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Photo Flash: Darrell Jones Receives 3rd Annual Juried Bessie Award

The New York Dance and Performance Awards (The Bessies), NYC's premier dance awards honoring outstanding creative work in the field, announces Darrell Jones as the third annual recipient of the Juried Bessie Award. NY State DanceForce member Paz Tanjuaquio, Director of Topaz Arts presented the award during the 2012-2013 Bessie Award nominee press conference held at Gibney Dance. Scroll down for photos of Jones at the announcement!

The 2013 Bessie Jury, comprised of Ishamel Houston-Jones, Eiko Otake and Jason Samuels Smith select a choreographer who exhibits some of the more interesting and exciting ideas happening in dance in New York City today. For the second year, The Bessies are working with organizations in the NY State DanceForce network to provide residencies and performance opportunities for the honored artist.

A new jury of three acclaimed choreographers is convened each year. The 2013 Bessie Jury choreographers come from very different parts of the dance world, and their deliberations were varied and highly selective. In The work of Darrell Jones, they were drawn to his mix of dance traditions, from club work and vogueing to contemporary modern and his own personal style. They were impressed by his thoughtful approach to the work, which includes significant research and investigation.

"Darrell is an astonishing mover but also has a sense of the emotion he evokes with his movement. In working with his dancers, he endows the work with a sense of fairness and democracy where they each get to express their own voice," says Eiko Otake. Ishmael Houston-Jones added, "Darrell possesses the rigor, intelligence, and raw talent of a true artist."

Jason Samuels Smith announced: "The jury agreed that this artist, given this opportunity, would do great things with it. We look forward to seeing his new creations."

Choreographer, teacher and performer Darrell Jones has performed with a variety of choreographers and companies, including Bebe Miller, Urban Bush Women, Ronald K. Brown, Min Tanaka, Ralph Lemon and KOKUMA Dance Theater. His choreography has been presented at The Place Theater in London, Kwanju Biennale in South Korea, The Kennedy Center in Washington DC and Judson Memorial Church in New York City. He

has collaborated with choreographers (Fiona Millward, Jeremy Wade, Angie Hauser), writers (Cheryl Boyce Taylor), musicians (Brian Schulur, Jesse Manno, NOMAD), and designers (Mahwish Syed), in dance films, documentations and interactive multimedia installations. Darrell has taught workshops and master classes throughout the United States and in other countries such as South Africa, UK, and South Korea. His classes are informed by his training and studies in a variety of contemporary dance techniques, improvisation, Butoh and Traditional Dance forms.

The Bessies, termed by The New York Times as "the dance world's version of the Academy Awards," will take place on Monday, October 7, 2013 at 8:00pm at the legendary Apollo Theater in New York City. The 2013 ceremony will mark The Bessie Awards' third year at the Apollo Theater.

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 29 years. Known as "The Bessie" in honor of revered dance teacher Bessie Schoenberg, the awards were established in 1983 by David White at Dance Theater Workshop. They recognize exceptional work in choreography, performance, music composition and visual design. A 40-member selection committee comprised of artists, presenters, producers, and writers choose nominees. All those working in the dance field are invited to join the NY Dance and Performance League-members participate in annual discussions on the direction of the awards and nominate members to serve on the selection committee.

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Darrell Jones

2013 Honorees Joanna Kotze and Darrell Jones

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