DANCE NEWS IN PHOTOS: The 62nd Dance Magazine Awards Honors Masazumi Chaya, Angel Corella, David Gordon & Valda Setterfield, Sara Mearns, and Linda Shelton with Harkness Promise Awardees Bobbi Jene Smith and Caleb Teicher
December 9, 2019
Ailey Citigroup Theater
Although it was pouring outside, the Ailey Citigroup Theater was bright with passion and admiration for the awardees, presenters, and performers of the 62nd Dance Magazine Awards presented by Dance Media Foundation.
Flaunting her range, Sara Mearns showed why she is a popular dancer on ballet and contemporary stages. First, she performed an excerpt from George Balanchine's Walpurgisnacht Ballet (1975) before changing out of her tights and pointe shoes to evoke Isadora Duncan in Harp Etude, choreographed by Lori Belilove after Duncan (1915). Pianist Cameron Grant provided live accompaniment.
Downtown dance pioneers David Gordon and Valda Setterfield celebrated with Close Up, a duet performed live by Wally Cardona and Karen Graham. Behind them, a projection unfolded of Gordon and Setterfield and other couples executing the piece as well as snippets from old Hollywood movies.
The third performance honored Masazumi Chaya, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater's outgoing Associate Artistic Director. Two pieces highlighted his longtime association with the company. Jamar Roberts and Jacqueline Green smoldered in Judith Jamison's A Case of You while Clifton Brown soared in Alvin Ailey's Pas De Duke, a role originally choreographed for Mikhail Baryshnikov in 1976.
Dance Media Foundation donates the net proceeds from Dance Magazine Awards to the Harkness Promise Awards, which rewards early-career artists with $5,000 and a space grant. Joan Finkelstein, executive director of the Harkness Foundation for Dance, presented the awards to this year's recipients, Bobbi Jene Smith and Caleb Teicher (accepted by David Parker) after short videos showcasing the artists' work.
Shelton was the second recipient of the Chairman's Award, which was designed by Dance Media CEO Frederic Seegal to recognize the extraordinary contributions of individuals who have enabled dance to flourish as a result of their efforts, whether they are presenters, producers, impresarios or funders. Noting her many achievements, choreographer Christopher Wheeldon presented the award to Shelton.
The evening concluded with "Ali's Variation" from Le Corsaire, performed by Albert Gordon, first soloist of Pennsylvania Ballet, in honor of Angel Corella, the company's artistic director and a former principal dancer with American Ballet Theatre.
Michael Kaiser presented the award to Corella, who accepted as many staff and board members from Pennsylvania Ballet applauded his artistic accomplishments as a dancer and executive.
In an evening that was both gratifying and inspiring, the 62nd Dance Magazine Awards celebrated the best of the best. To see the list of awardees from 1954 on, please go HERE.