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Photo Flash: Inside Dance Theatre of Harlem's 2014 Vision Gala, Honoring Patti LaBelle

Dance Theatre of Harlem (DTH) held its 2014 Vision 2014 Gala on February 25th at Cipriani 42 in New York City. As Dance Theatre of Harlem celebrates its 45th Anniversary, this year's gala was themed "Live the Moment" and raised $700,000, $75,000 of which resulted from the entertaining live auction conducted by Audrey Smaltz, with the proceeds benefitting the DTH School's Next Generation and Community Engagement Funds. Honorees were Grammy Award-winning recording artist Patti LaBelle with the Arthur Mitchell Vision Award; dance educator and arts advocate Jody Gottfried Arnhold with The Carl and Lily Pforzheimer Foundation Medal; and Goldman, Sachs & Co. senior partner Valentino D. Carlotti with the inaugural Virtuoso Award. The evening's honorary chair was Billy Joel (not in attendance). Scroll down for photos!

There were performances by the Dance Theatre of Harlem School to "Over the Rainbow," choreographed by School Director Endalyn Taylor; a preview of the Dance Theatre of Harlem Company's forthcoming spring season at Jazz at Lincoln Center with an excerpt from "The Pas de Dix from Raymonda;" as well as a special tribute performance by the Company to Ms. LaBelle, choreographed by resident choreographer Robert Garland. However, the surprise performance of the evening was from "Lady Marmalade" herself when she ended her acceptance speech with an acapella rendition of "The Lord's Prayer," with opera singer Jessye Norman joining her, along with the entire audience, in singing amen. "I can dance, but they dance like angels," said LaBelle during her acceptance speech, referring to the Dance Theatre of Harlem Company tribute performance. "This is my 52nd year in this business called show and to be honored by the Dance Theatre of Harlem for their 45th year anniversary, I feel so blessed, so honored," she continued during a short dinner break in the program.

Nearly 400 corporate sponsors, supporters, friends, alumni and members of the board attended the event, including journalist Paula Zahn, Malaak Compton Rock, Kimberly Chandler, Miss USA 2012 Nana Meriwether, Isiah and Lynne Thomas; Miss New York City 2014 Kira Kazantsev, philanthropists Samuel Peabody, Judith M. Hoffman, Jean Shafiroff, Beverly D'Anne and Guy Mognaz. "It was a very special evening that brought together the tremendous talent and expertise of our Company dancers and the great potential in our DTH school students. What a perfect celebration of the past 45 years of Dance Theatre of Harlem, to see the legendary Patti LaBelle take the stage to receive the Arthur Mitchell Vision Award from our longtime board member Jessye Norman, and to say thank you to honorees Valentino D. Carlotti and Jody Gottfried Arnhold for all that they've done for Dance Theatre of Harlem, the arts and education," says Virginia Johnson, Artistic Director.

Members of Dance Theatre of Harlem's Board of Directors were also on hand for the star-studded celebration, including Chairman of the Board Kendrick Ashton, Jr., Gala Committee Chair Leslie Wims Morris, along with board members Alpha Mom's Isabel Kallman, DTH Vice Chairman of the Board Michael Armstrong, Trey Muldrow, Kevin Cofsky, Zandra Perry Ogbomo, and Aliya LeeKong.

ABOUT DANCE THEATRE OF HARLEM: Under the leadership of Artistic Director Virginia Johnson and Executive Director Laveen Naidu, Dance Theatre was founded in 1969 by Arthur Mitchell and Karel Shook. Dance Theatre of Harlem is a leading dance institution of unparalleled global acclaim that uses the art form of classical ballet to change people's lives. Now in its fifth decade, Dance Theatre of Harlem has grown into a multi-cultural dance institution with an extraordinary legacy of providing opportunities for creative expression and artistic excellence that continues to set standards in the performing arts. Dance Theatre of Harlem has achieved unprecedented success, bringing innovative and bold new forms of artistic expression to audiences in New York City, across the country and around the world. Dance Theatre of Harlem is located at 466 West 152nd Street in a landmark district in Harlem. The organization's award winning building houses four dance studios, administrative offices, library and archives, gift shop and a physical therapy facility.

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Photo Flash: Inside Dance Theatre of Harlem's 2014 Vision Gala, Honoring Patti LaBelle
Kimberly Chandler and brother Browne Andrews

Photo Flash: Inside Dance Theatre of Harlem's 2014 Vision Gala, Honoring Patti LaBelle
Honoree Patti LaBelle and Jessye Norman

Photo Flash: Inside Dance Theatre of Harlem's 2014 Vision Gala, Honoring Patti LaBelle
Virginia Johnson and Nana Meriwether, Miss USA 2012

Photo Flash: Inside Dance Theatre of Harlem's 2014 Vision Gala, Honoring Patti LaBelle
Paula Zahn, Laveen Naidu, and Honoree Patti LaBelle

Photo Flash: Inside Dance Theatre of Harlem's 2014 Vision Gala, Honoring Patti LaBelle
DTH Company Dancers with Honoree Valentino D. Carlotti

Photo Flash: Inside Dance Theatre of Harlem's 2014 Vision Gala, Honoring Patti LaBelle
Patti LaBelle

Photo Flash: Inside Dance Theatre of Harlem's 2014 Vision Gala, Honoring Patti LaBelle
Jean Shafiroff

Photo Flash: Inside Dance Theatre of Harlem's 2014 Vision Gala, Honoring Patti LaBelle
Jessye Norman and Samuel Peabody

Photo Flash: Inside Dance Theatre of Harlem's 2014 Vision Gala, Honoring Patti LaBelle
Honoree Jody Gottfried Arnhold, Samuel Peabody, and Honoree Valentino D. Carlotti

Photo Flash: Inside Dance Theatre of Harlem's 2014 Vision Gala, Honoring Patti LaBelle
Beverly D'Anne and Guy Mognaz

Photo Flash: Inside Dance Theatre of Harlem's 2014 Vision Gala, Honoring Patti LaBelle
Patti LaBelle with the DTH Dancers. Photo by Lisa Pacino.

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