The 2016 Bessie Awards

Awards for Emerging Choreographer, Outstanding Revival, and Juried Bessie Award

For using form and structure as a vehicle for challenging audiences to think, to feel, to experience movement; for pursuing her uniquely poetic and theatrical vision with astounding rigor and focus, the 2016 Juried Bessie Award goes to Pam Tanowitz (work pictured above).

For her passionate choreographic engagement with issues of justice and race in our communities and our country, for connecting with the audience in ways that make it clear that these concerns belong to all of us—and action is required, the 2016 NY Dance and Performance Award for Outstanding Emerging Choreographer goes to Joya Powell.

For giving a classic modern dance new and powerful life, transforming the midcentury portrayal of an African American prison chain gang into a searingly resonant cry for our current times, performed with humanity, craft, and beauty by the Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, the 2016 NY Dance and Performance Award for Outstanding Revival goes to Donald McKayle’s Rainbow ‘Round My Shoulder, produced by Paul Taylor’s American Modern Dance

The 2016 Bessie Nominees

Outstanding Production:

luciana achugar
An Epilogue for OTRO TEATRO: True Love
Created in collaboration with Oren Barnoy, Madeline Best, Shantelle Courvoisier Jackson, Peter Jacobs, Nikima Jagudajev, Jennifer Kjos, Molly Lieber, Michael Mahalchick and Rebecca Wender
Gibney Dance: Agnes Varis Performing Arts Center co-presented by The Chocolate Factory

Souleymane Badolo
Yimbégré
BAM Fishman Space

Camille A. Brown
Black Girl: Linguistic Play
The Joyce Theater

Jack Ferver and Marc Swanson
Chambre
The New Museum co-presented by FIAF

Pat Graney
Girl Gods
Alexander Kasser Theater at Montclair State University

Safi A. Thomas with H+ | The Hip-Hop Dance Conservatory
Sleeping Beauty
Flamboyán Theater

Maria Hassabi
PLASTIC
MoMA

Heather Kravas
dead, disappears
American Realness at Abrons Arts Center

Ralph Lemon
Scaffold Room
The Kitchen

Dada Masilo
Swan Lake
The Joyce Theater

Justin Peck
Heatscape
Performed by Miami City Ballet
Presented by The Joyce Theater at the David H. Koch Theater

Liz Santoro & Pierre Godard
For Claude Shannon
The Kitchen

Outstanding Revived Work (* indicates award recipient):

get dancing
by Andy de Groat & Catherine Galasso
Danspace Project

Rainbow ‘Round My Shoulder *
Choreographed by Donald McKayle
Performed by Dayton Contemporary Dance Company
Produced by Paul Taylor American Modern Dance
David H. Koch Theater

Outstanding Music Composition/Sound Design:

Admanda Kobilka
For Clap Hands by Jen Rosenblit
Invisible Dog Art Center / New York Live Arts

Jeremy Toussaint-Baptiste & Jaamil Olawale Kosoko  
For #negrophobia by Jaamil Olawale Kosoko | anonymous bodies
Gibney Dance: Agnes Varis Performing Arts Center

Dan Trueman, Sō Percussion, and Mobius Percussion
For There Might Be Others by Rebecca Lazier
New York Live Arts

Ustatshakirt Plus
For Dream’d in a Dream by Seán Curran
BAM Harvey Theater

Outstanding Emerging Choreographer (* indicates award recipient):


John Heginbotham
Jillian Peña
Joya Powell *
Larissa Velez-Jackson

Outstanding Performer:

Ephrat Asherie
Sustained Achievement with Dorrance Dance, Doug Elkins, Bill Irwin, Gus Solomons jr., Rennie Harris, Cori Olinghouse, and many others

Nicholas Bruder
In Custodians of Beauty by Pavel Zuštiak
New York Live Arts

Omar Edwards
In FLY
New Victory Theater

Paul Hamilton
For his body of work including Ralph Lemon’s Scaffold Room and the work of Jane Comfort, Keely Garfield, Reggie Wilson, and others

Parisa Khobdeh
For her body of work with Paul Taylor Dance Company

Kazunori Kumagai
Body of work including live at the Blue Note Late Night Groove Series

Jennifer Lafferty
In Catacomb by Beth Gill
The Chocolate Factory

Molly Lieber
For her body of work with several artists including luciana achugar, Maria Hassabi, and Donna Uchizono

Aaron Mattocks
In Big Dance: Short Form by Big Dance Theater
The Kitchen

Gillian Murphy
Sustained Achievement with American Ballet Theatre

Aakash Odedra
In Rising
Skirball Center for the Performing Arts

Jamar Roberts
Sustained Achievement with Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater

Outstanding Visual Design:

Design Team: F. Randy deCelle, Ralph Lemon, Roderick Murray, Naoko Nagata, Mike Taylor, R. Eric Stone, and Philip White
For the visual design of Scaffold Room by Ralph Lemon
The Kitchen

DD Dorvillier and Thomas Dunn in collaboration with Sébastien Roux
For the lighting and visual design of Extra Shapes by DD Dorvillier
The Kitchen

Eamonn Farrell
For the new media scenography of Forgiveness by Emily Berry | B3W Performance Group
BMCC Tribeca Performing Arts Center

Holly Batt
For the visual and set design of Girl Gods by Pat Graney
Alexander Kasser Theater at Montclair State University

Mark your calendars for the 2016 Bessie Awards on Tuesday, October 18th, 2016