The NY Dance and Performance Awards—The Bessies—New York City’s premier dance awards honoring outstanding creative work in the field, are thrilled to announce the presenters for the 37th annual Bessie Awards ceremony. The virtual ceremony will take place Monday, Oct. 11, at 7:30 p.m. For a complete list of nominees, visit bessies.org/2021-nominees/.
This year’s presenters include notable members of the dance and performance community including Arthur Avilés, Monica Bill Barnes, Tina Croll, Tess Dworman, Nia Love, Annie-B Parson, Charles Rice Gonzales, and Bijayini Satpathy.
As previously announced, the ceremony will include special presentations to two pillars of the dance community—George Faison, the 2021 Lifetime Achievement Honoree, and DanceAfrica, recipient of the 2021 Bessie Award for Outstanding Service to the Field of Dance.
The program will feature videos of all the nominated artists and works. The evening will also include tributes to essential dance workers and all those who work behind the scenes and are central to making live and online performance happen in New York. The Bessies will also introduce #ArtistSupportStories, a social media video campaign where anyone in the community can lift up an individual, group, or organization from the dance community who supported them in some way during the pandemic.
The Bessies pre-ceremony Angel Party will honor performer, dance historian, curator, producer, and educator Charmaine Warren for her unwavering commitment to dance and community. “From Charmaine’s extraordinary career as a brilliant dancer and performer, to supporting The Bessies in the early days through her enthusiastic presence on the Committee, to founding Black Dance Stories, to her masterful producing of DanceAfrica, to co-founding Dance on the Lawn, to her teaching and mentoring—Charmaine’s vision and advocacy in dance are exemplary and revolutionary,” said Bessies Executive Director Heather Robles.
The celebration will continue at the free virtual Bessies after-party.
Tickets for the 2021 virtual Bessie Awards ceremony can be reserved online at www.eventbrite.com/e/the-2021-virtual-bessie-awards-ceremony-tickets-173944932977. For more information about this year’s pre-ceremony Angel Party and to purchase tickets, visit www.eventbrite.com/e/the-bessies-2021-angel-party-tickets-169474650241.
ABOUT THE BESSIES
The NY Dance and Performance Awards have saluted outstanding and groundbreaking creative work in the dance field in New York City for 37 years. Known as “The Bessies” in honor of 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, 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 and participate in annual discussions on the direction of the awards and nominate members to serve on the selection committee. For more information about The Bessies, visit www.bessies.org.
The Bessies Steering Committee, responsible for setting policy and providing oversight for the Bessie Awards throughout the year, is comprised of Cora Cahan, Judy Hussie-Taylor, Jeanne Linnes, Stanford Makishi, Nicky Paraiso, Carla Peterson, Craig Peterson, Gus Solomons Jr., Paz Tanjuaquio (Chair), Laurie Uprichard, and Charmaine Warren.
The 2020–2021 Bessies Selection Committee: Ronald Kevin Alexander, Charles Vincent Burwell, Maria Baranova-Suzuki, Michele Byrd-McPhee, Yoshiko Chuma, Sangeeta Ghosh Yesley, Celia Ipiotis, Benjamin Akio Kimitch, Koosil-ja, Anabella Lenzu, Adesola Osakalumi, Pam Pietro, Tiffany Rea-Fisher, Elka Samuel Smith, George Emílio Sanchez, Elgie Gaynell Sherrod, Andrea Snyder, Ivan Talijancic, and Philip Treviño.