THE MARTHA HILL DANCE FUND
THE MARTHA HILL DANCE FUND
presents the 2012 Martha Hill Lifetime Achievement Award to
GEMZE de LAPPE and
Mid-Career Awards to
DIAN DONG and H.T. CHEN
Monday November 26, 6 to 10 PM
Cocktails: 6-7 Dinner and Awards Presentations: 7-10
Manhattan Penthouse, 80 Fifth Avenue, 17th floor (at 14th Street)
Tickets start at 75
The Martha Hill Dance Fund is pleased to announce that at its 12th annual event, the Martha Hill Lifetime Achievement Award will be shared by renowned dance figures Gemze de Lappe and Yuriko Kukuchi. Mid-Career Awards will go to Dian Dong and H.T.Chen; and the Young Professional Award will be given to a student, to be named, from Jacob's Pillow. Famed Broadway choreographer/director Kathleen Marshall will host. The evening will also include an excerpt from the soon to be completed "Miss Hill," a compelling documentary by Greg Vander Veer (which features early clips of Martha Hill, Jose Limon, Charles Weidman, Doris Humphrey, and Hanya Holm). The Gala event will take place Monday November 26, 6 to 10 PM, at the Manhattan Penthouse, 80 Fifth Avenue (at 14th Street).
The Martha Hill Dance Fund, founded in 2001, continues its mission to honor and perpetuate Martha Hill's commitment to dance education and performance. Martha Hill (1900-1995) was an early member of the
Martha Graham Dance Company and became a revered figure in the dance world as the first director of The Juilliard School Dance Department, where she served from 1951 to 1985, generously mentoring and inspiring countless young dancers. A secondary goal of the Fund is to preserve the legacy of Martha Hill through archives, published materials, film/video, and other projects established in her name.
More About the Awardees:
GEMZE DE LAPPE, born February 28, 1922 in Virginia, is an American dancer who worked very closely with Agnes de Mille. Originally trained by Irma Duncan and Michel Fokine, de Lappe was featured in numerous Broadway shows, including the role of Simon of Legree in the original The King and I (also appearing in the film version); Paint Your Wagon (Donaldson Award winner); Juno; the original West End and first national companies of Oklahoma! dancing the iconic role of Laurey in the "Dream Ballet." She also appeared with The American Dance Machine, American Ballet Theatre, and the Agnes de Mille Dance Theatre. De Lappe is especially well known for reconstructing the works of Agnes de Mille, and regularly travels the country recreating the original choreography for Carousel, Brigadoon, Oklahoma!, The King and I,and other shows. For several years, she was a professor of dance at Smith College, and has held a number of visiting appointments. De Lappe remains active as a choreographer and teacher, most recently restaging the original Oklahoma! choreography at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. In 2007, she received a Tony Award Honor for Excellence in Theatre.
YURIKO KUKUCHI, born February 2, 1920 and known to audiences by her stage name Yuriko, is an American dancer and choreographer best known for her work with the Martha Graham Dance Company. Born in San Jose, California, she was raised in Japan until her graduation from high school. Returning to the U.S., she was interned from 1941 to 1943 with other Japanese Americans at the Gila River War Relocation Center in Arizona, where she taught dance to the other detainees. Moving to New York, Yuriko studied with Martha Graham in 1944, subsequently joined the Graham Company, and remained with that organization for the next fifty years. She danced in the first production of Graham's masterpiece Clytemnestra, as well as in Appalachian Spring, Cave of the Heart, and Dark Meadow. She has also distinguished herself as a reconstructor of several of Graham's works. On Broadway, Yuriko appeared in the first cast of The King and I(1951-54) and Flower Drum Song (1958-60). She has also danced and acted on television and in films, and directed her own modern dance company, which was formed in 1967 and remained active until 1973.
H.T. CHEN, born in Shanghai and raised in Taiwan, has a background in both Chinese and Western dance and theater. A graduate of the University of Chinese Culture in Taiwan, The Juilliard School in NYC, and NYU, H.T., with his wife and partner Dian Dong, is a recognized leader in NYC dance. His company, H.T. Chen & Dancers, was established in 1978 and remains a touring modern dance company dedicated to the creation of innovative works as well as quality educational programming. The Chen Dance Center, established in 1980 and located in the heart of Chinatown, NY, is a year-round performing arts school providing weekly lessons in dance and music to over 250 children. The Center's Theater (formerly called Mulberry Street Theater) is an arts venue that supports the work of emerging artists. H.T. has received many awards, including NEA Choreography Fellowships; a CAPS grant; a Jerome Foundation grant; a New York State Governor's Award for artistic achievement and contributions to the community; a 2005 Bessies Special Citation; and a 2009 Mayor's Award for Arts and Culture.
DIAN DONG is a graduate of The Juilliard School, and studied with Shirley Ubell, Vladimir Dokoudovsky, Alfredo Corvino, and Doris Rudko. As as dancer she appeared with Anna Sokolow's Players' Project, Kathryn Posin, Janet Soares, Lance Westergard, Kazuko Hirabayashi, Walter Nicks, Lincoln Center Institute, and a national tour of The King and I. She has taught a NYU School of Education, Montclair State College, Center for Modern Dance Education, and Chen Dance Center. Ms. Dong organizes and designs the education programs for CDC's homebased and residency programs. In partnership with her husband, H.T. Chen, she is active in both the business and artistic aspects of operating a modern dance company, thriving school, and busy theater.
Martha Hill Dance Fund Directors:
Vernon Scott, President
Hudas Liff, Hortense Zera, Vice-Presidents
Elizabeth McPherson, Secretary
Ernesta Corvino, Treasurer
Andra Corvino, Correspondence Secretary
David K. Manion, Chairman
Henning Rubsam, Ani Udovicki, Lance Westergard, Megan Williams