The Bessie Steering Committee

The Steering Committee is responsible for setting policy and providing oversight of the Bessie Awards throughout the year.

Cora Cahan
President, The New 42nd Street

Beverly D’Anne
From 1980-2011, Director of Dance Program, New York State Council on the Arts

Lane Harwell, Chair
Executive Director, Dance/NYC

Jeanne Linnes
Senior Vice President, Arts Sector, NESC; Board President, Trisha Brown Dance Company

Stanford Makishi
Vice President for Programming, New York City Center


Nicky Paraiso
Performer/Artist-Curator; Director of Programming, The Club at La MaMa; Curator, La MaMa Moves! Dance Festival

Carla Peterson
Director of the Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography at Florida State University

Tamia B. Santana
Executive Director Brooklyn Dance Festival

Laurie Uprichard
Senior Curator of Performing Arts, Contemporary Arts Center New Orleans

Martin Wechsler
Director of Programming, Joyce Theater

The Bessie Selection Committee

The Bessie Selection Committee is responsible for choosing work to be awarded from the 2016-2017 season. If you wish to invite the Selection Committee to your show, please email them directly and include the following: how to get “press” tickets, what sort of work you do/press release, and the show information.

Adrienne Westwood
Choreographer, dancer, educator

Angela Fatou Gittens, Ph.D
Executive Artistic Director (Ifetayo Cultural Arts Academy), Performing Artist (Conjunto Nuevo Milenio Panamanian Performing Arts Company), Dance Historian, Language Teacher & Linguist

Boo Froebel
Independent producer and curator

Caleb Hammons
Producer, Curator: Bard College and the performance series, Catch

Carrie Stern
Adjunct Faculty Dance in History and Culture Queensborough Community College, Dance Faculty Mentor for Arts Matters/DOE, Dance Writer.

Catherine Tharin
Artist-Teacher-Writer; Curator, 92Y Harkness Dance Center

Craig Peterson
Artistic Director, Abrons Arts Center

Diana Byer
Founder & Artistic Director, New York Theatre Ballet Ballet School NY

Diane Grumet
Co-Artistic and Managing Director; Steps on Broadway, Artistic Director; Steps Beyond Foundation

Edisa Weeks
Choreographer; DELIRIOUS Dances; Assistant Professor of Dance, Queens College

Eleanor K. Wallace
Artistic Associate, Baryshnikov Arts Center

Harold Norris
Director of Booking at Pentacle, a leading dance service organization

Iréne Hultman
Independent dance artist and advocate. Artistic consultant: Liz Gerring Dance (US), Cristina Caprioli CCAP (Sweden)

Jerron Herman
Dancer/Associate, Heidi Latsky Dance; artist, writer, teacher

Kay Takeda
Director of Grants & Services, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council

Kay Turner
Brooklyn-based President-Elect, American Folklore Society, focus on non-traditional performance of traditional dance

Leah Cox
Dean of the American Dance Festival; Associate Professor of Dance at Bard College

Matthew Lopez
Dancer, Choreographer, Teacher, Faculty; Steps on Broadway; NY Film Academy Musical Theatre; Groove National Dance

Matthew Lyons
Curator, The Kitchen; Contributing Editor, Movement Research Performance Journal

Maura Donohue
Choreographer; Writer,; Associate Professor of Dance, Hunter College/CUNY

Muna Tseng
Choreographer, Performer, Artistic Director, Muna Tseng Dance Projects NYC

Rajika Puri
Dancer, danced storyteller, choreographer & lecturer; co-curator World Music Institute’s Dancing the Gods and Indo American Arts Council’s Erasing Borders festivals of Indian Dance.

Risa Shoup
Executive Director of Fourth Arts Block; Trustee, The Invisible Dog Art Center

Risa Steinberg
Associate Director, Faculty, Dance Division: The Juilliard School; Performer, Sleep No More

Robert LaFosse
Dancer, Choreographer, Teacher, American Ballet Theatre, New York City Ballet, and Broadway

Ryan Wenzel
Freelance dance writer and blogger

Sally Sommer
Professor; dance writer/ critic/ filmmaker/ historian; Director “FSU in NYC” program

Sue Samuels
Artistic Director; Jazz Roots Dance Company; choreographer; master teacher; performerance in History and Culture Queensborough Community College, Dance Faculty Mentor for Arts Matters/DOE, Dance Writer.

Susan Reiter
Freelance performing arts journalist, TDF Stages, Los Angeles Times & many other publications

Tony Waag
Dancer, director, teacher, producer, Artistic Director, American Tap Dance Foundation, Tap City, the New York City Tap Festival

Tymberly Canale
Dance and theater performer, independent choreographer and adjunct dance faculty at  NYU/Tisch Experimental Theater Wing & Marymount Manhattan College

Walter Rutledge
Associate Artistic Director and Choreographer in Residence, Nanette Bearden Contemporary Dance Theatre; Senior Writer Harlem World

Zhenesse Heinemann
Curator, Producer, Performance/Visual Artist