Host Justin Vivian Bond, Presenters, And Performers Announced For 35th Annual Bessie Awards

Host Justin Vivian Bond, Presenters, And Performers Announced For 35th Annual Bessie Awards

The NY Dance and Performance Awards, The Bessies, New York City's premier dance awards honoring outstanding creative work in the field, announced today that Obie and Bessie Award winner Justin Vivian Bond, hailed by The New Yorker as "the best cabaret artist of their generation," will host the 2019 awards ceremony. The performers and award presenters were also revealed.

The 35th annual Bessie Awards will take place on Monday, October 14, at 7:30pm, at NYU's Skirball Center for the Performing Arts. Doors open at 6:30pm for red carpet and pre-show celebrations. For a complete list of nominees, click here.

"We are excited that the 35th annual Bessies ceremony will feature such a stellar lineup of performances by some of our most celebrated choreographers and will be hosted by the unmissable Justin Vivian Bond. And this year, for the first time, The Bessies will be televised on WNET's ALL ARTS in November. It will be an extraordinary salute to the city's amazing dance artists," said Lucy Sexton, Executive Director of The Bessies.

The evening will feature performances by Camille A. Brown & Dancers, and Daina Ashbee, recipient of the 2019 Outstanding Breakout Choreographer award. A solo work by Hope Boykin, performed in tribute to Joan Myers Brown, this year's Lifetime Achievement in Dance honoree, is also among the evening's highlights.

This year's Bessie Awards presenters include notable members of the dance and performance community including Ephrat Asherie, Noah Catala, George Faison, Violeta Galagarza, Catherine Galasso, Tiffany Geigel, Sara Mearns, Jason Rodriguez, Arielle Rosales, Sue Samuels Smith, and Jennifer Tipton.

As previously announced, the ceremony will include special presentations to Joan Myers Brown, 2019 Lifetime Achievement honoree, and Louis Mofsie, recipient of the 2019 Bessie for Outstanding Service to the Field of Dance.

For the first time in the Bessie Awards history, the event will be broadcast on television. The 2019 awards ceremony will air on Sunday, November 17, at 8pm on WNET's ALL ARTS, an unprecedented new broadcast channel, streaming platform, and website dedicated to arts and culture 24/7.

The pre-ceremony Angel Party will honor Laurie Uprichard for her stewardship of the awards for many of the 35 years of The Bessies, and for her lifelong commitment to curating and supporting dance and performance. For more information about this year's fundraising event and to purchase tickets, click here.

Tickets for the 35th Annual Bessie Awards start at $12 and can be purchased online here. NYU's Skirball Center for the Performing Arts is located at 566 LaGuardia Place, New York, NY 10012.

The annual Bessies After-Party, which is free and open to the public, will be held at Judson Memorial Church directly following the ceremony.

Mx Justin Vivian Bond is a trans-genre artist living in New York City. As a performer both on and Off-Broadway, Mx Bond has received numerous accolades, winning an Obie Award (2001), a Bessie Award (2004), a Tony nomination (2007), the Ethyl Eichelberger Award (2007), the Peter Reed Foundation Grant, and a Foundation for Contemporary Arts Grants to Artists Award.

V authored the Lambda Literary Award-winning memoir TANGO: My Childhood, Backwards and in High Heels (The Feminist Press, 2011). Films include John Cameron Mitchell's Shortbus (2006), Sunset Stories (2012), Imaginary Heroes (2004), Fanci's Persuasion (1995), After Louie (2016). Television credits include Difficult People (2017), High Maintenance (2016), and The Get Down (2016).

Solo exhibitions of JVB's watercolors, sculptural installations, and live art have been presented by The New Museum as part of the exhibition Trigger: Gender as a Tool and a Weapon (NYC, 2017), Participant, Inc. (NYC, 2011, 2016), Art Market Provincetown (2014), and Vitrine (London, 2015). Albums include Kiki and Herb: Do You Hear What We Hear?, Kiki and Herb Will Die For You at Carnegie Hall, Dendrophile, and Silver Wells.


The NY Dance and Performance Awards have saluted outstanding and groundbreaking creative work in the dance field in New York City for 35 years. Known as "The Bessies" in honor of revered dance teacher Bessie Schönberg, the awards were established in 1984 by David R. White at Dance Theater Workshop. They recognize outstanding work in choreography, performance, music composition, and visual design. Nominees are chosen by a 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 and participate in annual discussions on the direction of the awards and nominate members to serve on the selection committee. For more information about The Bessies, visit

The 2019 Bessie Awards Steering Committee, responsible for setting policy and providing oversight for the Bessie Awards throughout the year, is comprised of Cora Cahan, Beverly D'Anne, Jeanne Linnes, Stanford Makishi, Nicky Paraiso, Carla Peterson, Gus Solomons jr, Paz Tanjuaquio, Judy Hussie-Taylor, Laurie Uprichard, and Martin Wechsler.

The 2018-2019 Bessie Awards Selection Committee: Ronald Alexander, Elise Bernhardt, Charles Vincent Burwell, Diana Byer, Tymberly Canale, Alexis Convento, Parijat Desai, Maura Donohue, Boo Froebel, Angela Fatou Gittens, Diane Grumet, Brinda Guha, Joseph Hall, Mai Lê Hô, Iréne Hultman, Celia Ipiotis, Koosil-ja, Fernando Maneca, Lydia Mokdessi, Harold Norris, Craig Peterson, Doug Post, Rajika Puri, Tiffany Rea-Fisher, Susan Reiter, Walter Rutledge, George Emilio Sanchez, Andrea Snyder, Sally Sommer, Risa Steinberg, Carrie Stern, Catherine Tharin, Tony Waag, and William Whitener.

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