Dancing down the path to excellence: NDI’s annual gala

by admin
Monday, June 24, 2013
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The great and good of the performing arts world, clad in purple, gold and green, descended on New York’s Best Buy theater for the National Dance Institute’s Annual Gala. The Big Easy met The Big Apple in the sights and sounds of the atmospheric Mardi Gras themed spectacular. The gala is the NDI’s largest fundraising event; the proceeds of which are poured back into its award-winning arts education program for NYC public school children.

The evening began at six-on-the-dot with a cocktail or two, and a one-of-a-kind, celebrity-curated silent auction. Then it was on to dinner and the awards ceremony. Actor Mandy Patinkin and NDI board member Robert D. Krinsky were up for accolades: Patinkin for his extraordinary commitment to the arts and culture of NYC, and Krinsky in recognition of the immense impact he has brought to the lives of children through the power of the arts.

Bernadette Peters presented the award to Mandy Patinkin, while Jack-of-all-Broadway-trades Terrence Mann emceed the event; presumably fresh out of rehearsals for Pippin in which he stars, opening on Broadway April 25th. Jacques d’Amboise was there of course, the legendary New York City Ballet principal and all-round behemoth of the dancing world who founded the NDI. Honorary chairs included Alec and Hilaria Baldwin, Glenn Close, Whoopi Goldberg and George Soros. Michael Cerveris was also in attendence, and rubbed shoulders with Frank Wood and Kathryn Grody.

After dinner famed charitable auctioneer CK Swett presided over the live auction, intermixed with dance performances which captured the color and flavor of New Orleans. A fabulous evening that reminded us all of how the arts can inspire excellence. Laissez les bons temps rouler!

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