Hoylman: Gray Davis acted when others could not. His selflessness in the face of danger symbolizes the very best of New York and sets an example for all New Yorkers.”
NEW YORK, NY – State Senator Brad Hoylman (D, WF-Manhattan) awarded American Ballet Theatre (ABT) dancer and Chelsea resident Gray Davis with the New York State Liberty Medal, the highest civilian honor bestowed by a Member of the New York State Senate, in recognition of Davis’s daring rescue of a 58-year-old man who had been pushed onto the subway tracks on the evening of June 3, 2017.
State Senator Brad Hoylman said: “Gray Davis acted when others could not. His selflessness in the face of danger symbolizes the very best of New York and sets an example for all of us. I am proud to call Gray a constituent and thrilled to bestow upon him our State’s highest civilian honor.”
ABT Artistic Director Kevin McKenzie said: "We often ask ourselves what would we do if we were faced with this kind of decision. Gray asked ‘why is no one doing anything?’ and then did what many of us couldn't. I am immensely proud of him."
The Liberty Medal is intended to recognize service or achievement that goes above and beyond any other distinction. Award criteria includes “meritorious, humanitarian, selfless, noble, heroic, and exceptional actions by the recipient on behalf of their community.” Senator Hoylman presented the award to Mr. Davis on Wednesday, October 25, at the David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center, where ABT is currently performing.
Just after 11 pm on the evening of June 3, 2017, a 58-year-old homeless man was shoved onto the subway tracks of the 72nd Street Broadway station. While waiting for the train after watching his wife and fellow dancer perform at the Metropolitan Opera House, Gray leapt onto the tracks. Heedless of the risks and recovering from a herniated disk, Mr. Davis lifted the unconscious man to safety. The assailant was arrested shortly thereafter.
Gray Davis was born in Greenwood, South Carolina and began his dance training at the Georgia Academy. He later studied for four years under Stanisslav Issaev at the South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities, graduating in 2004. That same year, Mr. Davis was named Grand Prix winner at the Youth America Grand Prix finals in New York. Mr. Davis joined ABT’s Studio Company in April 2005, the main Company, as an apprentice, and the corps de ballet in December 2007. His repertory with the Company includes Wellington in Cinderella, the Duke in Giselle, the Spanish Dance in The Nutcracker, English Prince and Fairy Cavalier in Ratmansky’s The Sleeping Beauty, Rothbart and the Spanish Dance in Swan Lake and roles in Baker’s Dozen, Black Tuesday, Continuo, From Here On Out, Gong, The Leaves Are Fading and Thirteen Diversions.