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DANCE : 2013 Recap — The BESSIES!

One night each year, the NY Dance world honors the adventurous visionaries who pilot the world of dance through unexplored terrain to glimpse the future.

And thus

The 2013 Bessies: New York Dance and Performance Award Recipients

Outstanding Production: Joanna Haigood’s Paseo at Dancing in the Streets & Casita Maria Center for Arts, for taking the audience on a celebratory passage through Bronx cultural life set to the Latin beats that originated in these neighborhoods.
Outstanding Production: Michael Keegan-Dolan’s Rian for Fabulous Beast Dance Theatre at Lincoln Center’s White Lights Festival, for a dance of life-affirming joy that featured an extraordinary group of dancers from Nigeria, Indonesia and Europe.
Outstanding Production: Zach Morris, Tom Pearson and Jennine Willett’s Then She Fell for Third Rail Projects at Arts@Rennaissance and Kingsland Ward at St. Johns, for using dance and fractured text to create a dreamscape as compelling and disorienting as Alice in Wonderland’s original journey.
Outstanding Production: Liz Santoro’s Watch It at Museum of Arts and Design, for blurring art and life by placing the audience in a space from which they viewed New York street life, choreography by chance and choice.
Outstanding Revival: Bill T. Jones’ D-Man in the Waters for the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company at the Joyce Theater for returning to a work of great joy born of a time of great loss and bringing its fierce fight for life to a new generation.
Outstanding Performance: Herman Cornejo of American Ballet Theater. He combines an astonishing technical ability with an unaffected purity of movement in the works of choreographers Alexei Ratmansky, Mark Morris and Twyla Tharp.
Outstanding Performance: Sebastien Ramirez and Honji Wang in their duet AP15 at the Breakin’ Convention at the Apollo Theater. This electric duet, rooted in hip hop, explored the space between the lover and the loved with delicacy, passion and agility.
Outstanding Performance: Charles “Lil Buck” Riley and Ron “Prime Tyme” Myles at Poisson Rouge. This duo inhabited the space where street styles become stage artistry, catching rhythms with intricate footwork, slides, toe stands, rippling torsos and sudden freezes.Oustanding Performance: Shantala Shivalingappa for her Shiva Ganga, for embodying the god Shiva and the spirit of the River Ganges in one riveting performance, a vibrant athletic battle of life force.Outstanding Performance: Jaro Vinarsky in Pavel Palissimo’s Bastard at La MaMa Moves! Dance Festival. A coiled bolt of energy capable of captivating stillness and explosive physicality, he made every moment harrowing, sharp and urgent.
Outstanding Sound Design: Ant Hampton and Tim Etchells for The Quiet Volume at Performance Space 122 and PEN World Voices Festival. For their use of intimately whispered text in a work in libraries across the city and for a score which heightened the experience in a space at once public and private.
Outstanding Visual Design: Fleur Elise Noble for her 2 Dimensional Life of Her at Under the Radar Festival at the Public Theater. She used detailed projections onto simple paper cut- outs to create a complex, playful, visually compelling world.

Two awards were presented at The Bessies press conference on July 17, 2013:

2013 NY Dance and Performance Award for Outstanding Emerging Choreographer: JOANNA KOTZE

Kotze was nominated for her work It Happened It Had Happened It Is Happening It Will Happen, presented at Danspace Project. Other nominees were: Justin Peck for Year of the Rabbit, presented by New York City Ballet; Molly Lieber and Eleanor Smith for Tulip, presented at Roulette; and Ephrat Asherie for A Single Ride, presented at Dixon Place.

2013 Juried Bessie Award: DARRELL JONES

The 2013 Bessie Jury, comprised of Ishamel Houston-Jones, Eiko Otake and Jason Samuels Smith select a choreographer who exhibits some of the more interesting and exciting ideas happening in dance in New York City today. For the second year, The Bessies are working with organizations in the NY State DanceForce network to provide residencies and performance opportunities for the honored artist.

In the work of Darrell Jones, they were drawn to his mix of dance traditions, from club work and vogueing to contemporary modern and his own personal style. They were impressed by his thoughtful approach to the work, which includes significant research and investigation. “Darrell is an astonishing mover but also has a sense of the emotion he evokes with his movement. In working with his dancers, he endows the work with a sense of fairness and democracy where they each get to express their own voice,” says Eiko Otake. Ishmael Houston-Jones added, “Darrell possesses the rigor, intelligence, and raw talent of a true artist.” Jason Samuels Smith announced: “The jury agreed that this artist, given this opportunity, would do great things with it. We look forward to seeing his new creations.”
Former Cunningham dancer Gus Solomons jr. and former American Ballet Theatre principal Martine Van Hamel co-hosted the evening and also performed Paul Taylor’s rarely seen 1957 Duet as part of the evening’s performances.
Other performances included an excerpt of 2013 Outstanding Emerging Choreographer Joanna Kotze’s It has happened it was happening it will be happening and 2013 Juried Bessie Award winner Darrell Jones’ Torchsong #1. The second company of Paul Taylor, Taylor 2, performed 3 Epitaphs.
Broadway legend Donna McKechnie presented Louis “Luigi” Faccuito with the Lifetime Achievement award, and noted dance historian Lynn Garafola presented Nancy Reynolds with the Service to the Field Award. Other presenters included Renee Robinson, Violeta Galagarza, Joe Levasseur, Meredith Monk, Annie-B Parson, Steve Paxton, Desmond Richardson, and Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards.
But the nominees themselves were spectacular.
Nominations for 2013 NY Dance and Performance Awards, The Bessies
Herman Cornejo in American Ballet Theatre works by Mark Morris, Twyla Tharp and Alexei Ratmansky City Center and the Metropolitan Opera House
Hari Krishnan in The Frog Princess Choreographed by Hari Krishnan at La MaMa, La MaMa Moves! Dance Festival
Aaron Mattocks in works by Big Dance Theater, David Gordon, Stephen Petronio, Jodi Melnick, Steven Reker, Faye Driscoll, John Kelly, Christopher Williams, David Parker, Doug Elkins and more

Jennifer Monson in Live Dancing Archive, Choreographed by Jennifer Monson at The Kitchen (nominationa withdrawn at the request of the artist)
Sebastien Ramirez and Honji Wang in AP15 Choreographed by Sebastien Ramirez and Honji Wang The Apollo Theater, Breakin’ Convention
Charles “Lil Buck” Riley and Ron “Prime Tyme” Myles at Le Poisson Rouge
Annique Roberts in Evidence Dance Company Works by Ronald K. Brown
Kayo Seyama in BELL Choreographed by Yasuko Yokoshi at New York Live Arts
Shantala Shivalingappa in Shiva Ganga, Choreographed by Shantala Shivalingappa
Melissa Toogood in Interface, Choreographed by Rashaun Mitchell at Baryshnikov Arts Center and The Spectators, Choreographed by Pam Tanowitz at New York Live Arts
Jaro Vinarsky in Bastard (The Painted Bird Trilogy Cycle part I) Choreographed by Pavel ZuÅ¡tiak at La MaMa Moves! Dance Festival
Performance Space 122’s COIL Festival
David Wampach and Tamar Shelef in SACRE, Choreographed by David Wampach at The Invisible Dog Art Center as part of Performance Space 122’s COIL Festival
Marty Beller for A Single Ride Marty Beller for A Single Ride Marty Beller for A Single Ride
Ant Hampton and Tim Etchells for The Quiet Volume Created by Ant Hampton and Tim Etchells at Performance Space 122 and PEN World Voices Festival
Liam O Maonlai for Rian, Choreographed by Michael Keegan-Dolan of Fabulous Beast Dance Theatre at Lincoln Center’s White Light Festival
Omar Sosa for Miriam Choreographed by Nora Chipaumire at BAM’s Fishman SpaceOUTSTANDING VISUAL DESIGN
Suzanne Bocanegra for costume design for Ich, Kurbisgeist by Big Dance Theater at The Chocolate Factory
Akiko Iwasaki for costume design for BELL by Yasuko Yokoshi at New York Live Arts
Pontus Lidberg for set and media design for Within (Labyrinth Within) by Morphoses at The Joyce
Fleur Elise Noble for visual design with media for Two Dimension Life of Her by Fleur Elise Noble at Under the Radar Festival, The Public Theater
Dionysus in 69 by Rude Mechs from a work by The Performance Group at New York Live Arts
D-Man in the Waters Choreographed by Bill T. Jones at The Joyce
State of Heads Choreographed by Donna Uchizono at New York Live Arts
Scott, Queen of Marys Choreographed by Doug Elkins at Baryshnikov Arts CenterOUTSTANDING PRODUCTION
(performed in a large capacity venue of more than 400 seats)
Rian, Fabulous Beast Dance Theatre Choreographed by Michael Keegan-Dolan at Lincoln Center’s White Light Festival
Shostakovich Trilogy, American Ballet Theatre Choreographed by Alexei Ratmansky at the Metropolitan Opera House
The Legend of Apsara Mera, Royal Ballet of Cambodia at BAM’s Howard Gilman Opera HouseOUTSTANDING PRODUCTION
(performed in a small capacity venue of less than 400 seats)
Then She Fell Created and choreographed by Third Rail Projects at Kingsland Ward at St. Johns
Everything You See Choreographed by Vicky Shick at Danspace Project
The Painted Bird Trilogy Cycle Choreographed by Pavel Zuštiak and Palissimo at La MaMa Moves! Dance Festival
(of a work stretching the boundaries of a traditional form)
Paseo Choreographed by Joanna Haigood at Dancing in the Streets
red, black, & GREEN: a blues Choreographed by Marc Bamuthi Joseph at BAM’s Fishman Space
Mo(or)town/Redux Choreographed by Doug Elkins at Baryshnikov Arts CenterOUTSTANDING PRODUCTION
(of a work at the forefront of contemporary dance and performance practices)
Watch It Choreographed by Liz Santoro at Museum of Arts and Design
The People to Come Choreographed by Yanira Castro at The Invisible Dog Art Center
Organ Player Created by Narcissister at Abrons Arts CenterABOUT THE BESSIES Produced in partnership with Dance/NYC, the NY Dance and Performance Awards have saluted outstanding and groundbreaking creative work by independent dance artists in NYC for 29 years. Known as “The Bessie” in honor of revered dance teacher Bessie Schoenberg, the awards were established in 1983 by David White at Dance Theater Workshop. They recognize exceptional work in choreography, performance, music composition and visual design. A 40-member Selection Committee comprised of artists, presenters, producers, and writers choose nominees. All those working in the dance field are invited to join the NY Dance and Performance League—members participate in annual discussions on the direction of the awards and nominate members to serve on the Selection Committee.
Now, just so you can totally appreciate hw robust and varied the field of the expanding world of dance has become, behold the names and choices of the year before (2012), because also knowing these names will help you through ANY conversation on the world of modern dance and performance you might encounter in 2014. Here are the program, nominees, and recipients for the 2012 Bessies :

The 2012 Bessies: New York Dance and Performance Award Recipients

The Bessies: New York Dance and Performance Awards
Monday October 15, 2012 at 8 pm
Apollo Theater
253 W. 125th Street

Hosted by Elizabeth Streb

Special performances by Trisha Brown Dance Company and Souleymane Badolo

Award Presentations by Marina Abramovic, luciana achugar, Ronald K. Brown, Brenda Bufalino, Archie Burnett, Stuart Hodes, Kevin McKenzie, Bebe Neuwirth, Charles Reinhart, Rokafella, David Thomson, Wendy Whelan

“The scale and reach of this year’s ceremony, and the range of artists represented, demonstrate the vitality and promise of dance in New York City,” says Lane Harwell, Director of Dance/NYC and Chair of the Bessie Steering Committee.



For his pioneering work as modern dance’s original maverick, helping to re-imagine what was possible in dance, For creating a unique dance language that is both lyrical and muscular, dynamic and humane, For having the courage and commitment to follow his own compass,creating new works for six remarkable decades,
The 2012 Bessie Award for Lifetime Achievement in Dance goes to PAUL TAYLOR

The Bessie Selection Committee is thrilled to honor Paul Taylor with the 2012 Bessie Award for Lifetime Achievement in Dance. For nearly six decades Taylor has been inventing movement and creating dances which delight and challenge the audience. Starting in 1954, Taylor was one of the early radicals reimagining the ways that that one might use dance to communicate ideas. The Bessies salute him as a pioneer who helped reshape the landscape of American dance.

Paul Taylor is the last living member of the pantheon that created America’s indigenous art of modern dance. At an age when most artists’ best work is behind them, Mr. Taylor continues to win public and critical acclaim for the vibrancy, relevance and power of his creations. In 1954 he assembled a small company of dancers and began to choreograph. Mr. Taylor has made 137 dances since 1954, many of which have attained iconic status. He has covered a breathtaking range of topics, but recurring themes include life and death; the natural world and man’s place within it; love and sexuality in all gender combinations; and iconic moments in American history. Mr. Taylor has influenced dozens of men and women who have gone on to choreograph – many on their own troupes – including Pina Bausch, Patrick Corbin, Laura Dean, Senta Driver, Thomas Evert, Danny Ezralow, Danny Grossman, Amy Marshall, David Parsons, Twyla Tharp, Takehiro Ueyama, Doug Wright and Lila York. He was awarded the National Medal of Arts by President Clinton in 1993. In 1995 he received the Algur H. Meadows Award for Excellence in the Arts and was named one of 50 prominent Americans honored in recognition of their outstanding achievement by the Library of Congress’s Office of Scholarly Programs. He is the recipient of three Guggenheim Fellowships and honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degrees from California Institute of the Arts, Connecticut College, Duke University, The Juilliard School, Skidmore College, the State University of New York at Purchase, Syracuse University and Adelphi University. Awards for lifetime achievement include a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship – often called the “genius award” – and the Samuel H. Scripps American Dance Festival Award.


For inspiring hundreds of NYC public school teens to create and perform original choreography, connecting them with a wide range of professional dancers in her Young Dancemakers Company, for thirty years teaching the art and craft of dance at the Fieldston School, and for a lifetime spent building the dance community for future generations as a performer, teacher, mentor, and advocate, a 2012 NY Dance and Performance Award for Service to the Field of Dance goes to Alice Teirstein

The Bessie Selection Committee has chosen Alice Teirstein as the recipient of this year’s award for service to the field. Teirstein’s work with young dancers in New York City has changed countless lives and given generations of young people the ability to express themselves through dance and choreography. She believes in their abilities to create and compose, and offers high school students from across the city the opportunity to choreograph and perform their work via her Young Dancemakers Company. All of us working in dance in NY owe her a great debt of gratitude.

Alice Teirstein, MA, is the founding director of Young Makers and has been choreographing, performing, and teaching dance in New York since the early 1970′s. She designed, initiated and developed the dance curriculum for grades 7-12 at the Fieldston School, where she served on the faculty for over 3 decades, leading the dance program and directing its Touring Fieldston Dance Company. She initiated the dance program’s Dance Out Project, bringing her students into the city’s homeless shelters where they served as group leaders in dance workshops with homeless youngsters, for which she received an award from the city’s Human Resources Administration. She also brought the Dance Out Project to public schools in the South Bronx. For three years she was Co-Director of the 92nd St. Y’s Young Masters Repertory Ensemble. She has led workshops for dance teachers for the NYC Department of Education, the Dance Educators Lab, and many other organizations.

OUTSTANDING PRODUCTION (of a work performed in a larger capacity venue of more than 400 seats):

Preludes and Fugues by Emanuel Gat, performed by Ballet du Grand Theatre de Geneve at The Joyce Theater (nominated)

Samhara by Surupa Sen performed by the Nrityagram Dance Ensemble at The Joyce Theater (nominated)


For transforming the vast architecture of the Armory with the cloud-like designs of Daniel Arsham, the astral music of four composers, and the complex, exhilarating choreography culled from five decades of Merce Cunningham’s work to create an unforgettable and profoundly moving gift to its audience A 2012 New York Dance and Performance Award for Outstanding Production goes to
The Merce Cunningham Dance Company for Event at the Park Avenue Armory

OUTSTANDING PRODUCTION (of a work that stretches the boundaries of a culturally specific form):

Dingle Diwali by the Darrah Carr Dance Company with guest choreographer Sean Curran performed at Symphony Space (nominated)

Jazz Meets Flamenco by Juan de Juan and Jason Samuels Smith, performed at Jazz at Lincoln Center (nominated)


For astonishing audiences with idiosyncratic kineticism, rigorous intellectualism, and thrilling use of boundary-breaking movement elements, in a stark and startling dialogue between Flamenco’s golden age and its many possible futures, a 2012 New York Dance and Performance Award for Outstanding Production goes to Israel Galvan for La Edad de Oro at The Joyce Theater.

ISRAEL GALVAN de los REYES is a famous Spanish flamenco dancer and choreographer. He was born in Seville. He became a celebrity in flamenco thanks to his dancing steps with complicated feet movements. He has been awarded several dance prizes.

OUTSTANDING PRODUCTION (of a work performed in a smaller capacity venue of less than 400 seats):

Twin Pines by Keely Garfield, performed at Danspace Project (nominated)

NOX by Rashaun Mitchell performed at Danspace Project (nominated)


For daring to create a 21st century drama where post modern dance, voguing and Greek tragedy collide, and in so doing offer new possibilities for the future of performance, A 2012 New York Dance and Performance Award for Outstanding Production goes to
Trajal Harrall for Antigone Sr./Twenty Looks or Paris is Burning at the Judson Church at New York Live Arts

TRAJAL HARRELL’S work has been presented at many venues including The Kitchen, Danspace Project, Dance Theater Workshop, P.S. 122, Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) Boston, Dance Mission (San Francisco, CA), the former San Francisco Institute of Choreography, among others. Internationally, his work has toured to international festivals in France, Austria, the Netherlands, Belgium, Brazil, Germany, Poland, Croatia, and Mexico including prestigious festivals such as such as Rencontres Chorgraphiques-Paris, Festival d’Avignon, Impulstanz-Vienna, TanzimAugust- Berlin, and Panorama Festival- Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. A graduate of Yale University with a B.A. in American Studies with a concentration in Creative Processes, he has been an artist-in-residence at The White Oak Residency and Dance Center, Snug Harbor Cultural Center, Movement Research, Bennington College, CDC Toulouse, and ICA Boston, among others.

OUTSTANDING PRODUCTION (of a work in the expanding field of new art, dance, and performance practice):

The Rehearsal by Cuqui Jerez, performed at Performance Space 122, and the French Institute’s Crossing the Line Festival at the Performing Garage (nominated)

Big Girls Do Big Things by Eleanor Bauer, performed in Perfoma 11 at New York Live Arts, and in American Realness at Abrons Arts Center (nominated)


For gently and deftly coaxing an audience into a community, holding them spellbound with stories spoken and unspoken; For seamlessly interweaving Blackfish’s music with the magical transformations of paper into ice, and dry leaves into water; For reminding us that we all come from a place unknowable, yet knownA 2012 New York Dance and Performance Award for Outstanding Production goes to
Emily Johnson For The Thank-you Bar at New York Live Arts

EMILY JOHNSON is a director/choreographer/curator, originally from Alaska and currently based in Minneapolis. Since 1998 she has created work that considers the experience of sensing and seeing performance. Her dances often function as installations, engaging audiences within and through a space and environment – sights, sounds, smells – interacting with a place’s architecture, history, and role in community. She works to blur distinctions between performance and daily life and to create work that reveals and respects multiple perspectives. Emily is a 2011 Native Arts and Cultures Fellow, a 2010 and 2009 MAP Fund Grant recipient, a 2009 McKnight Fellow and a 2009 and 2011 MANCC Choreographer Fellow.


Fort Blossom revisited (2000/2012) by John Jasperse, performed at New York Live Arts (nominated)

Roaratorio by Merce Cunningham, performed at the Brooklyn Academy of Music (nominated)


For taking its audience on a 21st century journey down an urban rabbit hole, beginning with a surreal ride to an unknown destination, and culminating in a frightening journey through a dark warren full of noise, bodies and violence. A 2012 New York Dance and Performance Award for Outstanding Revival goes to
The Shining By Yvonne Meier, presented by New York Live Arts and performed at the Invisible Dog Art Center

Originally created and performed in 1992 at Performance Space 122 and reconstructed in 1995 at P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, The Shiningis a dance-installation work full of thrill and fearful anxiety. It speaks of experiences at once sought and avoided – how do we hide from fear, play with thrills and terrors? How do those emotions excluded from consciousness play with us? This second reconstruction features original cast membersScott Heron,Annie Iobst, andMike Ivesonwith new cast membersYve Laris Cohen,Jen Rosenblit,Aki Sasamoto,Osmani Tellez,Arturo Vidich, andEmily Wexler, and special guest appearances fromHapi Phace,StinkmetalandGina Varla Vetro.


Wendall Harrington and Simon Pastukh, for set and projection design for Firebird by Alexei Ratmansky performed by American Ballet Theatre (nominated)

Company XIV, for light, set and costume design, for Snow White by Company XIV performed at 303 Bond Street (nominated)

Christine Shallenberg, for lighting design for Restless Eye by David Neumann, performed at New York Live Arts (nominated)


For transporting us into a hurricane-drenched apocalyptic world, Where a cardboard home slowly melted into oblivion under steady torrential rain in real time over the stretch of the performance, A brilliant technical achievement that perfectly matched the artistic intent of the work, A 2012 NY Dance and Performance Award for Visual Design goes to
Doris Dziersk for Meg Stuart’s “Blessed” at New York Live Arts


Alex Waterman for Show by Maria Hassabi performed at the Kitchen (nominated)

Christian Wolff, John King, David Behrman, and Takehisa Kosugi for Event by Merce Cunningham performed at the Park Avenue Armory (nominated)

Pandit Raghunath Panigrahi, Dhaneswar Swain, Prasanna Rupatilake, and Surupa Sen for Samhara by Surupa Sen performed by Nrityagram Dance Ensemble at The Joyce Theater (nominated)


For a driving, ebullient, viscerally live score with its varied influences of ndombolo, jazz, traditional, rock, and more,For creating a sea of rhythm that ranged from, political protest songs to music of sheer pleasure, A 2012 New York Dance and Performance Award for Outstanding Music Composition goes to
Flamme Kapaya and his band For Faustin Linyekula’s “more more more… future” performed at the Kitchen

Flamme Kapaya is recognized as one of the best guitar soloists of his generation. He livesand works in Paris and Kinshasa. Kapaya was raised in a musical tradition. He was first trained by his brotherBavon, and his grandfather, a traditional chief in the Bandundu area, was also a gifted musician. As a teenagerin Kinshasa, he began by singing in local traditional groups. A self-taught guitarist, Kapaya draws hisinspiration from various musical genres including jazz (especially George Benson), classical, and Latin music. In 1997, he joined the legendary ndombolo group, Maison mre, accompanying the Congolese singerWerrason. With the group, as a musician but also as a composer and producer on numerous albums, hebecame Flamme, taking his name from Captain Flamme, a 1980s cartoon hero. He performed with Maisonmre for 10 years, taking part in several international tours. In 2007, he met Faustin Linyekula, accompanying the performances of his piece Festival of Lies at the AvignonFestival in July 2007 and at the Faencerie Thtre in Creil / France in May 2008. In August 2008, he joinedLinyekula for two performances in Berlin as part of the 20th anniversary of the Tanz im August Festival.Kapaya also composed the music of Brnice, staged by Linyekula at the Comdie Franaise in 2009, as wellas the score of Pour en finir avec Brnice,which premiered at the Avignon Festival in 2010 and tours to theChaillot National Theater (Paris) and KVS (Brussels) in 2011. In December 2011, Flamme released his first solo album, Banningsville,produced by the Studios Kabako.


Jennifer Weber and DECADANCE colleagues for DECA performed at Joyce Soho (nominated)

Liz Santoro for We Do Our Best performed at Danspace Project (nominated)

Lee Sher and Saar Harari for Fame performed at Montclair State University (nominated)


For his choreographic candor and carefully calibrated work examining grief, spirits, words and movement in NOX; For his advancement of technical virtuosity;
And for drawing out powerful and personal expression from his dancers and designers, generously collaborating and giving them the stage, The 2012 Bessie Award for Emerging Choreographer goes to
Rashaun Mitchell

RASHAUN MITCHELL was born in Stamford, Connecticut, and raised in Atlanta, Georgia. He graduated from Sarah Lawrence College in 2000. Shortly after, he received the Viola Farber-Slayton Memorial Grant from the Foundation for Contemporary Art, which allowed him to move to New York to pursue dance projects with an array of artists, including Chantal Yzermans, Donna Uchizono, Risa Jaroslow, Sara Rudner, Jonah Bokaer, Richard Colton, Rebecca Lazier and Silas Riener. In 2007 he was the recipient of a Princess Grace Award: Dance Fellowship, anD received a 2011 New York Dance and Performance Bessie Award for sustained achievement in the work of Merce Cunningham (2004-2012). His own work has been presented by Danspace Project, La Mama Moves Festival, Mount Tremper Arts in New York; and with writer Anne Carson at the Skirball Center at NYU, Summer Stages/ The Institute for Contemporary Art in Boston, the OMiami Festival, College of St. Elizabeth, Wellesley College, University of Minnesota, and Princeton University.

OUTSTANDING PERFORMER (nominated by the committee looking at work performed in a larger capacity venue of more than 400 seats):

Shantala Shivalingappa in Swayambhu by Shantala Shivalingappa performed in World Music Institute at the Skirball Center for the Performing Arts (nominated)

David Hallberg for his work with The Bolshoi Ballet and American Ballet Theatre (nominated)


Amid a company of unforgettable dancers, his electric, thrilling high-wire solo pushed the limits of physics and induced gasps and spontaneous applause. For transcendent and breathlessly immediate dancing in Merce Cunningham’s Split Sides at the Brooklyn Academy of Music A 2012 New York Dance and Performance Award for Outstanding Performance goes to
Silas Riener in Merce Cunningham’s Split Sides.

SILAS RIENER grew up in Washington DC. He graduated from Princeton University with a degree in Comparative Literature and certificates in Creative Writing and Dance. He has worked with Chantal Yzermans, Takehiro Ueyama, Christopher Williams, Jonah Bokaer, and Rebecca Lazier’s TERRAIN, and is currently dancing for Tere O’Connor. Since 2010 he has collaborated with poet Anne Carson and choreographer Rashaun Mitchell, with whom he continuesto develop new projects. In 2011 he choreographed a site-specific performance at the Storefront for Art and Architecture with the Harrison Atelier, and will premiere a new work in February 2012 at The Invisible Dog.He was a member of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company from November 2007 until its closure at the end of 2011. While performing with MCDC, Riener completed his MFA in Dance at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. He is currently on faculty at NYU’s Playwrights Horizons, and Gallim Dance’s Clinton Hill Arts Center.

OUTSTANDING PERFORMER (nominated by the committee looking at work that stretches the boundaries of a culturally specific form):

Gianne Abbott in Brazil! Brazil! performed at the New Victory Theater (nominated)

Jessica Alejandra Wyatt in Asuka by Eduardo Vilaro, performed by Ballet Hispanico at the Apollo Theater and at The Joyce Theater (nominated)


She can, with grace and eloquence, both fiercely attack and tenderly caress each of Charlie Parker’s notes. For years spent joyously championing the art of tap,

And for inspired performing in the work of Jason Samuels Smith at The Joyce, A 2012 New York Dance and Performance Award for Sustained Achievement in Performing goes to
Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards.

DORMESHI SUMBRY-EDWARDS has been apart of almost every major Tap movie or show that has appeared in the history of tap dance since the 80’s. She was nominated for best actress for her starring role in the award-winning Independent film “The Rise and Fall of Miss Thang”. She was also elected to the Advisory Board as the Tap Advisor for Dance Magazine and the official Tap Spokesperson for Capezio along with her family, as well as being featured in their international advertising campaign.Mrs. Sumbry-Edwards was also the private tap instructor to the iconic Michael Jackson over the course of 11 years.Mrs. Sumbry-Edwards career includes acclaimed runs on Broadway and off-Broadway in shows such as Black and Blue, the Tony Award Winning Bring In Da’Noise, Bring In Da’Funk, and the International Tour of Bring in Da’Noise, Bring in Da’Funk.

OUTSTANDING PERFORMER (nominated by the committee looking at work performed in a smaller capacity venue of less than 400 seats):

Ryoji Sasamoto in Glowing by Kota Yamazaki, performed at the Japan Society (nominated)

Silas Riener for sustained achievement in the works of Merce Cunningham and in NOX by Rashaun Mitchell (nominated)


Equally compelling and equally at home in dances as aesthetically diverse as post-Judson minimal, fanciful postmodern, or relentlessly physical movement work, she is a fascinating chameleon – a dancer of unique versatility. For bringing skill and honesty to every performance in the work of Keely Garfield, Ralph Lemon, David Gordon, and Urban Bush Women, and many others A 2012 New York Dance and Performance Award for Sustained Achievement in Performance goes to
Omagbitse Omagbemi

OMAGBITSE OMAGBEMI received her BFA in dance from Montclair State University. She has performed nationally and internationally with companies such as Sean Currran, Kevin Wynn Collection, Shapiro and Smith, Urban Bush Woman, Jeremy Nelson, Risa Jaralow, Barbara Mahler, Keely Garfield, and Christopher Williams.8).

OUTSTANDING PERFORMER (nominated by the committee looking at work in the expanding field of new art, dance, and performance practice):

John Fleck in Mad Women by John Fleck, performed at La MaMa (nominated)

Emily Wexler in Mad Heidi by Yvonne Meier, performed in American Realness at Abrons Arts Center (nominated)


For her heroically serene, crystal-clear, mysterious, sweat-drenched and angelic execution of a rigorous 80 minute dance filled with metronomic and fearless striding, backwards into space in Sarah Michelson’s beautifully severe “Devotion Study #1 — The American Dancer” at the Whitney Biennial
A 2012 New York Dance and Performance Award for Outstanding Performance goes to
Nicole Mannarino

NICOLE MANNARINO is a dancer based in Brooklyn, NY. She has worked with Kyle Abraham, Beth Gill, and Juliana May. She is also a rock climber and teaches at the Manhattan Plaza Rock Wall.


The Bessies are pleased to announce the return of the Juried Bessie Award for its second year. The panel, Lar Lubovitch, Yvonne Rainer, and Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, has chosen to honor Souleymane Badolo as its 2012 recipient. The award is given to an artist who the jury believes is investigating some of the more interesting and exciting ideas happening in dance in New York City today. The honored dance maker will tour his work to regional theaters partnering with the Juried Bessie Award in the coming year. The Jury announced their decision on July 18, 2012 during the Bessie Awards annual press conference, held at the French Institute/Alliance Franciase (FIAF).

In speaking of their choice, the Jury said they were interested in the way Souleymane Badolo’s work combines a number of different dance traditions, drawing on West African dance and making use of improvisation and experiment. As juror Lar Lubovitch put it, “Souleymane brings a unique history to his artistic point of view, and embodies it within a passionate physical language that can engage the viewer both intellectually and emotionally.” The jury was also appreciative of the desire of the inaugural touring partner Nazareth Dance Festival to build and stretch its audience’s view of the dance arts, and felt Mr. Badolo would be an excellent choice in that endeavor. In the words of juror Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, “I truly appreciate his commitment to innovation, ritual, culture, and personal narrative. He is the real deal.”

Dancer and choreographer Souleymane Badolo, is known for his contemporary interpretations of traditional African dance. He began his dance career at DAMA, and founded his dance company, Kongo Ba Teria in Ouagadougou, Burkino Faso in 1993; he has toured throughout Africa, Europe and North America. He has participated in DTW’s Studio Series, Harlem Stage’s E-Moves Series, and Dance Under the Influence at the Museum of Art and Design. In 2010, Mr. Badolo premiered a commissioned solo work, Yaado (Cemetery), for I Got Lost, Platform 2012 at Danspace. He teaches contemporary dance at Bennington College.

“I am so very honored and excited to be this year’s recipient of the Juried Bessie Award,” says Mr. Badolo. “Thank you to the Jury and thank you to the many people who have made this possible, including Nora Chipaumire, Reggie Wilson, Ralph Lemon, Jawole Zollar, Bennington College, and so many others. I want to thank my dad and mom; they are not anymore in this life, but I know somewhere they are listening.” Badolo, who could not be present at the announcement, recorded his speech in both English and French for the occasion.

The Nazareth College Arts Center Dance Festival was the inaugural touring partner for the Juried Bessie Award. Beth Gill, the 2011 award recipient, is currently performing at the 2012 festival at the Nazareth College Arts Center in Rochester, NY. Nazareth College President Daan Braveman says, “We are proud to have served as the inaugural touring partner for the newly established Juried Bessie Award. The Nazareth College Arts Center has a long history of presenting dance companies on our stage. It is an honor to partner with the prestigious New York Performance and Dance Awards and play a role in introducing emerging choreographers to the cultural community here in Rochester, NY. Our audiences have enjoyed seeing Beth Gill’s Electric Midwife this week as part of our Summer Dance Festival, and we hope that Gill’s experience here has been a rewarding one. We look forward to welcoming the recipient of the 2012 Juried Bessie Award next summer.”

Herein endeth the lesson on Dance for your next party.


December 31, 2013 - Posted by | CULTURE, opportunity, We Recommend | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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