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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Editors’ Picks

Since 1954, Dance Magazine has celebrated the living legends among us with the Dance Magazine Awards. This year, in light of deep reflections on racial equity inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, the selection committee decided to take a close look at exactly who the magazine has honored over the past seven decades. Unsurprisingly, the list is overwhelmingly white. Although it's grown more diverse in recent years, many brilliant artists of color have been left out for far too long.

So for 2020, in order to reckon with and take a step toward repairing that history, the committee chose an outstanding group of all Black artists. A ceremony to celebrate this year's Dance Magazine Award recipients will take place virtually on Monday, December 7, with performances and presentations for each honoree. For ticket information, visit dancemediafoundation.org. I'm delighted to announce our incredible honorees for 2020:

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News
Erik Tomasson, Courtesy SFB

Prolific director-choreographer Cathy Marston has made story ballets chic again. Last year began with Marston poised to make a big splash in the U.S., with plans for new creations at The Joffrey Ballet (Of Mice and Men) and San Francisco Ballet (Mrs. Robinson, based on The Graduate), following up remounts at American Ballet Theatre and The Joffrey of her Jane Eyre. With both premieres delayed by the pandemic—even SFB's planned digital debut of Mrs. Robinson this month has been replaced by a webcast of her 2018 Snowblind—Marston continues to work remotely and even started a project-based company in partnership with choreographer Ihsan Rustem.

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Site Network
Liam Scarlett with Marianela Nuñez and Ryoichi Hirano during a rehearsal of his Swan Lake at The Royal Ballet. Andrej Uspenski, Courtesy ROH

Over the weekend, news broke that 35-year-old choreographer Liam Scarlett, a former artist in residence at The Royal Ballet, died suddenly at his home in England. "It is with great sadness that we announce the tragic, untimely death of our beloved Liam," Scarlett's family said in a brief statement. "At this difficult time for all of our family, we would ask that you respect our privacy to enable us to grieve our loss."

The cause of death was not disclosed.

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Training
Narendra Dangiya, courtesy Ramaswamy

Despite being one of the most-used parts of the body in everyday life, the hands can often be an afterthought in dance. Your dexterous digits, so valuable for writing, driving, texting and general gesticulating, can become limp and lifeless without some mindfulness. Though the role of the hands, wrists and fingers varies depending on your dance form, the necessary intentionality crosses all disciplines.

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Career Advice
Bandaloop dancers performing at Tianmen Mountain in China. Photo by James Adamson, Courtesy Bandaloop

When former MOMIX dancer Rebecca Rasmussen was cast in "Dreamcatcher"—a duet involving a rolling, 250-pound metal sculpture—she was intimidated. Rehearsals caused nasty bruises, banged knees, smashed ribs and even a trip to the doctor when, while flipping around the bars, her hands slipped, dropping her sideways. "I knew I was a strong dancer, and that I was capable of doing this piece, but it was a mental challenge," she says.

So, how did she manage those concerns? The same way daredevil dancers everywhere do: She took physical and mental steps to dilute the danger.

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Videos

For his third work on New York City Ballet, choreographer Kyle Abraham has created a quietly haunting new dance film called "When We Fell." Abraham told Roslyn Sulcas of The New York Times that a peaceful winter residency at Kaatsbaan Cultural Park deeply influenced the material, and it shows in the work's spare beauty and elegant sense of calm.

Available for free as part of NYCB's digital season until April 22, the film was co-directed by cinematographer Ryan Marie Helfant. The cast includes India Bradley, Jonathan Fahoury, Christopher Grant, Claire Kretzschmar, Lauren Lovette, Taylor Stanley, KJ Takahashi and Sebastian Villarini-Velez.

Health & Body
Jayme Thornton

You've seen her choreography, but have you tried her turkey chili? On April 29, at 5 pm Eastern, Dance Magazine's April cover star Pam Tanowitz will take us inside her kitchen to share her signature recipe on Dance Media Live!—and you're invited to follow along at home and cook it yourself as she takes us through the process step-by-step.

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