Dance Council Honors features performances, awards Sunday

Posted: September 28, 2011 in Bruce Wood, Dallas Black Dance Theatre, Dance Council of North Texas, Local Dance

Michael Serrecchia (left) touring with Chita Rivera/Photo courtesy Dance Council of North Texas

The Dance Council of North Texas hands out its annual awards Sunday afternoon at the Arts District studios of Dallas Black Dance Theatre. Among the honorees is Michael Serrecchia, an original cast member of A Chorus Line now ploughing his trade as an actor and choreographer for Theatre Three and other local companies. Serrecchia will receive the Natalie Skelton Award for Artistic Excellence.

The ceremony also features performances by DBDT, Bruce Wood Dance Project and eight Dance Council scholarship students. The scholarship program is the beneficiary of the Dance Council Honors. Tickets to the 2:30 p.m. event are $35 and available at the Dance Council website or by calling 214-219-2290. Discounts are available for Dance Council members and students. Press release after the jump.

The other honorees are:

Revathi Satyu, Mary McLarry Bywaters Award for Lifetime Contribution to Dance

Danny Curry, Mary Warner Award for Service to Dance

Dorothy "Dottie" Williams Hunt Kleeb, Larry White Dance Educator Award

Gene Pflug, Texas Tap Legend

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Celebrating Outstanding Artistic Accomplishments: The 2011 Dance Council Honors

WHAT: A significant Dallas, TX awards ceremony to recognize five outstanding Texans for professional and service achievements in dance. Event includes a gala showcase of selected 2011 DCNT Scholarship recipients and the exciting Dallas Black Dance Theatre. Attendees enjoy a silent auction and a complimentary reception.
WHEN: Sunday, October 2, at 2:30 p.m.
WHERE: Dallas Black Dance Theatre, 2700 Flora Street, Dallas, Texas 75201.
TICKETS: $35 adults, $25 DCNT members, and $20 students under the age of 16. Ticket price includes complimentary reception. Prices rise after September 26: $40 adults; $30 DCNT members; $20 students under the age of 16. Proceeds benefit the Dance Council of North Texas and its celebrated Scholarship Program.

Purchase Tickets: By phone at 214-219-2290, or at the door. Beginning September 1 tickets may be purchased on line at the DC website (www.thedancecouncil.org). Seating is limited; reservations are strongly urged. Parking is free.
___________________________________________________________________________
Each year five outstanding individuals are selected by the Dance Council of North Texas to receive the annual Dance Council Honors. The awards program is unique to the metroplex. Celebrating the excellence of the careers and contributions by the recipients, DCNT spotlights the diverse roles these individuals play to enhance and advance the art of dance. DCNT is proud to announce that the prestigious 2011 Dance Council Honors will be awarded to the following exemplary persons on Sunday, October 2, 2011, 2:30 p.m., at Dallas Black Dance Theatre, in the Arts District. Parking is complimentary.

Named for revered Dallas dance leaders, the recipients represent the best-of-the best. As dance artists, educators, and philanthropists, their stunning talents, creativity, dedication and professional accomplishments have enhanced the dramatic role of dance in North Texas.

The ceremony includes a showcase of performances by selected DCNT Scholarship recipients and features the stunning Dallas Black Dance Theatre. Following the award ceremony is a reception and an opportunity to bid on exclusive theatre items at a silent auction. Proceeds benefit DCNT and its Scholarship Program. The following five awards will be presented:

Mary McLarry Bywaters Award for Lifetime Contribution to Dance — Revathi Satyu
An elegant and respected exponent of Bharata Natyam, classical Indian dance, Satyu performed her debut, called Arangetram, in Bangalore, India in 1963. She holds a B. A. from Bangalore University. Between 1965 and 1974 she pursued special study in Indian Music and Dance. Then, with a Government of India Scholarship, Revathi received advanced training in Bharata Natyam. Between 1964 and 1973, she performed in major recitals across India, Canada, and parts of the United States. In 1972 Revathi had the distinct honor to dance in New Delhi for then President Mr. V.V. Giri and Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.
Founder and director of the Arathi School of Dance in 1980, she sowed the seeds of classical Indian dance when she opened the School in Dallas and San Antonio and was a founding member of the Hindu Temple Society, Irving TX. She served as President of the Indian Cultural Heritage Foundation. Between 1996 and 2009, Revathi produced several full evening productions for the ICHF. She has been a guest lecturer in classical dance and culture at Texas Woman’s University. Each year she returns to her native India to expand her creative horizons and take her students to study and prepare for their solo debut concerts. Under her leadership the International Asian Indian Convention was held in Dallas. The School celebrated its 25th Anniversary with internationally known dancers and choreographers.

Natalie Skelton Award for Artistic Excellence — Michael Serrecchia
Now a sought after choreographer/director, Michael Serrecchia was part of the original cast of the historic Broadway production, A Chorus Line. We can view his memorabilia from that Tony award winning production permanently displayed at Dallas’ Fair Park Music Hall. Having developed his talents studying with the cream of New York’s ballet, modern dance and jazz master teachers, Michael had an 18 year Broadway career which included touring the world with Chita Rivera.
As a formidable choreographer/director whose work receives rave reviews, among Michael’s recent credits are Theatre Three’s The Drowsy Chaperone and The Full Monty, Uptown Players’ Next to Normal, Theatre Arlington’s The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, and Water Tower Theatre’s Oklahoma! Several of Michael’s productions were prestigious regional premieres. He approaches directing and choreography from the premise that a show must “live truthfully under given imaginary circumstances”. Striving to remain true to the author/composer’s work, Michael incorporates a strong point of view and style that blends with the vision of the producer and ultimately the cast. Serrecchia also teaches at KD Studios where he inaugurated an Associate of Applied Arts degree in musical theatre performance. How fortunate for north Texas that Michael settled here.

Mary Warner Award for Service to Dance — Danny Curry
Curry is a successful entrepreneur, dance aficionado and patron extraordinaire. Curry is one of a kind. An unwavering supporter of dance throughout the greater Dallas Fort Worth region, Danny has served on the boards of many nonprofit organizations from president of the Dance Council of North Texas (DCNT), vice president of the Bruce Wood Dance Company and now treasurer of the Bruce Wood Dance Project, board member of Fort Worth/Dallas Ballet and Sammons Center for the Arts.
Curry’s generosity exceeds expectations and includes donations of time, labor, hospitality, business management, and financial contributions. Drawing on his mechanical know-how, he designed and built a production trailer used not only by DCNT for the Dance Planet festival but by Shakespeare Dallas, City of Dallas CityArts, and the Town of Addison for Taste Addison. He has contributed much to the firm foundation for dance and dancers through his business acumen, generosity and tireless energy.

Larry White Dance Educator Award — Dorothy “Dottie” Williams Hunt Kleeb
Born in east Texas, Dorothy came to Dallas at 17 to perform with the Summer Musicals, and then went to New York City where she performed in the famed Radio City Music Hall Rockettes. Her career included performing throughout the USA in night clubs and USO tours.
Since 1949, Dottie dedicated her life to teaching and choreographing or youth development programs, pageants and musicals for the Longview Civic Opera and community theater. A respected tap teacher in Longview, “Miss Dottie” organized and piloted the Tap/Jazz Dance Department in 1977 at Kilgore Junior College. She took her students to the International Educational Institute at the University of Exeter, England, where she taught seminars and produced Bye Bye Birdie for local student audiences. In 2007, Williams danced again at Radio City Music Hall for the 75th anniversary Christmas celebration. Now retired, for 49 years she operated her studio In Longview where generations of students studied all genres of dance, gymnastics and baton twirling.

Texas Tap Legend — Gene Pflug
Gene Pflug is best known as a tap dancer extraordinaire. A Dallas native, Gene began performing professionally in night clubs at age 14 before moving to Hollywood where he danced in movie musicals. He holds a B. S. in education and drama at North Texas State College (now U.N.T.) where he had a four-year scholarship. From 1951 – 1953, Gene performed in major military shows and was named the Outstanding Entertainer at Ft. Meade.
Following his stint in the service, Gene toured in USO shows and went on to perform in 33 Dallas Summer Musicals. His television credits include being a regular on the Eddie Cantor Comedy Theatre. A chance meeting with Livy Crutchfield, who owned three Dallas area Gingham Girls Studios, changed his life. For 12 years and taught tap at her studios, then musical comedy and advanced tap at the Calico Kids, Inc. in Garland for over 25 years. During these years, his students and productions received 110 gold medals.
The 2000 Olympics found him in Australia where he staged exhibition numbers for the Olympic Park and in Sydney. Gene was the tap instructor for Stars for Tomorrow for 5 years. He also created dances for the 1999 and 2000 DCNT’s National Tap Dance Day grand finales and received an award from the Tap Dance committee for his creative excellence.

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