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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Over the moon at the Bessies

The 24th Annual New York Dance and Performance Awards (the "Bessies") were presented last evening at Spiegelworld at Pier 17, South Street Seaport. Blessed by perfect weather, a backdrop to die for and a merry crowd, the community event successfully transformed from a theater ceremony to an all-out party with the chipper Terry Dean Bartlett and Katie Workum as co-MCs and music by The Dang-it Bobbys and DJ Crazy Cuban (aka Alberto Denis).

(Click on any photo to see a larger image or slide show.)

The Bessies acknowledge outstanding creative work by independent artists in the fields of dance and related performance in New York City. This year's ceremony included 24 citations honoring artists for achievements during the 2007-2008 season. Each recipient receives a cash award.


Choreographer/Creator Awards

Back to Back Theatre (Small Metal Objects at Staten Island Ferry Terminal)
Nora Chipaumire (Chimurenga at Dance Theater Workshop)
Doug Elkins (Fraulein Maria at Joe's Pub)
Juliette Mapp (Anna, IKEA and I at Danspace Project)
Maguy Marin (Umwelt at The Joyce Theater)
Tom Pearson and Zach Morris (Vanishing Point at Danspace Project)
Susan Rethorst (for 208 East Broadway, Part 2: Suitcase Dreams at Danspace Project)
Meg Stuart (body of work)

Installation & New Media Award

David Michalek (Slow Dances at Lincoln Center Festival)

Performer Awards

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater (50th Anniversary season)
Hilary Clark (body of work)
William Isaac (Karole Armitage's Connoisseurs of Chaos at The Joyce Theater)
Jodi Melnick (works by Susan Rethorst, Vicky Shick, John Jasperse and Donna Uchizono)
Leah Morrison (Trisha Brown's If You Couldn't See Me at The Joyce Theater)
Layard Thompson (performances with the Pixie Harlots and in solo performances inspired by Deborah Hay)

Composer Awards

Kris Bauman (Tom Pearson and Zach Morris' Vanishing Point at Danspace Project)
Zeena Parkins (body of work)
Nitin Sawhney (Akram Khan and Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui's Zero Degrees at City Center)

Visual Design Awards

Aaron Copp (Jonah Bokaer's The Invention of Minus One at The Abrons Arts Center)
Joe Lavasseur (body of work)
Richard Siegal, Antoine Seigneur-Guerrini, Phillip Bußman and Norbert Pape (Siegal's As If Stranger at Danspace Project)

Special Citations

Jennifer Dunning (for her service to dance as an author and New York Times dance critic)
Deborah Jowitt (for her longstanding dedication as a chronicler of the dance community)
Laurie Uprichard (for her contribution to contemporary dance and performanc through her leadership at Danspace Project)


Nolini Barretto, Producer, Sitelines Series, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council
Barbara Bryan, Executive Director, Movement Research
Lili Chopra, Performing Arts Director, French Institute Alliance Française
Rachel Cooper, Director, Cultural Programs and Performing Arts, Asia Society
Boo Froebel, Associate Producer, Lincoln Center Festival
Vallejo Gantner, Artistic Director, Performance Space 122
Stephen Greco, Executive Director, Dance Theater Workshop (committee chair)
Trajal Harrell, Choreographer and Editor, Movement Research Performance Journal
Judy Hussie-Taylor, Executive Director, Danspace Project (Co-Producer)
Iréne Hultman, Choreographer
Denise Jefferson, Director, The Ailey School
Isabel Lewis, Choreographer
Brad Learmonth, Director of Programming, Harlem Stage
Brian McCormick, Journalist
Nicky Paraiso, Curator for Performance - The Club, La MaMa ETC
David Parker, Artistic Director, The Bang Group
Carla Peterson, Artistic Director, Dance Theater Workshop (Co-Producer)
Martin Wechsler, Director of Programming, The Joyce Theater (Co-Producer)
Eva Yaa Asantewaa, InfiniteBody blog; Producer and Host, Body and Soul podcast

*Positions held by Bessie Committee Member through the 2007-2008 season


Gerry Gomez Pearlberg said...

That slideshow makes me feel I was there, and I appreciate that your photos show both the "inside" and the "outside." We don't usually get a sense of the moon and weather in coverage of indoor cultural events. Somehow, the moon and river and bridge and waterfall-art made the rest seem all the more real.

Unknown said...

What a great night! Congratulations to everyone! Thanks for the photoessay Eva! Wish I could have been there but thanks for breaking the EXTRA special news.


Eva Yaa Asantewaa said...

My pleasure, Lori! Missed seeing you among the crowd. As usual, I was overwhelmed with joy for everybody who won. That just never gets old for me!

Aval said...

Thanks Eva. I love to see the tireless effort of these beautiful dancers and creators get rewarded.

And I agree, I also love how you documented the place and outdoor setting of what appeared to be a magical night indeed.

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