Meet the 2017 Capezio A.C.E. Award Winners!

Photo by Joe Toreno

This past weekend was a busy one for us at DT—we've been in Long Beach, California, attending our Dance Teacher Summit, which included honoring our DT Award winners Award winners (best acceptance speech of the decade goes, hands down, to the fabulous Joe Tremaine) and the Capezio A.C.E. Award champions on Saturday night. It was a big evening: The overall winner of the A.C.E. Awards goes home with $15,000 to use towards the production of a future show. Here's who scored the top three spots:

2nd runner-up:

Nick Young's tap number, The Light, was ostensibly a boy-meets-girl, boy-and-girl-squander-opportunities-to-secure-their-future story, but Young's insane rhythms and gift for storytelling are both perpetually surprising and nuanced. He's proof that tap can be just as emotive and powerful as contemporary, end of discussion.

First runner-up:

Lukas McFarlane's Falling was full of movement so hard-hitting that I kept waiting to see a visible reverb in the atmosphere. McFarlane and his dancers spilled their guts all over the stage, marrying incredible, inventive partnering with real, palpable passion.

And the 2017 A.C.E. Award champions:

But it was Marissa Osato and Will Johnston's electric, ominous Peel that took home the grand prize. The dancers' athleticism and control were mind-blowing—at one point, they balanced forearm planks on tiny, clear bowls. And they had some serious slo-mo ability. (You can watch an earlier iteration of the piece by clicking here.)

Big congrats to all of the finalists—and to this year's winners, we're so excited to see what you do with your prize money!

Check out more finalists below:

Here's Erica Marr's piece:

Getty Images

Despite worldwide theater closures, the Universal Ballet Competition is keeping The Nutcracker tradition alive in 2020 with an online international competition. The event culminates in a streamed, full-length video of The Virtual Nutcracker consisting of winning entries on December 19. The competition is calling on studios, as well as dancers of all ages and levels, to submit videos by November 29 to be considered.

"Nutcracker is a tradition that is ingrained in our hearts," says UBC co-founder Lissette Salgado-Lucas, a former dancer with Royal Winnipeg Ballet and Joffrey Ballet. "We danced it for so long as professionals, we can't wait to pass it along to dancers through this competition."

Keep reading... Show less
Robbie Sweeny, courtesy Funsch

Christy Funsch's teaching career has taken her from New York City to the Bay Area to Portugal, with a stint in a punk band in between. But this fall—fresh off a Fulbright in Portugal at the Instituto Politécnico de Lisboa, School of Dance (ESD), teaching and researching empathetic embodiment through somatic dance training—Funsch's teaching has taken her to an entirely new location: Zoom. A visiting professor at Slippery Rock University for the 2020–21 academic year, Funsch is adapting her eclectic, boundary-pushing approach to her virtual classes.

Originally from central New York State, Funsch spent 20 years performing in the Bay Area, where she also started her own company, Funsch Dance Experience. "My choreographic work from that time is in the dance-theater experiential, fantasy realm of performance," she says. "I also started blending genres and a lot of urban styles found their way into my choreography."

Keep reading... Show less
Courtesy Meg Brooker

As the presidential election approaches, it's a particularly meaningful time to remember that we are celebrating the centennial of the 19th Amendment, when women earned the right to vote after a decades-long battle.

Movement was more than a metaphor for the fight for women's suffrage—dancers played a real role, most notably Florence Fleming Noyes, who performed her riveting solo Dance of Freedom in 1914 to embody the struggle for women's rights.

This fall, Middle Tennessee State University director of dance Meg Brooker is reconstructing Dance of Freedom on 11 of her students. A Noyes Rhythm teacher and an Isadora Duncan scholar, Brooker is passionate about bringing historic dance practices into a contemporary context.

Keep reading... Show less

Get Dance Business Weekly in your inbox

Sign Up Used in accordance with our Privacy Policy.