The 2023 Dance Magazine Awards, held at 92NY and sponsored by 92NY, University of the Arts, and The O’Donnell-Green Music and Dance Foundation, celebrated the diverse voices and contexts of awardees dedicated to dance and education. The event began with the Harkness Promise Awards, acknowledging emerging dance artists within their first decade of choreographic careers. Baye & Asa (Amadi “Baye” Washington and Sam “Asa” Pratt) were recognized for their work creating political metaphors and addressing systemic inequities. Pratt emphasized the unique role of dance in liberating thought and embracing indeterminacy: “Art remains one of the most advanced pieces of technology we have as a species.”
The ceremony also honored posthumous recipients, with Wendy Perron shedding light on lesser-known connections among well-known dance figures. Recognition extended to Bijayini Satpathy, an Odissi artist unable to attend but who emphasized Odissi’s capacity for imagination beyond cultural borders. The evening featured energetic performances from Maria Torres’ The Pan-American Nutcracker Suite—Reimagined, and Antoine Hunter's Beat of Earth, showcasing the power of dance in breaking barriers and communicating beyond spoken language. A highlight was the presentation of the Chairman’s Award to dance educator Jody Gottfried Arnhold, a pivotal figure in New York’s dance education landscape. Arnhold emphasized the crucial role of dance education, stating, “There is no dance without dance education.”
The awards ceremony demonstrated the profound impact of dance in conveying inexpressible emotions and ideas, celebrating the rich diversity within the dance community, and emphasizing the importance of dance education in nurturing future talent. As honorees expressed gratitude and shared their personal journeys, the event highlighted the unifying power of dance across cultures and generations.