Dancers Have Big Hearts

December 22, 2013

You can see that onstage and you can see that in their awareness of others less fortunate.


After the recent typhoon’s destruction in the Philippines was all over the news, Ashley Bouder, New York City Ballet’s firecracker principal, decided to help in the way that dancers can help—by dancing. She organized New York Artists for The Philippines, a gala that benefits the World Food Programme, to take place December 30 at the Manhattan Movement & Arts Center.


Participating artists include two ballet stars whom you may not know are Filipino: ABT’s Stella Abrera and NYCB’s Georgina Pazcoguin. Other ballet dancers, beside Ashley Bouder of course, are Lauren King (a NYCB soloist), Isabella Boylston (soloist, ABT), and Amar Ramasar (principal. NYCB).


The gala also includes star modern dancers like Paul Taylor’s Michael Trusnovec,  Blakeley White-McGuire of the Graham company, and Ailey’s Antonio Douthit-Boyd …and many more.


Blakeley White-McGuire in costume for
Cave of the Heart, set by Noguchi.
By Nathan Sayers for


It’s not as if Bouder has tons of free time. Two weeks ago, when she made a guest appearance at the Dance Magazine Awards (see her sparkling rendition of Balanchine’s Square Dance excerpt here) she told me that, because of injuries at NYCB, she had just done three Sugar Plums with three different partners. She has also continued to be cast as Dewdrop, turned in three papers  at Fordham, where she attends Monday evening classes, and wedged in guest appearances of Nutcracker in Italy.


But organizing this has gala been a major commitment. It takes awareness and passion to do it. Last spring NYCB principal Daniel Ulbricht produced a similar event, Dance Against Cancer, though his motivation was grounded in more personal reasons.


Either way, kudos to the busy dancers who are making events like this possible. For Bouder’s gala, not only are incredible performers donating their time, but Rose Caiola is making her space, MMAC, available for the performance, silent auction, and reception. Although it’s sold out, you can participate by clicking here.