2015 SOLANGE MACARTHUR AWARD FOR NEW CHOREOGRAPHY
ADI’s Second Annual Commissioning Award Exemplifies the Organization’s Growing Commitment to the Development of New Work
The American Dance Institute (ADI) has selected Brooklyn-based choreographer, performer and musician Steven Reker to win the 2015 Solange MacArthur Award for New Choreography. ADI will provide Reker with $10,000 in commissioning funds, fee-free fiscal sponsorship, strategic marketing and development support, and a presentation of the commissioned work next year.
ADI’s annual Solange MacArthur Award, launched last year as the Commissioned Artist Program, reflects the organization’s vital and growing role as a supporter of American choreographers creating new works. ADI’s Artistic Advisory Board—including Brian Brooks, Jane Comfort, David Dorfman, Doug Elkins, Dan Hurlin (Chair), Jodi Melnick and David Neumann—chooses the winner after a closed nomination process. Minneapolis-based choreographer Chris Schlichting won the inaugural award in 2014.
Steven Reker said of winning this year’s award, “In the landscape of American dance-making it is difficult to find platforms on which you might find support for your work. ADI's Solange MacArthur Award provides a platform that is truly rare. I’ll have technical, financial and developmental support to make a new piece—a piece I have wanted to make for years but could only imagine making since my resources are somewhat limited in NYC. ADI is helping raise the standard of how American performing arts organizations support their commissioned artists."
Reker epitomizes the kind of artist ADI seeks to support through the Solange MacArthur Award—a choreographer gaining prominence while pushing the boundaries of the art form. He moved to New York from Arizona in 2006, finding work as a dancer and guitarist on David Byrne's 2008-09 tour, as a composer in Yasuko Yokoshi's dance work, and as a choreographer for Miranda July's film The Future. In 2009, in The Kitchen's Dance and Process series, Reker debuted his own group, People Get Ready, to channel both sides of his creativity. NPR Music has called People Get Ready’s marriage of indie rock melodies and movement “the best mix of performance art and music in decades.” Reker premiered his first hybrid performance production, the eponymously titled People Get Ready, at The Kitchen in 2011. The New York Times wrote that his work had “blossomed into an ephemeral landscape where music works in tandem with movement and lights,” and described the production as “an experience beyond hearing music…or viewing dance.” He headlines a concert in Lincoln Center’s American Songbook series on February 27.
Originally established in 2000 by former American Ballet Theatre dancer Pamela Booth Bjerknes and Joffrey Ballet principal Michael Bjerknes, ADI has, since the 2010 appointment of current Executive Director Adrienne Willis, expanded ambitiously, launching a critically lauded performance series and a residency program in its Rockville, MD venue in 2011. In the black box theater housed in its converted warehouse headquarters, ADI has presented beloved contemporary dance artists such as Crystal Pite, Yvonne Rainer, Tere O’Connor, John Jasperse, Susan Marshall, Reggie Wilson and Jack Ferver, prompting Sarah Kaufman of The Washington Post to call ADI “the region's leading edge of edge.”
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