Dance Magazine Awards

Given the challenges of the past 18 months, the opportunity to celebrate the living legends of our field feels even sweeter than usual. Today, we are thrilled to announce the recipients of the 2021 Dance Magazine Awards. With the selection committee's continued focus on diversity, we honor the artistry, the integrity and the resiliency that these artists have demonstrated over the course of their careers.

A ceremony to recognize this year's honorees will be held in New York City at the Guggenheim and simultaneously livestreamed on Monday, December 6, with performances and presentations for each recipient. For ticket information, visit dancemediafoundation.org.

Here are the artists we're celebrating this year.

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Dance Magazine Awards

Thank you for celebrating this year's incredible Dance Magazine Award honorees with us. Watch on demand here.

As this year like none other finally draws to a close, I've noticed a familiar sentiment popping up: Everything that we've lost since COVID-19 hit has made many of us that much more appreciative of all that we have. For me, I might have felt this most potently with the Dance Magazine Awards.

Putting together our ceremony amid the unique turmoil of 2020—and the deep reflections it's inspired—forced us to take a fresh look at not only how we do this, but why. And it comes down to this: The Dance Magazine Awards are about celebrating the icons among us, declaring that these are our living legends whose work we are honored to experience in our own lifetimes.

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Dance Magazine Awards
Christian Peacock

This week we're sharing tributes to all the 2020 Dance Magazine Award honorees. For tickets to our virtual ceremony taking place December 7, visit dancemediafoundation.org.


Through the years it seems that Debbie Allen has never stopped, whether she's been performing, producing, directing, teaching or mentoring a whole new generation of performers.

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Dance Magazine Awards
Bill Zemanek, Courtesy LINES

This week we're sharing tributes to all the 2020 Dance Magazine Award honorees. For tickets to our virtual ceremony taking place December 7, visit dancemediafoundation.org.


You can't mistake Alonzo King's dances. Performed with utmost confidence and uncommon grace, they offer sky-high extensions, unexpected shifts of position and fractured lines that dissolve into velvety descents or whipping turns. Duets sputter into spine-tingling trios where individual limbs disappear.

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Dance Magazine Awards
Nathan James, Courtesy Gibson

This week we're sharing tributes to all the 2020 Dance Magazine Award honorees. For tickets to our virtual ceremony taking place December 7, visit dancemediafoundation.org.


Some choreographers have signature steps. Laurieann Gibson has a signature sound: "boom, kack," the count-cum-catchphrase familiar to everyone who's anyone in the commercial dance world. "The boom is something I feel in my heart, and the kack is my soul," she once told The New York Times.

Even if you've only ever met Gibson through a screen—on MTV's "Making the Band," or Fox's "So You Think You Can Dance"—you've probably felt the punch of that "boom, kack, boom, kack-KACK!" deep in your gut. Such is the power of Gibson's persona, which has pushed some of the industry's greatest dancers and musicians to higher artistic heights.

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Dance Magazine Awards
Josefina Santos, Courtesy Camille A. Brown

This week we're sharing tributes to all the 2020 Dance Magazine Award honorees. For tickets to our virtual ceremony taking place December 7, visit dancemediafoundation.org.


Although Camille A. Brown has been well praised by fans, colleagues and critics, although the sheer number of awards, commissions and other honors she has received over the past two decades is exceptionally high, she remains one of those successful artists with no time for ego. She's not driven by it. Rather—as performer, maker, educator and advocate—she's motivated to highlight the complex histories and lived experiences of people of the Black diaspora and to celebrate, especially, our outstanding creativity in music and dance.

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Dance Magazine Awards
Man Yee Lee, Courtesy Birmingham Royal Ballet

This week we're sharing tributes to all the 2020 Dance Magazine Award honorees. For tickets to our virtual ceremony taking place December 7, visit dancemediafoundation.org.


"There was a time when people like myself didn't even have a chance," says Carlos Acosta from his office in Birmingham, England. Black, Cuban and the youngest of 11 children raised in poverty, Acosta more than exercised his potential over three decades onstage, with English National Ballet, Ballet Nacional de Cuba, Houston Ballet, The Royal Ballet and American Ballet Theatre.

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Dance Magazine Awards
Courtesy Ford Foundation

This week we're sharing tributes to all of the honorees we'll be celebrating at the 2020 Dance Magazine Awards. For tickets to our virtual ceremony taking place December 7, visit dancemediafoundation.org.


In his seven years as president of the Ford Foundation, Darren Walker has played a pivotal role in supporting the arts through the lens of social justice. As a gay, Black man from Texas who grew up poor, Walker brings a valuable perspective to the behemoth of philanthropy.

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Dance Magazine Awards
Photo of Kyle Marshall (left) by Christopher Duggan. Photo of Marjani Forté-Saunders (right) by Maria Baranova
A partnership between Dance Magazine and the Harkness Foundation for Dance, the Harkness Promise Awards recognize choreographers in their first decade of professionally presenting their work. The net proceeds from the Dance Magazine Award ceremony fund the Harkness Promise Awards, which include a $5,000 unrestricted grant, along with 40 hours of studio space and ongoing mentorship with Joan Finkelstein, the Harkness Foundation's executive director. Awardees are chosen for the excellence of their artistic work and their commitment to community transformation through dance.
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Dance Magazine Awards

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Media Contact: Nicole Buggé

nbugge@dancemedia.com

(New York, NY) September 21, 2020Dance Media Foundation (dancemediafoundation.org) in conjunction with Dance Magazine, announced today the honorees for the 63rd annual Dance Magazine Awards: Carlos Acosta, Debbie Allen, Camille A. Brown, Laurieann Gibson and Alonzo King. The Chairman's Award will go to Darren Walker. The Harkness Promise Award recipients are Kyle Marshall and Marjani Forté-Saunders.

A tradition dating back to 1954, the Dance Magazine Awards have long celebrated living legends who've made a lasting impact on dance. A list of past recipients can be found here.

Given the deep reflections on racial equity that have taken place this year, the selection committee interrogated the bias in the choices for the Dance Magazine Awards: Over the past seven decades, the list of honorees has been overwhelmingly white. This year, to reckon with and start to take a step toward repairing that history the committee chose to honor all Black artists and leaders.

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Popular
Courtesy STEEZY

We get it; after over a year and a half of virtual dance training, you're ready to kiss Zoom goodbye forever.

But your dance training doesn't have to be completely virtual or completely in person. In fact, finding the sweet spot between in-studio and online training could be exactly what takes your dancing to the next level.

Here are five reasons online dance training should stay in your tool kit post-pandemic.

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Career Advice
Headlands Center for the Arts. Photo by Jonathan Sprague, Courtesy Headlands
An artistic residency sounds like a dream: You get concentrated time and space to work on your choreography, often with artists of other disciplines to serve as collaborators or encourage new modes of thinking, usually within an idyllic and distraction-free setting. It's no surprise, then, that the application process can be competitive and daunting.
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News
Liz Lauren, Courtesy Boneau/Bryan-Brown

Did the dozen chairs that take such a beating in Come From Away need to be reinforced again? Would any rats that might have grown accustomed to having the run of empty buildings disrupt a haunting ballad in Hadestown by scampering across the stage? Who would be in the audience, and would they have to prove they'd been vaccinated against the virus that had darkened Broadway since March 12, 2020?

These were only some of the questions looming over the theater community after New York's governor announced in May that Broadway shows would be able to return at full capacity. The answers took shape as musicals started selling seats and rebooting for this month's long-awaited reopening. Laura Penn, executive director of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society, notes that it had taken more than 120 years to create Broadway, "and we're trying to resuscitate it in 90 days."

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Health & Body
Courtesy Huxley

Food for the Gods, a classic Filipino dessert, is a staple at Anthony Huxley's family gatherings. "It's a dish that's been a running theme," says the New York City Ballet principal. "My uncle made it once, and forgot to add the flour. It was a disaster, but Food for the Gods is so good, we still ended up enjoying it."

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Popular
Amirah Sackett, Courtesy Sackett

Passover was going to be a challenge. During her years as a modern Orthodox Jewish student at the School of American Ballet, Dena Abergel had stayed with a family in the city every Friday so she could attend Friday night and Saturday classes without taking the train home to New Jersey, in accordance with her observance of the Sabbath. But as a teenage member of New York City Ballet, she requested three days off—the first two days of Passover followed by Shabbat—which, as far as she knew, was unprecedented for a company member.

Abergel, now 48, remembers struggling trying to calm her nerves outside the office of Peter Martins, the ballet master in chief at the time. "Talking to Peter about my personal religious observance, as a 17-year-old, was a little intimidating," she says. "But I wasn't going to miss Passover with my family to go to rehearsal."

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Breaking Stereotypes
La Meri in Sita's Journey. Courtesy Jacob's Pillow

When I came back to taking dance classes after a 37-year lapse (which I do not recommend), I returned to ballet. It's the foundation. Right?

Gradually I added in contemporary, Pilates, Gyrokinesis and a sprinkling of yoga.

It looked like the equivalent of the food pyramid for dance, which is reflected in the curriculums of most performing arts high schools and college dance programs. Up until fairly recently, the hierarchy remained firm: ballet, modern, then everything else (that is, if you could find an adjunct to teach hip hop, African or classical Indian dance).

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