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Dancing the Night Away

Originally Posted: November 14, 2006

Nicole B. Brewer

Teresa Travis with Ken and Barbara Poliwoda at "Get Connected" at the Parrish Art
Museum. Photo by Katrina Lovett

As the flow of summer visitors and renters slows to a smooth wintery pace, local businesses take the chance to catch their breath, and reconnect with each other. We stopped at the Parrish Art Museum for their annual "Get Connected" Business Council Networking Night.

There was a careful balancing act as guests shook hands and exchanged business cards while nibbling tasty hors d'oeuvres by Kevin MacDonald, brews from the Southampton Publick House, and a martini bar from Niche Imports. We spotted several of the Hamptons.com crowd including Publisher Robert Florio, Teresa Travis, and Vanessa Leggard. Also in the mix Don Sullivan, Trudy Kramer, Melody and Phil Tierney, Barbara and Kenny Poliwoda, Cindy Lou Wakefield, Rich Friedman, Linda Schaller, Linda Miller-Zellner with husband writer Bob Zellner, and Stan Cohen. Even the Museum was out in force as we stopped to chat with the ever-friendly Emily Raynor manning the martini bar.

This fun night was set in the theater of the museum and guests had the chance to view the Lichtenstein exhibition up close and in VIP privacy. Afterwards it was off to the Southampton Publick House for dinner and music by Project Vibe.

Saturday evening, Houses At Sagaponac paired up with Design Within Reach to showcase the Ban & Maltz House. With the colder weather bringing the parties inside, it was the perfect opportunity to showcase the development launched by the late Harry J. Brown and Richard Meier, with 34 houses spread across 65 acres in Sagaponac.

Francesca Valerio, Almond Zigmund, and Jess Frost at the Ban and Maltz House.
Photo by Katrina Lovett

Guests were invited to stop by a little early to enjoy the fall colors in the woodsy setting. Moving inside, the house wrapped us in warm wood, but kept things up to date with clean sharp lines and raw wood textures. Being billed as summer houses, we could just as easily see ourselves here in winter watching the snow fall in the surrounding woods. Just as long as you can find a snowplow to clear the narrow road that quickly filled with cars parked on either side as guests including Silas Marder, Linda Clifford, Bruce Chewning, and Cat Mayhugh came to take a look.

Sunday afternoon, The Parrish Art Museum rounded out their weekend full of events by hosting their annual Family Fiesta Day. Rainshowers kept the activities indoors, but there was plenty was plenty to keep the whole family occupied with everything from traditional dances, costumes, and arts and crafts celebrating Latin American culture. Snacks from local Latin restaurants as well as a plentiful soda selection kept even the parents in high spirits as the kids including Madeline Kane, and Ella and Alyssa DeMarvel took the chance to burn off some energy dancing, and crafts including paper flowers and 'gods eyes.'

The hands-on approach seems a big hit at the museum, and they invite families back for their Holiday Gift Workshop on December 10th for the chance to make some homemade gifts. We'll be there with kiddies in tow!

William and Danielle at the Parrish Art Museum's Family Fiesta Day. Photo by Katrina

Over the past few weeks the city has been awash with glittering social events. First stop for us was the American Scottish Foundation's 50th Anniversary Gala.

Bagpipes and Highland dress were the order of the day for the 50th Anniversary celebration of the American-Scottish Foundation at the annual Wallace Award Dinner presided over by Foundation president Alan L. Bain in New York. The annual event which pays tribute to the achievements of Scottish and Scottish Americans this year honored the prominent international businessman, Euan Baird.

For over four decades, Mr. Baird worked with Schlumberger Ltd., serving as its Chairman and Chief Executive Officer from 1986 to 2003. In addition he held the position of non-executive Chairman of Rolls-Royce plc from 2002 to 2004.

Accompanied by his wife Angelica and their children, Baird was presented the award by Southold's Alan Bain in the presence of a glittering crowd filled with Scottish and American Scottish notables thanks to the efforts of the evening's co-chairs Mrs. Stanley DeForest Scott and Eleanor Taffner.

Euan Baird and Alan L. Bain at the 50th Anniversary celebration of the American
Scottish Foundation. Photo by Rob Rich © 2006 robwayne1@aol.com

In the audience were Alice Wood, Robert Kellet, Asa and Fred Bissett, Maj. James Motherwell, Wendy and Wilson Mitchell, Irene Aitken, Craig Covill, Heather L. Bain, Dr. Malcolm J. Duncan, Robert Fletcher, Margaret R. K. Kennedy, Linda Lees, Ph.D., David C. Speedie, J. Michael Dow, Hon. Alexander Banks, Pete Grannis, Tom Lewis, Alan Ritchie and Dr. James F. Winchester, Dr. Brian Lang, Sir Alan Langlands, Prof. C. Duncan Rice and 60 Minutes co-host Mike Wallace and his wife Mary. Master of Ceremonies was Alasdair H. Hutton O.B.E., T.D.

Following dinner and the award ceremony there was an old fashioned Caelidh with song and musical performances and of course a reel.

The American-Scottish Foundation® is dedicated to strengthening ties between individuals, institutions and businesses of Scotland and the United States through the pursuit of contemporary social, cultural, educational, philanthropic, scientific and economic interests and activities. The American-Scottish Foundation® champions the extraordinary and creative relationship between the U.S. and Scotland for mutual benefit.
The important and wonderfully diverse contributions of the Scottish and those of Scottish descent are reflected in the Wallace Award® recipients over the years: Senator Trent Lott, Sir Sean Connery, Television producers and philanthropists Mr. and Mrs. Donald L. Taffner, Sr., Academy award winning actor Cliff Robertson, Empress of Fashion Diana Vreeland, journalist James Reston, US Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart, painter Robert Motherwell, authors Helen MacInnes and Archibald MacLeish and Nobel Prize Winner Linus C. Pauling.

Stuart MacLean, John Henderson, and Michael Kellet at the 50th
Anniversary celebration of the American Scottish Foundation. Photo
by Rob Rich © 2006 robwayne1@aol.com

Then it was over to "One World, A Spectacular Global Celebration" presented by Rolex to benefit Career Transitions For Dancers (CTFD) which more than lived up to it's name with a glittering multi-cultural panorama of dance for a packed house at City Center in New York. Dancing shoes on and jewels glittering it was off to the party!

21st Anniversary co-chairs Patricia Kennedy and Anka Palitz with co-chairs Denise Cobb, Janice Becker, David Goldring, Ann Van Ness, Roberta Silbert Greene, and Yolanda Santos Garza along with Allen Brill, CEO and president of Rolex USA pulled together an amazingly diverse and generous group of supporters to make this year's gala the most successful in the history of the organization raising $1.121 million dollars from CTFD programs to help dancers to develop new careers when dance is no longer an option.

Setting the stage for an evening of exotic treats, Drum Café NY opened the show with throbbing drums and dancer from Africa's Ivory Coast. Tony Award winner Bebe Neuwirth welcomed the crowd and then in rapid succession there was a kaleidoscope on the vast City Center Stage; traditional folk dancers from Sounds of Korea; exotic Khathak classical movements from Parul Shah Dance Company; a twirling Hoop Dance of the American Thunderbird Indian Dancers; a delicate solo Kabuki dance by Japan's legendary Sachiyo Ito; the wildly colorful and acrobatic Red Ribbon Dance by Dance China NY and a gracefully athletic martial arts influenced piece from Brazil's Ologunde based on legendary slave practices.

The audience was breathless and grateful for the pause when Tony Award winner Sutton Foster took to the stage to present the CTFD Award to the Rudolf Nureyev Dance Foundation. Then there were thrilling performances by American Ballet Theater, San Francisco Ballet, and the New York debut of the beautiful Ballet de Monterrey.

Co-chairs Denise Cobb, Yolanda Santos Garza, Patricia Kennedy, Anka Palitz, and
Janice Becker at "One World, A Spectacular Global Celebration". Photo by John

In one of the evenings more powerful and topical moments, honorary co-chair Mercedes Ellington introduced a relatively unknown segment from her grandfather Duke Ellington's 1932 show "My People", The Purple People and the Green People. The fable about envious warring peoples was stunningly read by James Earl Jones accompanied by Jay Leonhart on bass. The anti-war message was not lost on the crowd who gave Jones a thunderous ovation.

Another fable followed with Kristina Berger of the Balam Dance Theater assaying the ancient Hindu tale of the Monkey King. Tap dancing his way on stage, Noah Racey dazzled the audience with his fancy, frenetic footwork. Then more soberly he addressed how CTFD came to his rescue when after breaking his Achilles tendon, he gave up any thoughts of dancing ever again. CTFD provided him with counseling, medical referrals and hope. Clearly it worked.

In a quick shift from somber to joyful, the Danny Golden School of Irish Dance swarmed onto the stage with curls a-flying and legs swinging in traditional Celtic step dance.

Then followed another sparkling moment when Liza Minnelli appeared on stage to present her old pal Chita Rivera with the Rolex Award, a blinding diamond studded Rolex Oyster Watch custom made for the Broadway legend.

Liza Minelli and Chita Rivera at "One World, A Spectacular Global Celebration".
Photo by John Wegorzewski

In an evening filled with so many delights there was one extra special treat - a sneak peek at the new Joffrey work Puerto Rico with composer jazz genius Eric Lewis at the piano. Dancers from the Joffrey and Luna Negra Dance Theater wove artfully around the stage to Lewis' Latin infused jazz score. The brainchild of producer and event co-chair Patricia Kennedy, Puerto Rico will be premiered by the Joffrey in 2007. Kennedy, who helped the Joffrey when the company was near ruin by convincing rocker Prince to collaborate on the wildly successful Billboards, has clearly created magic again.

The 90 minute performance ended with an energy charged finale featuring children from Rosie's Broadway Kids and the National Dance Institute of New Mexico with Billy Porter singing "Beat of Love" a joyous end to an evening filled with hope.

Kudos to producer/director Anne Marie DeAngelo and executive producer Alexander Dube (Executive Director CTFD) kept the show moving at break neck pace.

Then it was off to the Hilton Hotel for the Anniversary Waltz with the dancers, a star studded affair that culumnatived with a live auction of fantasy experiences including a week long cruise on an elegant private yacht that snared $ 1000,000 from one of the co-chair Patricia Kennedy's guests.

The glittering crowd included Joffrey Ballet co-founder and artistic director Gerald Arpino, Barbara de Portago, Jane Powell, Barbara Taylor Bradford and husband Robert, Aaron and Margaux Basha, Carmen DeLavallade, Linda Stocknoff, Caroline Lieberman, Andrea Siben, Graciele Daniels, Sono Asato, Bruce Michael, Laurence Krashes, Cynthia Gregory and some 700 more.

Nicole, an award-winning journalist, is Executive Editor & Publisher of Hamptons.com where she focuses on celebrity interviews, fine living and design, social events, fashion and beauty. She lives on the North Fork with her husband, their two daughters, and Bernese Mountain dog, Cooper. www.hamptons.com HamptonsOnline NicoleBBrewer NicoleBBrewer NicoleBBrewer


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