This week's dance news ranges from Hollywood scandals to downtown dance celebrations to #BlackLivesMatter protests. It's a bit overwhelming, but don't worry—we've got you covered. Here's what you need to know this week:

Pam Tanowitz Dance. Photo by Christopher Duggan.

  1. The New York Dance and Performance Awards, known as The Bessies, announced their nominees for 2016. The list is as diverse and exciting as ever. Pam Tanowitz, Joya Powell and Donald McKayle's Rainbow 'Round My Shoulder have all been named Bessie winners prior to the October 18 awards.

Carla Körbes takes her (not?) final bow. Photo by Angela Sterling.





2. Benjamin Millepied, who has returned to L.A. Dance Project in full force since leaving the Paris Opéra, spilled the beans that two legendary ballerinas will be joining the company onstage this fall: Carla Körbes, who has been serving as associate artistic director of LADP since retiring from Pacific Northwest Ballet last year, and Janie Taylor, who frequently designs costumes for Millepied and retired from New York City Ballet in 2014.

3. Last week, Alton Sterling and Philando Castile were tragically killed by police officers. But the dancers of Alvin Ailey were on tour, and they had to keep dancing. As both an outlet for their emotional trauma and an act of protest, company member Sean Aaron Carmon choreographed a short dance to Beyoncé's "Freedom"—a song of protest in itself—with 16 fellow Ailey dancers. The result is powerful.

Melanie Hamrick in Alexei Ratmansky's The Nutcracker. Photo by Gene Schiavone.

4. 72-year-old rocker Mick Jagger is going to be a dad again, and the internet is abuzz about his largely unknown pregnant girlfriend. We in the dance world know her well, though—she's 29-year-old Melanie Hamrick, a standout member of American Ballet Theatre's corps de ballet.

5. This weekend brings the Fire Island Dance Festival, an annual fundraiser for Dancers Responding to AIDS on the serene New York getaway. Highlights include Dance Theatre of Harlem, Gallim Dance, Keigwin + Company and MADBOOTS DANCE.



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Today, it's fair to say that Lanteri has far surpassed his goal of creating scholarship opportunities. But NYCDA has done so much more, bridging the gap between the convention world and the professional world by forging a wealth of partnerships with dance institutions from Marymount to The Ailey School to Complexions Contemporary Ballet and many more. There's a reason these companies and schools—some of whom otherwise may not see themselves as aligned with the convention/competition world—keep deepening their relationships with NYCDA.

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Stella Abrera in Alexei Ratmansky's The Seasons. Rosalie O'Connor, Courtesy ABT.

Stella Abrera to Take on New Role as Artistic Director of Kaatsbaan

Yesterday, Kaatsbaan, the Tivoli, NY-based cultural park for dance, announced that Stella Abrera will join the organization as its new artistic director, effective January 1. This news come just weeks after we learned that Abrera will be taking her final bow with American Ballet Theatre in June.

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