Ruth Page Center For The Arts Announces  2019 Ruth Page Award Recipients

Ruth Page Center For The Arts Announces  2019 Ruth Page Award Recipients

Venetia Stifler, executive and artistic director of the Ruth Page Center for the Arts and the 2019 Ruth Page Award Committee are pleased to announce their selections for this year's Ruth Page Awards. The recipients include Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and its Artistic Director Robert Battle and Chicago Dance History Project and its Executive and Artistic Director Jenai Cutcher. The 2019 Awards will be presented immediately before Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater's performance celebrating 60 years of Ailey Ascending and the 50th anniversary of the Company's first performance at the Auditorium Theatre, 50 E. Ida B. Wells Dr., Friday, March 8 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets to the 2019 Ruth Page Awards are $60 and include a private reception at 5:30 p.m. followed by the Ailey performance at 7:30 p.m. This performance is part of Ravinia's annual Ruth Page Festival of Dance. Tickets and event information is available at EventBrite.com. For questions or additional information, contact Silvino da Silva, Director of Marketing & Communications at silvino@ruthpage.org or 312-337-6543.

"The Ruth Page Awards returning to the historic Auditorium stage after our presentation of the 2014 Ruth Page Awards is a fantastic way of celebrating Ruth Page and the rich history of dance," said Stifler. "In addition to the Awards honoring Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and its Artistic Director Robert Battle, and Chicago Dance History Project, we commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Ailey Company and the 50th anniversary of Ailey performing on the Auditorium Theatre's stage, too. Both of this year's recipients would make Ruth Page proud. Mr. Battle has truly lived dance from his early years in Miami to him leading Ailey artistically and all the achievements in between. His bold choices and vision reflects the spirit and drive of Ruth Page, herself. And as Ruth Page was famous for documenting her creative life via words, film, photographs, painting and more, the Chicago Dance History Project and its mission go hand-in-hand with Page's creativity and longing to share, remember and document dance and all its beautiful facets. We hope you will join us in celebrating this year."

"Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and I are honored to be receiving the Ruth Page Award. In addition to our own 60th anniversary and celebrating 50 years of performing at the Auditorium this year, the Ruth Page Award, representing an international dance icon who lived in Chicago, is another connection we will have to a city that has long celebrated dance and has shown a genuine commitment to promoting the arts in Chicago. We thank the committee and look forward to inspiring Chicago audiences with performances that promise to uplift, unite and enlighten."

year, the Ruth Page Award, representing an international dance icon who lived in Chicago, is another connection we will have to a city that has long celebrated dance and has shown a genuine commitment to promoting the arts in Chicago. We thank the committee and look forward to inspiring Chicago audiences with performances that promise to uplift, unite and enlighten."

Chicago Dance History Project Executive Director, Jenai Cutcher, said "I am overjoyed to accept the 2019 Ruth Page Award not just on behalf of Chicago Dance History Project, but also in honor of all the dedicated artists, educators, documenters, and patrons of Chicago dance over time. Their contributions to the field created the rich, diverse, and ever-relevant dance histories from which we can continue to learn."

ABOUT Alvin Ailey AMERICAN DANCE THEATER

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater inspires all in a universal celebration of the human spirit using the African-American cultural experience and the American modern dance tradition. 60 years after its founding, Ailey continues to move forward under the leadership of Robert Battle, revealing time and again why Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater is one of the world's most beloved dance companies.

ABOUT Robert Battle

Robert Battle became artistic director of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in July 2011 after being personally selected by Judith Jamison, making him only the third person to head the Company since it was founded in 1958. Battle has a long-standing association with the Ailey organization.

A frequent choreographer and artist in residence at Ailey since 1999, he has set many of his works on Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and Ailey II, and at The Ailey School. The Company's current repertory includes many of his ballets. In addition to expanding the Ailey repertory with works by artists as diverse as Kyle Abraham, Mauro Bigonzetti, Ronald K. Brown, Rennie Harris, and Paul Taylor, Battle has also instituted the New Directions Choreography Lab to help develop the next generation of choreographers.

Battle's journey to the top of the modern dance world began in the Liberty City neighborhood of Miami, Florida. He showed artistic talent early and studied dance at a high school arts magnet program before moving on to Miami's New World School of the Arts, under the direction of Daniel Lewis and Gerri Houlihan, and finally to the dance program at The Juilliard School, under the direction of Benjamin Harkarvy, where he met his mentor, Carolyn Adams. He danced with The Parsons Dance Company from 1994 to 2001, and also set his choreography on that company starting in 1998. Battle then founded his own Battleworks Dance Company, which made its debut in 2002 in Düsseldorf, Germany, as the U.S. representative to the World Dance Alliance's Global Assembly. Battleworks subsequently performed extensively at venues including The Joyce Theater, Dance Theater Workshop, American Dance Festival, and Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival.

Battle was honored as one of the "Masters of African-American Choreography" by the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in 2005, and he received the prestigious Statue Award from the Princess Grace Foundation-USA in 2007. He has honorary doctorates from The University of the Arts and Marymount Manhattan College. Battle was named a 2015 Visiting Fellow for The Art of Change, an initiative by the Ford Foundation. He is a sought-after keynote speaker and has addressed a number of high-profile organizations, including the United Nations Leaders Programme and the UNICEF Senior Leadership Development Programme.

ABOUT CHICAGO DANCE HISTORY PROJECT

The Chicago Dance History Project (CDHP) seeks to investigate, preserve and present the oral and corporeal histories of theatrical dance in Chicago and its vicinity. It aims to honor the vast number of national and international dance artists with roots in the city; to surface lesser-known individuals, organizations, and venues that have anchored Chicago's strong local dance community; and to link various collections of historical knowledge and traditions with present and future generations.The initial and foundational phase of CDHP involves exploring Chicago dance histories through three primary modes of research: in-depth, on-camera interviews with area dancers, choreographers, educators, advocates, and others associated with the form; recorded panel discussions and other public events that facilitate collaborative explorations of specific historical topics; and establishing partnerships with area institutions and individuals housing dance archives in order to connect disparate threads of knowledge maintained throughout the city.These recorded interviews and events, along with various supplemental materials, will serve as a public platform for establishing a body of original and collected research that examines how Chicago has shaped dance - and how, in turn, dance has shaped Chicago - throughout the 20th century and into the present.

The Ruth Page Award has been given by the Ruth Page Center for the Arts on behalf of the Ruth Page Foundation and the Chicago dance community since 1986. This award, in honor of dance icon, Ruth Page (1899-1991), is a unique opportunity for the Ruth Page Center to acknowledge or help further an individual's or organization's artistic momentum. The award also continues the tradition of honoring those whose contributions to dance share Page's passion, artistry and vision.

Established in Chicago by Ruth Page in 1970, the Ruth Page Center for the Arts is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization committed to the education, promotion and presentation of dance in Chicago. The Center carries forward the mission and vision of its founder, Ruth Page, to be a platform for developing great artists and connecting them with audiences and community. With a focus on dance as a critical art form, its programming ensures that children and dance artists have a place to train, work and perform at the highest level of excellence. The Center also promotes Page's vision of dance as an innovative and accessible art form that fosters artistic excellence and creates a dance destination in Illinois.

The Ruth Page Award honoree is selected through the Ruth Page Award Selection Committee, composed of members from the Chicago dance community, former Ruth Page Award winners and Ruth Page Center for the Arts staff.



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