Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in Ailey Ascending; Photo by Serena SY Hsu
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in Ailey Ascending; Photo by Serena SY Hsu

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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

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

Published on December 12, 2019
Photo by Christopher Duggan

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

Jennifer Stahl and Wendy Perron of Dance Magazine
Photo by Christopher Duggan

Dance Magazine's Editor in Chief Jennifer Stahl and Editor at Large Wendy Perron kicked off the evening by providing the welcome and introduction respectively.

Two pictures of Sara Mearns: one in Isadora mode, the other dancing ballet
Photo by Christopher Duggan

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.

Photo by Christopher Duggan

Director of Costumes at New York City Ballet Marc Happel and modern dance choreographer Jodi Melnick presented the Dance Magazine Award to Mearns.

Wally Cardona and Karen Graham in David Gordon's Close Up
Photo by Christopher Duggan

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. 

Eiko and Koma present to Valda Setterfield.
Photo by Christopher Duggan

It was fitting that another dance couple, Eiko & Koma, presented to Gordon and Setterfield as their son, Ain Gordon, looked on from the front row. 

Top photo: Jacqueline Green lies on Jamar Roberts' back; Bottom photo: Clifton Brown flies through the air in a split
Photo by Christopher Duggan

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.

Masazumi Chaya accepts his award
Photo by Christopher Duggan

As presenters, Artistic Director Emerita Judith Jamison and current Artistic Director Robert Battle shared their sincere appreciation for Chaya.

Joan Finkelstein and Bobbi Jene Smith
Photo by Christopher Duggan

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.

Three dancers soar through the air
Photo by Christopher Duggan

Ronald K. Brown/Evidence, A Dance Company performed a rousing excerpt from Gatekeepers in honor of Linda Shelton, the Joyce Theater's executive director.

Linda Shelton
Photo by Christopher Duggan

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. 

Photo by Christopher Duggan

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

Angel Corella
Photo by Christopher Duggan

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.

Six pictures from the step and repeat and party at the Dance Magazine Awards
Photos by Christopher Duggan

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.

 

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