Cora Masters Barry, Reginald Van Lee: Hamptons Scene

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Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

Otis Donovan Herring, Annique Roberts, Arcell Cabuag, and Clarice Young, dancers in Evidence.

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Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

Otis Donovan Herring, Annique Roberts, Arcell Cabuag, and Clarice Young, dancers in Evidence. Close

Otis Donovan Herring, Annique Roberts, Arcell Cabuag, and Clarice Young, dancers in Evidence.

Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

Evidence performing. Its gala in the Hamptons on Aug. 18 drew almost 300 guests. Close

Evidence performing. Its gala in the Hamptons on Aug. 18 drew almost 300 guests.

Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

Evidence was founded to convey the experience of the African diaspora. Close

Evidence was founded to convey the experience of the African diaspora.

Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

Ronald K. Brown, founder and artistic director of Evidence, A Dance Company, with the company's chairman, Zaid Abdul-Aleem, a principal at Greenhill & Co. Close

Ronald K. Brown, founder and artistic director of Evidence, A Dance Company, with the company's chairman, Zaid... Read More

Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

Alaina Simone, director, Merton D. Simpson Gallery, and Spencer Means, a real estate broker with Corcoran. Close

Alaina Simone, director, Merton D. Simpson Gallery, and Spencer Means, a real estate broker with Corcoran.

Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

Marva Hicks, actress, and Star Jones, author and former prosecutor and talk show host. Close

Marva Hicks, actress, and Star Jones, author and former prosecutor and talk show host.

Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

Arthur Gardner Smith, an analyst at Goldman Sachs Group Inc., and Daniel Patton, a former UBS AG investment banker who is starting a job at McMaster-Carr, an industrial supplier. Close

Arthur Gardner Smith, an analyst at Goldman Sachs Group Inc., and Daniel Patton, a former UBS AG investment banker... Read More

Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

Ronald K. Brown, founder and artistic director of Evidence, A Dance Company, and Reginald Canal, an Evidence board member, who led the live auction at the event. An online auction runs through Aug. 28. Close

Ronald K. Brown, founder and artistic director of Evidence, A Dance Company, and Reginald Canal, an Evidence board... Read More

Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

Candisse Collins, a lawyer at Madison Square Garden Company, and Kurt Williamson, a television and commercial director. Close

Candisse Collins, a lawyer at Madison Square Garden Company, and Kurt Williamson, a television and commercial director.

Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

Reginald Van Lee, former chairman of Evidence, A Dance Company, and Corey McCathern, who is opening a fried chicken restaurant in Milan. Evidence performed at the couple's wedding. Close

Reginald Van Lee, former chairman of Evidence, A Dance Company, and Corey McCathern, who is opening a fried chicken... Read More

Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

Victor Williams, the actor known for his role on the television series "The King of Queens," and Jenna Bond, a writer and young patron of Evidence. Close

Victor Williams, the actor known for his role on the television series "The King of Queens," and Jenna Bond, a writer... Read More

Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

Cora Masters Barry, former first lady of Washington D.C., and her granddaughter Zora. Close

Cora Masters Barry, former first lady of Washington D.C., and her granddaughter Zora.

Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

Jeff Raphael, an investment banker at KippsDeSanto, and Geneva S. Thomas, an editor at Ebony. Close

Jeff Raphael, an investment banker at KippsDeSanto, and Geneva S. Thomas, an editor at Ebony.

The buffet and bars were abandoned. No snack or cocktail could distract from the performance going on in the middle of the party tent.

Members of Evidence, a Dance Company raised arms, twisted torsos, wove around one another in muscular movements softened by colorful, loosely draped costumes.

The ninth annual “On Our Toes” gala was held on the campus of the Hayground School in Bridgehampton.

Zaid Abdul-Aleem, a principal on the private capital advisory team at New York-based investment bank Greenhill & Co. (GHL) had one arm around his son, Mason, and another around his wife, Raven.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) analyst Arthur Gardner Smith stood with Daniel Patton, a former UBS AG (UBSN) investment banker who is moving to Chicago for a job at McMaster-Carr, an industrial supplier.

Cora Masters Barry, ex-wife of former Washington Mayor Marion Barry, sat on a white ottoman with her six-month-old grandchild Zora.

Afterward, Evidence board member Reginald Canal, a former HSBC banker who has started a company to market Haitian designers, led an auction that raised more than $19,000 for the dance company, including donations for line items in the company’s budget.

Evidence was founded 27 years ago by Ronald K. Brown to convey the experiences of the African diaspora through dance and music.

‘An Obsession’

“I’m in love with African-American dancers, it’s an obsession,” said Candisse Collins, a lawyer for Madison Square Garden Co. (MSG) “I love the rhythmic aspect, there’s always a soul to it.”

“I’m talking to Ron about bringing the company to the Kennedy Center,” said jazz pianist and MacArthur Fellow Jason Moran, the Kennedy Center’s artistic adviser for jazz.

Reginald Van Lee, an executive vice president at Booz Allen Hamilton Inc., initiated the fundraiser on the East End. The former chairman of Evidence had the company dance at his wedding last year.

“I just want them to continue adding more pieces and to go to more venues,” Van Lee said.

The New Yorker described Brown’s choreography for “The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess” on Broadway as “beautifully crafted earthy, emotional dances.” This project has given Brown, Evidence’s artistic director, additional momentum.

The company has hired several new dancers and will perform a new work as well as a revival of “Walking Out the Dark” when it returns to the Joyce Theater in February 2013, Brown said.

‘Different Synergy’

“About half of the company is new, and there’s a different synergy,” said associate artistic director and dancer Arcell Cabuag. “We’re having a great time with Ron working on the new piece. We’re coming together like a beautiful family.”

“Being involved with Evidence feels like a family reunion,” said Jenna Bond, Evidence’s young-patrons chairwoman.

To cultivate those patrons, Alaina Simone held a cocktail party at her Chelsea gallery. Evidence also arranged for a bus to provide transport to and from the event. It was idling in the parking lot as guests spilled out of the tent dancing.

(Amanda Gordon is a writer and photographer for Muse, the arts and leisure section of Bloomberg News. Any opinions expressed are her own.)

Muse highlights include John Mariani on wine and Hephzibah Anderson on books.

To contact the writer on this story: Amanda Gordon in New York at agordon01@bloomberg.net or on Twitter at @amandagordon.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Manuela Hoelterhoff at mhoelterhoff@bloomberg.net.

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