PALM BEACH LUMINARY ANKA PALITZ:
The ‘Angel’ of Professional Ballet
Palm Beach resident Anka Palitz is known as an ‘angel’ in the world of professional ballet. Palitz began dancing at age 7 and developed a lifelong passion for the art form. She helped spearhead American Ballet Theatre’s Dancer Sponsorship program, becoming the first person to sponsor a dancer at ABT and one of the first in the United States. Ethan Stiefel was named the Clarence Y. Palitz Dancer in 2004, in honor of Anka Palitz’s late husband.
Locally, Palitz launched The Career Transition Heart and Soul Awards Luncheon in Palm Beach to bring awareness to her fellow Floridians about the need to help professional dancers transition and re-train after their careers. Often, dancers’ careers are short-lived, mostly due to injury. To date, more than 150 Florida dancers have received grants from Career Transition for Dancers to enable them to transition to new, rewarding professions. Palitz established the Clarence Y. Palitz Scholarship to help with this program.
“Dancing is often a challenging career path, as is true with many artistic professions. But I can’t imagine life without dance, and I just wanted to do my part to help support these talented artists,” Anka Palitz said.
Now, Palitz is again supporting American Ballet Theatre, as co-chair of this year’s Evening in Palm Beach, an annual fundraising gala and performance taking place at the Kravis Centre for the Performing Arts on Saturday, March 23, 2013. Funds raised from An Evening in Palm Beach will support ABT’s extensive education, outreach, and touring programs, in Florida, across the country, and around the world.
American Ballet Theatre reaches roughly 200 young Floridian dancers each year through its annual audition tour and summer training programs. As America’s National Dance Company, ABT has served teachers throughout the Florida region by holding its National Training Curriculum seminars in Orlando. Currently more than 60 teachers are certified in ABT’s Curriculum from the Florida region. ABT performs around the globe and regularly visits theaters in Southern Florida.
A Board Member of American Ballet Theatre for more than 17 years, Palitz has been honored by a number of dance organizations. She is the recipient of both The Lucia Chase and Golden Circle Awards from American Ballet Theatre, as well as the CTFD Award for Outstanding Contribution to the World of Dance.
AnEvening in Palm Beach, an annual fundraiser to benefit American Ballet Theatre, is scheduled for Saturday, March 23 at 5:30pm at the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts. Patrick Park will serve as the Gala Grand Chair, with Anka K. Palitz and Vicki and Chris Kellogg serving as event co-chairs. Debra Vasilopoulos is the evening’s Corporate Chair.
The evening begins at 5:30 p.m. with cocktails, followed by dinner in the Kravis Center’s Cohen Pavilion. The performance follows at 8 p.m., featuring the dancers of American Ballet Theatre, and special guest pianist Lola Astanova playing two dazzling piano solos by Franz Liszt and Alexander Scriabin.
American Ballet Theatre's program at the Kravis Center includes Agnes de Mille’s Rodeo, in celebration of the ballet’s 70th anniversary; Mark Morris’Drink to Me Only With Thine Eyes; and the White Swan pas de deux from Swan Lake. Following the performance, guests of the event will enjoy dessert and dancing with ABT Company members in the Cohen Pavilion. Dress is ‘Boots and Ballgowns’ in honor of the ballet, Rodeo.
AnEvening in Palm Beach is generously sponsored by Patrick Park, Lead Sponsor is Sabadell Bank & Trust, and Additional Sponsorship is from Go Figure Barre Studio.
2013 celebrates the ninth year of the Palm Beach event benefiting American Ballet Theatre. Benefit tickets, priced from $500, are available by calling 212-477-3030, ext. 3311.
For more information on American Ballet Theatre, please visit www.abt.org.