The Art of the Transition: A Conversation On Next Steps - City Parks Foundation

City Parks Foundation

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The Art of the Transition: A Conversation On Next Steps

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

6:00 pm - 7:00 pm

SummerStage, Central Park

Rumsey Playfield, Manhattan, 10021

Hosted by Danni Gee, SummerStage Dance Curator & former Alvin Ailey principal dancer, with celebrated dancers Alicia Graf-Mack, Desmond Richardson & Bebe Neuwirth.

Join us as we talk with celebrated dancers, Alicia Graf-Mack, Desmond Richardson & Bebe Neuwirth*, about the unique challenges artists face around career transition.

RSVP is required for all and is on first-come, first-served basis at

* Guest speakers may be subject to change


Bebe Neuwirth has been dancing and singing and working in theatre, television and film for the last 40 years. Some of her credits include –Broadway- A Chorus Line, Little Me, Dancin’, Sweet Charity (Tony Award), Damn Yankees, Addams Family, Chicago (Tony, Drama Desk, Astaire, etc. Awards), Fosse. Off-Broadway- A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Here Lies Jenny, etc. Regional- West Side Story, The Taming of the Shrew, etc. London’s West End- Kiss of the Spiderwoman. TV- Cheers (2 Emmy Awards), Frasier, Blue Bloods, etc. Film- Greencard, Liberty Heights, Summer Sam, etc. Albums- Porcelain, Stories in NYC (live at 54Below). Various honors and awards- CTFD Rolex Dance Award, Dance Magazine Award, Honorary Doctorate from Manhattan School of Music, Honorary Zeigfeld Girl, Honorary member of Local 1 (Stagehands’ Union).

Desmond Richardson, is the Co-Artistic Director with master choreographer Dwight Rhoden of the internationally acclaimed Complexions Contemporary Ballet, now celebrating its 25th year. With his technical virtuosity and statuesque expressive demeanor, NY Times has hailed him as among the greatest dancers of his time. Lara Hartley poetically described him on Ballet Magazine website as “Moving sculpture, a body that is art, passing through time and space with power and grace – all parts connected, never stopping but heart stopping in beauty.”
Richardson has been a principal dancer and an invited guest with many of the most prestigious companies in the world such as Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Martha Graham, Jose Lìmon, The Frankfurt Ballet, The Bolshoi Ballet, The Royal Swedish Opera Ballet, Mariinsky Theatre, Teatro a la Scala, The Washington Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, among others, and he was the first African American principal dancer of American Ballet Theater. Richardson recently was invited to dance and speak for TEDTALKS IN PALO ALTO and will be featured as the character “Sammy” in the upcoming featured film sequel “HighStrungFreeDance”. Richardson is currently the recipient of the US Presidential Honors Roosevelt “ Rosey” Thompson Award.

Alicia Graf Mack enjoyed a distinguished career as a leading dancer of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. She has also been a principal dancer with Dance Theatre of Harlem and Complexions Contemporary Ballet. Ms. Graf Mack has danced as a guest performer with Alonzo King’s LINES Ballet, Beyoncé, John Legend, Andre 3000, and Alicia Keys.

Ms. Graf Mack graduated magna cum laude with honors in history from Columbia University and holds an MA in nonprofit management from Washington University in St. Louis.
As a dance educator, Ms. Graf Mack most recently taught as adjunct faculty at the University of Houston and was a visiting assistant professor at Webster University. She is a co-founder of D(n)A Arts Collective, an initiative created to enrich the lives of young dancers through master classes and intensives. She began her inaugural season as director of the Juilliard Dance Division in the fall of 2018.

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