Performing Arts: Dance
February 28, 2023
A joyous congregation met to celebrate the Martha Hill Dance Fund Gala at the Manhattan Penthouse. After two years of celebrations on zoom, the dance community embraced to honor this year's leaders, Dianne McIntyre, Diana Byer and Deborah Damast.

Many dance luminaries appeared to support the Martha Hill Fund and their colleagues. The ebullient Danni Gee, a dancer, singer, producer and curator and Joyce Theater Programming Director led the presentations. Expertly produced videos by Daniel Madoff introduced the audience to the honoree's contributions.

Mid-Career awardee, Deborah Damast, an enthusiastic promoter of dance education, described the power of personal expression through dance for young students.

Once a student at Juilliard, Lifetime Achievement Honoree Diana Byer studied with the formidable Antony Tudor who inspired her not only to dance but to form a chamber ballet company that revived many of Tudor's choreography.

A staple in the modern dance community, Lifetime Achievement Honoree Dianne McIntyre graduated from OSU and set up a dance tent in Harlem. Establishing a haven for many evolving Black dance artists, McIntyre was a dance explorer choreographing for her company, the camera and many other nationally recognized companies. She marveled at the way Martha Hill knew about her work and avidly kept abreast of so many young dance artists in NYC.

The unswerving president of the fund, Vernon Scott grabbed everyone's attention when he delivered a poem of endurance and love. In the Gala invitation, Scott reminded everyone: “The Martha Hill Awards continue the legacy of Miss Hill by recognizing those who have exhibited stellar achievement in teaching, performing, and nurturing future generations of dancers in a way that embodies Miss Hill’s commitment to the art of dance.

This art group's event stands apart from others because, rather than relying on funders to fill the seats, dancers, choreographers, teachers, and all manner of dance professionals migrate to a mighty celebration of their field.
EYE ON THE ARTS, NY -- Celia Ipoitis

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