By Walter Rutledge
The 61st annual Dance Magazine Awards will take place on Monday December 3, 2018, 7:30pm. at The Ailey Citigroup Theater. Since 1954 the award has recognized accomplished individuals who have made an impact in dance over the course of their career. This year the awards honors choreographers Ronald K. Brown and Crystal Pite and dancers Lourdes Lopez and Michael Trusnovec. For the first time emerging artists will also be recognized through The Harkness Promise Award, designed to spotlight and assist two young artists for the potential of their artistic work while investing in the next generation of dance makers.
Created by the Harkness Foundation for Dance in a unique partnership with Dance Magazine, the Harkness Promise Award recognizes talented choreographers for the quality of their innovative work. The award also acknowledges their demonstrated commitment to be an involved artist-citizen. The grant will directly benefit the awardees during the first decade of their creative careers. The 2018 inaugural awardees of The Harkness Promise Award, Raja Feather Kelly and Ephrat “Bounce” Asherie, fit the criteria of pushing boundaries to explore personal theatricality.
Raja Feather Kelly’s innovative dance-theatre works echo popular culture to examine assumptions related to gender, race, and our shared contemporary experience. Kelly consistently challenges performative norms aided by large ensembles of collaborators. His goal is to continue building a community of radical yet purposeful artists.
Ephrat “Bounce” Asherie arrived at new modes of expression by investigating the complexities and narrative qualities inherent in various street and club dance styles. Her approach to making dances offers support to the unique contributions of women to house dancing. She has found a unique way of teaching as a form of collaborative creativity and community-building.
The Harkness moniker has been synonymous with dance philanthropy since 1959. A private grant-making foundation dedicated to invigorating and supporting dance as an art-form. From 1986 to the present the Harkness Foundation has contributed over $30 million to more than 560 primarily New York based organizations across the industry. The foundation carries forward the vision of the great American dance patron Rebekah Harkness through a broad focus that spans dance creation, presentation, education, medicine and other vital services to the dance field.
Harkness Promise Award 2018
“All of us at Dance Magazine are excited to partner with The Harkness Foundation For Dance for a second year and to benefit these two deserving artists. This year’s Dance Magazine Awards has once again chosen a stellar group of honorees and we are thrilled to have Misty Copeland join us. We are confident that the 61stDance Magazine Awards will be our best yet.” states CEO/Chairman of Dance Media Frederic Seegal.
Proceeds from this year’s Dance Magazine Awards will be applied to next year’s Harkness Promise Awards. The philanthropic credo of the Harkness Foundation for Dance allows 100% of the proceeds to go directly to the awardees. Tickets start at $50. For more information, tickets or make a donation email firstname.lastname@example.org.