“The Bessies are excited to extend our work providing recognition and opportunities for outstanding dance makers in New York City via these partnerships,” said Bessies Executive Director Lucy Sexton. “Our ongoing collaborations with CUNY Dance Initiative and NYS DanceForce introduce Bessie artists to wider audiences across the city and the state, and the new opportunities offered by MANCC and ADF now put our award recipients and nominees in the national spotlight as well.”
Starting this coming season, one of the choreographers nominated for the 2019 Bessie Award for Outstanding Production will be offered a residency at MANCC, one of the leading dance facilities and movement research centers in the United States. Selected by members of the Bessies Selection Committee and a previous MANCC Residency Fellow, this mid-career artist will be invited to bring a group of dancers and other collaborators to MANCC for a residency of up to two-weeks to develop new work and to make use of the extensive state-of-the-art resources available at Florida State University, where MANCC is based.
Valuable new opportunities will also be available to the recipients of the Juried Bessie Award with a program created jointly by the Bessies and the American Dance Festival. The 2019 Juried Bessie Award winner will be invited to share work and process in the form of an open studio presentation with the ADF community during the renowned festival’s 2020 season. An ADF choreographer will serve on the Bessies Jury and will be present at the festival to introduce and help provide context for the artist’s work.
The Juried Bessie winner is selected by a group of three acclaimed choreographers that changes each year. In addition to the new collaboration with ADF, Juried Bessie Award winners receive touring and residency opportunities outside of New York City through the Bessies’ ongoing partnership with the New York State DanceForce, a statewide network of arts organizers and presenters, which will also continue this year.
All recipients of the 2019 Outstanding Production Bessie Award will continue to take advantage of the partnership with the CUNY Dance Initiative, a residency program for New York City dance makers on City University of New York (CUNY) campuses. The choreographers will be invited to teach master classes at CUNY colleges that are part of CDI and have formal academic dance programs: Queens College, Queensborough Community College, and Lehman College. CDI's collaboration with the Bessies began last year, and 2018 Bessie recipients David Thomson and Nami Yamamoto shared their skills and knowledge with CUNY students.
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