NYCB's Amar Ramasar and Tiler Peck perfrom at the 2016 Dance Against Cancer benefit. Photo by Christopher Duggan, Courtesy of DAC.

Daniel Ulbricht’s Dance Against Cancer Brings Together Ballet’s Biggest Stars

When New York City Ballet principal Daniel Ulbricht and Manhattan Youth Ballet programming director Erin Fogarty first produced Dance Against Cancer: An Evening to Benefit the American Cancer Society back in 2010, they likely had no idea how big it would become. Now a highly anticipated annual event, Dance Against Cancer has raised almost $1 million for cancer research and has expanded to include THE YOUTH MOVEMENT, a performance featuring local dance students. DAC has even outgrown its venue—this year's one-night-only performance, held on Monday, May 8, at the AXA Equitable Theater, has long been sold out.

The evening features star dancers and choreographers, who all donate their time to create a memorable and heartfelt performance. Many have been touched personally by cancer (Ulbricht and Fogarty have both lost a parent to the disease). In an interview with Pointe last year, Ulbricht noted that so many ask to participate that they have to turn dancers away. “As their own family or friends or mentors suffer," he said, “I think they feel compelled to ask, 'What can I do?' "


This year's lineup includes American Ballet Theatre's Gillian Murphy, James Whiteside, Gabe Stone Shayer and Cassandra Trenary; NYCB's Maria Kowroski, Jared Angle, Megan Fairchild and Harrison Coll; Orlando Ballet's principal guest artist Joseph Gatti; former Miami City ballet principal Patricia Delgado; Alvin Ailey's Matthew Rushing; Dance Theatre of Harlem; Ballet Met; and Josh Prince's Broadway Dance Lab. If that's not glamorous enough, there are five world premieres specifically created for DAC.

Daniel Ulbricht performing at the 2016 Dance Against Cancer benefit. Photo by Christopher Duggan, Courtesy DAC.

Even though the show is sold out, you can still get involved. Donations to the American Cancer Society can be made here, and Ulbricht has started a fun #TourforaCure social media campaign to spread awareness. And stay tuned – Pointe will be offering live coverage on our Instagram page during Monday's dress rehearsal.

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Hi Everyone,

These are challenging times. The social distancing measures brought about by COVID-19 has likely meant that your regular ballet training has been interrupted, while your performances, competitions—even auditions—have been cancelled. You may be feeling anxious about what the future holds, not only for you but for the dance industry. And that's perfectly understandable.

As you adjust to taking virtual ballet class from your living rooms, we here at Pointe are adjusting to working remotely from our living rooms. We've had to get a little creative, especially as we put our Summer Issue together, but like you we're taking full advantage of modern technology. Sure, it's a little inconvenient sometimes, but we're finding our groove.

And we know that you will, too. We've been utterly inspired by how the dance community has rallied together, from ballet stars giving online classes to companies streaming their performances to the flood of artist resources popping up. We've loved watching you dance from your kitchens. And we want to help keep this spirit alive. That's why Pointe and all of our Dance Media sister publications are working nonstop to produce and cross-post stories to help you navigate this crisis. We're all in this together.

We also want to hear from you! Send us a message on social media, or email me directly at abrandt@dancemedia.com. Tell us how you're doing, send us your ideas and show us your dance moves. Let the collective love we share for our beloved art form spark the light at the end of the tunnel—we will come out the other side soon enough.

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