In the latest move from Colombia’s art community, more support for Ukraine amid the ongoing Russian invasion of the country is on the way.
Columbia Classical Ballet’s annual LifeChance fundraising dance event dedicates its proceeds to the International Rescue Committee in hopes of raising between $30,000 and $40,000. As in its previous iterations, the event features a number of the company’s dancers alongside high-profile dancers from around the world, largely recruited by acting director Brooklyn Mack.
This year’s LifeChance event will take place on May 29 at the Koger Center for the Arts. Tickets cost between $15 and $25, respectively for general admission and reserved seating.
The event was initially canceled due to COVID-19, but Mack said he lobbied the board to bring it back. The arts world had largely begun to hold in-person performances with regularity as the pandemic subsided earlier this year.
That approval came in March, though, and he admitted he’s been in a rush to get it in place ever since.
“It’s one of the company’s staples, and it’s always a great event. Because it’s always in such good spirits, for various causes throughout the year,” Mack explained.
Mack said supporting Ukraine brought the event back to its “fundamental roots”.
This year’s event will be the first LifeChance since its inception that will benefit a non-local organization. In his first year, the proceeds went to help Bosnia amid conflict there, but he has since donated to organizations like Camp Cole, a camp for seriously ill children.
“It was just a perfect fit,” Mack said.
Among the dancers performing will be much-loved people like Ayano Kimura and Lauren Lovitt, the latter whom Mack has worked with in the past, including a recent performance in New York that raised around 100,000. dollars for Ukraine, he said. This event took place in a small venue, so Mack hoped his original goal of $30,000 to $40,000 could be easily surpassed with the 2,000+ seat Koger Center for the Arts.
“I think we can have a huge impact,” he said.
The event also comes as Mack’s time as acting director comes to an end. He entered the organization’s lead role after his first teacher Radchenko Pavlovich accepted a new position in 2020.
The ballet’s board has been transparent about wanting to sign Mack for the role permanently, but Mack is a revered dancer who has broken barriers in the dance world as a black dancer — and considers himself still in the performance phase of his career. .
Mack’s term as interim director was extended by LifeChance and he said he was in discussions with the board to determine his future.