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2014 Bessie Host, Performances and Presenters

The Bessies 30th year Anniversary event is shaping up to be a wonderful retrospective evening, celebrating the artists of the past, present and future! Broadway playwright Lisa Kron has been selected as this years host, along with performances by the Mark Morris Dance Company, Urban Bush Women, Circus Amok and Michelle Dorrance, to each symbolize the last three decades of Bessie recognized and celebrated works.The list of presenters is significant and is also representative of a large community of past Bessie winners and current performers, artists and directors who are shaping the artistic endeavors of tomorrow.


Lisa Kron to Host Ceremony; Circus Amok, Michelle Dorrance, Mark Morris Dance Group and Urban Bush Women to Perform Critically Acclaimed Bessie-Awarded Works

 The New York Dance and Performance Awards (The Bessies), NYC’s premier dance awards honoring outstanding creative work in the field,  is the anniversary ceremony that is to be held at the legendary Apollo Theater. Broadway playwright, actress and 1993 Bessie awardee Lisa Kron will host the 30th Annual Bessie Awards. Produced in partnership with Dance/NYC, the awards will take place October 20, 7:30 p.m. Nominees will arrive starting 6:00 p.m. for Red Carpet press interviews and photo opportunities.

In honor of the 30-year milestone, Kron – whose hit musical Fun Home will make its Broadway debut this year – will welcome performances from past Bessie-awardees of the last three decades. Mark Morris, who was awarded a Bessie for his season work in its inaugural year of 1984 will present Bijoux, danced by long-time Mark Morris Dance Group dancer Megan Williams. Additional performances include highlights from the collected work of Urban Bush Women, awarded in 1992, while Jennifer Miller and Jennie Romaine will open the show with Circus Amok, who were awarded in 1995 for their funky, funny and fundamentally subversive works. Rising star and 2011 Bessie award winner Michelle Dorrance will also present her work Three to One to round out the evening.

Virginia Johnson, current Artistic Director of Dance Theatre of Harlem, will present Arthur Mitchell with the Lifetime Achievement award. Mikki Shepard, the original producer of the first DanceAfrica! at BAM, will present Dr. Chuck Davis with the Service to the Field award. A more extensive list of presenters includes Robert Battle, Faye Driscoll, Megan Fairchild, Karen Finley, Tere O’Connor, Omagbitse Omagbemi, Miki Orihara, Annie B-Parson, Lenny Pickett, Crazy Legs and Ken Swift of Rock Steady Crew, and Wendy Whelan.

The 2014 Bessie Awards Steering Committee, responsible for setting policy and providing oversight of the Bessie Awards throughout the year, is comprised of Arthur Aviles, Cora Cahan, Beverly D’Anne, Lane Harwell, Judy Hussie-Taylor, Carla Peterson, Laurie Uprichard, Martin Wechsler and Wendy Whelan.

The 2013-2014 Bessie Award Nominating Committee consists of Nolini Barretto, Barbara Bryan, Kim Chan, H.T. Chen, Blondell Cummings, Nancy Dalva, Simon Dove, Maura Donohue, Joan Finkelstein, Laurel George, Zhenesse Heinemann, Virginia Johnson, Robert LaFosse, Matthew Lyons, Nicole Macotsis, Caridad Martinez, Sarah Maxfield, Salley May, Harold Norris, Nicky Paraiso, Morgan von prelle Pecelli, PhD., Susan Reiter, Rokafella, Walter Rutledge, Philip Sandstrom, Sally Silvers, Sue Samuels, Elka Samuels Smith, Gus Solomons Jr., Muna Tseng, Kay Turner, Marya Warshaw, Edisa Weeks, Ryan Wenzel, Jay Wegman, Adrienne Westwood, Marya Wethers and Elizabeth Zimmer.

All PHOTOS taken during the Announcement Ceremony of the 2014 Bessie Award Nominations.L1050485




Tickets are available for $100, $30 and $10 and can be purchased in person at the Apollo Theater or through Ticketmaster by calling (800) 745-3000 and online at






Outstanding Performer

Maggie Cloud
in Passagen by Pam Tanowitz

Sean Donovan
in the work of Witness Relocation, Jane Comfort, Faye Driscoll, and others

Julia Hausermann
in Disabled Theater by Jerome Bel and Theater HORA

Sean Jackson
in We Used to Hold by Lisa LaTouche as part of Rhythm in Motion

Mickey Mahar
in the work of Miguel Gutierrez, Adrienne Truscott, Ryan McNamara, and Gillian Walsh

Angela “Angel” McNeal
For her hip hop battle improvisations at Harlem Stage E-Moves 15 Battle



Sara Mearns
New York City Ballet

Aakash Odedra
in James Brown, Get on the Good Foot, A Celebration in Dance organized and shaped by Otis Sallid as part of A Celebration in Dance at the Apollo Theater

Tiler Peck
New York City Ballet

Rebecca Serrell-Cyr
in Fire Underground by Donna Uchizono

Linda Celeste Sims
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater

Stuart Singer
in Within Between by John Jasperse

Outstanding Music Composition/Sound Design

Simphiwe Dana, Giuliano Modarelli, and Complete Quartet
for Exit/Exist choreographed by Gregory Maqoma

G. Lucas Crane
for This Was the End created by Mallory Catlett

Steven Taylor
for Aubade choreographed by Douglas Dunn

Nicholas Young
for his inventive tap ‘percussion platforms’ in Rhythm in Motion

Outstanding Revival

Dark Swan
by Nora Chipaumire
The Joyce

Myth or Meth (or Maybe Moscow?)
by Radiohole
Tom Murrin Full Moon Performance Festival at La MaMa

State of Heads
by Donna Uchizono
New York Live Arts

Bach Partita
by Twyla Tharp
American Ballet Theatre

Outstanding Production

Asase Yaa African American Dance Theatre
Djembe in the New Millenium
Kumble Theater for the Performing Arts

Camille A. Brown
Produced by 651 Arts at Kumble Theater for the Performing Arts

Mallory Catlett
This Was the End
The Chocolate Factory

Liz Gerring
Montclair State University

Maria Hassabi
The Kitchen

John Jasperse
Within Between
New York Live Arts

Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker
En Atendant/Cesena
Brooklyn Academy of Music

Akram Khan
White Light Festival

Sarah Michelson
Whitney Museum of American Art

MIMULUS Cia de Danca
The Joyce

Okwui Okpokwasili in collaboration with Peter Born
Bronx Gothic

Aki Sasamoto
Sunny in the Furnace
The Kitchen

Outstanding Visual Design

Thomas Dunn
for New Work for the Desert by Beth Gill

Avram Finkelstein, Kathy Morganroth, and Jenny Mui of YMX by Yellowman; Patricia Forelle; Tamara Gonzales; and Nicholas Vermeer, Olivia Barr, and William Ward of NYC Resistor
for Vectors, Mary, and Snow by Brooklyn Ballet

Peter Ksander, Olivera Gajic, Ryan Holsopple, Chris Kuhl, and Keith Skretch
for This Was the End by Mallory Catlett

Tim Yip
for Desh by Akram Khan

Outstanding Emerging Choreographer

Rashida Bumbray
for The Little Red Rooster in a Red House
Harlem Stages E-Moves 15

Jessica Lang
For the formation of her own company and its inaugural season
The Joyce

Jen Rosenblit
for a Natural dance
The Kitchen

Gillian Walsh
for Grinding and Equations: Two Duets at Abrons
Abrons Arts Center






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 30 years. Known as “The Bessies” in honor of revered dance teacher Bessie Schoenberg, the awards were established in 1984 by David White at Dance Theater Workshop. They recognize exceptional work in choreography, performance, music composition and visual design. Nominees are chosen by a 40-member selection committee, comprised of artists, presenters, producers, and writers. All those working in the dance field are invited to join the NY Dance and Performance League, as members participate in annual discussions on the direction of the awards and nominate members to serve on the selection committee. This year’s 30th Anniversary Bessie Awards will be held at The Apollo on Monday October 20, 2014.


October 19, 2014 - Posted by | ART, BUSINESS, CULTURE, ENTREPRENEURS, FOOD AND WINE, LIFESTYLES, opportunity, Uncategorized, We Recommend | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

1 Comment »

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