DANCE TO UNITE's 5th Annual Benefit Raised More Than $120,000
Dance to Unite raised more than $120,000 in support of the non-profit organization's expanding free after-school dance and education programs at their 5th Annual Benefit: Lead the Way on Tuesday, May 15, 2018 at 6:30pm at the Manny Cantor Center, located on the Lower East Side at 197 E Broadway, New York, NY 10002.
This year's benefit, a celebration of artistic excellence and cultural diversity, proudly honored Allen Kovac, CEO and President of 10th Street Entertainment, one of the world's leading music management companies. Joining him was featured speaker, Igal Perry, Artistic Director of Peridance Contemporary Dance Company and founder of Peridance, named one of the best dance schools by Time Out Magazine. The evening included performances by Peridance Contemporary Dance Company and by Dance to Unite students from PS64, as well as a promotional video presented by Emmy Award-winning journalist Susan Farkas.
All proceeds will support Dance to Unite's critical work in offering free multicultural, dance classes to inner-city public school kids in Manhattan's Lower East Side, Chinatown, Chelsea, East Harlem, Brooklyn and the Bronx.
"Being a small part of an organization that has grown from serving 120 underprivileged children to 1,200 is a true honor. Dance to Unite's message is more important today than ever. I am humbled to be their honoree this year."
- Benefit's Honoree Allen Kovac
"Confidence. I learned how to be kind, compassionate and accepting to others because it helps me learn about other people."
- Giselle, 4th grade Dance to Unite Student, describing the experience in one word.
"Epic. I enjoyed dancing and to show people what I learned. I also learned new words and how to express my self to others... I had a great time at Dance to Unite and it was one of the best days ever."
- Rukhsora, 4th grade Dance to Unite Student, describing the experience in one word.
"Wonderful evening for an incredible organization. Your Circle Talk is a game changer. "
- Mark A. Ricca, President & CEO, First American International Bank
This year's benefit was attended by over 200 guests, including honoree Allen Kovac, featured speaker Igal Perry, award-winning journalist Susan Farkas, legendary singer Debbie Harry of Blondie. Additional attendees and supporters: Galit Adani, Alvin Adell, Joe Austin, Danielle Awad, Gina Barac-Bauer, Julia Bechtolsheimer, Robin Becker, Kathy Brady, Scott Burton, Linda Carbone, Kennedy Cogan, Rivka Cohen, Tommy DeBenedictis, Matthew Divittorio, Jeffrey Feinman, Lilia Gorodinsky, Gloria Hage, Rachel Jacobellis, Jennifer Jacqes, Nadine Kochuyt, Robert Macmillan, Amy Margolis, MeLimel Mdad, Ashley Miaoci Huang, Jenny Morgenthau, Anh-Tuyet Nguyen, Ron Norsworthy, Paul Orloff, Isha Patel, Suzanne Paxton, Jackie Sencion Pfadt, Ashu Rai, Katie Re Scheidt, Mark Ricca, Larry Satterfield, Dennis Shah, Angela Siebrecht, Thomas Silverman, Lesley Silvester, Smax, Kathy Sullivan-Ottma, Shirley Tambor, Santressa Thompson, Nicole Tongue, Atif Toor, JoAnne Torti, Vietspot Restaurant, and David Wroe.
Dance to Unite Board of Directors: Anh-Tuyet Nguyen Chairman of the Board, Nicole Tongue-Kovac, Alvin Adell MD, Lynn Zilka, Jennifer Jacques, Galit Adani Executive Director
Host Committee: David Walker - Host Committee Chair, Danielle Awad, Dennis Shah, Eric Laverty, Harry Stamoulis, Jackie Sencion, Jenny Morgenthau, Kerry Clayton & Paige Royer, Lesley Silvester & Terry Khan, Lilia Gorodinsky, Liz Clardy, Victoria Gulevich
CEO/Founder, Tenth Street Entertainment/The Eleven Seven Music Group
In his more than four-decade-long career in the music business, Allen Kovac has been an independent maverick and entrepreneur, a pioneering, self-taught executive who not only predicted music industry trends, but put them into practice. At his core, though, the record company management firm/music publisher founder is at heart an artist advocate, one who makes sure to maximize that talent through creative marketing, promotion and a big data-based approach. As a leading voice in the indie community, Kovac is involved as a committee member for A2IM (American Association of Independent Music) and has been instrumental in working with international trade organization Merlin to improve relations with the major streaming services.
Born in Israel to Holocaust survivor parents who fought in the country war for independence in 1948, Kovac moved with his family to Houston at three, revealing his business skills when he joined with his older (by a year) brother Phillip to book acts like ZZ Top and Michael Murphey to his high school. Dropping out of the University of Oregon in Eugene after a year, he convinced a local Chinese restaurant owner to let him use the venue to promote rock bands there at night. The Place became a vital tour stop for groups between San Francisco and Portland, with Allen and Phillip's company, TDA (Totally Dedicated to Artists) Productions bringing in such acts as Tom Petty, Talking Heads and Elvis Costello to the 500-capacity room between 1974 and 1984. "Back then there was a culture of music," he recalls. "People like Ken Kesey and the Grateful Dead... It was a true community."
In 1985 Allen created Tenth Street Entertainment, an artist management company in LA that included Richard Marx, Duran Duran, The Cranberries, Motley Crue and Meatloaf. By 1995 Allen had an interest in branching out from traditional music marketing and created a joint venture with DDB Needham and Strategic Research. These companies were media buying and consumer research ventures for the music industry. Highlights include Garth Brooks, Meatloaf Bat Out Of Hell 2, and the Beatles. He continued expanding management to The Bee Gees, Blondie, Luther Vandross, Yes, and En Vogue.
In 2006 Allen founded E7LG - The Eleven Seven Music Group to give artists the integrated world wide marketing campaigns and direct distribution with ITunes, Amazon, Apple Music, Spotify, YouTube and Deezer.
While the major labels tend to their quarterly billing with a steady diet of hip-hop and pop, Kovac has doubled down on rock and artist development, which he's studied for nearly 45 years now, recognizing what it takes to succeed, and applying principles both old school and up-to-date.
From Richard Marx to Nothing More, the Santa Antonio, TX band which just garnered three Grammy nominations earlier this year, Allen Kovac has had his finger on the pulse of the music business, and he's not about to let up.
Allen is currently co-producing the movie "The Dirt" (based the on biography of the legendary rock band Mötely Crü) with Julie and Rick Yorn for Netflix, and a musical based on Nikki Sixx's autobiography "The Heroin Diaries."
Allen Kovac continues to break new ground. "Whatever I don't know, I learn," he says simply. Call him a quick learner.
Founder and Artistic Director of Peridance Contemporary Dance Company and Peridance Capezio Center
Igal Perry is a world-renowned choreographer, ballet master, and dance educator. Mr. Perry's elegant choreography, often in collaboration with contemporary composers, has been described as "blessedly inventive" (Jennifer Dunning, NYTimes). His works have been set on prestigious companies and performed at renowned festivals including Florence Dance Festival and Invito Alla Danza (Italy), Batsheva and Bat-Dor Dance Companies and the Karmiel Dance Festival (Israel), Ailey II and Complexions Contemporary Ballet (NYC), Companhia de Danca de Lisboa (Portugal), and Alberta Ballet (Canada). This year his new work Infinity will be set on the San Jose Ballet.
Born in Israel, Igal Perry began his dancing career with Karmon, a folk dance company. He later joined the Bat-Dor Dance Company, where he worked with leading teachers and choreographers including Alvin Ailey, Benjamin Harkarvy, John Butler, Rudi Van Dantzig, Inesse Alexandrov, Paul Sanasardo, and Lar Lubovitch. Upon arriving in the United States, Mr. Perry joined Dennis Wayne's Dancers as ballet master and choreographer. During that period, he staged John Butler's work for the NYC Opera, the Opera of Munich, Caracas Ballet, and Teatro Alla Scala in Milan, where he also directed the world premiere of Krzysztof Penderecki's opera Paradise Lost. From 1981-1982, Mr. Perry headed the ballet department at Jacob's Pillow. In 1983, he launched his dance school, Peridance Capezio Center, now one of New York City's leading dance institutions. A year later he founded Peridance Contemporary Dance Company, for which he has choreographed over 50 works, with performances at BAM, The Joyce Theater, and City Center.
In addition to his daily class at Peridance, Mr. Perry serves as guest faculty/choreographer at The Jacob's Pillow Festival, The Ailey School, and Marymount Manhattan College. Since 1995, Mr. Perry has served as a guest teacher at The Juilliard School, where he staged his Intimate Voices and Mourning Song. His international teaching engagements include Scapino Ballet and Het National Ballet (Holland), Laterna Magica and the National Ballet (Prague), Architanz (Tokyo), The Royal Ballet of Sweden and Balettakademien (Sweden), the National Ballet of China, and the Kwang-Ju City Ballet Company (Korea).
PERIDANCE CONTEMPORARY DANCE COMPANY
Founded by Artistic Director Igal Perry, New York City's Peridance Contemporary Dance Company has been a powerhouse of energetic and evocative dance since 1984. Operating from its home at the renowned Peridance Capezio Center at Union Square, the Company presents an annual New York Season at the Salvatore Capezio Theater as well as guest performances in venues such as The Joyce Theater, BAM, and Lincoln Center. In addition to Perry's signature works, described by the NY Times as "blessedly inventive", the Company has commissioned and performed works by many choreographers including Ohad Naharin, Dwight Rhoden, and Sidra Bell. In the past five years alone, the Company's domestic and international tours have brought contemporary dance to over 45,000 audience members around the globe in festivals and venues such as Jacob's Pillow Inside/Out, Big Arts Florida, Spring to Dance St. Louis, Florence Dance Festival, Tel Aviv Dance, Seoul International Dance Festival, and many more. The Company's "Dance-Break" outreach program provides an array of creative dance workshops for youth, often in underserved schools. PCDC has been generously supported by the New York State Council on the Arts, Capezio Dance Foundation, Harkness Foundation, Google, the Jewish Communal Fund, PNC Bank, and the Sequoia Foundation.
Dance to Unite, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to use dance as a vehicle to teach and to celebrate cultural diversity. We are committed to creating positive experiences for children to develop understanding, acceptance, respect and compassion for all cultures culminating in unity for the purpose of future peace. Dance to Unite, Inc. partners with After School programs to offer weekly free dance classes with an educational component that celebrates cultural diversity. The classes are complemented periodically with special guest artists who conduct workshops to promote our mission of unity and peace. Each Dance to Unite class culminates with and end of the year performance. www.dancetounite.org
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