Brooklyn Arts Leaders Honored at Dancewave Gala

Last night, at a packed BAM Fisher, a crowd of the who’s who on the Brooklyn arts scene turned out for the Dancewave gala honoring some of Brooklyn’s finest contributors to the arts community.

Guests browsed a silent auction before the main event, including offerings of hotel stays in New York and Paris, as well as tickets to BAM’s Next Wave festival. Dancewave, which previously has hosted galas at Long Island University and BMCC Tribeca Performing Arts Center, was there to celebrate their massive growth since their founding in 1995. Since then, the 4th Avenue-based youth dance organization has expanded to host a pre-professional dance company, programs in New York City public schools, and their Step Up scholarship initiative for dance students.

As the crowd assembled in the theater, Dancewave organizers spoke of the center’s successes. Board Chair Saundra Thomas praised Dancewave for being at “the vanguard of matching entertainment with excellence.”

The night’s honorees included Harvey Lichtenstein, the celebrated former Executive Director at BAM from 1967-1999; Carlo A. Scissura, CEO of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce (and Marty Markowitz’s former chief of staff); and Kyle Abraham, choreographer for pre-professional Dancewave Company I’s 2012-13 season.

Marty Markowitz issued citations and a proclamation to commend the honorees, and Deputy Borough President Sandra Chapman read, stating “It’s most fitting we recognize these extraordinary individuals whose artistic and creative expressions greatly enrich the lives of Brooklynites.”

After the awards were handed out, Dancewave Company I took the stage to perform two pieces: a brief excerpt from “Pupil Suite” by Gallim Dance Company/Andrea Miller and a powerful, mesmerizing excerpt from honoree-choreographer Kyle Abraham’s “The Radio Show.”

Abraham’s piece, a constantly-changing radio-style mashup of hip-hop and classic dance movements, drew a standing ovation from the audience.

The stunning, professional-quality performance put proof to Councilman Stephen Levin’s comment during the ceremony that “Dancewave has, more than anything, this beating, pounding heart that speaks to the life of Brooklyn and its neighboring communities.”