Announcing The A.W.A.R.D. Show! 2009 Presented by the Joyce Theater Foundation

The Joyce Theater Foundation


The A.W.A.R.D. Show! 2009

Artists With Audiences Responding to Dance

In association with

The Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago

Philadelphia Live Arts Festival


On the Boards (Seattle)

Inspired by the previous success of The A.W.A.R.D. Show! in New York City and Gainesville, Florida, The Joyce Theater Foundation is partnering with three presenting organizations– The Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago, Philadelphia Live Arts Festival and On the Boards (Seattle)–to expand The A.W.A.R.D. Show! across the country. The A.W.A.R.D. Show! was created in response to a need for a lab-like space in which working dance artists can engage in an open dialogue with the audience about their work. It is dedicated to nurturing new work, discussion, exploration, creativity and to the free exchange of ideas, thoughts and opinions.

Each of these four series, in New York City, Chicago, Philadelphia and Seattle, will present the work of 12 promising contemporary choreographers. Three preliminary evenings will feature the work of four choreographers per night. Each dance piece will be 12–15 minutes of a completed work, excerpt or work-in-progress. After each performance, a moderated artist and audience discussion will take place, followed by an audience vote to select a finalist to perform again on the fourth and final night of the series. Each night the audience and the artists will be invited to a post-performance reception where further informal dialogue about the work is encouraged. On the final night, a panel of experts in dance and other cultural arts fields, along with the audience, will choose the winner of the award in that city.

The first place winners in each of the four participating cities will receive $10,000 cash awards. The two runners-up in each city will receive $1,000. These awards are to be used toward the creation of new dance work. This expansion into Chicago, Philadelphia and Seattle is made possible by a generous grant from The Boeing Company.

The A.W.A.R.D. Show! 2009 Schedule of Events:

1) Joyce SoHo (New York City):

Performances June 18–21, 2009 at 7pm

155 Mercer Street, New York, NY

Performance Tickets: $15

Ovation Tickets: 212-352-3101 or visit

Tickets available May 15, 2009

2) The Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago:

Performances June 24–27, 2009 at 8pm

1306 S. Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL

Performance Tickets: $15

Columbia Ticket Center: 312-369-6600 or visit

Tickets available May 15, 2009

3) Philadelphia Live Arts Festival:

Performances September 15–17 and 19, 2009 at 8pm

The Black Box Theater at the Festival Hub

SW Corner of 5th & Fairmount Streets, Philadelphia, PA

Preliminary Performance Tickets: $25; Final Performance Tickets: $30

Discounts available for multiple ticket buyers

Advance tickets available May 2009:

4) On the Boards (Seattle):

Performances December 10–13, 2009 at 8pm

Behnke Center for Contemporary Performance

100 W. Roy Street, Seattle, WA

Performance Tickets: $12

On the Boards Box Office: 206-217-9888 or visit

The founder of The A.W.A.R.D. Show!, Neta Pulvermacher, summarizes her vision by explaining, “The idea is that, by declaring out loud and upfront that audiences for The A.W.A.R.D. Show! are charged with the rights and the responsibility to make qualitative choices about what they see, the selection process becomes transparent and hopefully encourages honesty. Then, the audience and artists can get on with the task of really looking at the work before them for what it is and to try and see it deeply. For me, The A.W.A.R.D. Show! is about freedom–the freedom to see, respond, imagine, dream, create, make or even fail, and the freedom to speak your mind and heart.”

Linda Shelton, Executive Director of The Joyce Theater Foundation, expresses her enthusiasm for the expansion of a concept that began with Ms. Pulvermacher’s vision at Joyce SoHo three years ago, “I am thrilled that The Boeing Company is able to offer their support and bring The A.W.A.R.D. Show! to these three new cities, expanding the presence of the project to a national level. It is quite a challenge for choreographers to find the resources to make new work and there is a need for audiences to deepen their understanding of work created; The A.W.A.R.D. Show! helps to address both of these issues.”

While watching the works, the audiences and the panel will be asked to think objectively about their choices and to evaluate the work according to the “P.O.E.M.” criteria: Potential, Originality, Execution and Merit.

§ Potential: Does the artist have potential and seem to have the maturity to take advantage of such an award at this point in his/her career?

§ Originality: Does the artist have a personal and unique voice? How singular is the artist’s movement language, concept and vision?

§ Execution: Were the performers committed, well-rehearsed and capable of carrying the intricacies of the artist’s vision?

§ Merit: Can a value of the whole be attributed based on the combination of the work’s Potential, Originality and Execution?

Along with their votes, the audience will also fill out comment cards. These comment cards will be given to the artists to offer feedback on their work.

Past recipients of The A.W.A.R.D. Show! creation and production award include La Manga Video & Dance Company from Mexico (2006), Kate Weare Company from New York (2007) and Deganit Shemy & Company from New York (2008).

The A.W.A.R.D. Show! 2009 is administered by The Joyce Theater Foundation.

The $10,000 cash award for the first place winner and the $1,000 cash awards for the runners-up in New York City are underwritten by a generous contribution from Scott Kasen. Mr. Kasen has provided support for The A.W.A.R.D. Show! since its founding in 2006 by Neta Pulvermacher/Neta Dance Company with original co-production by Marisa König Beatty. Other initial funders of The A.W.A.R.D. Show! included The Puffin Foundation, LMCC’s Manhattan Community Arts Fund and The Maxine Greene Foundation.

As expressed by Mr. Kasen, “The dual objectives of The A.W.A.R.D. Show! are to provide a platform for the exposure of choreographers and to serve as a conduit to channel financial support to the modern dance community.  The Boeing Company’s sponsorship of The A.W.A.R.D. Show! [in Chicago, Philadelphia and Seattle] puts the event on an entirely new plane…As The A.W.A.R.D. Show! embarks on this new phase, under the stewardship of The Joyce Theater, I look forward to a continued personal affiliation with this unique forum.”

The four first-place winners and the runners-up of The A.W.A.R.D. Show! 2009 will report back on their progress in creating a new work with the prize money that they receive and when a performance of the work is scheduled it will be advertised on The Joyce Theater website and also on each company’s website as well. In this way, the audience will have a chance to attend a performance and see a dance work that they ultimately helped to fund.

The artists participating in The A.W.A.R.D. Show! 2009 will be selected through an open call for applications from the following geographic areas; promising contemporary dance artists may apply to only one of the four locations, with one work, in 2009:

New York City Specifications: Dance artists from anywhere in the United States may apply to The A.W.A.R...D. Show! 2009 series taking place in New York City at Joyce SoHo.

Chicago Area Specifications: Dance artists from anywhere in the Chicago Metropolitan Area may apply to The A.W.A.R.D. Show! 2009 series taking place in Chicago at The Dance Center. The Chicago Metropolitan Area encompasses Cook, DuPage, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry and Will counties.

Philadelphia Area Specifications: Dance artists from anywhere in the Greater Philadelphia Area may apply to The A.W.A.R.D. Show! 2009 series taking place at The Black Box Theater at the Festival Hub as part of the Philadelphia Live Arts Festival. The Greater Philadelphia Area encompasses Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties.

Seattle Area Specifications: Dance artists from anywhere in the Northwest Region may apply to The A.W.A...R.D. Show! 2009 series taking place in Seattle at On the Boards. The Northwest Region encompasses Washington (WA), Oregon (OR), Idaho (ID), Montana (MT) and Alaska (AK).

An application for each of the four cities can be downloaded from The Joyce Theater Foundation website at The application deadline is Tuesday, March 31, 2009. Applications must be received on this date at The Joyce Theater no later than 5:30pm EST. A national panel, with representatives from Chicago, Philadelphia and Seattle, as well as Martin Wechsler, director of programming of The Joyce Theater Foundation, will review all of the applications and select the 12 artists/companies who will have a chance to show their work in Chicago, Philadelphia and Seattle. The panelists will be looking for choreographers who have the potential to create inspirational and inventive work.

Panel Members and Biographies

Martin Wechsler, Director of Programming, The Joyce Theater Foundation

Martin Wechsler joined the staff of The Joyce as an administrative assistant in 1985. Soon after, he moved to the booking department and helped to develop The Joyce Theater’s dance education program, first as an assistant, and eventually as the Director of Booking and Education. Since 1996, Martin has been The Joyce’s Director of Programming. In this capacity, he seeks out the best dance from New York, the United States and the world, and selects more than 30 companies to perform each season as part of The Joyce’s subsidized rental and presentation programs. In addition to programming the companies, Martin is responsible for negotiating all of the engagement contracts. He also oversees The Joyce’s commissioning and artist residency programs, and curates Evening Stars, an annual free outdoor dance festival. He serves on the New York Dance and Performance (“Bessie” Awards Committee, and co-produces the Bessie Awards Ceremony with colleagues from Dance Theater Workshop and the Danspace Project. With his extensive knowledge of the dance field, Martin is often asked to serve on advisory and grant making panels.

Phil Reynolds, Executive Director of The Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago

Phil Reynolds began his tenure as Executive Director of The Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago in 1998. The Dance Center is Chicago’s leading presenter of contemporary dance and the only academic program in Chicago leading to a B.A. or B.F.A. in dance. Prior to moving to Chicago, he directed Catamount Film and Arts Company, an exemplary multidisciplinary presenter and local arts agency in northeastern Vermont, for seven years. Mr. Reynolds began his professional career at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. He was also employed in New York as Executive Director of the Nikolais and Murray Louis Foundation for Dance.

In 2008, Reynolds accepted a three-year appointment to represent The Dance Center as a National Dance Project Hub Site. He has served on funding panels for Creative Capital’s Multi-Arts Production (MAP) Fund, The Japan Foundation, Dance Advance–a program of the Pew Charitable Trusts, Illinois Arts Council, Vermont Arts Council, Connecticut Arts Commission, Chicago Dancemakers Forum and Chamber Music America. Mr. Reynolds was awarded the Chevalier de L’Order des Arts et des Lettres from the French Ministry of Culture and Communication in 2006. In 2004, he was recognized by the Chicago Tribune as a Chicagoan of the Year in the Arts, Dance... Mr. Reynolds received a B..A. from Middlebury College and an M.F.A. in Arts Management from Columbia University.

Nick Stuccio, Producing Director of the Philadelphia Live Arts Festival

Nick Stuccio’s career in the arts began with an intensive study of classical ballet at Skidmore College, where he also earned a degree in Biology. His dedication to the form led to an apprenticeship with the Pennsylvania Ballet and eventually a position as a corps member with the company where he danced for eight years. At the Ballet, Nick danced under the artistic direction of Ricky Weiss, Christopher d’Amboise and Roy Kaiser. Nick retired as a dancer and began producing full-time in 1995. He co-founded the Festival in 1997 and that same year was named “Person of the Year” by the Philadelphia Weekly. He was included in Philadelphia Magazine’s 2000 edition of “People to Watch.” His many production credits include co-founding Shut Up and Dance, the popular annual benefit that showcases work choreographed and performed by Pennsylvania Ballet dancers and raises more than $100,000 every year to benefit the Metropolitan Aids Neighborhood Nutrition Alliance (MANNA). Nick was also the original curator of the Wilma Theatre’s Dance Boom series, from 2002 to 2005. In 2005, Nick was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts by the University of the Arts.

Lane Czaplinski, Artistic Director, On the Boards

Lane Czaplinski has been the Artistic Director of On the Boards since 2001. Prior to moving to Seattle, Czaplinski served as the Program Manager at the Brooklyn Academy of Music and worked in various capacities at the Lied Center at the University of Kansas. He has worked with many organizations as a panelist/advisor including the Association of Performing Arts Presenters, National Endowment for the Arts, National Dance Project, CEC/Artslink, National Performance Network, Arts International, American College Dance Festival, Creative Capital and the Bessie Committee.

The panel members who will review the applications for The A.W.A.R.D. Show! 2009 series in New York City will be selected in March 2009.

Organizational Information

The Joyce Theater Foundation, a non-profit organization, has proudly served the dance community and its audiences since 1982.  The founders, Cora Cahan and Eliot Feld, acquired and renovated the Elgin Theater in Chelsea, which opened as The Joyce Theater in 1982. The Joyce is named in honor of Joyce Mertz, beloved daughter of LuEsther T. Mertz.  It was LuEsther’s clear, undaunted vision and abundant generosity that made it imaginable and ultimately possible to establish the theater.  One of the only theaters built by dancers for dance, The Joyce Theater has provided an intimate and elegant New York home for more than 290 domestic and international companies.  The Joyce has also commissioned more than 130 new dances since 1992.  In 1996, The Joyce created Joyce SoHo, a dance center providing highly subsidized rehearsal and performance space to hundreds of dance artists.  The Joyce Theater now features an annual season of approximately 48 weeks with over 340 performances for

audiences in excess of 135,000.  Additionally, for the last five years The Joyce has co-produced Evening Stars as part of the River To River Festival in Battery Park.

The Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago was established in 1969 to house Columbia College Chicago’s Dance Department. Early in its history, all the diverse elements of the art were developed within The Dance Center’s program. As a complete learning center for dance, it offers a full range of activities designed to enhance and expand the quantity and quality of dance available in Chicago and the Midwest.

The Dance Center is Chicago’s leading presenter of contemporary dance. Its presenting series, established in 1974, provides Chicago audiences with opportunities to experience the diversity of contemporary dance in professional settings.

The Philadelphia Live Arts Festival is an annual 16-day performing arts Festival now in its 13th year. The Live Arts Festival features curated local, national and international experimental and contemporary performing arts events. It also plays host to the Philly Fringe, a platform which provides the opportunity for artists from any discipline, independent of a selection process, to self-produce their work. Each year, hundreds of performances take place in diverse venues: traditional theaters, private homes, warehouses and moving vehicles. The Festival maintains a commitment to Philadelphia-based artists, regularly presenting world premieres from local artists such as Headlong Dance Theater and Pig Iron Theatre.

The Festival has also grown into a leading presenter of contemporary international performance. In the past six years, the Live Arts has presented 40 internationally-based artists, including The show must go on (Jérôme Bel, France, 2008), The Convent, 2006 and The European Lesson, 2008 (Jo Strømgren, Norway); Drought and Rain Vol. 2 (Ea Sola, Vietnam, 2007), and HELL (Emio Greco | PC, Spain/The Netherlands, 2006).

On the Boards
Founded by artists in 1978, the mission of On the Boards is to introduce Northwest audiences to international innovators in contemporary dance, theater and music while developing and presenting new work by promising performing artists in the region. In the past four years alone, On the Boards has presented artists from 13 countries, hosted more than 30 world premieres and commissioned close to 24 brand new works by international and regional artists.

Through its Inter/National series On the Boards was among the first organizations in the country to present and premiere breakthrough performances by visionary, internationally recognized artists such as Laurie Anderson, Bill T. Jones, Spalding Gray, The Wooster Group, dumb type, Needcompany, Sankai Juku, Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker and many others. Similarly, through its NW Series, On the Boards has supported some of the first performances by talented regional artists like 33 Fainting Spells, Sarah Rudinoff, Maureen Whiting Company, Seattle Chamber Players, Allen Johnson, locust, and "Awesome," all of whom have gone on to build a significant national following. As the first organization to present these and other emerging artists in the Northwest, OtB plays a vital role in the regional and national cultural ecology.


Leadership support for The Joyce Theater Foundation’s 2008–2009 season has been received from the LuEsther T. Mertz Charitable Trust.

Major support for The Joyce has been provided by The Boeing Company, Carnegie Corporation of New York, Robert Sterling Clark Foundation, First Republic Bank, The Harkness Foundation for Dance, JPMorgan Chase Foundation, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, The Fan Fox and Leslie R. Samuels Foundation, The Peter Jay Sharp Foundation, The Shubert Foundation and The Starr Foundation. Additional lead support has been provided by Alphawood Foundation, Bloomberg L.P., The Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation, Industrial Color / Global Edit, William J... and Dorothy K. O’Neill Foundation and The Jerome Robbins Foundation.

Programs of The Joyce are made possible, in part, with public funds from the National Endowment for the Arts; the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency; and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.

Special support for The A.W.A.R.D. Show! at Joyce SoHo has been provided by Scott Kasen.  Additional support for Joyce SoHo has been provided by the Lila Acheson Wallace Theater Fund established in The New York Community Trust by the founders of the Reader’s Digest Association, Goldman, Sachs & Co. and Foundation for Contemporary Arts

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