Dance Magazine Awards

The Dance Magazine Awards recognize outstanding men and women whose contributions have left a lasting impact on dance. The tradition dates back to 1954. Celebrate this years awardees at the 2017 Dance Magazine Awards on December 4th at 7:30pm in New York City:

For the first time ever, the proceeds from the awards ceremony will go to The Harkness Foundation for Dance to create a new grant for choreographers in their first decade of our work. It's our way of not only honoring those who have made dance what it is today, but investing in artists who will help shape what it becomes tomorrow.

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

Dance Magazine Awards
Rennie Harris Puremovement. Photo by Christopher Duggan

Some nights, you head home buzzing with energy. After last night's Dance Magazine Awards, we were dancing with it.

We had the privilege of honoring four legends of our field—Rennie Harris, Marika Molnar, Linda Celeste Sims and Diana Vishneva—in a ceremony that was filled with inspiration and beauty.

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Dance Magazine Awards
Marika Molnar working with Ana Sophia Scheller. Photo by Rachel Papo for Dance Teacher

Since George Balanchine first asked her to care for his dancers in the 1980s, Marika Molnar has helped heal icons as varied as Merce Cunningham, Trisha Brown, Natalia Makarova, Judith Jamison, Twyla Tharp, Chita Rivera and Mikhail Baryshnikov. Some patients call her their guardian angel.

"Marika has always answered all my (sometimes ridiculous) questions with the patience and respect that can only come from a deep love of us patients and what we do," says New York City Ballet principal Ashley Bouder. "Without her help during and after my pregnancy, I would never have been able to come back to the stage at full capacity."

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Dance Magazine Awards
Andrew Eccles, courtesy AAADT

Yes, she's small, but the word "mighty" doesn't even begin to get to the root of Linda Celeste Sims' startling magnetism. She joined Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in 1996 and now, at 41, it's as if her luminous dancing has entered another realm.

"I don't feel tired," she says. "I don't feel like I hate it. I don't feel like it's redundant. I can express different things. I can see what's happening in a more mature way, and I'm intrigued by this moment."

It's not that she isn't aware of her aging body. "I'm not as quick and as fast as I used to be," Sims says. "It's a challenge, but how can I express movement in a new way?"

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Osamu Inoue, courtesy Harris

It makes sense that Dance Magazine long ago dubbed Rennie (Lorenzo) Harris the "high priest of hip hop." When the often shy, Philadelphia-born choreographer founded his company Rennie Harris Puremovement in 1992, he planted a prodigious seed in the dance world. Then and now, Harris' mission has been to examine, preserve and share the culture of hip hop, decisively away from the commercially exploited view.

Harris remembers that when he started in the '90s, it was rough; a lot of his work was direct, so picketing and policing RHPM shows was the norm. But that time also harkened the birth of his well-thought-out launch of street dance onto the concert stage. There was the politically charged March of the Antmen, the pointed look at brotherhood and neighborhoods in P-Funk, and the tour de force Students of the Asphalt Jungle. His chilling solos, Lorenzo's Oil and Endangered Species, screamed chaos, contradiction and culture. In the 2000s, Rome & Jewels, his first evening-length work, garnered a Bessie Award. Facing Mekka followed, celebrating women of hip hop.

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Dance Magazine Awards
Photo by Valentin Baranovsky, courtesy Vishneva

For years, Diana Vishneva seemed to be an exotic creature who landed in New York City: If we held our collective breath long enough, perhaps she wouldn't fly away. But last June, this Russian ballerina did just that after delivering her farewell performance of Onegin with American Ballet Theatre, where she had been a principal since 2005. Her wild passion, her musicality and her ability to hold nothing back made her classical dancing all the more thrilling.

Vishneva got her start at the Vaganova Ballet Academy in St. Petersburg. Seven years later she won the Prix de Lausanne, and in 1995, she joined the Mariinsky Ballet, with whom she gave her first major performances in New York City. In 2001, she began her guest artist career, performing with La Scala Ballet, the Paris Opéra Ballet, Staatsballett Berlin and others over the years.

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Dance Magazine Awards

What do Fred Astaire, Pina Bausch and Misty Copeland have in common? They are all part of one of the most prestigious groups in dance: the Dance Magazine Award recipients. A tradition that dates back to 1954, the Dance Magazine Awards celebrate the living legends who have made a lasting impact on our field.

Today, we are thrilled to announce the four honorees for 2017:

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Dance Magazine Awards

***** FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE *****

Contact: Nicole Buggé

Media Manager

Dance Media Publications, LLC

nbuggé@dancemedia.com 212-979-4862

Dance Magazine is pleased to announce that the annual Dance Magazine Awards, the most prestigious awards event in dance, will make the Harkness Foundation for Dance the beneficiary of the proceeds from the event, which will be held on Monday, December 4, at the Ailey Citigroup Theater (405 West 55th Street) in Manhattan. The Harkness Foundation for Dance, a leading donor to dance, will in turn designate the proceeds to a newly created award to assist choreographers in their first decade of professional work.

''I am thrilled that we are able, in partnership with the Harkness Foundation, to provide tangible support to the dance community. I could think of no better way to leverage the power of Dance Magazine, now celebrating its 90th anniversary.''—Frederic M. Seegal, owner and CEO, Dance Media Publications, LLC

The Dance Magazine Awards recognize outstanding men and women whose contributions have left a lasting impact on dance. The tradition dates back to 1954. The new Harkness Promise Award seeks to shine a light on the other end of the spectrum, recognizing emerging young artists for the promise of their artistic work, and also for their innovative thinking about how to be an effective artist-citizen who positively impacts dance and the broader community through performance, education, organization, activism or other means. From 1986 to the present, the Harkness Foundation has contributed over $30 million to more than 560 organizations across the industry.

The Harkness Promise Award will include a $5,000 unrestricted grant, up to 40 hours of studio space within the grant year, and ongoing consulting and mentorship with Joan Finkelstein, the foundation's executive director. A performance project may result from this support, but is not a condition of the award. The first recipient(s) will be announced in June 2018.

"The Harkness Foundation for Dance is honored to partner with the dance field's indisputable magazine of record, Dance Magazine. The Foundation is excited about this new initiative, which will extend our ability to support the future of the dance field.'' —Joan Finkelstein, Executive Director, The Harkness Foundation for Dance

The winners of the 60th annual Dance Magazine Awards will be announced in the October 2017 issue of Dance Magazine. To facilitate the success of the awards event and fundraising for the Harkness Promise Award, a gala committee is in formation.

Tickets to the performance and post-awards cocktail party and buffet 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.

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About Dance Magazine:
For 90 years, Dance Magazine has provided insight and practical information, as well as news, interviews and beautiful, original photography. Dance Magazine illuminates the art form on a global scale, often breaking ground with fiercely personal accounts of life as a dancer. Dance Magazine is published by Dance Media Publications, LLC, whose properties also include: Dance Spirit®, Dance Teacher®, Pointe® and Dance Retailer NewsTM, plus associated websites and apps.

About The Harkness Foundation for Dance:
The Harkness Foundation for Dance is a private grant-making foundation dedicated to invigorating and supporting the dance art-form, predominantly in New York City. Since 1959, the Harkness name has been synonymous with dance philanthropy. The Foundation carries forward the lifelong dedication to the dance art form of the great American dance patron Rebekah Harkness. Over many decades, this support has taken the form of funding, rehearsal and theater space, technical assistance, and guidance—an unrivaled legacy that has touched countless dance artists and companies in all dance styles and genres. With a broad focus that spans dance creation, presentation, education, medicine and other vital services to the dance field, from 1986 to the present the Harkness Foundation has contributed over $30 million to more than 560 organizations across the industry. For more information: harknessfoundation.org

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.

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Megan Fairchild in Jerome Robbins' Dances at a Gathering. PC Paul Kolnik, Courtesy NYCB

From the minute my journey as a dancer began at age 4, there were no other options of what I might do with my life.

Sure, I tried other "after-school activities." I tried desperately to master The Phantom of the Opera with my squeaky violin rental—a headache for my parents who paid for private Suzuki method lessons at our house. Constantly attempting famous show tunes on my violin, the effort was completely futile. I actually remember thinking, 'Surely this sheet music is wrong, this sounds nothing like the Phantom of the Opera.'

I even tried my hand at gymnastics. But when my mom's brilliant bribery of $100 for my first mastery of a kip or a back handspring didn't produce any results, we quickly threw in the towel.

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Dancers & Companies
Lopez in Circus Polka. PC Alexander Iziliaev, Courtesy MCB

When Miami City Ballet artistic director Lourdes Lopez was a principal dancer at New York City Ballet, she missed her opportunity to honor Jerome Robbins onstage. "Every time there was a celebration for Jerry, I was either injured or had just retired," says Lopez. "I was never able to publicly thank him onstage for all that he taught us and the beauty he left us."

But when Lopez was planning MCB's Jerome Robbins Celebration for the 100th anniversary of the legend's birth, she saw an opportunity. She asked the Robbins Trust to allow her to perform the Ringmaster in Robbins' Circus Polka, a role the choreographer originated himself.

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Dance As Activism
Matthew Neenan used images of silencing and control in let mortal tongues awake. Photo by Bill Herbert.

From coast to coast, choreographers have spent the first year of Donald Trump's presidency responding to the impact of his election and what it means for them as artists.

New York City's Dante Brown used rubber Trump masks in his work Package (revamped), which examines the monstrosities of power.

A video titled "Dancers vs. Trump Quotes" went viral last summer, showing dancers taking Trump's "locker-room" talk to task.

Alexis Convento, lead curator of the New York City–based Current Sessions, dedicated a whole program to the concept of resistance, while educator and interdisciplinary artist Jill Sigman has initiated a workshop called "Body Politic, Somatic Selves," as a space for movement research around questions of support, activism and solidarity.

In San Francisco, choreographer Margaret Jenkins facilitated a panel of artists about the role of activism within their work.

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Dancers & Companies
Courtesy of The Beautiful Mind Series

When London-based perfume company The Beautiful Mind Series was looking for a collaborator for their next scent, they skipped the usual celebrity set and brought in prima ballerina Polina Semionova instead. "I was fascinated by what goes on in the mind of a great dancer," perfumer Geza Schoen said in a press release. Semionova's ballet-inspired scent, Precision & Grace, celebrates the intelligence and beauty behind her craft.

Courtesy of The Beautiful Mind Series

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In The Studio
Abraham.In.Motion performing "Drive." Photo by Ian Douglas.

The ever-so-busy Kyle Abraham is back in New York City for a brief visit with his company Abraham.In.Motion as they prepare for an exciting spring season of new endeavors with some surprising guests. The company will be debuting a new program at The Joyce Theater on May 1, that will include two new pieces from Abraham, restaged works by Doug Varone and Bebe Miller, and a world premiere from Andrea Miller. Talk about an exciting line-up!

We caught up with Abraham during a recent rehearsal where he revealed what he is tired of hearing in the dance community.

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News
Tero Saarinen's Morphed. Photo by Darya Popova, Courtesy Helene Davis Public Relations

Choreographer Tero Saarinen has a proclivity for the peculiar—and for epic orchestral music. That he should be commissioned by the Los Angeles Philharmonic to create a new dance work to accompany the U.S. premiere of Bernd Alois Zimmermann's Cello Concerto en forme de pas de trois only makes sense. Zimmermann's eerie, difficult-to-classify composition falls squarely in Saarinen's wheelhouse. Walt Disney Concert Hall, Jan. 19–21. laphil.com.


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