The 7:30 PM ceremony at NYU's Skirball Center for the Performing Arts serves as a fundraiser for the NYC Dance Alliance Foundation. The evening begins at 6 PM with a pre-show cocktail reception and is followed by a VIP after party at 9 PM.
The gala includes performances from the Broadway and dance communities, and the presentation of the Ambassador for the Arts Award will feature a special dance tribute to Baryshnikov as well as a donation to the Baryshnikov Arts Center. Teenage student dancers from across the United States will also receive scholarship recognition.
Directed by Joe Lanteri, the evening's performances feature the American Ballet Theatre (Sarah Lane and Sascha Radetsky), the New York City Ballet (Tiler Peck and Robert Fairchild), Complexions Contemporary Ballet, Ballet Next and Ballet Hispanico.
The 2011 Ambassador for the Arts Award recipient, Grammy Award winner Roberta Flack, is scheduled to appear at the Bright Lights gala as well as American Ballet Theatre star Julie Kent, Oscar nominee Leslie Browne and Tony Award-winning choreographers Jerry Mitchell and Andy Blankenbuehler.
Baryshnikov, who was nominated for a Tony Award in 1989 for his performance in Metamorphosis, has also been seen on Broadway in Push Comes to Shove and Awakening. He has danced with major ballet companies around the world including the New York City Ballet, where he worked with George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins. He was also the artistic director of American Ballet Theatre, and was director and dancer with the White Oak Dance Project, which he co-founded with choreographer Mark Morris. In 2005, he opened the Baryshnikov Arts Center (BAC), a creative home for local and international artists to develop and present work. Among Baryshnikov's many awards are the Kennedy Center Honors, the National Medal of Honor, the Commonwealth Award, the Chubb Fellowship, the Jerome Robbins Award and the 2012 Vilcek Award. In 2010 he was given the rank of Officer of the French Legion of Honor. The NYC Dance Alliance Foundation, Inc. is "committed to broadening performing arts awareness while advocating education and high standards of excellence in dance." NYCDAF offers scholarships for secondary and college education.
The Skirball Center for the Performing Arts is located at 566 LaGuardia Place. For more information and tickets, call (855) 692-5678 or click here. For more information on the NYCDAF, visit NYCDance.com.