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Last night at Parsons Dance's 2019 gala, the company celebrated one of our own: DanceMedia owner Frederic M. Seegal.

In a speech, artistic director David Parsons said that he wanted to honor Seegal for the way he devotes his energy to supporting premier art organizations, "making sure that the arts are part of who we are," he said.

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Harkness Promise Awardees Raja Feather Kelly and Ephrat Asherie. Photos by Kate Shot Me and Matthew Murphy

The Dance Magazine Awards are almost here. As we look forward to the celebration on Monday night, we're sharing an excerpt from the program—a letter written by our CEO Frederic Seegal:

The 61st year of the Dance Magazine Awards represents a major step forward. It extends the reach of the awards and now marks the second year of our collaboration with the Harkness Foundation for Dance, thus uniting two iconic organizations.

Firstly, this will be the inaugural presentation of the Harkness Promise Awards, which recognizes new talent at the upswing of their careers. Nurturing emerging artists, especially choreographers, is critical to ensuring dance's role in today's cultural landscape.

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Dance News

Last night’s Dance Magazine Awards honored five remarkable artists: flamenco dancer Soledad Barrio, National Ballet of Canada artistic director Karen Kain, American Ballet Theatre principal Marcelo Gomes, dance archivist David Vaughan and Urban Bush Women artistic director Jawole Willa Jo Zollar. Held at The Ailey Citigroup Theater, the awards ceremony consisted of heartfelt speeches by presenters and awardees, memorable dance performances and a whole lot of love. Here are a few highlights from the event.

Karen Kain receives her Dance Magazine Award from Mikhail Baryshnikov.

One word: Baryshnikov. You know you’ve made it when the legendary Mikhail Baryshnikov presents you with a Dance Magazine Award. Karen Kain had that lucky honor last night, and it was well-deserved. When accepting her award, Kain thanked “Misha” for inspiring her.

Soledad Barrio danced with spirit and intensity.

Soledad Barrio gave new meaning to the word passion as she danced Solea, a fiery solo performed to the accompaniment of a guitarist and two singers. With her quicksilver footwork, snake-like arms and laser focus, she completely owned the stage.

The affection between Marcelo Gomes and Juliet Kent was palpable.

When accepting his award, Marcelo Gomes humbly stated, “Thank you for my beautiful partners that I've danced with in my life. I am nothing without them, nothing onstage without my beautiful ballerinas,” to which, Julie Kent, his longtime partner, close friend and presenter of his award chimed in with, “That’s not true,” to the delight of the audience. Gomes was near tears as he graciously thanked his family, friends and dance partners over the years.

At 91 years old, David Vaughan looked back fondly on his career as the Merce Cunningham Dance Company's archivist.

“'Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, you are a badass!'” Zollar concluded, after her inspirational acceptance speech. After 30 years of running Urban Bush Women, she was able to look back and cherish both the high points and the low, comparing them to a heart monitor. It’s when things aren’t static that you know you’re alive.

After dancing Walking With 'Trane: Side B, Freed(om), Urban Bush Woman clapped for their leader of 30 years.

Since 1954, the Dance Magazine Awards have honored choreographers, educators, performers, writers and organizations whose contributions to the field of dance have made a lasting impact. Past awardees include: Susan Jaffe (DT, August 2010), Gelsey Kirkland (DT, November 2014) and Jenifer Ringer (DT, July 2015).

Check out the highlight reel!

Photos by: Christopher Duggan

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Dance News

Alessandra Ferri and Herman Cornejo in Martha Clarke's Chéri at the 2013 Dance Magazine Awards

You know it will be a memorable awards ceremony when the list of presenters reads like a who’s who roster of its own. Last night, Robert Barnett, Jorma Elo, Christopher Wheeldon, Damian Woetzel and Charles Reinhart presented the 2013 Dance Magazine Awards to Patricia Wilde, Mats Ek, Yuan Yuan Tan, Philip Glass and Martha Clarke, respectively. As always, there's plenty of star-gazing to enjoy at the DM Awards. Here are the major moments of the evening:

• The performances: Patricia Wilde coached New York City Ballet’s Ashley Bouder in Wilde’s role in Square Dance, with the original entrance that “bounces you onto the stage,” she said. And Alessandra Ferri and Herman Cornejo performed Martha Clarke’s romantic new work, Chéri. I don’t want to brag, but sitting front row for Ferri’s feet was pretty special. Yes, they’ve still got it.

Dance Magazine's editor at large Wendy Perron hosted the 2013 DM Awards.

• The highlight reels: We were treated to two best-of compilations: clips of Mats Ek’s choreography, featuring, most notably, the extraordinary Sylvie Guillem, and clips of Tan’s most beautiful stage moments with San Francisco Ballet, including Wheeldon’s After the Rain, performed at the seaside Fire Island Dance Festival.

Ashley Bouder in Square Dance

• The speeches: Educator and former artistic director of Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre Patricia Wilde shared stories from her NYCB days under Mr. B.; Wheeldon paid lovely tribute to Tan as a dancer and a person, citing her warmness and sense of humor, qualities few audience members typically get to appreciate.

It was Philip Glass’ acceptance speech that stuck in everyone’s minds, however. The iconic composer actually thanked the dance world for what it’s given him, flooring us all. He even shared an anecdote about taking class with Lucinda Childs' company to sample the other side of the musical experience. Host and DM editor at large Wendy Perron summed it up nicely, commenting that Glass has given us so much to us as dancers, it’s nice to know we’ve given him something, as well. Talk about humbling.

Composer Philip Glass accepting his 2013 Dance Magazine Award

 

Photos by Christopher Duggan

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