Mark DeGarmo's DANCE FOR DANCE Honors Patricia Aulestia

By: Oct. 12, 2017

Mark DeGarmo Dance will honor dance visionary PATRICIA AULESTIA, a driving force in the South American dance world, with the 2017 "Educational Visionary" Lifetime Achievement Award to celebrate her unique contributions to education through the arts and to the dance field across Latin America.

Dr. Marcelo Arboleda, director of Ecuador News, will make the presentation to Ms. Aulestia. Master of Ceremonies for the evening's celebration will be Award winning TV Host & personality, and one of the breakout stars of Bravo TV's hit show "The People's Couch", Scott Nevins.

The festivities will also include drinks, hors d'oeuvres, a student performance, a silent auction with gift certificates, dinners, vacations, and more, Friday, November 17, 6:30 to 9:30 PM at University Settlement, 184 Eldridge Street.

Mark DeGarmo first met Ms. Aulestia in 1985 when she facilitated his professional teaching across Mexico in a six-week national project, and DeGarmo is now proud to honor her at the 2017 Dance for Dance event.

PATRICIA AULESTIA was born in Quito, Ecuador and is a Mexican citizen today. Her early dance training was in Chile and Argentina, and later on scholarship at the Martha Graham School in New York, with ballet studies at the American Ballet Center and the Ballet Russe school. Her many accomplishements include: founding and directing the National Dance Research, Documentation and Information Center (CENIDI Danza) "Jose Limon" in Mexico City; acting as Director of the National Dance Company; appearing as principal dancer with the National Ballet of Chile; acting as National Coordinator of Dance for the National Institute of Fine Arts in Mexico; founding and directing the National Ballet of Ecuador. Her wide range of talents have also found her teaching, researching, and choreographing. Ms. Aulestia has been the recipient of many prestigious dance awards, including the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Ministry of Education of Ecuador; the Diploma and Medal for Artistic Merit in Dance by the Brazilian Council of Dance; A Life in Theatre Award from the Mexican Center of the International Theatre Institute/UNESCO; a Life in Dance honor from Mexico's National Institute of Fine Arts, and more.

Mark DeGarmo Dance (MDD) is a not-for-profit charity founded in 1987 with a three-part mission: Education, Performance and Intercultural Community. For 30 years, MDD has provided interdisciplinary dance arts education programs to disenfranchised, economically challenged kids, families, and schools across New York City's five boroughs. With the vision to Enliven Bodies, Shift Perspectives and Change Lives, we serve over 20,000 individuals across all programs and up to 1,500 PreK-5 students and 200 teachers in eight Title 1 public schools during the school day in the Manhattan--East Village, Lower East Side, Washington Heights; Brooklyn--Bedford-Stuyvesant, Clinton Hill, Williamsburg; and Rego Park Queens.

MDD has funded 99% of the program costs for high-need schools and high-risk multicultural elementary students with the NYC Department of Education contributing 1% and sustained partnerships for up to 15 years. Mark DeGarmo, Ph.D., Founder, Executive and Artistic Director of MDD, has had a distinguished international career as a choreographer, performer, and teacher. Over the past three decades, DeGarmo, a Juilliard School Dance Division B.F.A. graduate and Ph.D. from Union Institute & University, has promoted cultural diplomacy and exchange by producing over 100 dances and 28 international tours in 12 countries across Latin America, Europe and Russia.

He has received numerous awards for his accomplishments across fields of education, performance, and intercultural community, including: 2017 American Web Design Award, 2015 Martha Hill Dance Fund Mid-Career Award, 2015 Sophie Gerson Healthy Youth Foundation Recognition, Millennium Artists Program supported by The White House and National Endowment for the Arts, USA State Department's American Cultural Specialist Award to Ecuador, and Fulbright Senior Scholar Fellowship to Peru. DeGarmo's choreography, performance, and costumes were featured in photographs both in 2015 and 2012 in Moscow's A.A. Bakhrushin State Central Theatre Museum of Russia costume exhibitions that also toured the USA.

His transcultural transdisciplinary boundary-breaking performance, "Las Fridas: A Movement Installation and Offering," inspired by Frida Kahlo's life and work, previewed in New York City with five performances in December 2015 and seven performances in April 2016, both of which were acclaimed by New York press from,, The Villager, and Bedford + Bowery. Because of his original creative work and passion for intercultural community-building DeGarmo was led to being the face of the June 2017 cover feature article of national magazine DanceTeacher and was recognized as a leader in both dance and dance education.

Past recipients of the Dance for Dance "Educational Visionary Lifetime Achievement Award," include dance writer Deborah Jowitt (2016), ballet legends and founders of The Briansky Ballet Center Oleg Briansky and Mireille Brianne (2015); acress/writer/director, and co-founder of The Living Theatre Judith Malina (2014); and educational theorist and social activist Maxine Greene (2013). All have contributed significantly in diverse ways over the year to the USA's arts and culture.

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