The NYC Dance Alliance Foundation (NYCDAF) celebrated its first anniversary at The Joyce Theater with a dazzling evening of dance artistry "Destiny Rising" featuring outstanding NYCDA alumni, the dynamic choreography of NYCDA faculty and special guest performances by stars of prominent dance companies, all to benefit the NYCDAF College Scholarship Program. There is scarcely a Broadway show or major dance company that does not have NYCDA alumni among its ranks.
Monday evening's gala performance certainly lived up to its title, as audiences were treated to magnificent performances by well known alumni and tomorrow's dance world stars. With a cadre of young dancers – some only 14 – these future stars executed performances that were astonishing in their level of technique, polish, poise and passion.
Launched by Joe Lanteri, Founder & Executive Director of The New York City Dance Alliance, the foundation last August distributed an astounding $2.8 million in scholarships to promising young dancers at NYCDA"s Summer Convention last year.
As a result, The Joyce was packed to the rafters with aspiring young dancers many from colleges participating in the NYCDAF Scholarship Program including Marymount Manhattan, Philadelphia's University of the Arts and Mercyhurst. They were there to cheer on their fellow students and celebrate an organization whose mission is the empowerment of young professional dancers through education.
The evening directed by Joe Lanteri featured choreography by Lauren Adams, Camille A. Brown, Thang Dao, Jason Parsons, Garrett Smith and Guest Performers including Camille A. Brown, Melissa Hough & Garrett Smith of Houston Ballet, STEPS Repertory Ensemble, The Marymount Manhattan Dance Company, University of the Arts Dance Ensemble and special guests Foundation Star Supporters and Plumb Performing Arts of Arizona and Susan Jaffe, American Ballet Theatre. A post performance 'talk back' with the artists is open to all ticket holders.
Among the many highlights of a truly dazzling and emotion-filled evening were the NYC stage debut of the Plumb Performing Arts Center Dance Company of Arizona performing Thang Dao's Waiting Women;; the visually stunning choreography of Abdur-Rahin Jackson's "Short Cuts Take Longer" performed by Marymount Manhattan Dance Company; the world première of NYCDA alumni Houston Ballet's Garrett Smith's "Unseen" which he danced with another NYCDA alumna Melissa Hough; the gorgeous duo of NYC Ballet's Tiler Peck and Robert Fairchild in Balanchine's "The Man I Love" ;Princess Grace Award winning choreographer Camille A. Brown's stunning solo "The Evolution of a Secured Feminine" and Astaire Award Nomine Benoit-Swan Pouffer's athletic and fresh "Knead" for STEPS Repertory Ensemble
The NYC Dance Alliance Foundation, Inc. is an IRS approved 501(c)(3) public charity, committed to broadening performing arts awareness while advocating education and high standards of excellence in dance. NYCDAF is dedicated to investing in the next generation of professional performers by offering scholarships for secondary and college education.
Photos by Eduardo Patino
University of ARTS Dance Ensemble in Variations & Impro