Capezio, the family operation that has kept the world on its toes for 13 decades, celebrates its 130th anniversary with a historic dance and awards production May 14 at The Smith Center for the Performing Arts in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The company first began manufacturing toe shoes in 1887 and later started producing dance apparel, such as leotards and tights. Through its nonprofit dance foundation, it presents The Capezio Awards, which honors several trailblazers in the dance industry.
However, that is only a small portion of the evening’s celebration; the majority of the event revolves around a mesmerizing show that highlights some of the magical history of the company, with numerous dance legends and stars of stage and screen paying tribute to its monumental 130-year milestone.
“This is the first time in the awards history that the Capezio Dance Foundation will present awards to recipients of multiple dance genres, including ballet, modern, tap and hip-hop,” said Kevin P. McAnarney of KPM Associates in New York, the press representative for the event.
“Dance has changed and expanded — at least in the U.S. People still love the full-length ballets like Swan Lake and Sleeping Beauty, but the different genres offer a bigger variety for people to see.
“Cheerleading is even into dance routines today. Early on, in the ’30s and ’40s, it was all toe dancing, as well as a little folk dancing.”
The show is produced and directed by former Joffrey Ballet star Ann Marie DeAngelo, and “So You Think You Can Dance” producer and judge Nigel Lythgoe will host the star-studded event. Legendary tap dancer and past awardee Savion Glover will be a presenter.
Honorees include dancer, actress, choreographer, director, teacher and producer Debbie Allen for life achievement; and Wendy Whelan, a former New York City Ballet principal ballerina and current programs promoter for emerging choreographers, for ballet.
World-renowned modern dance choreographer David Parsons is being honored for modern dance; dancer and innovative choreographer Michelle Dorrance for tap; and Steffan “Mr. Wiggles” Clemente for hip-hop as a leading pioneer and inventor within his style.