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Dance Magazine Awards 2015, at The Ailey Citigroup Theater, Honor Five, with Performances and Adoration
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Dance Magazine Awards 2015, at The Ailey Citigroup Theater, Honor Five, with Performances and Adoration

- Offstage with the Dancers: Special Events

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Dance Magazine Awards 2015
(Dance Magazine Awards Web Page)
The Ailey Citigroup Theater

2015 Committee:
Joseph Carman, author, Round About the Ballet
Amy Cogan, Senior VP, Publisher, DanceMedia
Karen Hildebrand, VP Editorial, DanceMedia
Susan Jaffe, Dean of Dance, Univ. N. C. School of the Arts
Wendy Perron, Editor at Large, Dance Magazine
Charles Reinhart, Dir. Emeritus, American Dance Festival

Special Presenters:
Mikhail Baryshnikov
Martin Santangelo
Julie Kent
Valda Setterfield
Millicent Johnnie

2015 Award Winners:

Karen Kain
Artistic Director, National Ballet of Canada

Soledad Barrio
Co-Founder, Noche Flamenca and Flamenco Dancer

Marcelo Gomes
American Ballet Theatre Principal Dancer

David Vaughn
Author, Dance Archivist, Dancer

Jawole Willa Jo Zollar
Founder, Urban Bush Women

And Live Performances:
Soléa, Soledad Barrio and Noche Flamenca
AfterEffect, Cassandra Trenary and Thomas Forster (ABT)
Walking with Trane: Side B, Freed(om):
Excerpt, Urban Bush Women

Stage Manager: Kathleen Scott
Reception Catering: Fancy Fare
Press: Nicole Buggé, DanceMedia

Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
December 7, 2015

At tonight’s annual Dance Magazine Awards, Wendy Perron, Editor at Large of the magazine, graciously welcomed the packed crowd, all members of the New York ballet community, to the Ailey Theater. She warmly praised this year’s honorees and their unique presenters, as well as the live and filmed performances we would experience. Ms. Perron is the author of Through the Eyes of a Dancer, which was the focus of a Steps on Broadway Artists Talk last year. It was thrilling to see Mikhail Baryshnikov step to the podium, after a film clip of Karen Kain performing in 1976 as Giselle with the company she now leads, National Ballet of Canada. He spoke adoringly of Ms. Kain, and she of him, in return, when Mr. Baryshnikov handed her the Dance Magazine Award. Specifically, Ms. Kain thanked Mr. Baryshnikov, whom, he noted was too short to have partnered her, for all his help in fundraising events for the Canadian company. He played with the word “Canada” and “Kain” with endearing comments. Ms. Kain spoke of yet another Russian ballet defector, Rudolf Nureyev, with whom she frequently danced.

The second honoree was Soledad Barrio, Co-Founder, with her husband Martin Santangelo, of Noche Flamenca, a flamenco dance company. Mr. Santangelo mentioned that tonight’s Dance Magazine Award would be the first for the flamenco genre. Ms. Barrio is known for “soléa”, an expressive dance of the rebellious cry of the chanting musician, bringing physical motion to the clapping palmeras, chanting cantaores, rhythmic cajón, and melodic guitar. The piece the Madrid-born, Ms. Barrio danced tonight, all in black, was naturally called Soleá, with her wrists and ankles held high, twisting, as her torso stiffened and her shoes beat rapidly in syncopated tempos. During her acceptance speech, Mr. Santangelo translated lovingly, Spanish to English.

American Ballet Theatre’s renowned story ballet hero, Marcelo Gomes, was next up for his award, after the audience saw an excerpt from his new choreography, AfterEffect. Cassandra Trenary and Thomas Forster, both Soloists in the company, performed the romantic pas de deux to a recording of the Tchaikovsky score. They exuded lushness and yearning in the ballet of love, loss, and hope. Mr. Gomes is now choreographing larger works, as AfterEffect includes an expansive Corps ensemble. Julie Kent, a recently retired Principal with Ballet Theater, who now teaches in the company and its children’s division, spoke with gratitude and respect of Mr. Gomes’ decades of attentive partnering and friendship. Mr. Gomes, emotional in his acceptance speech, thanked the Ballet Theater leadership for their support, as well as his family in Brazil.

David Vaughan, author of biographies of choreographers, whom he knew well, Ashton and Cunningham, lifelong dancer (at the age of 91, he will soon dance onstage in Montreal), dance history archivist, and critic, was introduced by Valda Setterfield. Ms. Setterfield, a lifelong friend of the London-born, Mr. Vaughan, regaled the audience with anecdotes of long ago escapades with Mr. Vaughan, who, in his acceptance speech, embellished the stories with his own fond memories. Following Mr. Vaughan to the podium, was Millicent Johnnie, introducing Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, after a lively, jazzy performance by Ms. Zollar’s Urban Bush Women, in an excerpt from Walking with ‘Trane: Side B, Freed)om). Ms. Zollar is celebrating the 30th Anniversary of her company. Urban Bush Women is designed in homage to the bold, yet vulnerable women Ms. Zollar knew, growing up in Kansas City, and her choreographies combine folk rituals, modern dance, ballet, and club dancing.

Kudos to all. A gorgeous buffet reception, following the Award event, was catered by Fantasy Fare.

Mikhail Baryshnikov Presents
the Dance Magazine Award to Karen Kain
Courtesy of Christopher Duggan

Soledad Barrio and Noche Flamenca Musicians
Perform "Soleá"
Courtesy of Christopher Duggan

Cassandra Trenary and Thomas Forster of ABT
Perform "AfterEffect" Pas de Deux
Courtesy of Christopher Duggan

Julie Kent Embraces Marcelo Gomes
After Presenting the Dance Magazine Award
Courtesy of Christopher Duggan

Marcelo Gomes and Jawole Willa Jo Zollar
with Their Dance Magazine Awards
Courtesy of Christopher Duggan

For more information, contact Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower at