Performing Arts: Dance
February 27, 2014
Impeccably dressed guests glided into the 42 Street Cipriani to celebrate the Dance Theatre of Harlem’s 45th anniversary and recent renaissance under the artistic leadership of former DTH Principal ballerina, Virginia Johnson. In a series of organizational, board, management and artistic adjustments, the Dance Theater of Harlem once again is on the-road with a professional company head towards a season at the Rose Theater April 23 – 27.

It’s difficult to suggest anything topped the evening’s performance by the mightily energetic and appealing DTH school dancers, but there was an unexpected moment that thrilled everyone. When the opera star Jessye Norman introduced the Arthur Mitchell Vision Awardee, a visibly moved Patti LaBelle spontaneously broke into a stirring, a cappella rendition of “The Lord’s Prayer.”

Because DTH has had education at the heart of its mission, the firs Carl and Lily Pforzheimer Foundation Medal for dedicated service to the field went to Jody Arnold. Her presenter, former NYC Ballet principal Damian Woetzel quipped, “she just can’t stop talking about dance education.” However, she walks the talk as proven by her plentiful support of the arts in NYC and instigation of dance education initiatives like the founding of the Dance Education Laboratory at the 92nd Street Y and her tenure as member of the Arts Advisory Committee for the New York City Department of Education. Ms. Arnold’s heartfelt speech paid special tribute to the support of her family.

From the business side of the community, Valentino Crolotti of the Goldman Sachs Group received the Virtuoso Award described the evolution of DTH from the days when Karel Shook and Arthur Mitchell to today’s incarnation and noted that the arts made him a better and more effective businessman and human being. Now that’s something that should be taught in al the business schools.

The evening ended on a high note when it was announced that the gala had raised $700,00 and by the time guests departed, DTH probably gained a few more donations and room full or DTH devotees.
EYE ON THE ARTS, NY -- Celia Ipiotis

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