Announcing Martha Graham Dance Company’s 2022 Season Gala, April 7, 2022
Martha Graham Dance Company
The Martha Graham Dance Company’s 2022 Season Gala will be held on Thursday, April 7, at 7pm. This special gala evening is hosted by esteemed journalist Alina Cho and honors five trailblazing women: Tracy Richelle High, Partner, S&C Litigation Group; Dr. Kathrin U. Jansen, Senior Vice President and Head of Vaccine Research and Development, Pfizer Inc.; Jackie-Michelle Martinez, activist and member of the FDNY, Jane Edison Stevenson, Vice Chair, Korn Ferry; and renowned flutist Carol Wincenc.
The evening will begin with a performance by the Martha Graham Dance Company at New York City Center featuring CAVE, a new work created for the Company by internationally acclaimed choreographer Hofesh Shechter with special guest Daniil Simkin; Ritual to the Sun from Graham’s 1981 work Acts of Light; and an excerpt from the new Canticle for Innocent Comedians inspired by the themes and format of Graham’s 1952 work and choreographed by Tony Award winner Sonya Tayeh with eight other extraordinary choreographers. Dinner and dancing will follow at The Metropolitan Club.
Proceeds support the creation of new works and the preservation of Martha Graham masterpieces.
2022 Gala Committee Chair: Barbara Cohen. Choreographer Hosts: Barbara and Rodgin Cohen, Judith G. Schlosser, Inger K. Witter. Dancer Hosts: Tee Scatuorchio and Michael Becker, Philip and Amy Blumenthal, Matthew and Jenna Dapolito, First Republic Bank, Christine Jowers and Rob Friedman, Eng Kian Ooi and Marius Meland, Korn Ferry, Lorraine S. Oler and John S. B. Oler, Pfizer, Jane Edison Stevenson, Ellis Wood and Peter Nakada. Sponsor Patrons: Javier Morgado, LaRue and Archibald Allen, Donald J. Rose, MD, and Victoria Lasdon Rose, Lori and Michael Sackler.
Martha Graham Dance Company Board of Trustees: Lorraine S. Oler, Chair; Javier Morgado, Vice-Chair; Inger Witter, President; Barbara Cohen, Development Chair; Judith G. Schlosser, Board Chair Emeritus; LaRue Allen, Executive Director; Janet Eilber, Artistic Director; Amy Blumenthal, Matthew Dapolito, Christine Jowers, Con Way Ling, Jayne Millard, Nichole Perkins, Stephen M. Rooks, Lori Sackler, Tee Scatuorchio, Ellis Wood.
Thursday, April 7
Performance at 7pm
New York City Center
131 West 55th Street (between 6th and 7th Avenues)
Dinner and dancing immediately following the performance
The Metropolitan Club
1 East 60th Street (corner of Fifth Avenue)
Tickets from $1,000 are available through the Martha Graham Dance Company office at (212) 229-9200 x29 or www.marthagraham.org/gala.
Performance-only tickets are also available and can be purchased online at www.nycitycenter.org.
Gala Sponsors: First Republic Bank and Pfizer.
About the Host and Honorees:
Alina Cho (Host) is a veteran journalist with more than 20 years of experience in covering a range of topics from presidential politics to world affairs to investigative reporting to fashion. She is currently a contributor to CBS Sunday Morning, the top-rated Sunday morning program in the United States. She also hosts a lecture series at the Metropolitan Museum of Art called The Atelier with Alina Cho. Past guests include Anna Wintour, Donatella Versace, Michael Kors, Diane von Furstenberg and Vera Wang. In addition, Cho serves as Editor at Large at Ballantine Bantam Dell, where she is responsible for acquiring and editing fashion and lifestyle books, including the memoirs of Tommy Hilfiger and Donna Karan.
For nearly a decade, Cho was a National Correspondent for CNN. During her tenure at the network, she traveled twice to communist North Korea, covered the historic first election of President Barack Obama, and was part of the Peabody and Emmy Award-winning team that covered the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. She has interviewed everyone from President Bill Clinton to Nicole Kidman to Madonna. She also hosted the network specials Fashion: Backstage Pass and Big Stars, Big Giving. Prior to her work at CNN, Cho held various posts at ABC and CNBC. She earned an MS from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism and a BA from Boston College. She also holds an honorary doctorate from Old Dominion University for her contributions to journalism.
Tracy Richelle High (Honoree) is a partner in Sullivan & Cromwell’s Litigation Group, a co-head of the firm’s Labor and Employment Law Group, and a member of the Criminal Defense and Investigations practice. High’s practice focuses on representing financial institutions and other corporations in complex civil litigation, arbitration and mediation proceedings, corporate internal investigations, and labor and employment matters. She has also represented clients before a wide variety of regulatory and prosecutorial agencies, both at the state and federal levels, as well as Congressional committees before independent examiners appointed by court order.
Internally, High serves as co-chair of the Diversity Committee and is one of S&C’s hiring partners. She also oversees S&C’s active networks for minority associates: the Asian Associates Network, the Network of Black & Latinx Lawyers, and the LGBTQ+ Network. Each of these groups is dedicated to enhancing the experience of S&C’s diverse attorneys and championing their retention and advancement by fostering professional development, networking, and mentoring opportunities.
High is the Chairwoman of the board of directors of the YWCA-NYC, a Vice Chairwoman of the Legal Aid Society and a board member of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. She also serves on the Steering Committee of the Kate Stoneman Project, is a trustee of the Harvard Law School Association, NYC, and is a member of the Association of Black Women Attorneys and the Metropolitan Black Bar Association. High is also a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation, a member of the Advisory Board of the Center for Labor and Employment Law at the New York University School of Law, and a member of the Council of Legal Advisors to Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
Kathrin U. Jansen, Ph.D. (Honoree), is the Senior Vice President and Head of Vaccine Research and Development (VRD) at Pfizer Inc., and a member of Pfizer’s Worldwide Research, Development, and Medical leadership team. With over 28 years of pharmaceutical experience in vaccine R&D, Jansen leads a fully integrated, global vaccines research and development organization, with responsibilities ranging from discovery to registration and post-marketing commitments. She manages a clinical vaccines portfolio that includes vaccines to prevent or treat diseases of significant unmet medical need such as those caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), Streptococcus pneumoniae, Clostridioides difficile, respiratory syncytial virus, Group B streptococcus, and Lyme disease. In collaboration with BioNTech, Jansen led the development of the BNT162b2 vaccine candidate against coronavirus disease 2019. Additional accomplishments include the global licensures of Prev(e)nar13® to prevent pneumococcal diseases and the development and licensure of Trumenba®, the first vaccine licensed in the United States to prevent invasive disease caused by Neisseria meningitidis serogroup B.
Jansen received her doctoral degree in microbiology, biochemistry, and genetics from Phillips Universitaet, Marburg, Germany, in 1984. Following completion of her formal training, she continued her postdoctoral training at Cornell University working on the structure and function of the acetylcholine receptor. She then joined the Glaxo Institute for Molecular Biology in Geneva, where she focused on basic studies of a receptor believed to be a drug target to treat allergies. Jansen was appointed an Adjunct Professor at the University of Pennsylvania – School of Medicine in 2010 and has authored and co-authored over 190 publications. She is a member of the CEPI (Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations) scientific advisory committee, the American Society for Microbiology, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine.
Jackie-Michelle Martinez (Honoree) joined the FDNY in 2006 and at the time she was just one of 29 women in an organization of 8,000 firefighters. Martinez then became the first women’s outreach coordinator, and since then the number of female firefighters has doubled. In her outreach work, she makes sure that young women everywhere know that they can also become firefighters. She is known city wide for speaking at schools, women’s institutions, and community groups.
Martinez is one of the four women firefighters assigned to a Special Operations Command unit Squad 270. She is currently the United Women Firefighters Association President and was New Yorker of the year in 2017 for her efforts for awareness, exposure for young women to view firefighting as a career path and to increase the number of women in the field. Martinez was honored by the FDNY as part of its annual Women’s History Month awards ceremony. Honorees were nominated by their peers and chosen based on their performance, innovation and dedication to the work of the FDNY.
Jane Edison Stevenson (Honoree), in her role as Vice Chair of Korn Ferry, works across the global governance continuum on behalf of clients and has served as a pioneer developing the firm’s succession capabilities at the Board and CEO level. As the firm’s global leader for CEO Succession, Stevenson’s regularly serves Fortune 500 clients and high-growth companies at the intersection of business, strategy, and top leadership capabilities. She has been acknowledged by BusinessWeek as one of the “100 Most Influential Search Consultants in the World” and has been honored in the NACD’s Directorship 100 multiple times for her influence in the boardroom.
Stevenson recently led an innovative research initiative with the Rockefeller Foundation’s “100×25” program, geared to advancing 100 women to Fortune 500 CEO roles by 2025. The work included in-depth behavioral interviews and leadership assessments with 57 current and recent Fortune 1000 women CEOs creating the first-ever “roadmap” for companies to create future generations of women CEOs. A thought leader on governance and innovation, she appears regularly in global business media, including BusinessWeek, Fortune, Bloomberg, Reuters, The Wall Street Journal, Innovation Excellence and Strategy+Business. She is also a featured speaker at private forums for Fortune 500 clients and other select venues.
Stevenson is the co-author of Breaking Away: How Great Leaders Create Innovation that Drives Sustainable Growth—And Why Others Fail (McGraw Hill 2011), and is a recipient of the Maurice Holland Award for her writing on innovation. She serves on the Board of Trustees for the Committee on Economic Development (CED) and is co-chair of CED’s Women in Corporate Leadership Sub-committee. She also serves on The Conference Board’s US Human Capital Advisory Board.
Carol Wincenc (Honoree), hailed as “queen of the flute” by New York Magazine, was first prize winner of the 1978 Naumburg Solo Flute Competition, as well as the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from both the USA and China National Flute Associations, the National Society of Arts and Letters Gold Medal for Lifetime Achievement in Music, and Distinguished Alumni Award from Manhattan School of Music. During the 2019–22 seasons she is celebrating a half century as an international concertizing artist at The Morgan Library & Museum, Merkin Concert Hall, and the Staller Center for the Arts. For her 50th Golden Anniversary Legacy Series she commissioned five new works by Jake Heggie, Pierre Jalbert, Robert Sirota, Larry Alan Smith, and Sato Matsui. This grand celebration included the release of the all-Yuko Uebayashi album on Azica Records with the Escher String Quartet. Recently, as part of the Naumburg Looks Back Series she performed at Carnegie’s Weill Hall with her collaborator/pianist Bryan Wagorn of the Metropolitan Opera.
Wincenc has appeared as soloist with such ensembles as the Chicago, San Francisco, Pittsburgh, Detroit, and London symphonies, the BBC, Warsaw, and Buffalo Philharmonics, as well as the Los Angeles, Stuttgart, and Saint Paul chamber orchestras. She has performed in countless festivals such as Mostly Mozart, Aldeburgh, Budapest, Frankfurt, Santa Fe, Spoleto, Music at Menlo, Aspen, Yale/Norfolk, Sarasota, Banff, and Marlboro. A Grammy nominee, she has received a Diapason d’Or Award for her recording of the Rouse Flute Concerto with the Houston Symphony, a Recording of Special Merit Award with pianist András Schiff, and Gramophone magazine’s “Pick of the Month” with the Buffalo Philharmonic. She is a member of the New York Woodwind Quintet and a founding member of Les Amies with New York Philharmonic principals, harpist Nancy Allen and violist Cynthia Phelps. For over a half century combined, Wincenc has taught on the faculties of The Juilliard School and Stony Brook University. She is renowned for her popular series with Lauren Keiser Music Publishers, the Carol Wincenc 21st Century Flute. Wincenc spent years training as a ballet dancer.
About the Martha Graham Dance Company
The Martha Graham Dance Company has been a leader in the evolving art form of modern dance since its founding in 1926. Today, the Company is embracing a new programming vision that showcases masterpieces by Graham alongside newly commissioned works by contemporary artists. With programs that unite the work of choreographers across time within a rich historical and thematic narrative, the Company is actively working to create new platforms for contemporary dance and multiple points of access for audiences.
Since its inception, the Martha Graham Dance Company has received international acclaim from audiences in more than 50 countries throughout North and South America, Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. The Company has performed at the Metropolitan Opera House, Carnegie Hall, the Paris Opera House, Covent Garden, and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, as well as at the base of the Great Pyramids in Egypt and in the ancient Odeon of Herodes Atticus theater on the Acropolis in Athens. In addition, the Company has also produced several award-winning films broadcast on PBS and around the world. For more information about the Company, visit www.marthagraham.org.
Hofesh Shechter Company; photo by Chris Jones