The Bessies announce recipients of the 2022 NY Dance and Performance Awards
The NY Dance and Performance Awards, the Bessies, New York City’s premier dance awards honoring outstanding creative work in the field, have announced the 2022 award recipients at the 38th annual Bessie Awards. Porshia A. Derival, Executive Director of H+ | TOTEM Productions, hosted this year’s event, which was heldat Chelsea Factory. A complete list of the 2022 awards follows below.
Derival welcomed artists and supporters of the New York dance community who gathered to celebrate the nominees and awardees. Bessie Awards were presented to artists for outstanding choreographer/creator, performer, sound design/music composition, visual design, outstanding revival, and breakout choreographer—an award that honors an artist who has made an exceptional leap in their career this past year. All of the awardees and nominated artists in these categories received a $500 honorarium, courtesy of a grant from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.
Tatiana Desardouin was honored with the 2022 Juried Bessie Award, which recognizes a choreographer who exhibits some of the most interesting and exciting ideas in dance in New York City today, and whose work deserves to be seen more outside the city. The award comes with touring support and other engagement opportunities from New York State DanceForce. The 2022 Bessies Jury of three acclaimed choreographers, LaTasha Barnes, Molissa Fenley, and Abby Zbikowski, selected Desardouin.
Emily L. Waters, a senior program associate in the Arts and Culture program at The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, was honored with the 2022 Bessies Angel Award for her leadership and advocacy on behalf of dance.
Two previously announced awards were also presented. Choreographer and dancer Nai-Ni Chen was posthumously honored with the 2022 Lifetime Achievement in Dance Award. Christine Jowers, founding editor of The Dance Enthusiast, received the 2022 Award for Service to the Field of Dance.
The ceremony featured a performance of Nai-Ni Chen’s stunning Crosscurrent, performed by Rio Kikuchi and Esteban Santamaria. The evening also included an exhilarating pop-up performance by Passion Fruit Dance Company’s Tatiana Desardouin, with Mai Lê Hô, Lauriane Ogay, and Gyeun “Lobel” Jeong.
The Bessies also honored members of the dance community who passed away since the last Bessies ceremony. The In Memoriam section was presented by Sangeeta Ghosh Yesley and Paz Tanjuaquio.
Other presenters included Abdiel, Marija Abney, Michele Byrd-McPhee, PeiJu Chien-Pott, Natsha Diggs, maura nguyen donohue, Brinda Guha, Anabella Lenzu, Kyle Marshall, Nicky Paraiso, Tiffany Rea-Fisher, george emilio sanchez, Lucy Sexton, Philip Treviño, and André M. Zachery.
The NY Dance and Performance Awards have saluted outstanding and groundbreaking creative work in the dance field in New York City for 38 years. Known as “The Bessies” in honor of the late revered dance teacher Bessie Schönberg, the awards were established in 1984 by David R. White at Dance Theater Workshop. They recognize outstanding work in choreography, performance, sound design/music composition, and visual design. Nominees are chosen by a selection committee composed of artists, presenters, producers, and writers. All those working in the dance field are invited to join the Bessies Membership as members and participate in annual discussions on the direction of the awards and nominate individuals to serve on the selection committee. For more information about The Bessies, visit www.bessies.org.