The 2022 Dance Magazine Awards celebrated the intricate web of connections and the enduring spirit of the dance community. Held at Chelsea Factory, the event commenced with Andrea Miller's choreographic piece, "Pearls," a fitting tribute to Chairman's Award recipient Jim Herbert, founder of Chelsea Factory and executive chairman of First Republic Bank. In his acceptance speech, Herbert reflected on his love for ballet, stating, "I fell in love that night," and highlighted his unwavering support for New York City's diverse dance scene. The theme of supporting emerging choreographic talent was carried through the presentation of the Harkness Promise Awards to Kayla Farrish and Johnnie Cruise Mercer, emphasizing the importance of fostering new voices in dance. Raja Feather Kelly, a previous recipient, praised the awardees, saying, "I cannot wait to be in community with you and see what you do."
The ceremony featured tributes to dance luminaries, including a surprise dance performance by Rennie Harris, who paid homage to Brenda Dixon-Gottschild as his "dance mother." Dixon-Gottschild, a dance artist and scholar, emphasized the importance of performing "corrective surgery on the historical record" and delivered a moving poem during the ceremony. The event also honored ballet star Herman Cornejo, recognized for his consistency and longevity in dance. Despite being unable to attend in person, Cornejo reassured the audience, stating, "I'm not retiring anytime soon" and shared a humorous anecdote about signing his first contract with American Ballet Theatre. The Dance Magazine Awards celebrated not only the achievements of individual artists but also the collaborative and interconnected spirit that defines the dance community.
Lucinda Childs, acclaimed choreographer and recipient of the Dance Magazine Award, spoke about the collaborative ethos she experienced at Judson Dance Theater. Reflecting on her journey, Childs emphasized the importance of collaboration, stating, "Everything that makes this art form has to happen in the way it’s supposed to happen—in the way we learned at Judson: What you do with what you’re doing is just as important as what you’re doing." The event concluded with gratitude from honorees Dianne McIntyre and Kyle Abraham, who expressed appreciation for the brilliance and inspiration shared by the dance community over the years. Abraham acknowledged the loss of artists over the years, stating, "I want to thank all the recipients tonight for all the brilliance and inspiration you’ve shared with all of us over the years." The Dance Magazine Awards underscored the diverse and collaborative nature of the dance world, celebrating both individual achievements and the interconnectedness of the dance community.
Photo Credit: Demetia Hopkins in Dianne McIntyre’s Love Poems to God at the 2022 Dance Magazine Awards. Photo by Christopher Duggan.