background in Italian language and art history. Harlequin Floors makes sprung and vinyl flooring for dance studios and prestigious stages around the globe.

CTFD testimonials were spoken from the stage by Mimi Moyer, Susan Mitchell, Kevin Bernard, Gail Gilbert, and Mikala Freitas, former dancers and clients. Of course, the highlights of the evening are always virtuosic youths and mature talent in song and dance. The evening opened with a film projection by Eric Dunlap, music by Lloyd G. Miller, and a vivacious athletic ensemble. The “Lights” Number, to a Bob Crosby score, was choreographed and performed by Ryan Kasprzak, Brent McBeth, and Derek Roland. Soon Rosie O’Donnell appeared with her Rosie’s Theater Kids in “Heart” from Damn Yankees, choreographed by Kyle Pleasant, score by Richard Adler. This was a rousing success. Lynn Cohen, an actress, who’s been reviewed in these columns, appeared tonight as Agnes deMille, in affect and costume, addressing the audience about her craft and dance history. Fittingly, American Repertory Ballet followed, with the “Balcony Pas De Deux” from Romeo and Juliet. Karen Leslie Moscato and Mattia Pallozzi danced the rapturous lifts and romantic chases, in Douglas Martin’s choreography to Prokofiev’s masterful score.

Singing “At the Ballet” from Michael Bennett’s A Chorus Line were Kelly Bishop, Hollie Howard, and Christiane Noll, a presentation dedicated to the late, Marvin Hamlisch, who composed the music for this show. “Doggy in the Window”, a fun piece, was performed by Broadway Dance Lab, choreography by Josh Prince and score by Harry Connick, Jr. It was a fantasy about choosing mates like pets in the window. Cole Porter’s “Begin the Beguine” was danced by Randy Skinner and Sara Brians, in an homage to Fred Astaire and Eleanor Powell. This was one of my favorites of the evening. Then, to expand the retro aura, an excerpt from Leonard Bernstein’s On the Town, choreographed here by Joshua Bergasse, was danced by an ensemble of twelve, including Michael Rosen, who appeared in Lincoln Center’s Nikolai and the Others this past season. Tonight’s sequence was “Subway Ride/Dream Coney Island…”. David Dawson’s “On the Nature of Daylight” followed, with two cast members of Dresden Semperoper Ballett, Nataliya Sologub and Raphael Coumes-Marquet. This piece had been created for a Munich Gala to raise funds to cure AIDS.

“The Tap Dance Kid”, a Tribute to Danny Daniels, a 1950’s, live TV show choreographer, was danced by Dulé Hill, Jason Samuels Smith, and Jimmy Tate. The three brought the house down with feverish tap rhythms, solo and trio. Producer, Anne Marie DeAngelo’s choreographed “Last Time I Cry”, to Orfeh’s music, brought out Orfeh, herself, on vocals, and Francoise Voranger, Viktor Franyo, with Uys du Buisson, in a magnetically charged work. Jayson “B-boy Mouse” Vesquez did a hip-hop solo, before a contrasting Barbershop Quartet performed “Parallel Exit”, danced by Danny Gardner, Joel Jeske, Brent McBeth, and Derek Roland. More retro breezed in with Strouse and Charnin’s “Tomorrow” from Annie, performed by Andrea McArdle and Steve Marzullo. The finale was “Drum Crazy”, from New York Song and Dance, to Noah Racey’s choreography and Irving Berlin’s score. In wild percussive form, Jon Berger, Chris Erk, Noah Racey, Anthony Russo, and Jason Yudoff performed, with Aaron Gandy conducting.

Tonight’s Announcer was Ron Cohen, and Jim Morgan conducted the Jubilee Orchestra. Kudos to Career Transition for Dancers, and kudos to tonight’s stage guests, performers, and executive staff.

Rosie O'Donnell & Rosie's Theater Kids
in Kyle Pleasant's "Heart" from "Damn Yankees"
Courtesy of Richard Termine

American Repertory Ballet's
Karen Leslie Moscato and Mattia Pallozzi
"Balcony Pas de Deux" from "Romeo and Juliet"
Choreography by Douglas Martin
Courtesy of Richard Termine

The Cast of "Subway Ride/Dream Coney Island
The Great Lover Displays Himself" from "On the Town"
Choreography by Joshua Bergasse
Courtesy of Richard Termine

Orfeh on Vocals, with Francoise Voranger and Victor Franyo
in "Last Time I Cry"
Choreography by Ann Marie DeAngelo
Courtesy of Richard Termine

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