New York City
- Bright Lights! Shining Stars!, a gala event to benefit the NYC Dance Alliance Foundation which will honor the legendary Roberta Flack
with the NYCDAF's First Ambassador for the Arts Award on August 1, 2011 at the Jack H. Skirball Center for the Performing Arts at NYU
The star studded evening of song and dance directed by renowned choreographer, dancer and instructor Joe Lanteri
will also feature the awarding of $50,000 plus in college scholarships to promising young dancers. Honorary Co-Chairs of the gala are Cassandra Seidenfeld-Lyster
and Robin Cofer
Highlights of the evening will include the reunion of Lin-Manuel Miranda
and the cast of the Pulitzer Prize and Tony Ward winning musical "In the Heights" especially for this event; a special performance by NYCDA alumni Tade Biesinger
star of "Billy Elliot," a solo by Desmond Richardson
of Complexions Contemporary Ballet, recipient of the 2011 60th Capezio Dance Award and hailed by The New York Times
as "one of the great modern dancers of his time," Clifton Brown
formerly with Alvin Ailey
; Tony nominee Karine Plantadit
from "Come Fly Away," a special tribute in song and dance to the incomparable Flack and much more.
The evening will begin at 6 p.m. with a Red Carpet Cocktail Reception, 7:30 p.m. the Awards Tribute and Special Guest Performances followed by a Post Show VIP Dessert and Champagne Party in the Skirball's magnificent Rosenthal Room.
The NYC Dance Alliance Foundation is dedicated to empowering the next generation of professional dancers by advocating education and offering scholarships for secondary and college training. For the past 16 years, the NYCDA has led the industry in offering professional weekend conventions exposing young dancers to the best of the New York City dance world in a supportive, positive and fun environment and helping them take their first steps into the professional world.
Under the auspices of Executive Director Joe Lanteri
the NYC Dance Alliance National Dance Convention, the culmination of scores of local gatherings held throughout the year, has become the single most important scouting opportunity for college and university recruiters and their scholarship committees. No surprise as NYCDA alumni number among the ranks of such dance companies as Alvin Ailey, Cedar Lake Ballet; scarcely a Broadway musical is without a dancer from NYCDA and the world famed Radio City Music Hall
Christmas Spectacular recruits most of it young talents via NYCDA. At the Closing Night of this year's convention, an astounding $2.8 million in college scholarships was awarded.