$1,087,050.50 was raised on Monday, October 31st, when Rolex presented A HALLOWEEN THRILLER A Dance Celebration of Ghosts, Ghouls, Vampires & Wilis, - Career Transition For Dancers' 26th Anniversary Jubilee to a capacity audience at the newly renovated New York City Center. Chita Rivera, one of Broadway's most accomplished and versatile dancer/actress/singers, hosted the one-night-only entertainment extravaganza for kids and adults of all ages! The thrilling show astonished with fun and spine-tingling works in an array of styles - woven together in a "spook-tacular" celebration of dance-entertainment. The post performance, dinner and dance for 752, included a live auction with record breaking bids totaling $110,000, plus an additional $10,000 after-auction appeal that had the celebrants dancing into the wee hours.
Tony Award winner Bebe Neuwirth with some former Bob Fosse dancers opened the show with "Magic To Do" from Pippin, followed by the National Dance Institute and other children performing Michael Jackson's "Thriller." Some of the other fantastic musical numbers were Noah Racey and The New York Song & Dance Company performing Cole Porter's "I've Got You Under My Skin" and the dazzling world premiere of Mark Stuart Dance Theatre - "Interference." The magical evening also included other premieres that included: Carolina Ballet - "Dracula" (NYC Premiere); "The Bell Witch" (World Premiere) with Lynn Cohen; American Repertory Ballet - excerpt from "Pathways" (World Premiere). Some of the other fantastic dance numbers were: "Hexentanz" (Witch Dance) based on the original by Mary Wigman; Houston Ballet - Giselle Pas De Deux Act II; Les Ballet Trockadero de Monte Carlo - "The Dying Swan"; Peter Pucci Plus Dancers - "Surfing"; "The Raven" choreographed by David Fernandez and starring Charles Askegard, Daniel Ulbricht and Savannah Lowery of New York City Ballet and the Tap City Youth Ensemble (a project of the American Tap Dance Foundation) - "Tap Dancing Skeletons". There were also performances by The Street Beats Group and Lypsinka as well as feature appearances by Tony Award Winner Donna McKechnie, Carmen DeLavallade, and Judith Jamison.
Rolex Watch USA President & CEO Stewart Wicht previously stated "Rolex is proud to present Career Transition For Dancers' Gala and to give the 2011 Rolex Dance Award to Mr. Nigel Lythgoe, co-creator/executive producer of "So You Think You Can Dance" and Executive Producer of "American Idol." The Career Transition For Dancers Awards for Outstanding Contributions to the World of Dance were given to: Victor Elmaleh; Nancy MacMillan; Michele Riggi; National Museum of Dance.
The 26th Anniversary Chairs were Michele Herbert, Anka K. Palitz and Stewart Wicht; Gala Chairs were: Victor Elmaleh, Darlene & Brian Heidtke, Nancy & Duncan MacMillian, Michele & Ronald Riggi. The Dinner Chair was Janice Becker; Auction Chair: Ann Van Ness; and the Journal Chair: Craig Dix. Vice Chairs were Alexander J. Dubé, Mercedes Ellington, Vicki & Christopher Kellogg, Christina Rose, Nicole Sexton and Irene Shen. Honorary Chairs were Robert Battle, Jacques d'Amboise, Marcelo Gomes, Cynthia Gregory, Gelsey Kirkland, Darci Kistler, Angela Lansbury, Natalia Markarova, Peter Martins, Donna McKechnie, Liza Minnelli, Jerry Mitchell, Bebe Neuwirth, Sono Osato, David Parsons, Ann Reinking, Chita Rivera, Desmond Richardson, Tommy Tune, Christopher Wheeldon & Karen Ziemba. The show was produced and directed by Ann Marie DeAngelo.