News of Note: What You Might Have Missed in October 2021

October 31, 2021

Here are the latest promotions, appointments and departures, as well as notable awards and accomplishments, from the last month. Also of note: A new funding opportunity for dance artists.

Comings & Goings

Christopher K. Morgan
will leave his position as executive artistic director at Dance Place at the end of 2021 to become director of The Center for Native Arts and Cultures in Portland, OR.

Tom Mattingly
has been appointed artistic director of Des Moines Ballet, commencing November 8.

Javier Torres López
has been appointed artistic director of Finnish National Ballet.

Boris Charmatz
has been nominated as director of Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch. Pending approval by the City of Wuppertal, he will begin at the post in September 2022.

Wearing a floral print jumper, Melanie George looks directly at the camera with a no-nonsense expression, red lips almost quirking into a smirk.
Melanie George

JD Urban, Courtesy George

At Jacob’s Pillow, Melanie George has been appointed associate curator and director of artist initiatives.

Christopher Marney
has been named head of studio company and trainees at the Joffrey Academy of Dance.

At New York City Ballet, Unity Phelan and Indiana Woodward have been promoted to principal, Roman Mejia to soloist.

At Paris Opéra Ballet, Roxane Stojanov has been promoted to première danseuse, Bleuenn Battistoni and Ines McIntosh to sujet, and Claire Gandolfi and Clara Mousseigne to coryphée.

Dawn Atkins
has joined Miami City Ballet as a soloist.

National Ballet of Canada principal Skylar Campbell will depart to join Houston Ballet as a principal in January.

National Ballet of Canada principal Jillian Vanstone will retire in 2022. Her final performances are scheduled for March.

Presenter Dance Now will shutter at the end of 2021.

Awards & Honors

A headshot. Alice Sheppard, a multiracial Black woman with coffee-colored skin and short curly hair, leans forward resting her cheek on her hand. She wears a black shirt and a gold necklace and smiles at the viewer.
Alice Sheppard

Beverlie Lord, Courtesy Kinetic Light

Alice Sheppard
was awarded a 2021 Craig H. Neilsen Visionary Prize, which includes a $1 million unrestricted grant.

Cynthia Oliver
and Dormeshia have received Doris Duke Artist Awards, which include a $275,000 grant.

The Fulbright Association has awarded Dana Tai Soon Burgess the 2021 Selma Jeanne Cohen Dance Lecture Award.

Washington Performing Arts awarded 2021 Pola Nirenska Awards to Ronya-Lee LaVaune Anderson (Outstanding Achievements in Dance) and the late Melvin Deal (Lifetime Achievement in Dance).

2021 NY Dance and Performance Awards (“Bessies”) for Outstanding Production went to Ayodele Casel (Ayodele Casel: Chasing Magic); Israel Galván (Maestro de Barra); Indigenous Enterprise (Indigenous Enterprise: Powwow Style); and Saul Williams, Bill T. Jones, Maria Bauman, Kayla Farrish, Marjani Forté-Saunders, d. Sabela grimes, Jasmine Hearn and Shamel Pitts (The Motherboard Suite). LaTasha Barnes, Jasmine Hearn, d. Sabela grimes and Annique Roberts were recognized with Outstanding Performer awards. Molissa Fenley’s State of Darkness received Outstanding Revival. Hope Boykin was awarded Outstanding “Breakout” Choreographer.

The 2022 Black Artists Space to Create residency artists are Ama Ma’at Gora, Kayla Hamilton and Nile Harris.

New Funding Opportunity

Rauschenberg Dancer Emergency Grants
will provide one-time grants of up to $5,000 to dance artists who have experienced dire financial emergencies due to the COVID-19 pandemic, including lack or imminent endangerment of essentials such as housing, medicine/health care, utilities and food. The first application cycle will open on November 9. More information here.