The ceremony was preceded by the Bessies Angel Party honoring the incomparable Charmaine Warren for her extraordinary performing, curating, producing, teaching, and mentorship. Her vision and advocacy in dance is exemplary and revolutionary.
The Bessies ceremony included a video presentation of all of the nominated artists and works. The evening also included 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. Stories from the new #ArtistSupportStories, a social-media video campaign in which anyone in the community can lift up an individual, group, or organization from the dance community that supported them in some way during the pandemic, were also presented.
BAAD! founders, dancer/choreographer Arthur Avilés and writer and activist Charles Rice Gonzáles, presented choreographer, director, and producer George Faison with the 2021 Lifetime Achievement in Dance Award. The brilliant dance manager Pamela Green presented DanceAfrica with the 2021 Outstanding Service to the Field of Dance Award. Other presenters throughout the evening included Monica Bill Barnes, Tina Croll, Tess Dworman, nia love, Annie-B Parson, Antoine Roney, George Emilio Sanchez, and Bijayini Satpathy.
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