|Evidence Dance Company’s annual Grace in Winter Gala took some of the chill out ofa the arctic blast outside. The evening was chaired by art world legend Lowery Stokes Sims, former president of the internationally acclaimed Studio Museum in Harlem and longtime curator of Modern Art at the Metropolitan Museum. This annual fundraiser for Ronald K. Brown’s dance troupe held at the landmark Hudson Theater in the Millennium Broadway Hotel was the only place to be on a night jampacked with hot parties.
From the moment the doors opened with a steady stream of New York’s movers and shakers in business, arts and fashion passed through its doors to the blasts of flash of the paparazzi. Gala chair Gayle Perkins Atkins had filled the tables with a crowd that looked right out of Central Casting – only this was the real deal. Cole Porter would have felt right at home and ordered a very cold martini and praised the fashion parade of glamorous gals.
Joyce Mullins Jackson who chaired last summer’s real Hamptons classic the On Our Toes in the Hamptons for Evidence, with her husband Judge Bernard Jackson on her arm, swept into the room swathed in a clinging satin navy blue gown that would have made RitaHayworth green with envy. Town & Country’s Alexis Clarke in a retro-chic matte gold figure hugging b.Michael was major eye-candy - ditto Nicole Brewer in a bare shouldered number. Amy Fine Collins glittered in deep electric blue with a matching feathered cape. Chairman of the Board Reginald Van Lee was dashing in an elegantly simple, from the front, black dinner jacket with a back of gold brocade featuring ancient symbols from b.Michael’s newly debuted Homme line. Mitchell Madison partner Neil Lowe also sported a dinner suit from the designer’s collection.
Major star power came first with the arrival of Oscar winning actress Cicely Tyson who was escorted by b.Michael. The appearance of the rarely seen around town actress was the topic of major buzz. Minutes later the flashes became blinding as–Rita Moreno walked in sending ripples throughout the room.
|Dinner tables were set with glistening silver candelabras, spilling blood roses atop hand beaded table clothes designed by Saundra Parks. The crowd finally settled down for the real treat of the evening, a sneak peak at Ronald Brown’s latest creation, Truth Don Die. For the first time in years, a gala crowd was silent and speechless as Brown’s company held everyone in its thrall with their artistry and Brown’s amazing story-telling ability that touched the heart and the brain.
Lending support were gala committee members Gwen and Gerald Adolph, Jaylaan Ahmad-Llewellyn, Dorria L. Ball, Sherry B. Bronfman, Yolanda and Alvin Brown, Alicia and Daniel Bythewood, Judy Byrd-Blaylock and Ronald Blaylock, Debra Martin Chase, Kathryn and Kenneth Chenault, Willie E. Dennis, Jerri DeVard and Gregg Smith, Brickson Diamond, Susan Fales-Hill, Carla A. Harris and Victor A. Franklin, Bernard Jackson, Dwight Johnson, Pamela J. Joyner and Alfred J. Giuffrida, Carol Sutton Lewis and William M. Lewis Jr., Michael McCollom, Christopher Montgomery, Yvonne Doggett Rhea, Baraka Sele, Barbara Karp Shuster, Susan L. Taylor and Khephra Burns, Giovanna and Rolf Thrane, Lisa B. Walker, Barbara and Steven Williams, Janice Savin Williams and Christopher J. Williams and Shellie Williams.
Among the scores of boldfaced guests were Corice Arman, Amy Fine Collins, FloraBiddle, Robert Couturier, Jonathan Capehart, Saundra Cornwell, Ashton Hawkins,Andrea and Maurice DuBois, Anne and Joel Ehrenkranz, Kristoffer Haynes, JonelleProcope, Malik Yoba, Robert and Jackie Ross.