Thursday, February 27, 2014

Dance Theatre of Harlem Hosts 2014 Vision Gala, Celebrates 45th Anniversary

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Gala honoree Valentino D. Carlotti (center) with Dance Theatre of Harlem Company Dancers

Patti LaBelle honored with Arthur Mitchell Vision Award

New York, NY – “Live the Moment” was the theme of Dance Theatre of Harlem’s (DTH) 2014 Vision Gala held Tuesday, February 25 at Cipriani in New York City.  The event raised $700,000 that included $75,000 from a live auction with the proceeds benefiting the DTH School’s Next Generation and Community Engagement Funds.

The black-tie event honored Grammy Award-winning recording artist Patti LaBelle with the Arthur Mitchell Vision Award; dance educator and arts advocate Jody Gottfried Arnhold with The Carl and Lily Pforzheimer Foundation Medal; and Goldman, Sachs & Co. senior partner Valentino D. Carlotti with the inaugural Virtuoso Award.

Highlights included performances by the Dance Theatre of Harlem School to “Over the Rainbow” choreographed by School Director Endalyn Taylor; a preview of the Dance Theatre of Harlem Company’s forthcoming spring season at Jazz at Lincoln Center with an excerpt from “The Pas de Dix from Raymonda;” and a special tribute performance by the Company to Ms. LaBelle, choreographed by resident choreographer Robert Garland.

“It was a very special evening that brought together the tremendous talent and expertise of our Company dancers and the great potential in our DTH school students.  What a perfect celebration of the past 45 years of Dance Theatre of Harlem, to see the legendary Patti LaBelle take the stage to receive the Arthur Mitchell Vision Award from our longtime board member Jessye Norman, and to say thank you to honorees Valentino D. Carlotti and Jody Gottfried Arnhold for all that they’ve done for Dance Theatre of Harlem, the arts and education,” shared Virginia Johnson, DTH Artistic Director.

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Gala honoree Patti LaBelle surprised the audience with an a capella rendition of “The Lord’s Prayer”
joined by opera singer Jessye Norman.

Nearly 400 corporate sponsors, supporters, friends and alumni attended the event, including journalist Paula Zahn, Malaak Compton Rock, Kimberly Chandler, Miss USA 2012 Nana Meriwether, Isiah and Lynne Thomas; Miss New York City 2014 Kira Kazantsev, philanthropists Samuel Peabody, Judith M. Hoffman, Jean Shafiroff, Beverly D’Anne and Guy Mognaz.

Members of Dance Theatre of Harlem’s Board of Directors were also on hand for the star-studded celebration, including Chairman of the Board Kendrick Ashton, Jr., and Gala Committee Chair Leslie Wims Morris along with board members Isabel Kallman, DTH Vice Chairman of the Board Michael Armstrong, Trey Muldrow, Kevin Cofsky, Zandra Perry Ogbomo and Aliya LeeKong.

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Miss USA 2012 Nana Meriwether and DTH Artistic Director Virginia Johnson; 
Browne Andrews and Kimberly Chandler

Among the gala sponsors were Jody and John Arnhold; Goldman Sachs & Co; American Express; Siris Capital Group, LLC; Isabel and Craig Kallman;; CenterLight Healthcare; Disney; Fried Frank; and Akin Gump. The gala reception was sponsored by BET Networks.

“We are thrilled and very grateful for the wonderful support shown by so many corporations and individuals,” remarked Laveen Naidu, Executive Director of Dance Theatre of Harlem.  “This gala helps make it possible for Dance Theatre of Harlem to continue making a difference around the world with our performances, community engagement and education programs.”

Photo credit: Joseph Rodman Photography

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