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The Bessies announce nominees for 2021 Bessie Awards

Molissa Fenley's 'State of Darkness'.
Molissa Fenley's 'State of Darkness'.

The NY Dance and Performance Awards, The Bessies, New York City’s premier dance awards honoring outstanding creative work in the field, have announced the nominees for the 2021 Bessie Awards. Digital performances presented between March 15, 2020 and May 31, 2021, and in-person performances presented between June 1, 2020 and May 31, 2021, were considered for Bessie nominations. Award categories include Outstanding Production, Outstanding Performer, Outstanding Revival, Outstanding Music Composition or Sound Design, Outstanding Visual Design, and Outstanding Breakout Choreographer, which recognizes an artist who has made an exceptional leap in visibility and impact in their career this past season. The list of nominations is below.

“Dance artists and their collaborators have continued to dream and build during the pandemic,” said Bessies Executive Director Heather Robles. “They have called upon each of us to reimagine and commit our collective movement toward equity, justice and healing. We are thrilled to celebrate their work and the resilience of our community at the virtual 2021 Bessies Ceremony.“ 

The 37th Annual Bessie Awards ceremony will be livestreamed on Monday, October 11, at 7:30pm ET. Reservations for the ceremony will be available starting September 20, through donation.

The 2021 Bessie Award Nominations

New York City Ballet in 'When We Fell'. Photo by Ryan Marie Helfant.
New York City Ballet in ‘When We Fell’. Photo by Ryan Marie Helfant.

Outstanding Production:

Kyle Abraham, When We Fell, New York City Ballet at the David H. Koch Theater

Kyle Abraham and Taylor Stanley, Ces noms que nous portons, New York City Ballet and Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts

Stefanie Batten Bland, Kolonial, Baryshnikov Arts Center 

mayfield brooks, Whale Fall, Abrons Arts Center

Ayodele Casel, Chasing Magic, The Joyce Theater

Janessa Clark, Communion, Janessa Clark and HERE Arts Center

Johnnie Cruise Mercer, _AshadowPrince, Presented through Stephen Petronio Company’s Bloodlines(future) program

Israel Galván, Maestro de Barra, The Joyce Theater

Indigenous Enterprise, Indigenous Enterprise: Powwow Style, The Joyce Theater

Eiko Otake, A Body in a Cemetery, Pioneer Works and Green-Wood Cemetery

Mariana Valencia, Brownout, Baryshnikov Arts Center

Saul Williams, Bill T. Jones, Maria Bauman, Kayla Farrish, Marjani Forté-Saunders, d. Sabela grimes, Jasmine Hearn and Shamel Pitts, The Motherboard Suite, New York Live Arts

Michael Trusnovec. Photo by Mohamed Sadek.
Michael Trusnovec. Photo by Mohamed Sadek.

Outstanding Performer:

LaTasha Barnes, Sustained Achievement

Isabella Boylston, Sustained Achievement with American Ballet Theatre

Marc Crousillat, Watermotor by Trisha Brown, The Joyce Theater

d. Sabela grimes, The Motherboard Suite, We get what you deserve, New York Live Arts

Jasmine Hearn, The Motherboard Suite, Order of Time, New York Live Arts

Princess Lockerooo, Sustained Achievement

Sara Mearns, State of Darkness by Molissa Fenley, The Joyce Theater

Anjali Mehta, Descent by Anjali Mehta, The Artivist’s Studio and Lion Party Films

Annique Roberts, Sustained Achievement with Ronald K. Brown/EVIDENCE

Nicholas Sciscione, Bloodlines Season 7 by Stephen Petronio Company, The Joyce Theater

Michael Trusnovec, State of Darkness by Molissa Fenley, The Joyce Theater

Huiwang Zhang, OUR LABYRINTH by Lee Mingwei/Bill T. Jones, The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Outstanding Revival:

State of Darkness by Molissa Fenley, The Joyce Theater

Watermotor by Trisha Brown, Trisha Brown Dance Company, The Joyce Theater

Outstanding Music Composition/Sound Design:

Monstah Black, for _AShadowPrince by Johnnie Cruise Mercer, Presented through Stephen Petronio Company’s Bloodlines(future) program

Pedro León and Manu Prieto, for Maestro de Barra by Israel Galván, The Joyce Theater

Arturo O’Farrill, Crystal Monee Hall (singer/songwriter), Annastasia Victory (music director and composer) and Senfu Stoney (percussionist), for Chasing Magic by Ayodele Casel, The Joyce Theater 

Saul Williams, for The Motherboard Suite, New York Live Arts

Outstanding Visual Design:

Princess Lockerooo. Photo by Kate Singh.
Princess Lockerooo. Photo by Kate Singh.

Kyle Abraham (Director), Ryan Marie Helfant (Director & Director of Photography), Eric K. Yue (Director of Photography), and Esteban Pedraza (Editor), When We Fell by Kyle Abraham, New York City Ballet at the David H. Koch Theater

Tei Blow and Sean McElroy, Visuals, The Sprezzaturameron by Tei Blow and Sean McElroy, Baryshnikov Arts Center

Conrad Quesen (installation) and Shane Ballard (costumes), Kolonial by Stefanie Batten Bland, Baryshnikov Arts Center

Catalin Stelian (Director of Photography, Cinematography, Editor), Kofi Assane Opare (Cinematography) and Kweku Amantey Opare (Editor), Steel Standing by Fritzlyn Hector, DanceAfrica 2021, Brooklyn Academy of Music

Outstanding Breakout Choreographer:

Hope Boykin

Johnnie Cruise Mercer

Maleek Washington

André M. Zachery

For more information, visit bessies.org

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