Bessie Awards unveil 2012-2013 Nominees

The Bessies 2012-2013 Nominees AnnouncedThe New York Dance and Performance Awards (The Bessies), NYC’s premier dance awards honoring outstanding creative work in the field, announced recently the 40 nominees for the 2012-2013 season. Announced at a press conference by members of The Bessies Selection Committee, the nominations (listed below) were made by an independent committee of 38 dance industry professionals. Produced in partnership with Dance/NYC, Bessie Award categories include Outstanding Production, Outstanding Performer, Outstanding Visual Design, Outstanding Composition or Sound Design and Outstanding Revived Work.


The 29th Annual Bessie Awards, termed by The New York Times as “the dance world’s version of the Academy Awards,” will take place on Monday, October 7, 2013 at 8 p.m. at the legendary Apollo Theater in New York City. The 2013 ceremony will mark The Bessie Awards’ third year at the Apollo Theater.


Two 2013 awards were also presented at the press conference. Darrell Jones was named the recipient of the Juried Bessie Award. Acclaimed choreographers Ishmael Houston-Jones, Eiko Otake and Jason Samuels Smith selected choreographer Darrell Jones, who exhibits some of the most interesting and exciting ideas happening in dance in New York City today.


The Outstanding Emerging Choreographer Award was presented to Joanna Kotze for her work It Happened It Had Happened It Is Happening It Will Happen, presented at Danspace Project.


“Darrell and Joanna are two fascinating young choreographers, and we’re thrilled to honor them with these awards,” said Bessies Director Lucy Sexton. “The full slate of nominees gives a glimpse of the extraordinary breadth of dance work that is happening in the city. We are honored to be recognizing all of the nominated artists.”


Produced in partnership with Dance/NYC, the New York Dance and Performance Awards have saluted outstanding and groundbreaking creative work by independent dance artists in NYC for 29 years. Known as “The Bessie” in honor of revered dance teacher Bessie Schoenberg, the awards were established in 1983 by David White at Dance Theater Workshop. They recognize exceptional work in choreography, performance, music composition and visual design.  




Outstanding Performer


Shantala Shivalingappa in Shiva Ganga

Choreographed by Shantala Shivalingappa

Fall for Dance, City Center


Herman Cornejo

American Ballet Theatre

Works by Mark Morris, Twyla Tharp and Alexei Ratmansky

City Center and the Metropolitan Opera House


Aaron Mattocks

Works by David Gordon, Stephen Petronio, Jodi Melnick, Christopher Williams, Faye Driscoll, John Kelly, Dean Moss, Doug Elkins and more


Annique Roberts

Evidence Dance Company

Works by Ronald K. Brown


Charles “Lil Buck” Riley and Ron “Prime Tyme” Myles

Le Poisson Rouge


Kayo Seyama in BELL

Choreographed by Yasuko Yokoshi

New York Live Arts


David Wampach and Tamar Shelef in SACRE

Choreographed by David Wampach

The Invisible Dog Art Center as part of Performance Space 122’s COIL Festival


Jennifer Monson in Live Dancing Archive

Choreographed by Jennifer Monson

The Kitchen


Melissa Toogood in Interface, Choreographed by Rashaun Mitchell at
Baryshnikov Arts Center and The Spectators, Choreographed by Pam Tanowitz
at New York Live Arts


Sebastien Ramirez and Honji Wang in AP15

Choreographed by Sebastien Ramirez and Honji Wang

The Apollo Theater, Breakin’ Convention


Hari Krishnan in The Frog Princess

Choreographed by Hari Krishnan

La MaMa, La MaMa Moves! Dance Festival


Jaro Viňarský in Bastard (The Painted Bird Trilogy Cycle part I)

Choreographed by Pavel Zuštiak

La MaMa Moves! Dance Festival


Outstanding Emerging Choreographer


Justin Peck for Year of the Rabbit

New York City Ballet


Molly Lieber and Eleanor Smith for Tulip



Ephrat Asherie for A Single Ride

Dixon Place


Joanna Kotze for It Happened It Had Happened It Is Happening It Will Happen

Danspace Project


Outstanding Musical Composition/Sound Design


Omar Sosa for Miriam

Choreographed by Nora Chipaumire

BAM’s Fishman Space


Marty Beller for A Single Ride

Choreographed by Ephrat Asherie


Ant Hampton and Tim Etchells for The Quiet Volume

Created by Ant Hampton and Tim Etchells

Performance Space 122 and PEN World Voices Festival


Liam O Maonlai for Rian

Choreographed by Michael Keegan-Dolan of Fabulous Beast Dance Theatre

Lincoln Center, White Light Festival


Outstanding Visual Design


Suzanne Bocanegra, costume design for Ich, Kurbisgeist

by Big Dance Theater at The Chocolate Factory


Pontus Lidberg, set and media design for Within (Labyrinth Within)

by Morphoses at The Joyce


Fleur Elise Noble, visual design with media for Two Dimension Life of Her

by Fleur Elise Noble at Under the Radar Festival, The Public Theater


Akiko Iwasaki, costume design for BELL

by Yasuko Yokoshi at New York Live Arts


Outstanding Revived Work


Dionysus in 69

Rude Mechs from a work by The Performance Group

New York Live Arts


State of Heads

Choreographed by Donna Uchizono

New York Live Arts


Scott, Queen of Marys

Choreographed by Doug Elkins

Baryshnikov Arts Center


D-Man in the Waters

Choreographed by Bill T. Jones

The Joyce


Outstanding Production

(performed in a large capacity venue of more than 400 seats)


Rian, Fabulous Beast Dance Theatre

Choreographed by Michael Keegan-Dolan

Lincoln Center, White Light Festival


Shostakovich Trilogy, American Ballet Theatre

Choreographed by Alexei Ratmansky

Metropolitan Opera House


The Legend of Apsara Mera, Royal Ballet of Cambodia

BAM’s Howard Gilman Opera House


Outstanding Production

(performed in a small capacity venue of less than 400 seats)


Then She Fell

Created and choreographed by Third Rail Projects

Kingsland Ward at St. Johns


Everything You See

Choreographed by Vicky Shick

Danspace Project


The Painted Bird Trilogy Cycle

Choreographed by Pavel Zuštiak and Palissimo

La MaMa, La MaMa Moves! Dance Festival


Outstanding Production

(of a work stretching the boundaries of a traditional form)



Choreographed by Joanna Haigood

Dancing in the Streets


red, black, & GREEN: a blues

Choreographed by Marc Bamuthi Joseph

BAM’s Fishman Space



Choreographed by Doug Elkins

Baryshnikov Arts Center


Outstanding Production

(of a work at the forefront of contemporary dance and performance practices)


Watch It

Choreographed by Liz Santoro

Museum of Arts and Design


The People to Come

Choreographed by Yanira Castro

The Invisible Dog Art Center


Organ Player

Created by Narcissister

Abrons Arts Center