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Rob Marshall, Joel Grey, et al. Head 2011 Astaire Awards Honorary Committee

Ava Astaire and Patricia Watt have announced the nominating committee for the 2011 Fred & Adele Astaire Awards, the only awards that recognize excellence in dance on Broadway and in film.

This year's Nominating Committee Chair is Sylviane Gold. Committee members include Anna Kisselgoff, Damian Woetzel, Wendy Perron, Manny and Lani Azenberg, Donna McKechnie, Lee Roy Reams, Wendy Federman, Barbara and Buddy Freitag, Michael Riedel, Marge Champion, Margaret Selby, Melinda Atwood, Bryan Bantry, Adam Zotovich, Andy Sandberg and Bruce Michael.

Complete list of nominations will be announced on April 26 at the Firebird Russian Restaurant 365 West 46th Street on Theater Row. The 29th Annual Fred & Adele Awards will take place at the Skirball Center for the Performing Arts at NYU, 566 LaGuardia Place on May 15, 2011.

The Astaire Awards are presented by Ava Astaire and The Douglas Watt Family Fund for the Performing Arts. Producer of the awards is Patricia Watt. Co-Producer is the National Dance Alliance. Director is Joe Lanteri. Honorary Chairs are Wendy Federman and Judith Jamison.

Chairing The Astaire Awards Gala are Carolyn Kendall Buchter and Bruce Michael.

The Honorary Committee includes; Mr. and Mrs. Richard Adler, Jean Claude Baker, Bob Balaban, Marisa Berenson, Anna Bergman, Patricia Birch, Marge Champion, Arlene Dahl, Jacques d'Amboise, Gracielle Danielle, Eve Ensler, Jules Fisher, Mario Fratti, Mitzi Gaynor, Savion Glover, Joel Grey, Anne Jackson, Susan Jaffee, Arthur Laurents, Rob Marshall, Donna McKechnie, Joey McKneely, Jerry Mitchell, BebeNeuwirth, Phyllis Newman, Marsha Norman, Robert Osbourne, Jane Powell & Dick Moore ,Harold Prince, Rex Reed, Ann Reinking, Donald SaddlerLiz Smith, Richard Thomas, Sergio Trujillo, Karen Ziemba and Eli Wallach.

For advance ticket purchase for one of the entertainment industry's most electrifying evening please call 212-595-0924 or visit

The Astaire Awards were first established in 1982 with the cooperation of Fred Astaire to honor him and his sister, Adele, who starred with her brother in 10 Broadway musicals between 1917 and 1931.

During their years together, the brother & sister duo delighted Broadway audiences in Over the Top, The Passing Show of 1918, Apple Blossoms, Love Letter, For Goodness Sake, The Bunch & Judy, Lady Be Good, Funny Face, Smiles and The Band Wagon. Fred Astaire starred on Broadway without sister Adele in one more show, The Gay Divorcee.

After Adele retired to marry in 1932, Astaire headed to the West Coast. Signed to RKO, he was loaned to MGM to appear in Dancing Lady before starting work on RKO's Flying Down to Rio. In the latter film, he began his highly successful partnership with Ginger Rogers with whom he danced in 10 motion pictures. Their 17 year collaboration resulted in such classics as The Barkleys of Broadway, Carefree, Follow the Fleet, The Gay Divorcee, Roberta, Shall We Dance, The Story of Vern and Irene Castle, Swing Time and the quintessentially elegant Top Hat.

During these years, he was also active in recording and radio. On film, Astaire later appeared opposite a number of partners through various studios. After a temporary retirement in 1945-7, during which he opened Fred Astaire Dance Studios, Astaire returned to film to star
in more musicals. He subsequently performed a number of straight dramatic roles in film and TV. In addition to starring in the film Funny Face in 1957, he also starred in the original 1927 Broadway version of the George & Ira Gershwin musical Funny Face.

Always one of the most glamorous and eagerly anticipated events on the theatrical calendar, the Awards have paid homage to the brightest lights in the world of dance: Previous award winners include: Debbie Allen, Hinton Battle, Charlotte d'Amboise, Savion Glover, Gregory Hines, Natalia Makarova, Donna McKechnie, Ann Miller, Bebe NeuwirthAnn Reinking and Chita Rivera.

Previous winners of awards for choreography are such legends as George Balanchine, Michael Bennett, Patricia Birch, Wayne Cilento, Graciela Daniele, Bob Fosse, Peter Martins, Ann Reinking, Jerome RobbinsSusan Stroman and two time winner Tommy Tune.

The Astaire Awards are always a star studded affair and over the years scores of celebrities have participated including Brooke Shields, Liza Minnelli, Richard Thomas, Martha Plimpton, Marisa Berenson, Alan Cumming, Geoffrey Rush, Jane Powell, Countess LuAnn deLesseps, Arlene Dahl, Carol Lawrence, Stockard Channing, Donna McKechnie, Bob Balaban,Rosie Perez, Kenny Ortega and Ben Vereen as well as the casts of Fela, Come Fly Away, Ragtime, Memphis, Burn the Floor, Cry Baby,In the Heights, Billy Elliot and West Side Story and Dancing with the Stars' Tony Dovlani, Cheryl Burke and Maksim Chmerkovskiy

This year's Awards will take place at the Skirball Center for the Performing Arts at NYU on May 15. The Jack H. Skirball Center for the Performing Arts is the premier venue for the presentation of cultural and performing arts events for New York University and lower Manhattan. Led by executive producer Jay Oliva (President Emeritus, NYU) and senior director Michael Harrington, the programs of Skirball Center reflect NYU's mission as an international center of scholarship, defined by excellence and innovation and shaped by an intellectually rich and diverse environment. A vital aspect of the Center's mission is to build young adult audiences for the future of live performance.

For more information or advance ticket purchase for one of the entertainment industry's most electrifying evenings, the 2011 Fred & Adele Astaire Awards on May 15 at the Skirball Center for the Performing Arts at New York University please visit



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