This year’s “Bright Lights, Shining Stars” gala—hosted by the New York City Dance Alliance Foundation—honored none other than Broadway legend, Ann Reinking, as the 2017 Ambassador for the Arts. Reinking is best known for her starring roles on Broadway and in Hollywood (DANCIN’, PIPPIN, OVER HERE!, and “Annie” to name just a few) and for mounting the award-winning production of FOSSE and the 1996 revival of CHICAGO (currently the longest-running American musical). Additionally, Reinking has choreographed for theatres and companies across the country and founded the Broadway Theatre Project—a renowned pre-professional musical theatre training program for high school students.
The NYCDA gala celebration featured guest speakers like Joel Grey, Chita Rivera, Ben Vereen, Pat Birch, and NYCDA founder and executive director, Joe Lanteri. Performances included the Bebe Neuwirth, New York City Ballet, Valarie Pettiford, cast members from HELLO DOLLY, Ballet Hispanico’s BH dos, the original cast of FOSSE, and the 2017 NYCDA college scholarship recipients (in a piece choreographed by Jo+Jax’s own Joey Dowling-Fahkrieh).
Since its founding in 2010, the NYCDA Foundation (along with its college partners like Pace University and Marymount Manhattan College) has awarded over twenty-two million dollars in scholarships for dancers to pursue their performing arts in higher education. To learn more about the 2018 scholarship audition, visit this link.