The 2014 Dance Magazine Awards

December 8, 2014

The Dance Magazine Awards is one of my favorite nights of the year. People from every corner of the community—dancers, choreographers, directors, presenters, teachers, historians, students, orthopedists, critics, répétiteurs and more—come together for one night to celebrate those who’ve made an exceptional impact on our field. Last night, we celebrated Misty Copeland, Wayne McGregor, Luigi, Larissa Saveliev and Brenda Bufalino and Tony Waag. The most moving moments?


1. A performance by the American Tap Dance Foundation kicked off the event. Most fun was the special onstage cameo by Waag, who sang, and Bufalino, who danced—then later referred to herself as Waag’s “mentor and tormentor.”


2. For the first time in the history of the Dance Magazine Awards, 

we were treated to a world premiere: American Ballet Theatre’s Sarah Lane and Sterling Baca performed a new duet by Marcelo Gomes in honor of Youth America Grand Prix’s Larissa Saveliev. Fittingly, both dancers are YAGP alumni and Gomes made some of his first ballets for YAGP. Later, Saveliev confessed that before she became a ballet competition mogul, she got her first teaching job in the U.S. by looking at the classified ads in Dance Magazine!


3. After a sparkling Chroma excerpt performed by Ailey’s Jeroboam Bozeman and Akua Noni Parker, Wayne McGregor spoke of not knowing where the dance field was going. As he put it, the creativity of dancers is too endless to predict its direction. (Want a slice of McGregor’s creativity? Check out his Mind and Movement—Choreographic Thinking Tools curriculum.)


4. In a recorded message, Liza Minelli, one of Luigi’s long-time students, said how even though she’d recently hurt her back, she still gets up every day to “do the damn exercises, your exercises, Luigi.” Frances Roach, accepting for Luigi, led the audience in those very same exercises, reaching up to the sky with alternating arms. 



5. Closing out the evening, Misty Copeland cried as she thanked her mentors, supporters and teachers. This girl is on the top of the world right now, yet was so genuinely humbled to be honored, it made a few of us in the audience tear up right along with her.