Honoring Jody Gottfried Arnhold and Pat Birch
And Celebrating Dance Films Association's 60th Anniversary
Jody Gottfried Arnhold, PS Dance! Executive Producer, is a dance educator and advocate for the arts, with extensive experience in governance and program development for a wide range of dance and education institutions.
She is the Founder of the Dance Education Laboratory (DEL) at 92Y which provides intensive workshops and courses in a variety of skills and methodologies for dance artists and educators who seek to improve their teaching abilities in the classroom or other settings.
She serves on the Arts Advisory Committee for the New York City Department of Education (DOE). She is Co-Chair of the Committee that created the NYCDOE Curriculum Blueprint for Teaching and Learning in Dance Pre K-12.
Arnhold held the position of Chairman of the Board of Ballet Hispanico since 1995, and has served on the Board for 26 years. During her tenure, the organization has doubled in size, commissioning 19 new works for the Company’s diverse repertory; building a substantial scholarship program for the School of Dance; and formalizing its Education & Outreach division with an innovative array of dance education programming and activities. With her husband John, the Arnhold’s led Ballet Hispanico’s $9.5 million Adelante! capital campaign. The campaign allowed the institution to more than double the capacity of its headquarters on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, to include six fully-equipped dance studios; the campaign also provided for an endowment and working capital reserve funds. Ms. Arnhold guided the Board and the institution through the smooth leadership transition from Ballet Hispanico’s Founder Tina Ramirez to its current Artistic Director and CEO Eduardo Vilaro.
She also serves as Chair of the Hunter College Dance Advisory Committee and is on the Board at 92Y, Harkness Foundation for Dance, and Dance/NYC’s Advisory Committee.
In recognition of her significant contributions, Arnhold received the Spotlight in Dance Education Award presented by the DOE. She has also received the Irmy Award for Dance Education from the Laban Institute of Movement Studies, the Visionary Award from the National Dance Education Organization, Teachers College Distinguished Alumni Award, and she has been honored by the NYC Arts in Education Roundtable. Most recently, Arnhold received the New York State Dance Education Association’s 2015 Outstanding Leadership Award.
Arnhold holds a B.A. from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, an M.A. in Dance Education from Teachers College, Columbia University, and is a Certified Movement Analyst.
Patricia Birch has earned two Emmy Awards and five Tony nominations in a career that crosses all media. Other honors include Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, Barrymore, Billboard and MTV awards, as well as a Directors Guild nomination and the Fred Astaire Award for her choreography and direction of music-driven projects ranging from Sondheim to the Rolling Stones. Birch has created the musical staging for original Broadway and off-Broadway shows, including Grease; You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown; The Me Nobody Knows; A Little Night Music; Candide; Over Here; Diamond Studs; The Happy End; Pacific Overtures; They’re Playing Our Song; Gilda Radner, Live from New York; Zoot Suit; Rosa; Parade; Like Jazz; and last season, LoveMusik, with Donna Murphy and Michael Cerveris, directed by Harold Prince.
Birch’s direction and choreography credits include Celebrating Gershwin at BAM and the televised concert production of On the Town with the London Symphony Orchestra, both with Michael Tilson Thomas. She worked with Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony on Le Rossignoland a double bill Of Thee I Sing/Let ’Em Eat Cake. Opera and music projects include Salome, The Mikado, Candide, and Street Scene for New York City Opera; The Mass and The Balcony for The Opera Company of Boston, also presented at the Bolshoi Theater; and A Wedding by William Bolcom, Arnold Weinstein, and Robert Altman at the Chicago Lyric Opera.
Birch’s film credits include choreography for all musical sequences for Grease and direction as well on Grease 2. She has also staged musical sequences for Big, Working Girl, Sleeping with the Enemy, Stella, Awakenings, Billy Bathgate, Roseland, The Wild Party, First Wives Club, The Human Stain, and The Stepford Wives. For television, Birch has directed Natalie Cole: Unforgettable with Love and Celebrating Gershwin, both of which earned her Emmy Awards; Dance in America for the 20th anniversary of PBS’ Great Performances; and Natalie Cole’s Untraditional Traditional Christmas, featuring Elmo. She was a choreographer for The Electric Company and spent six years staging numbers for Gilda Radner, Steve Martin, Bill Murray, both Belushis, Dan Aykroyd, and many guest stars on Saturday Night Live.
All proceeds from this event directly benefit Dance Films Association. We encourage you to make a donation if you cannot attend our Gala.