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30th Annual Bessie Award Nominees Announced; Ceremony Set for Oct 20 at the Apollo

30th Annual Bessie Award Nominees Announced; Ceremony Set for Oct 20 at the Apollo

The New York Dance and Performance Awards (The Bessies), NYC's premier dance awards honoring outstanding creative work in the field, celebrates a milestone 30th anniversary this year. Today, the 36 nominees for the 2013-14 season were announced at a press conference by members of The Bessies Selection Committee. The nominations (listed below) were selected by an independent committee of 40 dance industry professionals. Produced in partnership with Dance/NYC, Bessie Award categories include Outstanding Performer, Outstanding Production, Outstanding Visual Design, Outstanding Music Composition or Sound Design and Outstanding Revival.

The 30th Annual Bessie Awards, termed by The New York Times as "the dance world's version of the Academy Awards," will take place on Monday, October 20, 2014 at 8:00 p.m. at the legendary Apollo Theater in New York City. The 2014 ceremony will mark The Bessie Awards' fourth year at the Apollo Theater.

One 2014 award was also presented at the press conference: The fourth annual Outstanding Emerging Choreographer Award. Previous recipients include Beth Gill (2011), Rashaun Mitchell (2012) and Joanna Kotze (2013). This year, the committee's vote was tied and selected two of the nominees to receive the Outstanding Emerging Choreographer Award. The first recipient, Jessica Lang, was recognized for the elegant works created for her newly formed company of dancers at the Joyce Theater in her transition from freelance choreographer to artistic director. Additionally, Jen Rosenblit was recognized for a Natural dance, performed at The Kitchen, for a confident voice investigating the fluidity of identity, the pulse of time, and the nature of what it is to dance.

The Juried Bessie Award Committee, a jury of three acclaimed choreographers responsible for deciding on a single work or choreographer that exhibits interesting and exciting ideas in dance in New York City, was also announced. This award will provide the honored dance maker to theaters outside of the city for future touring and residencies, providing the tools to move forward in their creation. The 2014 Bessie Jury is Tere O'Connor, Annie-B Parson and Eduardo Vilaro.

The 2014 Bessie Awards Steering Committee, responsible for setting policy and providing oversight of the Bessie Awards throughout the year, is comprised of Arthur Aviles, Cora Cahan, Beverly D'Anne, Lane Harwell, Judy Hussie-Taylor, Carla Peterson, Laurie Uprichard, Martin Wechsler and Wendy Whelan.

The 2013-2014 Bessie Award Nominating Committee consists of Nolini Barretto, Barbara Bryan, Kim Chan, H.T. Chen, Blondell Cummings, Nancy Dalva, Simon Dove, Maura Donohue, Joan Finkelstein, Laurel George, Zhenesse Heinemann, Virginia Johnson, Robert LaFosse, Matthew Lyons, Nicole Macotsis, Caridad Martinez, Sarah Maxfield, Salley May, Harold Norris, Nicky Paraiso, Morgan von prelle Pecelli, PhD., Susan Reiter, Rokafella, Walter Rutledge, Philip Sandstrom, Sally Silvers, Sue Samuels, Elka Samuels Smith, Gus Solomons Jr., Muna Tseng, Kay Turner, Marya Warshaw, Edisa Weeks, Ryan Wenzel, Jay Wegman, Adrienne Westwood, Marya Wethers and Elizabeth Zimmer.


Outstanding Performer

Maggie Cloud
in Passagen by Pam Tanowitz

Sean Donovan
in the work of Witness Relocation, Jane Comfort, Faye Driscoll, and others

Julia Hausermann
in Disabled Theater by Jerome Bel and Theater HORA

Sean Jackson
in Rhythm in Motion by Lisa LaTouche

Mickey Mahar
in the work of Miguel Gutierrez, Adrienne Truscott, Ryan McNamara, and Gillian Walsh

Angela "Angel" McNeal
For her hip hop battle improvisations at Harlem Stage E-Moves 15 Battle

Sara Mearns
New York City Ballet

Aakash Odedra in Get on the Good Foot, organized and shaped by Otis Rasheed as part of A Celebration in Dance at the Apollo Theater

Tiler Peck
New York City Ballet

Rebecca Serrell-Cyr
in Fire Underground by Donna Uchizono

Linda Celeste Sims
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater

Stuart Singer
in Within Between by John Jasperse

Outstanding Music Composition/Sound Design

Complete, with guitarist Giuliano Modarelli
for Exit/Exist choreographed by Gregory Maqoma

G. Lucas Crane
for This Was the End created by Mallory Catlett

Steven Taylor
for Aubade choreographed by Douglas Dunn

Nicholas Young
for his inventive tap 'percussion platforms' in Rhythm in Motion

Outstanding Revival

Dark Swan
by Nora Chipaumire
The Joyce

Myth or Meth (or Maybe Moscow?)
by Radiohole
Tom Murrin Full Moon Performance Festival at La MaMa

State of Heads
by Donna Uchizono
New York Live Arts

Bach Partita
by Twyla Tharp
American Ballet Theatre

Outstanding Production

Asase Yaa African
American Dance Theatre

Djembe in the New Millenium
Kumble Theater for the Performing Arts

Camille A. Brown
Kumble Theater for the Performing Arts

Mallory Catlett
This Was the End
The Chocolate Factory

Liz Gerring
Montclair State University

Maria Hassabi
The Kitchen

John Jasperse
Within Between
New York Live Arts

Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker
En Atendant/Cesena
Brooklyn Academy of Music

Akram Khan
Rose Theater, Jazz at Lincoln Center

Sarah Michelson
Whitney Museum of American Art

MIMULUS Cia de Danca
The Joyce

Okwui Okpokwasili
Bronx Gothic

Aki Sasamoto
Sunny in the Furnace
The Kitchen

Outstanding Visual Design

Thomas Dunn
for New Work for the Desert by Beth Gill

Patricia Forelle with Jenny Mui, Avram Finkelstein, and Kathy Morganroth of YMX by Yellowman; and Nicholas Vermeer, Olivia Barr, and William Ward of NYC Resistor
for Vectors, Mary, and Snow by Brooklyn Ballet

Peter Ksander, Olivera Gajic, Ryan Holsopple, Chris Kuhl, and Keith Skretch
for This Was the End by Mallory Catlett

Tim Yip
for Desh by Akram Khan

Outstanding Emerging Choreographer

Rashida Bumbray
for The Little Red Rooster in a Red House Harlem Stages E-Moves 15

Jessica Lang
For the formation of her own company and its inaugural season The Joyce

Jen Rosenblit
for a Natural dance The Kitchen

Gillian Walsh
for Grinding and Equations: Two Duets at Abrons Abrons Arts Center

ABOUT THE BESSIES: Produced in partnership with Dance/NYC, the NY Dance and Performance Awards have saluted outstanding and groundbreaking creative work by independent dance artists in NYC for 30 years. Known as "The Bessies" in honor of revered dance teacher Bessie Schoenberg, the awards were established in 1984 by David White at Dance Theater Workshop. They recognize exceptional work in choreography, performance, music composition and visual design. Nominees are chosen by a 40-member selection committee, comprised of artists, presenters, producers, and writers. All those working in the dance field are invited to join the NY Dance and Performance League, as members participate in annual discussions on the direction of the awards and nominate members to serve on the selection committee. This year's 30th Anniversary Bessie Awards will be held at The Apollo on Monday October 20, 2014.

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