The Cedar Lake Theater in West Chelsea will come to life on Friday, January 24 with a thrilling evening of dance to benefit Dancers Responding To AIDS (DRA), a program of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS (BCEFA). Hosted by Tony Award winning choreographer Rob Ashford, this gala event guarantees to be a soul-stirring showcase of the best and brightest from today's varied dance landscape with performances by American Ballet Theatre, Battleworks, Broadway's "Billy Elliott," Camille A. Brown, Dresden Ballet, Les Ballet Grandiva, Paul Taylor Dance Company, and Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre. The program will also feature the world premiere of TITLE by choreographer Chase Brock performed by NYCB principal Tiler Peck.
"We are delighted that these nine extraordinary artists and companies have come together for this very special event to benefit the programs of DRA," said Denise Hurlin-Roberts, Founding Director of DRA. "Their on-going commitment to support our organization continues to make a difference in the lives of people living with HIV/AIDS."
Founded in 1991, by former Paul Taylor Dancers Denise Roberts Hurlin and Hernando Cortez, DRA encompasses a network of professional dance companies who raise money through audience appeals and performing DRA events, the Dance Student Outreach Project, and other wide-ranging dance organizations. Proceeds from the evening will be distributed in two ways. The BCEFA National Grants program grants money to almost 500 AIDS and Family Service Organizations across the country as well as in Canada, Puerto Rico and South Africa. Residual funds are also awarded to seven programs of The Actors' Fund of America.
"Dances From The Heart" will take place on Friday, January 24 at 8pm. Tickets are $250 for reserved seating and a post-performance party with artists, and $150 for the performance only. To order tickets, please visit www.dradance.org or call 212-840-0770. The performance and party will take place at the Cedar Lake Theater in the heart of the Chelsea Gallery District at 547 West 26th Street, between 10th and 11th Avenues. For more information, visit www.dradance.org.
American Ballet Theatre soloist Daniil Simkin will perform ‘Tico-tico' from Paul Taylor's masterwork Company B. One of Mr. Taylor's most beloved dances, Company B is a distillation of 1940s Americana set to exuberant Andrews Sisters' hits and tempered by the shadows of GIs dying in World War II.
Daniil Simkin joined the ballet company of the Vienna State Opera in 2006 as a demi-soloist and since then has danced many roles in the classical, neoclassical and contemporary repertoire of the company. In 2007, he danced his first principal role, Basilio in Don Quixote, as a guest with the Lithuanian National Opera. Simkin's awards include the Senior Gold Medal at the USA International Ballet Competition in Jackson 2006, Grand Prix International Ballet Competition Helsinki 2005 and First Prize and Gold Medal at the 21st International Ballet Competition in Varna 2004, among others.
Battleworks' dancer Marlena Wolfe will perform Ella, Robert Battle's fast and furious tribute to the rhythmic genius of Ella Fitzgerald. Ella's "Air Mail Special" textured vocals are mirrored by the performers physical "scatting." Founded in 2001, Battle's seven year-old dance company is known for its strong repertoire consistently danced with vigor and technical virtuosity.
Marlena Wolfe received a BFA in Dance from Marymount Manhattan College under the direction of Katie Langan. Upon graduation, Ms. Wolfe was awarded the highest honor from the MMC Dance Department, a Gold Key, for demonstrating excellence in her field.
Performing Elton John's "Electricity" from the new mega-hit Broadway show, DRA is thrilled to welcome David Alvarez, one of the shows three young men playing the role of Billy. "Electricity" is Billy's climactic second act solo conveying why he must dance and why we are all "dancers." Choreographed by Peter Darling and directed by Stephen Daldry "Billy Elliott" tells the uplifting story of a young artist's quest to understand and realize his inner passion for dance amidst family intolerance and a backdrop of turbulent political unrest.