NEW YORK, N.Y. — Dayton Contemporary Dance Company (DCDC) has been named a cowinner of a NYC Bessie Award.
The recognition, established in 1983 in honor of New York dance teacher Bessie Shoenberg, salutes outstanding and creative works in choreography, performance, music composition and visual design by independent NYC dance artists. It is dance’s equivalent of the Oscar.
A committee of 40 artists, presenters, producers and writers chooses the nominees and winners and DCDC was selected in the category of outstanding revival for its March 2016 performances of “Rainbow ‘Round My Shoulder” at Lincoln Center in Manhattan. DCDC shares the award in that division with “Rainbow” creator Donald McKayle and Paul Taylor’s American Modern Dance of NYC. As Paul Taylor’s guest artist, DCDC performed McKayle’s, “Rainbow ‘Round My Shoulder” three times at the Lincoln Center’s David Koch Theater.
The award was made “for giving a classic modern dance powerful new life, transforming the midcentury portrayal of an African American prison chain gang into a searingly resonant cry for our current times, performed with humanity, craft, and beauty.”
“The Bessie is the most prestigious award for dance performance in the country. You can only receive it for a performance in NYC. There is so much dance in that city that to be noticed out of all those performances is glorious,” said DCDC Associate Director Crystal Michelle. “This particular reconstruction of Donald McKayle’s masterwork is historic because it is the first time it was performed by us to live music with the support of another major modern dance company. That experience is what makes it unique. ”
The company has local partnerships with the University of Dayton, Central State University, Wright State University and the nation’s historically black colleges and universities. DCDC also delivers extensive education and outreach programs and services to nearly 20 local school districts.