The Bay Area Dance Scene Celebrates Its Own

April 7, 2013

The 27th annual Izzies have been announced and awarded! Although they cover a more modest dance scene than the “Bessies” in NYC, the Izzies are a much welcome annual celebration of the vibrant dance commotion in the San Francisco area. This list reminds me of the thriving diversity of dance there. (The “Izzies” is the nickname for the Isadora Duncan Dance Awards—Isadora was from California.)

The awards in choreography went to KT Nelson for her Cut Out Guy, for ODC Dance at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, and Lizz Roman for  DEEPER at CounterPULSE.


I am so happy that Daniel Santos, a dynamic performer with a scrappy, very human edge, received an Izzie for his last season performing with ODC Dance. (Read his “Transition” from the Nov. 2012 issue.)

We hardly ever hear about the behind-the-scenes people who stage or revive great works of the past. In this case, the award for restaging went to the unforgettable New York City Ballet ballerina Maria Calegari for her revival of Balanchine’s Scotch Symphony for San Francisco Ballet.


Awards in group performance went to Levy Dance & The Foundry for Low Down at Z Space, and Pearl Marill and Cason MacBride for Missed Connections at WestWave Dance Festival.


Also, special awards went to these three pillars of the Bay Area dance community:

• Krissy Keefer and Dance Brigade, for From Wallflower Order to Dance Brigade: A 35-Year Retrospective Celebration. Her group is one of the consistently and unabashedly feminist dance companies in the country.

• Dancers Group, for the 2012 Bay Area Dance Week. Every year the Bay Area does more for National Dance Week in April than any other region. Apparently this year they outdid themselves with a “flash-mob style opening celebration in One Dance to the participatory and powerful closing of Anna Halprin’s Planetary Dance.”

• Cal Performance, for its “Fall Free For All” series. “For presenting, producing, and commissioning various genres of dance, both renowned and emerging artists, to serve the UC Berkeley Campus and the broader public especially to new audiences and younger generation through free performances on September 25, 2011.”


For a complete list of all the awards, including music and visual design, go to the Izzies site. Kudos to all!