Here Are the Winners of this Year's "Dance Oscars"
The New York Dance and Performance Awards (or, as dance peeps affectionately know them, The Bessies) are a pretty big deal: They're basically the dance world's Oscars, honoring artists from all different styles of dance.
Last night, the Bessie winners for the 2012-2013 season were announced at a glittery ceremony at the Apollo Theater—and the list includes some very impressive names.
Jazz legend Louis "Luigi" Faccuito was presented with the Lifetime Achievement award.
Luigi behind the Falcon Studios in Hollywood. Photo by Edith Jane.
Bill T. Jones’ brilliant, joyous D-Man in the Waters won for Outstanding Revival.
Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company in "D-Man in the Waters." Photo by Paul B. Goode.
American Ballet Theatre virtuoso Herman Cornejo won for Outstanding Performance for his work in pieces by Alexei Ratmansky, Mark Morris and Twyla Tharp.
Herman Cornejo in Alexei Ratmansky's "Symphony #9."
Photo by Gene Schiavone.
The amazing Charles Riley, aka Lil Buck, and fellow jookin' sensation Ron "Prime Tyme" Myles also won for Outstanding Performance, for their show at Le Poisson Rouge.
Lil Buck at Le Poisson Rouge. Photo by Alex Pitt.
Congrats to all the Bessie winners! Here's the complete list:
Outstanding Production: Michael Keegan-Dolan’s Rian for Fabulous Beast Dance Theatre at Lincoln Center’s White Lights Festival
Outstanding Production: Joanna Haigood’s Paseo at Dancing in the Streets & Casita Maria Center for Arts
Outstanding Production: Zach Morris, Tom Pearson and Jennine Willett’s Then She Fell for Third Rail Projects at Arts@Rennaissance and Kingsland Ward at St. Johns
Outstanding Production: Liz Santoro’s Watch It at Museum of Arts and Design
Outstanding Revival: Bill T. Jones’ D-Man in the Waters for the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company at the Joyce Theater
Outstanding Performance: Sebastien Ramirez and Honji Wang in their duet AP15 at the Breakin’ Convention at the Apollo Theater
Outstanding Performance: Charles “Lil Buck” Riley and Ron “Prime Tyme” Myles at Poisson Rouge
Outstanding Performance: Jaro Vinarsky in Pavel Palissimo’s Bastard at La MaMa Moves! Dance Festival
Outstanding Performance: Herman Cornejo of American Ballet Theater
Oustanding Performance: Shantala Shivalingappa for her Shiva Ganga
Outstanding Sound Design: Ant Hampton and Tim Etchells for The Quiet Volume at Performance Space 122 and PEN World Voices Festival
Outstanding Visual Design: Fleur Elise Noble for her 2 Dimensional Life of Her at Under the Radar Festival at the Public Theater
The groundwork for Erin Carpenter's company, Nude Barre, began when she was a teenager. At 16, she earned a spot in the residency program at The Kennedy Center in partnership with Dance Theatre of Harlem. "We were required to wear nude—as in, our actual skin tone—tights and shoes," she remembers. Carpenter brought her "sun tan" tights and a pair of pink ballet shoes with her, because that was all she could find. But she wasn't allowed in class because her dancewear didn't match her skin. "I was so embarrassed," she says. "I looked unprepared. I just didn't have the right nudes." Her teacher explained that the dancers dyed their tights and pancaked their shoes.
There are dancers and then there are DANCERS! Whitney Jensen, soloist at Norwegian National Ballet, is the latter. The former Boston Ballet principal can do it all. From contemporary to the classics this prima has the technical talent most bunheads dream about. Need proof? Look no further.
Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee's dance inducing hit, "Despacito," is so catchy it should probably come with a disclaimer that warns people of an uncontrollable itch to tap your feet or bob your head. Some might even feel inclined to go all out and break it down. Niana Guerrero is a prime example of "Despacito's" uncanny ability to unleash the red dressed emoji dancer within. 💃🏽 💃🏽
Guys, we all knew this was coming—"World of Dance" was eventually going to eliminate someone. But man, is it brutal to watch these talented dancers give their all, only to be sent home. It's the name of the game, though, and after last night's episode, only two dancers per division remain. (At least Misty Copeland guest-judging was a silver lining!) Here's what went down last night:
They've impressed the judges, now it's time for the Top 100 dancers to enroll at The Academy—and to impress the All-Stars. Welcome to So You Think You Can Dance Academy!
The 100 dancers who made it through auditions in NYC or L.A. are now at The Academy, which is basically a beautiful building with floor-to-ceiling windows. The show opens with that Mandy Moore-choreographed Academy routine which, even after watching it 12 times and trying to learn all the choreography at home, is still delightful.
This Nationals season, Dance Spirit followed four talented dancers from The Dance Awards, NYCDA, Showstopper, and Starpower for an inside look at everything that goes into the biggest competitions of the year. First up: Isabella Torres from Mid-Atlantic Center for the Performing Arts in Baltimore, MD, who competed at New York City Dance Alliance Nationals for the first time this year. (All photos courtesy Shannon Torres.)
Merritt Moore is a ballerina who just so happens to be graduating from Oxford University with a PhD in quantum physics. Is she even human? The jury is still out on that - but the 29-year-old, who earned her undergrad degree from Harvard, has actually found dance to be a powerful tool that assists her in her studies.