Dancers & Companies

Dance Magazine Awards

In 2017, we celebrate Rennie Harris, Marika Molnar, Linda Celeste Sims and Diana Vishneva.

Join us to celebrate with live performances and special guests at New York's Ailey Citigroup Theater on December 4. For the first time, this year's event will donate proceeds to the Harkness Foundation for Dance to fund a newly-created award for choreographers in their first decade of professional work. Click here for the official press release.

Tickets to the performance and post-awards cocktail party are $250. Opportunities to participate at a leadership level of $1,000 are available and include a VIP pre-performance champagne reception. Performance-only tickets are $50. To order, email dmawards@dancemedia.com or call 212-979-4872.

Watch highlights from the 2016 Dance Magazine Awards.

See all the past recipients of Dance Magazine Award below.


2016

Carolyn Adams

Lynn Garafola

Lar Lubovitch

Tiler Peck

2015

Soledad Barrio

Marcelo Gomes

Karen Kain

David Vaughan

Jawole Willa Jo Zollar

2014

Brenda Bufalino and Tony Waag

Misty Copeland

Luigi

Wayne McGregor

Larissa Saveliev

2013

Martha Clarke

Mats Ek

Philip Glass

Yuan Yuan Tan

Patricia Wilde

2012

Julie Kent

Anna Kisselgoff

Renee Robinson

Diane Walker

2011

Dr. William Hamilton

Alexi Ratmansky

Kathleen Marshall

Yvonne Rainer

Jennifer Ringer

2010

Deborah Jowitt

Pilobous Dance Theatre

Irina Kolpakova

Matthew Rusing

2009

Allegra Kent

Ohad Naharin

Sara Rudner

Jason Samules Smith

2008

Pina Bausch

Lawrence Rhodes

Ethan Stiefel

Sylvia Waters

2007

Bettie de Jong

Bebe Neuwirth

Desmond Richardson

Wendy Whelan

2006

Todd Bolender

Eiko & Koma

David Howard

Gelsey Kirkland

Joan Meyers Brown

2005

Clive Barnes

Alessandra Ferri

Donald McKayle

Jimmy Slyde

Christopher Wheeldon

2004

Jose Manuel Carreño

Chuck Davis

Anna Halprin

Chita Rivera

2003

William Forsythe

Susan Jaffe

Jock Soto

Charles and Stephanie Reinhart

2002

Nina Ananiashvili

Frank Andersen

Jack Mitchell

Tina Ramirez

2001

Terese Capucilli

Michael M. Kaiser

Susan Stroman

Damian Woetzel

2000

David Parsons

Ann Reinking

Ben Stevenson

1999

Barbara Horgan for the Balanchine Trust

Al Pischl for Dance Horizons

Jacques d'Amboise

Martin Fredmann

Kevin McKenzie

1998

Jeraldyne Blunden

Julio Bocca

Suki Schorer

Dame Ninette de Valois

1997

Claude Bessy

Anna-Marie Holmes and Bruce Marks

Dudley Williams

Hernando Cortez & Dancers Responding to AIDS

1996

Peter Boal

Savion Glover

Francia Russell and Kent Stowell

Ann Barzel*

1995

Susan Marshall

Carla Maxwell

Fayard and Harold Nicholas

1994

Christine Dakin

Kate Johnson

Jirí Kylián

1993

Bill T. Jones

Pierre Dulaine and Yvonne Marceau

Beatriz Rodriguez

1992

Darci Kistler

Meredith Monk

Helgi Tomasson

1991

Virginia Johnson

Mark Morris

Jennifer Tipton

1990

Garth Fagan

Eliot Feld

Hanya Holm

1988

"Dancing for Life"

Moscelyne Larkin and Roman Jasinski

P. W. Manchester

Kyra Nichols

1987

Merrill Ashley

Trisha Brown

Liz Thompson

David White

Doris Hering*

1985

Charles "Honi" Coles

Richard Cragun

Frederic Franklin

Heather Watts

Walter Sorell*

1984

Alexandra Danilova

Robert Irving

Donald Saddler

Tommy Tune

Dance Masters of America, Inc.*

1983

Jeannot Cerrone

John Neumeier

Michael Smuin

Martine van Hamel

1982

Fernando Bujones

Laura Dean Arnold Spohr

Lee Theodore

1981

Selma Jeanne Cohen

Sir Anton Dolin Twyla Tharp

Stanley Williams

1980

Patricia McBride

Ruth Page

Paul Taylor

Herbert Ross and Nora Kaye*

1979

Aaron Copland

Jorge Donn

Erick Hawkins

1978

Mikhail Baryshnikov

Raoul Gelabert

Bella Lewitzky

1977

Murray Louis

Natalia Makarova

Peter Martins

1976

Michael Bennett

Suzanne Farrell

E. Virginia Williams

1975

Alvin Ailey

Cynthia Gregory

Arthur Mitchell

1974

Gerald Arpino

Maurice Béjart

Antony Tudor

1973

The Christensen Brothers (Lew, Harold, Willam)

Rudolf Nureyev

1972

Anthony Dowell

Judith Jamison

1970

Sir Frederick Ashton

Carolyn Brown

Ted Shawn

1969

Erik Bruhn

Katherine Dunham

Carla Fracci

1968

Eugene Loring

Alwin Nikolais

Violette Verdy

1967

Carmen deLavallade

Sol Hurok

Wesleyan University Press

1966

Edwin Denby

Margaret H'Doubler

Maya Plisetskaya

1965

John Butler

Peter Gennaro

Edward Villella

1964

Gower Champion

Robert Joffrey

Pauline Koner

1963

Isadora Bennett

Margot Fonteyn

Bob Fosse

1962

Melissa Hayden

Anna Sokolow

Gwen Verdon

1960

Merce Cunningham

Igor Moiseyev

Maria Tallchief

1959

Dorothy Alexander

Fred Astaire

George Balanchine

1958

Alicia Alonso

Doris Humphrey

Gene Kelly

Igor Youskevitch

1957

Lucia Chase

José Limón

Alicia Markova

Jerome Robbins

1956

Agnes de Mille

Martha Graham

1955

Jack Cole

Gene Nelson

Moira Shearer

1954

Dance on TV: Adventure (CBS)

Tony Charmoli (NBC)

Max Liebman (NBC)

Omnibus (CBS)


*Special award

Johns' Map

Before too long, dancers and choreographers will get to create on the luxurious 170-acre property in rural Connecticut that is currently home to legendary visual artist Jasper Johns.

If you think that sounds far more glamorous than your average choreographic retreat, you're right. Though there are some seriously generous opportunities out there, this one seems particularly lavish.

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Ashley Ellis, photo by Albert Ayzenberg, courtesy of Ashley Ellis

Every dancer has learned—probably the hard way—that healthy feet are the foundation of a productive and happy day in the studio. As dancers, our most important asset has to carry the weight (literally) of everything we do. So it's not surprising that most professional dancers have foot care down to an art.

Three dancers shared their foot-care products they can't live without.

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via Instagram, Company Cooperative

Dancers trying their hand at designing is nothing new. But they do tend to stick with studio or performance-wear (think Miami City Ballet's Ella Titus and her line of knit warm-ups or former NYCB dancer Janie Taylor and her ballet costumes). But several dancers at American Ballet Theatre—corps members Jamie Kopit, Erica Lall, Katie Boren, Katie Williams, Lauren Post, Zhong-Jing Fang and soloist Cassandra Trenary—are about to launch a fashion line that's built around designs that can be worn outside of the studio. Titled Company Cooperative, the luxe line of women's wear is handmade in New York City's garment district and designed by the dancers themselves.

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Dancers & Companies
A still from Duet, via CNN Style

Royal Ballet dancers Yasmine Naghdi and Beatriz Stix-Brunell recently got together for a different kind of performance: no decadent costumes, sets, stage makeup or lighting. Instead, the principal and first soloist danced choreography by principal character artist Kristen McNally in a stark studio.

The movement is crystal clear, and at the beginning, Naghdi and Stix-Brunell duck and weave around each other with near vacant stares. Do they even know they have a partner? And how should they interact? The situation raises a much larger question: How often do we see a female duet in ballet?

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Dancers & Companies
Neumeier's costume rendering for Orphée et Eurydice. Photo courtesy Lyrica Opera of Chicago.

As a student, Milwaukee native John Neumeier appeared in an opera at the Lyric Opera of Chicago. As Hamburg Ballet's artistic director and one of the world's leading choreographers, Neumeier now returns to the Midwest to direct and choreograph a new version of Gluck's Orphée et Eurydice, a co-production of the Lyric Opera, LA Opera and Hamburg State Opera. Set to open in Chicago September 23 with the Joffrey Ballet, the ambitious work will see additional engagements in Los Angeles and Hamburg over the next two years.

How did you come to be involved with this collaboration?

It was initiated by the director of the Lyric Opera, Anthony Freud, but I had already been in contact with Ashley Wheater about a separate project with the Joffrey Ballet. The two things came together—and this was really interesting to me because Chicago was important at the start of my career. I was born in Milwaukee, but most of my training was in or near Chicago.

You've previously created version of Orpheus for Hamburg Ballet. What about this particular production caught your interest?

When I got this offer from Anthony, I just went back to the piece and tried to sense what it meant to me now. Gluck's Orphée was part of a push to reform opera and to make a complete work of art involving music, text and dance. What interests me—particularly in this French version we are doing—is that dance plays such an essential role. When Agnes de Mille choreographed Oklahoma!, it was considered a revolution in musical theater, because dance moved the plot along. In Orphée, we can see that the same idea had been realized several centuries ago: that dance would not be just a divertissement, but a theatrical element, literally "moving" the plot along and expressing in another form the emotion of each situation.

Another idea in Orphée which fascinates me is its directness in projecting profound human emotions—emotions not used as an excuse for vocal virtuosity, but expressed in simple and direct musical terms. In Orphée, we have a mythical subject which is related in an extremely relevant, familiar, human way.

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Brendan Barthel and Chinchin Hsu of MJDC, Photo by RJ Muna

What happens when drones become part of the dance? For Margaret Jenkins Dance Company's latest work, Skies Calling Skies Falling, video artists David and Hi-Jin Hudge used a drone hovering 200 to 400 feet above the ground to film the dancers performing in an industrial granary. The resulting footage will be projected onto the floor and walls of the Taube Atrium Theater, creating a dystopian backdrop to the live performance.

Alex Carrington of MJDC, Photo by RJ Muna

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Dancers & Companies
Connor Walsh rehearses the role of Rudolf in Kenneth MacMillan's Mayerling. Photo by Amitava Sarkar, Courtesy Houston Ballet.

It's been 34 years since Sir Kenneth MacMillan's Mayerling touched down on American soil, when The Royal Ballet first performed the great English master's tour de force ballet stateside. On September 22–24, Houston Ballet becomes the first North American company to perform MacMillan's epic chronicle of the murder-suicide of the heir to the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Crown Prince Rudolf, and his 17-year-old mistress, Baroness Mary Vetsera. Chronicling the last chapter of the Hapsburg Empire, the ballet is known for its true-to-life realism, and for the role of Rudolf, which transformed the way male ballet dancers drive a story. It's considered a dream role for a male dancer. And with seven pas de deux with five different women, a deadly difficult one at that.

Driving Houston Ballet's Mayerling train is principal Connor Walsh, who nearly missed this opportunity to dance the part when Hurricane Harvey flooded Houston Ballet's theatrical home, Wortham Center. Now moved to the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts and back in rehearsal, Walsh took a break from his busy schedule to talk about the role of a lifetime.

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Health & Body
Quinn Wharton

Have you ever felt like your relationship to dance is something of an addiction? Not to worry, that's completely normal—it's simply the way our brains are wired.

This week, The Washington Post published an intriguing feature that looks at the science of what actually goes on upstairs when we're watching a live performance. The insight comes from the emerging field of neuroaesthetics, which uses tools like brain imaging to study the relationship between art and the brain.

Here are some of the most fascinating takeaways:

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