Nominees announced for 30th Bessie Awards

Jessica Lang Dance performing Lines CubedThe New York Dance and Performance Awards, also known as The Bessies, are NYC’s premier dance awards honoring outstanding creative work in the field. On Wednesday, July 16, the 36 nominees for the 2013-14 season were announced at a press conference by members of The Bessies Selection Committee. The nominations (listed below) were selected by an independent committee of 40 dance industry professionals.


Produced in partnership with Dance/NYC, Bessie Award categories include Outstanding Performer, Outstanding Production, Outstanding Visual Design, Outstanding Music Composition or Sound Design and Outstanding Revival.


The 30th Annual Bessie Awards, described by The New York Times as “the dance world’s version of the Academy Awards,” will take place on Monday, October 20 at 8 p.m. at the legendary Apollo Theater in New York City. The 2014 ceremony will mark The Bessie Awards’ fourth year at the Apollo Theater.


One 2014 award was also presented at the press conference – the fourth annual Outstanding Emerging Choreographer Award. Previous recipients include Beth Gill (2011), Rashaun Mitchell (2012) and Joanna Kotze (2013). This year, the committee’s vote was tied and selected two of the nominees to receive the Outstanding Emerging Choreographer Award. The first recipient, Jessica Lang, was recognized for the elegant works created for her newly formed company of dancers at the Joyce Theater in her transition from freelance choreographer to artistic director. Additionally, Jen Rosenblit was recognized for a Natural dance, performed at The Kitchen, for a confident voice investigating the fluidity of identity, the pulse of time and the nature of what it is to dance.


The Juried Bessie Award Committee, a jury of three acclaimed choreographers responsible for deciding on a single work or choreographer that exhibits interesting and exciting ideas in dance in New York City, was also announced. This award will invite the honored dance maker to theaters outside of the city for future touring and residencies, providing the tools to move forward in their creation. The 2014 Bessie Jury is Tere O’Connor, Annie-B Parson and Eduardo Vilaro.


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 Rhythm in Motion by Lisa LaTouche


Mickey Mahar

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


Angela “Angel” McNeal

for her hip-hop battle improvisations at Harlem Stage E-Moves 15 Battle


Sara Mearns

of New York City Ballet


Aakash Odedra

in Get on the Good Foot, organized and shaped by Otis Rasheed as part of A Celebration in Dance at the Apollo Theater


Tiler Peck

of New York City Ballet


Rebecca Serrell-Cyr

in Fire Underground by Donna Uchizono


Linda Celeste Sims

of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater


Stuart Singer

in Within Between by John Jasperse


Outstanding Music Composition/Sound Design  


Complete, with guitarist Giuliano Modarelli

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 Chipaumire

The Joyce


Myth or Meth (or Maybe Moscow?)

by Radiohole

Tom Murrin Full Moon Performance Festival at La MaMa


State of Heads

by Donna Uchizono

New York Live Arts


Bach Partita

by Twyla Tharp

American Ballet Theatre


Outstanding Production  


Asase Yaa African American Dance Theatre

Djembe in the New Millenium

Kumble Theater for the Performing Arts


Camille A. Brown


Kumble Theater for the Performing Arts


Mallory Catlett

This Was the End

The Chocolate Factory


Liz Gerring


Montclair State University


Maria Hassabi


The Kitchen


John Jasperse

Within Between

New York Live Arts


Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker

En Atendant/Cesena

Brooklyn Academy of Music


Akram Khan


Rose Theater, Jazz at Lincoln Center


Sarah Michelson


Whitney Museum of American Art


MIMULUS Cia de Danca


The Joyce


Okwui Okpokwasili

Bronx Gothic



Aki Sasamoto

Sunny in the Furnace

The Kitchen


Outstanding Visual Design


Thomas Dunn

for New Work for the Desert by Beth Gill


Patricia Forelle with Jenny Mui, Avram Finkelstein, and Kathy Morganroth of YMX by Yellowman; and Nicholas Vermeer, Olivia Barr, and William Ward of NYC Resistor

for Vectors, Mary, and Snow by Brooklyn Ballet


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


Outstanding Emerging Choreographer


Rashida Bumbray

for The Little Red Rooster in a Red House

Harlem Stages E-Moves 15


Jessica Lang

for the formation of her own company and its inaugural season
The Joyce


Jen Rosenblit

for a Natural dance

The Kitchen


Gillian Walsh

for Grinding and Equations: Two Duets at Abrons

Abrons Arts Center


For more information on the 30th Bessie Awards, visit


Photo: Jessica Lang Dance performing Lines Cubed. Photo by Takao Komaru Photography.