Evidence, A Dance Company will host its 8th Annual Gala on Monday, February 13, at New York’s Manhattan Center to support the dance company’s mission to promote understanding of the African Diaspora through dance and storytelling and to provide sensory connections to history and tradition through music, movement and spoken word.

The Verizon Foundation will receive the 2012 Corporate Award for their long standing support of the arts and work of Evidence, A Dance Company. Distinguished guests from the arts and entertainment industry and business community will attend the star-studded benefit gala. The black-tie affair will begin with an elegant cocktail reception, followed by dinner, a special performance by Evidence, dessert and Evidence’s signature “Dancing with the Dancers”.

Actress Phylicia Rashad is the Gala Honorary Chair. The Honorary Committee includes actress Lynn Whitfield; former ESSENCE editor-in-chief Susan L. Taylor and writer Khephra Burns; actress Tamara Tunie and jazz vocalist Gregory Generet; and leading U.S. financiers Reginald Van Lee and Pamela J. Joyner. The Gala dinner co-chairs are Monica F. Azare and Larry Satterfield. WCBS-TV news anchor Maurice DuBois and Andrea DuBois will also serve as Honorary Chairs.

The Gala will present Evidence’s first ever performance of Gatekeepers: Celebrating Service, a powerful modern dance work that explores the theme of service and intergenerational care giving.

Choreographed by Founder and Artistic Director Ronald K. Brown, this work blends Native American myth and African traditions to artistically convey bridging the gap between young people and elders in the community, and the fundamental responsibility for both groups to serve each other as caregivers.

“Evidence is thrilled to present the work Gatekeepers at our annual benefit gala,” said Brown. “This majestic new work will capture the audience with its passionate message on the continuity of caregiving among youth and the elderly to strengthen communities and teach respect and collective responsibility.” The company will perform to electrifying music by longtime collaborator and costume designer Wunmi.

Brown said Gatekeepers portrays Evidence’s spirited dancers as “soldiers walking toward heaven, searching for the wounded and looking out to make a safe haven for others to follow.” An internationally-acclaimed choreographer who has also choreographed works for Alvin Ailey, Brown choreographed Gershwin’s masterpiece Porgy and Bess, which opens on Broadway in January 2012.

All proceeds will benefit Evidence’s outreach programs, including the “Gatekeeper” project, which through unique performances and outreach activities in communities across the U.S., aims to teach young people responsibility and respect for their elders, and help them better understand the meaning of community service.

The mission of Evidence, A Dance Company is to promote understanding of the human experience in the African Diaspora through dance and storytelling and to provide sensory connections to history and tradition through music, movement and spoken word leading deeper into issues of spirituality, community responsibility and liberation.

For tickets to the gala performance and dinner, please visit www.evidencedance.com or call The JFM Group at 914-235-1490 x16 or email evidence@thejfmgroup.com for more information. Individual tickets begin at $1000, table packages begin at $10,000.

Founded in 1985 by internationally-acclaimed choreographer Ronald K. Brown, Evidence, A Dance Company’s mission is to promote understanding of the human experience in the African Diaspora through dance and storytelling and to provide sensory connections to history and tradition through music, movement and spoken word leading deeper into issues of spirituality, community responsibility and liberation. For more information, please visit www.evidencedance.com.

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