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28th Annual Fred And Adele Astaire Awards

Originally Posted: June 10, 2010


The cast of "Fela" at the 28th Annual Fred And Adele Astaire Awards. (Rob Rich)

Honoree Kenny Ortega.

New York City - From the glam of old Hollywood to the hip-hop of New York streets, dance in all its magic was celebrated with gusto at the 2010 Fred & Adele Astaire Awards held on June 7 at the beautifully appointed Gerald W. Lynch at John Jay College, an ideal venue for dance.

The Douglas Watt Lifetime Achievement Award named for the late esteemed critic and co-founder of the Awards was presented to the legendary director and choreographer Kenny Ortega of "This Is It" and "High School Musical" fame by Grammy winner Roberta Flack. The gracious host for the evening was Ben Vereen who also performed with award winning actor and director Lee Roy Reams.

The two hour plus show featured numerous show-stoppers and magical moments, including Reams dancing with a stream of leading ladies including Carol Lawrence, Sondra Lee, Mercedes Ellington and Melanie La Patin; touching tributes to their fathers by Ava Astaire and Patricia Watt; a marvelous dance salute to Michael Jackson choreographed by Bronwen Carson; performances by cast members of "Fela," "Come Fly Away," "Ragtime" and "Memphis;" Ronald K. Brown's acclaimed Evidence, A Dance Company performing "Exotica" to commemorate their 25th Anniversary; "Dancing With The Stars" Cheryl Burke, Tony Dovolani and Maksim Chmerkovskiy and Peta Roby.

Roberta Flack.

The exuberant youngsters from The Art of Dance and GEO amazed with their talent and athleticism; a brilliant finale "Puttin' on The Ritz" choreographed by Tricia Brouk drew the audience to its feet and the delightful banter between two show business legends Ortega and Flack was a delight. All of this and so much more made this one of the most unforgettable nights at the theater.

Among those applauding wildly were acclaimed actor and director Bob Balaban, award winning choreographer Patricia Birch, Tony award winning director Jerry Mitchell, Reginald Van Lee with Joyce Mullins-Jackson, Jean Shafiroff, Caroline Lieberman, "Real Housewives of New York" star Sonja Morgan, Lauren and Bob Roberts, Roberta Silbert, and Alexander Dube.

Awards For Excellence In Dance On Stage

 • Choreographer Bill T. Jones - "Fela"

 • Male Dancer: Charlie Neshyba-Hodges - "Come Fly Away"

 • Female Dancers: Nicole Chantal de Weever and the Female Ensemble - "Fela" (Hettie Vyrine Barnhill, Lauren de Veaux, Elasea Douglas, Rujeko Dumbutshena, Catherine Foster, Shaneeka Harrrell, Chanon Judson, Shakira Marshall, Afi McClendon, Jill Vallery, Iris Wilson, and Aimee Graham Wodobode).

Ben Vereen.

Awards For Excellence In Dance On Film

 • Choreographer (Fictional Film): Marguerite Derricks - "Fame"

 • Director (Documentary Dance Film): Adam Del Deo and James D. Stern - "Every Little Step"

The evening was directed by Reams and produced by Watt. Co-director and Choreographic Consultant was Joe Lanteri. Associate Producer and Choreographer for the Michael Jackson Tribute was Carson. Writer was Randall David Cook and Finale Choreographer was Tricia Brouk.

The Nominating Committee for the 2010 Fred and Adele Astaire Awards was comprised of Anna Kisselgoff, former Chief Dance Critic, New York Times; Wendy Perron, Editor in Chief of Dance Magazine, Sylviane Gold, freelance dance columnist for Dance Magazine, The New York Times, Newsday and Damian Woetzel, former lead dancer of the New York City Ballet, and Artistic Director of The Vail Institute.

Honorary Chairs for the Awards Gala were Flack, Countess Luann DeLesseps, and Bruce Michael; Gala Co-chairs were Robin Cofer, Carolyn Kendall Buchter, Sara Ann Johnson, Joe Lanteri and Cassandra Seidenfeld-Lyster.


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