2012-13 Bessie Nominees Have Been Announced!

Lucy Sexton, producer of The BessiesLast night, at a press conference at Gibney Dance Center, the New York Dance and Performance Awards (casually known as The Bessies, in honor of revered dance teacher Bessie Schönberg) announced the 40 nominees for the 2012-13 performing season. The Bessies, which have been referred to by The New York Times as “the dance world’s version of the Academy Awards,” will take place on October 7, at the Apollo Theater in NYC. The 40 nominees, in categories like Outstanding Production, Outstanding Performer and Outstanding Revived Work, were chosen by The Bessies Selection Committee. This committee is made up of 38 dance industry professionals, who spent the previous season attending as many performances as possible, culling possible nominees.

For the first time, two big awards were actually announced at the press conference: Darrell Jones was named the recipient of the Juried Bessie Award, chosen by a panel for his innovative approach to choreography; and Joanne Kotze was named the recipient of the Outstanding Emerging Choreographer award. Both awardees were humbled and grateful. Jones told an old story in which he and his younger brother received a bag of walnuts for Christmas one year, from their dad, only to ecstatically discover that hidden inside the walnuts were $20 bills. "I feel like I've just cracked open another bag of walnuts," he tearfully said.

Joanna Kotze, recipient of the Outstanding Emerging Choreographer AwardDT was pleased to see some familiar faces nominated! Ephrat Asherie (“How I teach a Baby Freeze,” October 2012) was nominated for the Outstanding Emerging Choreographer award. Doug Elkins (“Face to Face,” September 2012) was nominated twice—for Outstanding Revived Work, for his Scott, Queen of Marys, and for Outstanding Production (of a work stretching the boundaries of a traditional form) for his Mo(or)town/Redux. Vicky Shick was nominated for Outstanding Production, too (performed in a small capacity venue of less than 400 seats) for her Everything You See—which featured someone from the Dancemedia crew: Dance Magazine editor-in-chief Wendy Perron!

Congratulations to all of the nominees, and good luck on October 7!


All photos by Anna Kuzmina

Allie Burke, courtesy Lo Cascio

If you'd hear it on the radio, you won't hear it in Anthony Lo Cascio's tap classes.

"If I play a song that my kids know, I'm kind of disappointed in myself," he says. "I either want to be on the cutting edge or playing the classics."

He finds that most of today's trendy tracks lack the depth needed for tap, and that there's a disconnect between kids and popular music. "They have trouble finding the beat compared to older genres," he says.

Keep reading... Show less
Teachers Trending
Courtesy Lovely Leaps

After the birth of her daughter in 2018, engineer Lisa McCabe had reservations about returning to the workforce full-time. And while she wanted to stay home with the new baby, she wasn't ready to stop contributing financially to her family (after all, she'd had a successful career designing cables for government drones). So, when she got a call that September from an area preschool to lead its dance program, she saw an opportunity.

The invitation to teach wasn't completely out of the blue. McCabe had grown up dancing in Southern California and had a great reputation from serving as her church's dance teacher and team coach the previous three years (stopping only to take a break as a new mother). She agreed to teach ballet and jazz at the preschool on Fridays and from there created an age-appropriate class based on her own training in the Cecchetti and RAD methods. It was a success: In three months, class enrollment went from six to 24 students, and just one year later, McCabe's blossoming Lovely Leaps brand had contracts with eight preschools and three additional teachers.

Keep reading... Show less
Courtesy Shake the Ground

Dance competitions were among the first events to be shut down when the COVID-19 pandemic exploded in the U.S. in mid-March, and they've been among the last able to restart.

So much of the traditional structure of the competition—large groups of dancers and parents from dozens of different studios; a new city every week—simply won't work in our new pandemic world.

How, then, have competitions been getting by, and what does the future look like?

Keep reading... Show less

Get Dance Business Weekly in your inbox

Sign Up Used in accordance with our Privacy Policy.