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SAY IT’S YOUR BIRTHDAY

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 The Brooklyn Arts Exchange celebrated its 10th anniversary on April 6 with a gala event at the Brooklyn Museum of Art. The event featured performances by BAX dance students of all ages, as well as performances by professional performing artists.

One highlight of the evening was an acrobatic performance of "LAVA" (1) by dancer Natalie Agee (above) and dancer-choreographer Sarah East Johnson, who wowed the crowd of BAX supporters with their athleticism and grace.

The event was emceed by hilarious comedian Julie Goldman and Jennifer Miller (2), the bearded lady of Circus Amok fame. Miller, at right, is pictured at the VIP party following the performances with Patricia Hoffbauer of "A Night in La Mezcla," a thoroughly original dance-theater piece about family relationships.

The event was in part a tribute to BAX founder and executive director Marya Warshaw (3), pictured left with former BAX director of development Meg Fagan. BAX is located at 421 Fifth Ave. in Park Slope.

Akin to a vaudeville show, the gala program featured comics, vocalists, bands, dancers and circus sideshow tricks. Did we mention fire eating?

Other notable performances were given by the all-female a capella group Pillars of Salt (4) (left to right) Terry Maroney, Betsy Crenshaw and Kimberleigh Smith and (not pictured) Janiece Thompson; edgy actress Jen Mitas; choreographer Dean Moss’ "American Deluxe," featuring dancers Jason Merchant and Kacie Chang (5); and the barnstorming, square dance-like performers of "Root and Branch."

Ten years ago, choreographer Martha Bowers, artistic director of Dance Theatre Etcetera, produced the first "Root and Branch," a dance project for fathers and sons. Though the boys from the original cast are now college-age, Bowers re-staged a heartwarming section of the work for the next generation of fathers and sons, featuring guest appearances by some original cast members.

"This was the most successful fundraiser we have ever had in the history of the Brooklyn Arts Exchange," said BAX General Manager Vanessa Adato, about the funds raised. Though an exact tally wasn’t available at press time, Adato gave partial credit for the success of the event to the "many businesses who donated goods, and the Brooklyn Museum of Art, which donated their space to us free of charge. We were incredibly fortunate."

Updated 4:00 pm, November 10, 2010
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