Lifetime Achievement Bessie Awardee Announced

September 17, 2015

The New York Dance and Performance Awards, known by insiders as The Bessies, announced today that postmodern legend Steve Paxton will receive the annual lifetime achievement award. Paxton’s contributions to the dance world include his co-founding of the pioneering Judson Dance Theater and his development of contact improvisation. In other words, we have Mr. Paxton to thank for this video of a baby doing contact improvisation with her dad:

For a peek at a more vintage iteration of contact improv, here’s a clip from 1972 of Paxton and his peers:

As a lifetime achievement awardee, Paxton now sits among dance heavyweights such as Arthur Mitchell, Paul Taylor, Trisha Brown and Luigi. Two other Bessie awardees — Storyboard P and Pavel Zu┼ítiak — were announced earlier this summer, along with the nominees for all the categories. The Bessies will be held on October 19th at the Apollo Theater in New York City, where all winners will be announced and honored.