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The Bessies announce nominees for 2022 Awards 

Nai-Ni Chen. Photo by Sylvia Chiang.
Nai-Ni Chen. Photo by Sylvia Chiang.

The NY Dance and Performance Awards, The Bessies, New York City’s premier dance awards honoring outstanding creative work in the field, has announced the nominees for the 2022 Bessie Awards at a virtual press conference hosted by Gibney. The Bessies also announced that renowned choreographer and dancer Nai-Ni Chen will be posthumously honored with the 2022 award for Lifetime Achievement in Dance. Christine Jowers, founding editor of the online publication The Dance Enthusiast, will receive the 2022 Service to the Field of Dance Award. 

The organization will host a Bessie Awards Reception on Friday, December 16. Produced by H+ | TOTEM Productions, this fundraising reception will be held at Chelsea Factory in Manhattan, and will also be streamed live. Tickets for the in-person event will start at $38 to commemorate the 38th year, available at limited capacity. Tickets for the livestream will be available by donation. Tickets will be available beginning November 1. 

Nominations are made by the Bessie Awards Selection Committee, an independent committee of approximately 20 dance industry professionals. Works presented between June 1, 2021 and May 31, 2022 were eligible for consideration. Award categories include Outstanding Choreographer/Creator, Outstanding Revival, Outstanding Performer, Outstanding Sound Design or Music Composition, and Outstanding Visual Design. 

Bessies Executive Director Heather Robles said, “Artists are vital to the health of our society. We honor their process, labor, creative dedication and service with this year’s nominations.” 

The 2022 Bessie Awards Nominations 

Outstanding Choreographer/Creator: 

Kyle Abraham, An Untitled Love (Brooklyn Academy of Music)

Sidra Bell, SUSPENDED ANIMATION (New York City Ballet Fall Fashion Gala at David H. Koch Theater)

Camille A. Brown, Fire Shut Up in My Bones (The Metropolitan Opera)

Leslie Cuyjet, Blur (Open call at The Shed)

Indigenous Enterprise, Indigenous Liberation (The Joyce Theater)

Bill T. Jones, Janet Wong, and Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company, Deep Blue Sea (Park Avenue Armory)

Rashaad Newsome, Assembly (Park Avenue Armory)

Okwui Okpokwasili and Peter Born, On the way, undone (Crossing the Line Festival 2021 at Weeksville Heritage Center)

Eiko Otake, The Duet Project: Distance is Malleable (NYU Skirball)

Anna Sperber, Bow Echo (Presented by XO Projects Inc. at Old American Can Factory)

Raúl Tamez on Limón Dance Company, Migrant Mother (The Joyce Theater)

Sasha Waltz, In C (Brooklyn Academy of Music)

Outstanding Performer: 

Soledad Barrio, Soledad Barrio and Noche Flamenca (By Soledad Barrio, The Joyce Theater)

Krudxs Cubensi, Queer Hip Hop Cypher (Park Avenue Armory)

Kayla Farrish, December 8th (By Kayla Farrish in collaboration with Belinda McGuire The Eva Yaa Asantewaa Solo for Solo Showing Gibney)

Carla Forte, Ildiko Toth, Joanna Lesnierowska, Ermira Goro, Rosalynde LeBlanc and Colleen Thomas, Light and Desire (By Colleen Thomas, New York Live Arts)

Antonio Granjero, Soledad Barrio and Noche Flamenca (By Soledad Barrio, The Joyce Theater)

Lloyd Knight, with Martha Graham Dance Company, Treading (By Elisa Monté, The Joyce Theater)

zavé martohardjono, TERRITORY: The Island Remembers (By zavé martohardjono in collaboration with x, Ube Halaya, Raha Behnam, Marielys Burgos Meléndez, Julia Santoli, Katherine De La Cruz, Jordan Reed, Theresee Tull, Proteo Media + Performance

Nikolai McKenzie, A Jamaican Battyboy in America (By Arthur Aviles, Hemispheric Institute at NYU and BAAD!)

Doron Perk, Grandfather Visit (By Doron Perk, presented through LABA: Laboratory for Jewish Culture at the 14thStreet Y)

Antonio Ramos, Puro Teatro (By luciana achugar, The Chocolate Factory Theater)

Yesenia Selier, Queer Hip Hop Cypher (Park Avenue Armory)

Shannon Tyo as “Afong Moy”, The Chinese Lady (By Lloyd Suh, directed by Ralph B. Peña, The Barrington Stage Company and Ma-Yi Theater Company Production The Public Theater)

Outstanding Revival: 

A Jamaican Battyboy in America (Performed by Nikolai Mckenzie, Ben Rema, Hemispheric Institute at NYU & BAAD!; Original production in 1996 by Arthur Aviles)

L’Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato (Performed by Mark Morris Dance Group, Brooklyn Academy of Music; Original production in 1988 by Mark Morris)

Set and Reset/Reset (Performed by Candoco Dance Company, Brooklyn Academy of Music; Original production in 1983 by Trisha Brown)

Treading (Performed by Martha Graham Dance Company, The Joyce Theater; Original production in 1982 by Elisa Monté)

Outstanding Sound Design or Musical Composition: 

Marc Álvarez (arrangement), Carmen (By Johan Inger, performed by Compañia Nacional de Danza, The Joyce Theater)

Donald Eaton, Jerome Hunter, Abdel R. Salaam, Kweku Sumbry and K. Osei Williams, TERRESTRIAL WOMBS (By Abdel R. Salaam, presented at DanceAfrica, Brooklyn Academy of Music)

Efrain Rozas, Puro Teatro (By luciana achugar, The Chocolate Factory Theater)

Kwami Winfield, STELLAR (Virtual Performance by Kyle Marshall, Baryshnikov Arts Center)

Outstanding Visual Design: 

Elizabeth Diller – DS+R, Peter Nigrini and Robert Wierzel (Visual Environment, Video Projection and Lighting Design), Deep Blue Sea (By Bill T. Jones, Janet Wong, and Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company, Park Avenue Armory)

Indigenous Enterprise (Projection, Costume Design and Lighting Design), Indigenous Liberation (By Indigenous Enterprise, The Joyce Theater)

Andrew Jordan and Joe Levasseur (Costume Design and Lighting Design), Narcissus (By Christopher Williams, New York Live Arts) 

New Affiliates – Ivi Diamantopoulou, Jaffer Kolb and Rashaad Newsome Studio with Truman T. Brown Jr. and Howie B., Kimberly Jones, Randy Rosenthal (Set Design and Costume Design), Assembly (By Rashaad Newsome, Park Avenue Armory)

Outstanding Breakout Choreographer:

Flex Kingdom: Jabari Gooding, Obinnaya Williams and Diamond DuBose 

Sun Kim

Princess Lockerooo 

Angie Pittman 

For more information about The Bessies, visit bessies.org.

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