Bessie Schonberg December 27, 1906 – May 14, 1997)

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

PROGRAM: 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.”

NYS DanceForce to partner with the Juried Bessie Award

The  New York State DanceForce, a statewide network of dance activists  dedicated to linking artists and communities across New York State, has  announced that its members are committed to partnering with the Juried  Bessie Award. They will work with the recipient of the annual award to  create further opportunities for that artist to bring their work to  dance centers across the state. Full details will be announced at the  Bessie ceremony in October.

Published by Antonio Laginha

Autoria e redação

António Laginha, editor e autor da maioria dos textos da RD, escreve como aprendeu antes do pretenso Acordo Ortográfico de 1990, o qual não foi ratificado por todos os países de língua portuguesa.

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