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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Charity Dance Performance Raises $21,000

In his first collaboration with Moscow's expatriate community, Igor Moiseyev, the 90-year-old Russian choreographer, helped raise $21,000 for three local charities with a performance of his State Academic Folk Dance Ensemble.

The Tuesday night performance sold out all 1,500 seats in Tchaikovsky Hall.

The funds raised from ticket sales will be split in three to benefit local charities -- ARC, Action For Russia's Children; Operation Smile; and the World Wide Fund for Nature.

At the end of the evening, Tammy and Larry Hershfield and Kevin McKinney, who donated the use of the hall and the ensemble, presented Moiseyev with an award of gratitude.

They also thanked the guests for helping the three charities by buying tickets costing up to $100 and gave special thanks to the organizers.

The organizers of the event included Laura McNeil, Eileen O'Connor, Katya Borisova and Maria Sullivan.

The Hershfields and McKinney won the use of the hall for a night at a $500-a-plate charity dinner and auction last October for Operation Smile, an international nonprofit organization that provides surgery for children with cleft lip and palate deformities.

According to one of the event's organizers, who asked not to be identified, the bidders initially thought they would have a party in the hall.

But when they found out it had 1,500 seats, they decided to make it a fund-raising evening.

Jennifer Kaplan, director of Operation Smile, said her organization got a double benefit.

Aside from the $7,000 share of the proceeds, Kaplan said, Moiseyev's troupe expressed interest in doing more fund-raising work for Operation Smile.

"For me that's a great step," Kaplan said. "One of our main goals has been to help return the idea of charity to Russia. A lot of Russian people were there -- a lot bought tickets. People were willing to pay more money because it was for charity. It was also nice to see that a lot of expatriates got involved."

Kaplan said the $7,000 will go toward funding a mission Operation Smile has planned in June to provide 100 operations on children in Russia.