10/18/14 O&A Its Saturday: The Bessies Dance Into the Apollo on Monday

By Walter Rutledge

It is Saturday


The Bessies- the New York Dance and Performance Award is the Oscars for dance. Named in honor of pioneer dance educator and choreographic mentor Bessie Schonberg, the Bessies has become one of the most prestigious awards one can receive in the world of dance. On Monday October 20, 7:30pm the Bessies will be held at the Apollo Theater, 325 West 125th Street.

In addition to recognizing excellence in dance, production and creation the evening will mark the 30th anniversary of The Bessies. To celebrate this milestone there will be four live retrospective performances by former Bessie honorees. Performances by Mark Morris (1984) Michelle Dorrance (2001), Urban Bush Women (1992), and Circus Amok (1995) will highlight the diversity of the awards.

Evening highlights include presenters Wendy Whelan (New York City Ballet), Megan Fairchild (On The Town), Robert Battle (Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater) and Bill Irvin. Grammy award-winning Soprano Jessye Norman will accompany Virginia Johnson in paying tribute to Arthur Mitchell for his lifetime achievement in dance. New York City’s First Lady Chirlane McCray is scheduled to deliver the opening remarks; and Lisa Kron, whose Public Theater hit Fun Home is slated for Broadway, is the host.  

Tickets are available for $100, $30 and $10 and can be purchased in person at the Apollo Theater or through Ticketmaster by calling (800) 745-3000 and online at Ticketmaster.com

2014 Bessie Award Nominees

Outstanding Performer

Maggie Cloud in Passagen by Pam Tanowitz

Sean Donovan in the work of Witness Relocation, Jane Comfort, Faye Driscoll, and others

Julia Hausermann in Disabled Theater by Jerome Bel and Theater HORA

Sean Jackson in We Used to Hold by Lisa LaTouche as part of Rhythm in Motion

Mickey Mahar in the work of Miguel Gutierrez, Adrienne Truscott, Ryan McNamara, and Gillian Walsh

Angela “Angel” McNeal hip hop battle improvisations at Harlem Stage E-Moves 15 Battle

Sara Mearns New York City Ballet

Aakash Odedra in James Brown, Get on the Good Foot, A Celebration in Dance organized and shaped by Otis Sallid as part of A Celebration in Dance at the Apollo Theater

Tiler Peck New York City Ballet

Rebecca Serrell-Cyr in Fire Underground by Donna Uchizono

Linda Celeste Sims Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater

Stuart Singer in Within Between by John Jasperse


Outstanding Music Composition/Sound Design

 Simphiwe Dana, Giuliano Modarelli, and Complete Quartet for Exit/Exist choreographed by Gregory Maqoma

G. Lucas Crane for This Was the End created by Mallory Catlett

Steven Taylor for Aubade choreographed by Douglas Dunn

Nicholas Young for his inventive tap ‘percussion platforms’ in Rhythm in Motion


Outstanding Revival

Dark Swan by Nora ChipaumireThe Joyce

Myth or Meth (or Maybe Moscow?) by RadioholeTom Murrin Full Moon Performance Festival at La MaMa

State of Heads by Donna UchizonoNew York Live Arts

Bach Partita by Twyla TharpAmerican Ballet Theatre


Outstanding Production 

Asase Yaa African American Dance Theatre Djembe in the New MillenniumKumble Theater for the Performing Arts

Camille A. Brown MR. TOL E. RAncEProduced by 651 Arts at Kumble Theater for the Performing Arts

Mallory Catlett This Was the EndThe Chocolate Factory

Liz Gerring GlacierMontclair State University

Maria Hassabi PremiereThe Kitchen

John Jasperse Within BetweenNew York Live Arts

Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker En Atendant/CesenaBrooklyn Academy of Music

Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker DeshWhite Light Festival

Sarah Michelson 4Whitney Museum of American Art

MIMULUS Cia de Danca  DoloresThe Joyce

Okwui Okpokwasili in collaboration with Peter Born Bronx GothicDanspace

Aki Sasamoto Sunny in the FurnaceThe Kitchen


Outstanding Visual Design

Thomas Dunn for New Work for the Desert by Beth GillAvram Finkelstein,

Kathy Morganroth, and Jenny Mui of YMX by Yellowman; Patricia

Forelle; Tamara Gonzales; and Nicholas Vermeer, Olivia Barr, and

William Ward of NYC Resistor for Vectors, Mary, and Snow by BrooklynBallet

Peter Ksander, Olivera Gajic, Ryan Holsopple, Chris Kuhl, and Keith Skretch for This Was the End by Mallory Catlett

Tim Yip for Desh by Akram Khan




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