Next month, the American Dance Festival will honor modern dance choreographer Lar Lubovitch with the 2016 Samuel H. Scripps/American Dance Festival Award for lifetime achievement. The $50,000 prize is awarded annually.

Lar Lubovitch with Alexander Sergeyev and Svetlana Ivanova of the Mariinsky Ballet

Lubovitch founded the New York City–based Lar Lubovitch Dance Company in 1968. He has choreographed more than 110 dances for his company, as well as work for Broadway, film and ice dancing. He also established the Chicago Dancing Festival, an annual gathering of American dance companies to perform in Chicago.

Photo courtesy of ADF

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The 1980s left jazz dancers hungry for a new leader. Enter Frank Hatchett, whose dynamic approach brought street cred to classic jazz. Photo by Matthew Murphy

During a candid moment at last year's Dance Teacher Summit, a class of teachers watched as Frank Hatchett corrected his own demonstrators. “One more time with that cross-step-step," he said to one dancer. She gave it a try. “No," he said firmly, gesturing to the next in line. The second dancer made an attempt. “No," he repeated, nodding to the third. “Kind of," was his reply, eliciting chuckles from the room. When the last took her turn, not even halfway through the movement Hatchett shouted, “You go, girl!" Everyone burst into laughter and applause. All four had executed the technique of the steps correctly, but the final dancer's energy was electric—unabashedly committed, with a touch of sass.

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