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Bessie Host and Special Citation Recipient Announced

By October 15, 2016 No Comments

Adrienne Truscott to Host 32nd Annual Bessie Awards on October 18 at BAM Howard Gilman Opera House  

The Bessies to Honor Choreographer Eiko Otake with Special Bessie Award

New York, NY, October 5, 2016 – The NY Dance and Performance Awards, The Bessies, New York City’s premier dance awards honoring outstanding creative work in the field, today announced the host and presenters for the 32nd Annual Bessie Awards. Award-winning choreographer, writer, and comedian Adrienne Truscott will host this year’s ceremony. The 32nd Annual Bessie Awards will be held on Tuesday, October 18, at 7:30pm, at BAM Howard Gilman Opera House. Doors open at 6:30pm for red carpet and pre-show celebrations.

The illustrious lineup of presenters includes Tei Blow, Katy Clark, Ayodele Casel, Ishmael HoustonJones, Judy Hussie-Taylor, Judith Jamison, Alastair Macaulay, Joan Myers Brown, Amar Ramasar, Regg Roc, and Carlota Santana.

This year, the Bessies will honor Eiko Otake with a Special Citation for her expansive and transformative A Body in Places platform, presented by Danspace Project. Acclaimed composer and director Meredith Monk will present the award to Ms. Otake.

As previously announced, the evening will also include special presentations to Brenda Bufalino, recipient of the 2016 Bessie for Lifetime Achievement in Dance, and to The Jerome Robbins Dance Division of The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts and Alex Smith, Executive Chairman of the Thelma Hill Performing Arts Center, both recipients of awards for Outstanding Service to the Field of Dance.

The Bessie Awards ceremony will feature a performance by Joya Powell, recipient of the 2016 Outstanding Emerging Choreographer Award, Donald McKayle’s Rainbow ’Round My Shoulder (2016 Bessie for Outstanding Revival), performed by Dayton Contemporary Dance Company and produced by Paul Taylor’s American Modern Dance, and an all-star tap tribute to Brenda Bufalino.

Tickets for the 32nd Annual Bessie Awards start at $10 and can be purchased by phone at 718-636-4100 and online at www.bam.org. The BAM Howard Gilman Opera House is located at 30 Lafayette Avenue in Brooklyn.

A post-ceremony party will be held at BRIC, 647 Fulton Street, in Brooklyn. All Bessie ticket holders are welcome to attend.

Produced in partnership with Dance/NYC, the Bessies recognize exceptional and groundbreaking work in choreography, performance, music composition, and visual design. For a complete list of 2015−16 Bessie nominees, go to: www.bessies.org.

Adrienne Truscott has been making genre-straddling work for more than 15 years. She is one half of The Wau Wau Sisters, a boundary-busting cabaret act, and in 2013, her critically acclaimed Adrienne Truscott’s Asking For It: A One-Lady Rape About Comedy Starring Her Pussy and Little Else! won the Edinburgh Foster’s Panel Prize. The show has been touring internationally ever since and is currently in residence at Joe’s Pub. She is a 2014 Doris Duke Impact Award Artist, a 2017 Adelaide Fringe Artist Ambassador, and recently performed at the Sydney Opera House’s Festival of Dangerous Ideas. She has appeared on The Moth, is a contributing writer for The Guardian, and is currently developing projects for television/web. Truscott is looking forward to a solo project at New York Live Arts in April 2017, and the premiere of Wild Bore, a collaboration with U.K.- and Australian-based theater makers at The Malthouse (Melbourne) in May 2017. Her past choreographic works have been presented at The Kitchen, PS 122, Danspace Project, American Realness, and COIL Festival, among other venues. As an artist, she wears many hats and is attracted to the possibility of failure as a mandate for rigor. Truscott is a comedian, writer, choreographer, circus performer, and a daring driver.

Born and raised in Japan, Eiko Otake is a New York-based movement artist, performer, and choreographer who for over 40 years has worked as Eiko & Koma. Always performing original choreography, Eiko collaborated with Koma in designing and handcrafting all aspects of their works, including sets, costumes, media, and sound. Eiko & Koma have presented many works in theaters, outdoor sites, and museum galleries, including Breath and Naked, both of which were monthlong “living” installations. The first was performed at the Whitney Museum (1998) and the latter at the Walker Art Center (2010). They performed The Caravan Project at MoMA in 2013.

Eiko & Koma have been honored with two Bessies, double Guggenheim fellowships (1984), and the first United States Artists Fellowship (2006). They are the first collaborative pair to share a MacArthur Fellowship (1996), and the first Asian choreographers to receive the Samuel H. Scripps American Dance Festival Award (2004), as well as the Dance Magazine Award (2006). In 2012, Eiko and Koma individually received the first ever Doris Duke Artist Awards.

In 2014, Eiko started a solo project A Body in Places. This project started with A Body in a Station, which she performed at the Philadelphia Amtrak Station (October 2014) and New York City’s Fulton Street subway station (June 2015). The project also includes the photo and video exhibition A Body in Fukushima, in which she placed her body in desolate, irradiated landscapes.

Bessie Committees: The 2016 Bessie Awards Steering Committee, responsible for setting policy and providing oversight of the Bessie Awards throughout the year, is comprised of Cora Cahan, Beverly D’Anne, Lane Harwell, Jeanne Linnes, Stanford Makishi, Nicky Paraiso, Carla Peterson, Tamia B. Santana, Laurie Uprichard, and Martin Wechsler.

The 2015−16 Bessie Awards Selection Committee consists of Diana Byer, Kim Chan, Leah Cox, Nancy Dalva, Maura Donohue, Simon Dove, Angel Feliciano, Boo Froebel, Angela Fatou Gittens, Caleb Hammons, Zhenesse Heinemann, Jerron Herman, Iréne Hultman, Robert LaFosse, Melissa Levin, Matthew Lyons, Harold Norris, Craig Peterson, Mathew Pokoik, Rajika Puri, Susan Reiter, Walter Rutledge, Sue Samuels, Philip Sandstrom, Risa Shoup, Sally Sommer, Risa Steinberg, Carrie Stern, Kay Takeda, Catherine Tharin, David Thomson, Muna Tseng, Kay Turner, Tony Waag, Eleanor K. Wallace, Edisa Weeks, Ryan Wenzel, Adrienne Westwood, William Whitener, and Elizabeth Zimmer.

About the Bessies: The NY Dance and Performance Awards have saluted outstanding and groundbreaking creative work in the dance field in New York City for 31 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 40-member 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 participate in annual discussions on the direction of the awards and nominate members to serve on the selection committee. www.bessies.org

Press contact: Janet Stapleton – 212-633-0016 / stapleton.janet@gmail.com

Digital photos are available on request.

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