Monday, October 28, 2013

Ice Theatre of New York's Ice:Dance Delivers

Chelsea Piers NYC: The Ice Theatre of New York pulled out all of the stops for their 2013 Benefit Gala. Let me first say that I can count on one hand the number of times an artistic performance has brought me to tears. One was a cello performance of Saint Saens' 13th movement of Le carnaval des Animaux, Le cygne (The Swan). The second was the Ice Theatre's opening premiere performance of Roots, brilliantly choreographed by Douglas Webster. It's theme, Appalachian style gospel and revival music from Mumford and Sons, Andrae Mae and Jason Castro but the beauty was in how the choreography amplified the joy and redemption of the human spirit.
ITNY's Act I opened with the premiere of Roots.
THIS is why we come out to see theatre and the arts as a necessity in the affirmation of our total consciousness. We are not whole without it. I am so thankful that I was exposed to the classical arts at a very young age as it has enriched my life beyond words. This is in part what the ITNY does for inner city children and it is a most important work.

Another high point of the evening came with the premiere of Reveries set to Tchaikovsky's Orchestral Suite #3 in G Major and choreographed by Edward Villella. A romantic ice ballet rich in classical music and dance, I'm sure it made Prima Ballerina Sonia Rodriguez feel right in her element.

Honorees, Kurt Browning & Sonia Rodriguez
I've had the pleasure of seeing Kurt Browning and his wife, Sonia Rodriguez perform together over the years but tonight was something really special. Kurt's iconic rendition of Gene Kelly's "Singing in the Rain", choreographed by Sanda Bezic was absolutely enchanting! Just as Gene used the backdrop of a city street for his dance steps, Kurt equally used the ice as his medium for ice dance. With his umbrella as a prop, his program was delightfully entertaining with lots of dance steps and technical ice-work.

Kurt Browning's delightful rendition of "Singing in the Rain" was the evening's highlight.

Ice:Dance The heart and soul of the ITNY.

Dinner & Cocktails at the Lighthouse
After the show, attendees were invited to dinner and cocktails at the Lighthouse Restaurant on Pier 61. We always have a great time meeting with friends, old and new as I have been attending and covering the ITNY's Benefit Galas since 2003 when Vera Wang was honored.

Honoree, Sonia Rodriguez, Dick Button and 2005 Honoree, Aja Zanova Steindler

Kurt Browning greeting everyone at the cocktail party.

Sonia Rodriguez and Magda Miczak enjoying the party.

Kurt and me.

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