*More than 200 patrons of the art joined Ronald K. Brown and the illustrious Evidence, A Dance Company at the company’s annual “On Our Toes” Hamptons Summer Benefit on Saturday, August 17, 2013 on the gorgeous grounds of the Hayground School in tony Bridgehampton, New York.
Guests were greeted by Evidence’s Board Secretary Gail Monroe-Perry who opened the haute Hamptons happening by welcoming the well dressed guests and thanking them for supporting the 10th Annual “On Our Toes” event with proceeds from the event going to support the contemporary dance company’s community outreach programs and full benefits for dancers.
During the cocktail hour, guests enjoyed cocktails and fine wines courtesy of Moet Hennessy. Guests feasted on an array of delectable appetizers catered by Harlem’s famed 5 and Diamond Restaurant, which specializes in modern American foods with a Spanish influence.
Following cocktails, guests entered a large tent furnished with white lounge chairs and sofas and high tables for the dance performance, live auction, a light dinner, dessert and Evidence, A Dance Company’s signature “Dancing with the Dancers.”
Other entertainment was provided by Broadway’s Porgy and Bess star Andrea Jones-Sojola who swept guests off their feet with a soul-stirring rendition of the song “Summertime” from Porgy and Bess.
The dance company presented a special performance of “High Life,” which draws striking parallels of the Great Migration in the U.S. by depicting the journeys from the South to the North and from West African villages to the city.
Evidence, A Dance Company Board Member Reginald Canal led a “Bricks and Mortar” that raised $30,000 to support the dance company. A live auction offered bidders an opportunity to win private, luxury villa vacations to Italy and France; VIP sport experiences to the Super Bowl and US Open Tennis; VIP tour of Yankee stadium led by a former World Series Champion player; attendance at the “Salute the Sandman” event with legendary Yankee baseball player Mariano Rivera; and exclusive passes to the final round to the PGA Masters tournament at the Augusta National Golf Club.
The amazing afternoon affair ended on a very high dance note as members of the highly acclaimed dance company were joined by guests on the dance floor and boogied the evening away to DJ driven music.
Notable guests in attendance were Evidence, A Dance Company Chair Emeritus Reginald Van Lee; Alvin Ailey dancers Fana Tesfagiorgis & Matthew Rushing; Alicia & Daniel Bythewood; Brie Bythewood; Tawana Tibbs & Bruce Gordon; Peg Alston & Willis Burton; Michael Heningburg & Dr. Jeanine B. Downie; Reginald Canal; Dr. Ancy Verdier; Donna Williams, and Diane Clear among other distinguished guests.
Sag Harbor & New York City residents Susan L. Taylor, editor emerita of Essence Magazine and founder of National CARES Mentoring Movement, Inc., and her husband Khephra Burns, author, playwright and producer, served as benefit honorary chairs. The power couple hosted the dance company’s first summer benefit 10 years ago at Nova’s Ark in Bridgehampton to bring the arts and dance from the African Diaspora to the Hamptons. “I love how they lift up our history, culture and spirit,” stated a radiant Taylor about the legendary dance company.
The benefit committee included: Larry Satterfield (board chair); Gail Monroe-Perry (secretary); Reginald Van Lee, (chairman emeritus); Zaid Abdul-Aleem; Alvin Adell; Dwayne Ashley; Monica F. Azare; Reginald Canal; Spike Lee; Leslie Mays; James Sullivan; Jocelyn Taylor; and Dr. Ancy Verdier. James Nixon and Curtis D. Young served as Young Patrons co-chairs.
The internationally-acclaimed Evidence, A Dance Company is under the direction of founder and artistic director Ronald K. Brown, the world-renowned choreographer of Tony Award-winning The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess and 2012 recipient of the Fred and Adele Astaire Award for Outstanding Choreographer in a Broadway show.
Corporate sponsors of the swinging soiree included Moet Hennessy and Verizon Foundation. Benefit sponsors included Dr. Alvin Adell; Bloomberg; Susan L. Taylor, National CARES Mentoring Movement, Inc.; and Reginald Van Lee. Kudos to Shanta Bryant Gyan at [email protected] who returned as event coordinator and once again did a splendid job. (Photo Credit: Getty Images for Evidence, A Dance Company).
About Evidence, A Dance Company
Founded in 1985 by internationally-acclaimed choreographer Ronald K. Brown, Evidence, A Dance Company’s mission is to promote understanding of the human experience in the African Diaspora through dance and storytelling and to provide sensory connections to history and tradition through music, movement and spoken word leading deeper into issues of spirituality, community responsibility and liberation. For more information, please visit www.evidencedance.com.
New York based award-winning journalist Audrey J. Bernard covers entertainment, fashion & beauty, film, lifestyles and travel for the Electronic Urban Report and other outlets. Contact her via: [email protected]