Meet Our 2017 Dance Magazine Awardees

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:


Hip hop icon Rennie Harris


Dance medicine pioneer Marika Molnar


Ailey phenom Linda Celeste Sims


International ballerina Diana Vishneva

Keep your eyes peeled for our December issue to learn more about the extraordinary accomplishments of each of these leaders in our field today.

And 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 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.

Latest Posts


Luke Isley, Courtesy Ballet West

How Do Choreographers Bring Something Fresh to Music We've Heard Over and Over?

In 2007, Oregon Ballet Theatre asked Nicolo Fonte to choreograph a ballet to Maurice Ravel's Boléro. "I said, 'No way. I'm not going near it,' " recalls Fonte. "I don't want to compete with the Béjart version, ice skaters or the movie 10. No, no, no!"

But Fonte's husband encouraged him to "just listen and get a visceral reaction." He did. And Bolero turned into one of Fonte's most requested and successful ballets.

Not all dance renditions of similar warhorse scores have worked out so well. Yet the irresistible siren song of pieces like Stravinsky's The Firebird and The Rite of Spring, as well as the perennial Carmina Burana by Carl Orff, seem too magnetic for choreographers to ignore.

And there are reasons for their popularity. Some were commissioned specifically for dance: Rite and Firebird for Diaghilev's Ballets Russes; Boléro for dance diva Ida Rubinstein's post–Ballets Russes troupe. Hypnotic rhythms (Arvo Pärt's Spiegel im Spiegel) and danceable melodies (Bizet's Carmen) make a case for physical eye candy. Audience familiarity can also help box office receipts. Still, many choreographers have been sabotaged by the formidable nature and Muzak-y overuse of these iconic compositions.

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