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Dance Magazine Awards 2011 and a Live Excerpt from Ratmansky’s Russian Seasons at the Ailey Citigroup Theater
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Dance Magazine Awards 2011 and a Live Excerpt from Ratmansky’s Russian Seasons at the Ailey Citigroup Theater

- Special Events: Offstage with the Dancers

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Dance Magazine Awards 2011
(Dance Magazine Awards Web Page)

Karen Hildebrand, VP Editorial, Dance Media
Wendy Perron, Editor in Chief, Dance Magazine

Special Presenters:
Mikhail Baryshnikov
James Fayette
John Meehan
Sally Silvers
Sutton Foster

And a Live Excerpt from Alexei Ratmansky’s
Russian Seasons
Performed by Dancers with New York City Ballet
(NYC Ballet Russian Seasons Web Page)

The Ailey Citigroup Theater
(Ailey Studios Web Page)

2011 Award Winners:

Dr. William Hamilton,
Orthopedic Surgeon to NY Ballet Companies & Schools

Jenifer Ringer,
Principal Dancer, New York City Ballet

Alexei Ratmansky,
Global Choreographer, Artist in Residence - American Ballet Theatre

Yvonne Rainer,
Postmodern Dancer-Choreographer-Filmmaker

Kathleen Marshall,
Broadway Musical Director and Dance Choreographer

Stage Manager: Brian Emens
Reception Catering: Fantasy Fare

Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
December 5, 2011

Tonight’s annual Dance Magazine Awards presentation, at Ailey Citigroup Theater, was quite exciting, with Awards presented to five honorees this year. Karen Hildebrand, Vice President for Editorial of the DanceMedia group of dance magazines, welcomed the packed event. Wendy Perron, Editor in Chief of Dance Magazine, then introduced the evening and its list of winners, presenters, and live and video programs. This was a balletomane’s breath-holding moment, with Mikhail Baryshnikov about to appear. Mr. Baryshnikov, former premier danseur extraordinaire, now heads the Baryshnikov Arts Center in New York. Mr. Baryshnikov introduced Dr. William Hamilton, with many anecdotes about Dr. Hamilton’s assistance with all his new “body parts”. This former dancer and Artistic Director was unusually humble and generous in his praise of his doctor. Dr. Hamilton, an orthopedist, was more serious, talking about his career with one company and the next, adding work and responsibility as the years passed. He gave us insight into the physical challenges of dance. A few years ago, Dr. Hamilton joined a panel for American Ballet Theatre’s new curriculum, discussing the caring and healing of dance injuries.

It was wonderful to see James Fayette again, a former Principal with New York City Ballet, who is Jenifer Ringer’s husband. Mr. Fayette used to partner Ms. Ringer onstage, and I fondly remember them in Balanchine’s Emeralds. Mr. Fayette now leads a dance industry union, and he spoke lovingly of Ms. Ringer’s passion for dance and determined work ethic. When Ms. Ringer took the stage, she related stories about leaving and returning to New York City Ballet, her personal struggles to stay in performance shape, and her husband’s emotional strength and influence on her success. You can read about Ms. Ringer and her ongoing performances, as well as those of Mr. Fayette, from several years ago, in this New York City Ballet review link. Following Ms. Ringer’s acceptance of her Dance Magazine Award (which Mr. Fayette held for her, during her speech), four dancers from New York City Ballet performed an excerpt from Alexei Ratmansky’s Russian Seasons, which has been extensively reviewed in the above NYC Ballet link. Tonight’s performers, Amar Ramasar, Jennie Somogyi, Jonathan Stafford, and Sean Suozzi, are all seasoned masters of this work. They danced in colorful retro-peasant, inspired costumes, in slow, eloquent motion.

The next Award presentation went to Mr. Ratmansky, following the performance of his ballet excerpt. John Meehan, who was born in Australia, has been an active member of the global dance community as an artistic director, dancer, teacher, and choreographer. In presenting this Dance Magazine Award, he spoke with reverence about Mr. Ratmansky, mentioning the choreographer’s wide reach, with ballets in past, current, and future production at all New York City companies, and at companies in Russia, Georgia, Europe, and all around the world. Mr. Ratmansky spoke of his work as Artist in Residence at American Ballet Theatre and his indefatigable dedication to his craft. More information on Mr. Ratmansky is available on ABT’s website. You can also read reviews of Mr. Ratmansky’s ballets at American Ballet Theatre here. Sally Silvers, a modern dance choreographer, introduced the next Award recipient, Yvonne Rainer, who is said to have invented postmodern dance. Yvonne Rainer was introduced with a silent film of one of her repetitive works, with 1960’s dancers running and falling. She was instrumental in the creation of Judson Dance Theater, at the Judson Memorial Church in the Village, as well as the collective, Grand Union, one of whose members was Trisha Brown. Ms. Rainer also worked, at one time, on a dance project with Mr. Baryshnikov.

The final Dance Magazine Award for this 2011 event was presented to Kathleen Marshall by Sutton Foster, who stars in Ms. Marshall’s Anything Goes. Ms. Foster won Drama Desk and Tony Awards for her leading role in Anything Goes, and she spoke glowingly of her experience being supervised and mentored as actor, dancer, and singer of Cole Porter’s swell songs and sound. Ms. Marshall and Ms. Foster watched, with the audience, a video of the title song, “Anything Goes”, that closes Act I, with the cast and orchestra in this ebullient, energized number. Tonight’s audience loved re-experiencing the music and motion all over again, as everyone in the New York dance-theatre community is familiar with this now long-running show. Ms. Marshall has a long list of big hit shows, like Pajama Game and Wonderful Town. She was grateful for this Award, and grateful to Ms. Sutton, for rushing back to New York, hours after performing at the White House. A wine and hors d’oeuvres reception followed upstairs at the Ailey Citigroup Theater, with extraordinary catering and expansive city views. Kudos to the five Dance Magazine Award recipients, and kudos to the organizers and participants in this event.

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