The fourth annual Dancers For Good Benefit, supporting The Actors Fund, brought a multitude of talented, world-class dancers to Guild Hall in East Hampton. TONY Award-winning actress, Cady Huffman graciously hosted the evening, delivering a light-hearted and cheerful tone as she led the event, which honored Jerry Mitchell, Bob Fosse and Gwen Verdon.
To open the evening, the gifted dancers of the Amy Marshall Dance Company took the stage with an awe-inspiring performance of "One Breath," a captivating work based on the idea of coming together as a human race. Many mesmerizing acts followed, including a breath-taking commission and world-premiere by Eryc Taylor titled "The Offering," performed by Dancers For Good co-founder Michael Apuzzo. Actor Troy Britton Johnson presented honoree of the evening, Jerry Mitchell with the Dance Humanitarian Award to recognize the special way in which he applied his unique talents as a director and choreographer to promote impactful philanthropic efforts - truly representing what it means to be a "Dancer for Good." Broadway Bares (which Mitchell created in 1992 for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS) then performed a beautiful trio piece, Menage à Trois, featuring undeniable artistry, in his honor. Additional performances included members from Paul Taylor Dance Company, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Carolyn Dorfman Dance, and special guests Luke Hawkins (Hawkins Tap), Ari Mayzick (Buglisi Dance Theatre), Sean Rozanski (The Bodyguard), Michael Cusumano (ABT) and vocalist Nedra Belle of NBC's The Voice.
The show portion of the evening came to a close with special performances in tribute to Bob Fosse and Gwen Verdon, who were honored for their Lifetime Achievements in Dance, allowing their success and impact to continue living on beyond their time. The audience was captivated as Noah Fosse accepted the honor on his grandparents' behalf, speaking warm and heart-felt words about them, referring lovingly to his grandmother as his "best friend." Following the acceptance, the iconic Bianca Marroquin, well-known for her roles as Roxie Hart in Chicago and Chita Rivera in TV's Fosse/Verdon, grabbed the audience's attention, as she took the stage to honor the Verdon Fosse Legacy, performing "I Gotcha," a number originally choreographed by Bob Fosse for Liza Minelli. Host Cady Huffman closed the evening with "Life is Just a Bowl of Cherries," used in Bob Fosse's final original Broadway Show, Big Deal, in which she had performed.
Following the performance, guests such as Broadway producer Daryl Roth, Chad Beguelin (The Prom) interior designers Bernt Heiberg and Bill Cummings, actors Howard McGillan and Rebecca Eichenberger, choreographers Eryc Taylor, Amy Marshall and Carolyn Dorfman, celebrity facialist Thuyen Nguyen and The Actors Fund's Barbara Davis enjoyed chilled Fleurs de Prairie rosé, Papa & Barkley tinctured drinks, and delicious hors d'oeuvres at a cocktail reception under the stars in the back garden at Guild Hall.
"There is nothing we enjoy more than bringing so many varied and unimaginably talented performers together in the Hamptons while raising awareness and money for The Actors Fund, which does so much for those in the entertainment industry," Dancers For Good co-founder Eric Gunhus said of the evening. "It's a spectacular night that we look forward to all year!"
During the summer of 2015, dancer Michael Apuzzo of Paul Taylor Dance Company, and event planner / former Broadway performer Eric Gunhus conceived bringing a new and fresh event to the Hamptons: a dance festival featuring some of the most prestigious dance companies, prominent choreographers and talented dancers in the business, sharing their gifts to raise funds in support of the performing arts while offering the local community an unparalleled and magical evening of entertainment. -Cindy Sibilsky
Photos: Shin Kurokawa/InJoy Entertainment @the_shinster and @injoyentertainmemt