Isadora Duncan Dance Awards 2013 Winners & Performers

March 29, 2013

IzziesSome Background

The Isadora Duncan Dance Awards (aka the Izzies) is an annual San Francisco Bay Area event that recognizes local dance companies, individuals who have made significant contributions to the dance community, and outstanding achievements in performance, choreography, design and musical composition.  The awards ceremony honors achievements for the previous performance season.  In other words this 2013 award ceremony recognized work from the 2011-2012 performance season.

 

This Year’s Ceremony

The 2013 Izzie Awards was held on March 25, 2013 at Z Space in San Francisco, CA, and the Masters of Ceremony for the evening were Jessica Robinson Love, Executive and Artistic Director of CounterPULSE and David McCauley, former dancer with the Alvin Ailey Dance Theater. This year’s awards program promised heightened suspense because, for one, it was our first time covering this event, and secondly, because we had the unexpected honor of representing one of the nominees for “Outstanding Achievement in Choreography” who was unable to attend. As a first-timer at the Izzies, one would anticipate representation of a broad array of talent. Furthermore, because it is an awards ceremony, one can only wonder if the evening would be something like the “Oscars” of the San Francisco Bay Area dance world.

 So What Happened?

Ledoh (Image by Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, link)

Ledoh (Image by Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, link)

As expected, the event was a veritable who’s who of the San Francisco Bay Area dance scene with individuals and companies representing many different dance styles.  In addition to handing out awards (see the list of winners below), the program included performances by several Bay Area dancers. Earliest in the program, the audience was mesmerized by Butoh performer, Ledoh, whose captivating solo was immediately followed by the fluid hip hop moves of Daniel Derrick, aka “Danny D Babi”.  This diverse dance medley continued with a witty piece by former San Francisco Ballet dancer (and the master of impossibly perfect ballet line): Erik Wagner , and concluded with Melissa Cruz performing a powerful and engaging flamenco solo.

Melissa Cruz (Photo by Christine Fu, December 2012, Source)

Melissa Cruz (Photo by Christine Fu, December 2012, Source)

Later in the program, the audience enjoyed another dance interlude which began with a brilliant solo by tap master, Sam Weber, that was followed by Hallie Dalsimer in a passionate contemporary dance piece.  The next solo was a joyfully expressive Indian dance piece by Rasika Kumar Sheopory and the segment concluded with West African-style dancer, Jessica Harden, who entranced the audience in a leopard-inspired solo.

The climactic end to the evening was the crowd-pleasing Taiko ensemble, Jiten Daiko.   The performers from the group included Erica Chang, Leslie Chu, Peter Do, Liz Lam, Aleo Mok, James Price, Galen Rogers, Andrew Roland, and Brandon Yanari.

Final Thoughts

There were so many outstanding nominees in all categories that it must have been very difficult for the awards committee to make their final decisions.  So, did the event feel like the Oscars, after all?  In a way, yes.  Just like in the Academy Awards, the nominees for each category were first introduced, then with great anticipation “the envelope” was opened to reveal the announcement that everyone had been waiting for:  “And the winner is..”

Once the award was presented, each winner was given an opportunity to make an acceptance speech in 30 seconds or less.  Just like at the Oscars, however, if the acceptance speech began to run longer than expected, the band would ease its way in as a little reminder to keep things moving.  In this case, and throughout the evening, the music we were treated to was performed by the Kleinmann Trio.  This group, comprised of Rebecca Kleinmann on flute, Q Morrow playing guitar and Ami Molinelli on percussion, set the perfect tone that could be best described as warm, jazzy, and diverse.  It was amusing to watch audience members bobbing their heads in time to the music and dancing in their seats as each presenter was introduced.

Now, here is a list of 2013 nominees, winners and honorees. Drumroll please……

 

Full List of 2013 Nominees (Winners in Bold) and Honorees:

Outstanding Achievement in Choreography (Two Winners – A Tie)

• Jess Curtis, Angus Balbernie, Silke Z., Jess Meets Angus, Jess Curtis/Gravity and Silke Z./resistdance, CounterPULSE, San Francisco

• Shinichi Iova-Koga, Dana Iova-Koga, Dohee Lee, Line Between, inkBoat, ODC Theater, San Francisco

 Winner – KT Nelson, Cut Out Guy, ODC Dance, Novellus Theater,Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco 

• Gina Patterson, The Inconstant, SKETCH 2: The Women Choreographers, ODC Theater, San Francisco

 Winner – Lizz Roman, DEEPER, Lizz Roman & Dancers, CounterPULSE, San Francisco

 

Outstanding Achievement in Performance – Individual

• Fanny Ara, Romance, Caminos Flamencos’ 10th Anniversary Season, Marines Memorial Theater, San Francisco

• Sarah Griffin, In the Time, Amy Seiwert’s Imagery, ODC Theater, San Francisco

• Monique Jenkinson, Beautility,San Francisco City Hall, Rotunda, San Francisco

• Shinichi Iova-Koga, Line Between, inkBoat,ODC Theater, San Francisco

• Winner – Daniel Santos, ODC/Dance, 2011-2012 Season, Novellus Theater, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco

 

Outstanding Achievement in Performance – Ensemble

• Fanny Ara and Manuel Gutierrez, Juncal Street, Fanny Ara Presents, La Pena, Berkeley

• Rodney Bell and Sonsheree Giles, Full of Words, Axis Dance Company, Malonga Casquelourd Center for the Arts, Oakland

• Jess Curtis and Angus Balbernie, Jess Meets Angus, Jess Curtis/Gravity and Silke Z./resistdance, CounterPULSE, San Francisco

Winner – Pearl Marill and Cason MacBride, Missed Connections, WestWave Dance Festival, ODC Theater, San Francisco

• Daniel Santos and Jeremy Smith, Cut Out Guy, ODC/Dance, ODC Theater, San Francisco

 

Outstanding Achievement in Performance – Company

• Axis Dance Company, Full of Words, Malonga Casquelourd Center for the Arts, Oakland

• La Tania Baile Flamenco, Despertar es un Color, Cowell Theater, San Francisco

 Winner – Levy Dance & The Foundry, Low Down, Z Space, San Francisco

• Savage Jazz Dance Company, Friday February 10, Laney College Theater, Oakland

• Vishwa Shanthi Dance Academy, Poorthi, Novellus Theater, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco

 

Outstanding Achievement in Music/Sound/Text

• Michael Galasso, Music; Catherine Galasso, Sound Design, Bring on the Lumière!, Catherine Galasso, ODC Theater, San Francisco

• Jason McGuire, Musical Direction, Juncal Street, Fanny Ara Presents, La Pena, Berkeley

• Ramon & Jessica, Music; Dina Maccabee and Jesse Olsen Bay, Composer/Performers, In the Time, Amy Seiwert’s Imagery, ODC Theater, San Francisco

• Winner – Watersaw (Chris Evans, Mark Fassett, Nicole Laby & Michael Tomatore) and Jerome Lindner (AKA DJ JERM), Music, DEEPER, Lizz Roman & Dancers, CounterPULSE, San Francisco

• Dan Wool, Composer, Full of Words, Axis Dance Company, Malonga Casquelourd Center for the Arts, Oakland

 

Outstanding Achievement in Visual Design

• Matthew Antaky, Installation Artist & Lighting Design; Mary Domenico, Costume Design; Frederic Boulay, Projection Design, The Water is Clear and Still, Liss Fain Dance, Z Space, San Francisco

• Lauren Elder, Set Design; Ian Winter, Video Design, this.placed, Nina Haft & Company and Facing East Dance & Music, ODC Theater, San Francisco

• Alex Ketley, Video Design, No Hero, The Foundry, Z Space, San Francisco

 Winner – Amy Rathbone, Set Design, Installation & Drawings; Allen Willner, Lighting & Stage Design; Frank Lee, Stage Design & Construction; Alice Wu, Costume Design, Line Between, inkBoat, ODC Theater, San Francisco

• Olivia Ting, Media Design & Video Editing; Ben Estabrook, Videography; Patty Ann Farrell, Lighting for Videos, Reflections, Lenora Lee Dance, CounterPULSE, San Francisco

 

Outstanding Achievement in Restaging / Revival / Reconstruction

Winner – Maria Caligari, revival of Scotch Symphony by George Balanchine (1952), San Francisco Ballet, War Memorial Opera House, San Francisco

• Jean Pierre Frolich, revival of Glass Pieces by Jerome Robbins (1983), San Francisco Ballet, War Memorial Opera House, San Francisco

• Alonzo King, revival of Who Dressed You Like a Foreigner by Alonzo King (1998), Alonzo King LINES Ballet, Novellus Theater, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco

• Gary Masters, with assistance from Maria Basile, Hsiang Hsiu Lin & Raphael Boumaila, restaging of Missa Brevis by Jose Limon (1958), sjDANCEco, The California Theater, San Jose

• Raymond Rodriguez, revival of Graduation Ball by David Lichine (1940), Ballet San Jose, San Jose Center for the Performing Arts, San Jose

 

Special Award Honorees

• Krissy Keefer and Dance Brigade – From Wallflower Order to Dance Brigade: A 35-Year Retrospective Celebration – for performances chronicling the founding of the Wallflower Order through narrative, video archival footage, and re-creation of past repertory performed by Dance Brigade at the Novellus Theater, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts on November 18-20, 2011

 

• Dancers Group – 2012 Bay Area Dance Week – for making this year’s festival unique through organization, support, and presentation of free dance events in the San Francisco Bay Area during the week of April 20-29, including the flash-mob style opening celebration in One Dance to the participatory and powerful closing of Anna Halprin’s Planetary Dance

 

• Cal Performances – Fall Free For All – for presenting, producing, and commissioning various genres of dance, both renowned and emerging artists, to serve the U.C. Berkeley Campus and the broader public especially to new audiences and younger generation through free performances on September 25, 2011

 

Sustained Achievement Honorees

• C. K. Ladzekpo, founder and director of the African Music & Dance Ensemble – for over 40 years of teaching and promoting African music and dance at U.C. Berkeley. He remains an influential catalyst of the African perspective in the performing arts throughout the San Francisco Bay Area

 

• Jamila Salimpour, founder of Bal Anat – for over 50 years of pioneering work and dedication to the art of Raks Sharqi and American Belly Dance. Her methodology continues to influence and inform the belly dance community in the Bay Area and beyond

 

• SFArtsED (San Francisco Arts Education) – for 50 years of bringing professional arts education to San Francisco schools, and for over 25 years of developing dance education for San Francisco elementary and middle school populations. The organization presents in over 20 schools, providing participatory experiences in the arts so that children are better equipped to make use of their creative abilities in all aspects of their lives

 

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