2017 Bessie Recipients Announced

Monday, October 9, 2017

2017 Bessie Recipients Announced


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New York, NY, October 9, 2017 – The NY Dance and Performance Awards, The Bessies, New York City’s premier dance awards honoring outstanding creative work in the field, announced the complete list of the 2017 award recipients tonight at the 33rd annual Bessie Awards ceremony. Awards were presented in the categories of Outstanding Production, Outstanding Revival, Outstanding Performer, Outstanding Music Composition/Sound Design, and Outstanding Visual Design, with additional awards presented for Lifetime Achievement in Dance and Outstanding Service to the Field of Dance. The full list of 2017 Bessie Award recipients follows.

The 33rd annual Bessie Awards were held at NYU Skirball Center for the Performing Arts at 7:30pm, following red carpet interviews and preshow celebrations. Lucy Sexton, Executive Director of the NY Dance and Performance Awards, and Lane Harwell, Executive Director of Dance/NYC, gave opening remarks. Acclaimed dancers Shernita Anderson and James Whiteside hosted the ceremony.

The evening included performances by choreographer/dancer Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, recipient of the 2017 Bessie for Lifetime Achievement in Dance, the Trisha Brown Dance Company, and a musical tribute to Baba Chuck Davis by Abdel Salaam and Forces of Nature Dance Theatre.

Choreographer and dance legend Dianne McIntyre presented Jawole Willa Jo Zollar with the 2017 Lifetime Achievement Award. Choreographer and scholar Thomas DeFrantz presented writer Eva Yaa Asantewaa with the 2017 award for Outstanding Service to the Field of Dance.

Other presenters included Reid Bartelme, Paul Bartlett, Yanira Castro, Gray Davis, Lauren Grant, Carl Hancock Rux, Jerron Herman, Ron “Prime Tyme” Myles, Pamela Sneed, and Cassandra Trenary.

The 2017 Bessie Awards are produced in partnership with Dance/NYC.


Click for the full list of 2017 recipients.


The 2017 Bessie Awards Steering Committee, responsible for setting policy and providing oversight for the Bessie Awards throughout the year, is comprised of Cora Cahan, Beverly D’Anne, Lane Harwell, Jeanne Linnes, Stanford Makishi, Nicky Paraiso, Carla Peterson, Tamia B. Santana, Laurie Uprichard, and Martin Wechsler.

The 2016−17 Bessie Awards Selection Committee: Diana Byer, Tymberly Canale, Leah Cox, Maura Donohue, Boo Froebel, Angela Fatou Gittens, Diane Grumet, Joseph Hall, Caleb Hammons, Zhenesse Heinemann, Jerron Herman, Iréne Hultman, Celia Ipiotis, Robert LaFosse, Matthew Lopez, Matthew Lyons, Harold Norris, Craig Peterson, Rajika Puri, Susan Reiter, Walter Rutledge, Sue Samuels, George Emilio Sanchez, Risa Shoup, Sally Sommer, Risa Steinberg, Carrie Stern, Kay Takeda, Catherine Tharin, Muna Tseng, Kay Turner, Tony Waag, Eleanor K. Wallace, Edisa Weeks, Ryan Wenzel, Adrienne Westwood, William Whitener, and Tara Aisha Willis.

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