ODC/Dance's Mia J. Chong is one of the recipients of this year's Princess Grace Awards for Dance. Photo by RJ Muna, Courtesy Mona Baroudi PR

News of Note: What You May Have Missed in August 2019

Here are the latest promotions, appointments and transfers, plus notable awards and accomplishments from the last month.


Comings & Goings

At The Royal Ballet, Anna Rose O'Sullivan and Luca Acri have been promoted to first soloist, Romany Pajdak, Isabella Gasparini, Tomas Mock and David Yudes to soloist. Gary Avis and Samantha Raine have been appointed senior ballet master and mistress, respectively.

Luke Schaufuss has joined Sarasota Ballet as a principal.

Taryn Kaschock Russell has been appointed director of Harkness Dance Center at 92Y.

Brian McSween has been appointed artistic director of Chattanooga Ballet.

Rory Hohenstein and Veronika Part have been appointed ballet masters at Atlanta Ballet.

Christine Chen has been appointed executive director at STREB.

Luca Sbrizzi will retire from Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre this season. His final performance will be in October.

Maggie Small and Fernando Sabino will retire from Richmond Ballet this season. Small's final performance will be in September, Sabino's in May.

A white woman with dark brown hair smiles at the camera as she rests one hand on a wooden ballet barre. She is wearing bright blue slacks, a pale blue button down, and her hair is loose around her shoulders.

Viviana Durante

Chris McAndrew, Courtesy The Corner Shop PR

Viviana Durante has been appointed director of dance at English National Ballet School for 2019–20.

Awards & Honors

2019 Princess Grace Awards for dance went to Jared Brown (The Juilliard School), Mia J. Chong (ODC/Dance), Stanley Glover (BalletX), Roman Mejia (New York City Ballet) and Byron Tittle (Dorrance Dance). Choreography fellowships went to Rena Butler (Hubbard Street Dance Chicago) and Randy Reyes (CounterPulse). Tommie-Waheed Evans (Lula Washington Dance Theatre) received an honoraria. Kyle Abraham received a special project grant, Raja Feather Kelly a works in progress residency award and Camille A. Brown a choreography mentorship co-commission award.

Ahead of the October 14 awards ceremony, the NY Dance and Performance Awards (the "Bessies") have announced that Joan Myers Brown will receive the 2019 Bessie Award for Lifetime Achievement in Dance, Louis Mofsie the 2019 Bessie Award for Outstanding Service to the Field of Dance.

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J. Alice Jackson, Courtesy CHRP

Chicago Human Rhythm Project's Rhythm World Finally Celebrates Its 30th Anniversary

What happens when a dance festival is set to celebrate a landmark anniversary, but a global pandemic has other plans?

Chicago's Rhythm World, the oldest tap festival in the country, should have enjoyed its 30th iteration last summer. Disrupted by COVID-19, it was quickly reimagined for virtual spaces with a blend of recorded and livestreamed classes. So as not to let the pandemic rob the festival of its well-deserved fanfare, it was cleverly marketed as Rhythm World 29.5.

Fortunately, the festival returns in full force this year, officially marking three decades of rhythm-making with three weeks of events, July 26 to August 15. As usual, the festival will be filled with a variety of master classes, intensive courses and performances, as well as a teacher certification program and the Youth Tap Ensemble Conference. At the helm is Chicago native Jumaane Taylor, the newly appointed festival director, who has curated both the education and performance programs. Taylor, an accomplished choreographer, came to the festival first as a young student and later as part of its faculty.

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July 2021