Providing a community of support for mature dancers.
2009 Legacy Awards
In the Company of Friends
The Legacy Award Honorees with Richard Skipper (Carol Channing) and President John Sefakis. The Honorees, left to right are Margery Beddow, Marge Champion, Nicole Barth, Gemze de Lappe and Billie Mahoney
Dancers over 40 proudly honored Nicole Barth, Margery Beddow, Marge Champion, Gemze de Lappe and Billie Mahoney -- five women whose careers, lives and deeds have exceeded expectations and whose contributions to the art of dance have been considerable.
Swing 46 was packed to overflowing December 13th, with members, friends of Dancers over 40 and many new faces from the Broadway, modern and ballet community all gathered to honor their own. Oleg Bariansky and his wife (new members), were present, as well as Sondra Lee, Harvey Evans, Luigi, Mary Jane Houdina, Louisa Flaningam, Bick Goss, Carolyn Kirsch, Penny Worth, Rudy Tronto in from LA, Garold Gardener (who’s never in town for a DO40 event!) Teak Lewis, Lee Hooper, Gene Foote, Frank Pietri, Geye Bayliss, Ron Young, Jed Danforth, Kathy Conry (gearing up for the DO40 No No, Nanette reunion in the Fall!) Bill Guske, Judy McGrath, Karin Baker, Lois Silk, Dick Korthaze, Mary Lou Barber, Larry Merritt, Jane Klain – we could go on for paragraphs!
The honorees were surprised when guests came up to speak about them – Harvey Evans and Sondra Lee for Marge Champion; Ron Young and Gene Bayliss for Nicole Barth; Ricci Adan and Dennis Cole for Gemze de Lappe; Luigi and Larry Stevens for Billie Mahoney and Luigi and Pam Saunders, Marge Beddow’s daughter, for Marge.
Guest Hostess with the most-est, Carol Channing (Richard Skipper, photo right) had the house howling with laughter, and sang two songs to the honorees. Carol told stories about how Marge Champion was responsible for starting her career in a show directed by Gower Champion and led the audience in a Happy Birthday to Margery Beddow (Dec 13th!) as well. (Richard Skipper was SO good, it took a little while for Luigi, left, to realize that it wasn’t REALLY Carol Channing!) As usual, video clips from this event will be on our youtube channel, www.youtube.com/dancersover40, and a copy of the video will be donated to the Jerome Robbins Dance Collection at Lincoln Center Library for the Performing Arts.
The honorees were presented with beautiful Lucite awards, embedded with the new Dancers Over 40 Legacy Awards Logo, their name and DO40’s motto, “Our History…Our Legacy…Our Lives,” designed by graphic artist Eric Perry, who also designed DO40’s new logo. Since this was DO40’s first-ever awards presentation, the surprise factor was very high. Honorees didn’t know whom of their friends were coming, or even speaking. A gorgeous cake was commissioned, with the Legacy Awards logo inscribed on it, and the honorees took with them separate small cakes with their names on them. They all were made by pasteries master Elizabeth Adam, who coincidentally, has a six degrees of separation/coincidence with Marge Champion: her grandmother was Marge Champion’s voice teacher!
The room was decorated by Swing 46, and table accessories and flowers designed by board members Lawrence Merritt and Karin Baker. As always, the hardest gig of the evening was at the door, where board members Lois Silk, Kathy Seng Gurland, Gregg Mayer and Mary Lou Barber had extra work, as Swing 46 was not prepared for the DO40 onslaught, and many members were in line and on the street waiting to get in for what seemed to be an eternity (but it wasn’t quite that…!). Special thanks to Mike Strong for video and photos, as well as Alexandra Corazza, who is a free-lance photographer for Thirteen/WNET. Marcus Galante gallantly tried to shoot video from the back of the house, amidst the whirling dervishes of wait staff and roaming guests. Emcee Richard Skipper donated his services for the event, and for that Dancers Over 40 is extremely grateful. It takes waaay more than a village to produce the DO40 Legacy Awards!
Our Legacy Audience
Dancers over 40 have many, many members to whom this honor can be bestowed. We’ve just started the journey this year, and will continue this process with the Men of DO40 in December, 2010. We will be honoring our members outside the NY/NJ/CT area as well, and members who have not traveled the traditional path in the dance world. You dance. You live. You create. Our members have done it all. And we salute them.
In the Company of Friends: Dancers Talking to Dancers
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