Skip to content

otb: a.w.a.r.d. show 2009 starts on thursday

image from On the Boards website
By Rosie Gaynor

Take a tour of the NW contemporary dance scene…as represented by the 12 choreographers chosen by a national panel to present their work at On the Boards. Tickets are $15 each night…$10 each if you buy one for each night.

Each night? There are three nights…each with four 15-minute performances and a chance for the audience to vote for their favorite piece. And on the fourth night? Three lucky troupes return to the stage for the chance to win $10,000 (to be used toward creation of a new dance work).

Seattle is one of four cities to participate in this program, which is administered by the Joyce Theater in New York. The other three are New York, Chicago, and Philadelphia. (Seattle prizes are sponsored by Boeing.)

Here’s the line-up:
Dec 10: Whim W’Him (Olivier Wevers), LAUNCH Dance Theater (Ricki Mason), Deborah Wolf, Coriolis Dance Collective (Hannah Lagerway)

Dec 11: Catherine Cabeen, SD Prism Dance Theatre (Sonia Dawkins), Scott/Powell Performance,
Shannon Mockli

Dec 12: Lingo Dance Theater (KT Neihoff), Amelia Reeber, DASSdance (Daniel Wilkins), Lauren Edson

I’ve copied the press releases verbatim from On the Boards and Joyce Theater below in case you want more info.

“MEDIA ALERT DATE – Oct 21, 2009

Lineup announced for $10,000 performance competition
The A.W.A.R.D. Show!
Thu – Sun | Dec 10 – 13, 2009 | 8pm | $15

(Seattle) – Presented in partnership with NYC’s the Joyce Theater, On the Boards (OtB) will showcase 12 NW region choreographers while giving one of them the chance to win a $10,000 prize. Over 3 nights, 12 artists chosen by a national panel will present short, 15 minute performances. Audiences will have the chance to vote on their favorites each evening and, on the fourth night, the top 3 artists according to audience votes will perform one last time. A panel of OtB’s national peers will select one company to receive the grand prize while also awarding the 2 runners $1,000 apiece.

(bios for each artist/company can be found on pages 2 – 5)

Thu | Dec 10
Whim W’Him (Olivier Wevers)
LAUNCH Dance Theater (Ricki Mason)
Deborah Wolf
Coriolis Dance Collective (Hannah Lagerway)

Fri | Dec 11
Catherine Cabeen
SD Prism Dance Theatre (Sonia Dawkins)
Scott/Powell Performance
Shannon Mockli

Sat | Dec 12
Lingo Dance Theater (KT Neihoff)
Amelia Reeber
DASSdance (Daniel Wilkins)
Lauren Edson

The A.W.A.R.D. Show! has been produced and performed at the Joyce Theater for the past 4 years. The 2009 productions and awards in Chicago, Philadelphia and Seattle are made possible by a generous grant from The Boeing Company. More detailed information regarding the format of each evening will be sent out in early November.

Tickets for The A.W.A.R.D. Show!
General Admission $15 | Multiple show discount tickets $10
On the Boards Box Office
206.217.9888 | | 100 West Roy Street, Seattle, WA 98119

THU | DEC 10

Olivier Wevers is from Brussels, Belgium, he trained with Nicole Karys, a former dancer with Bejart’s Ballet du XXieme Siecle. He was a Principal at Royal Winnipeg Ballet, and joined the Pacific Northwest Ballet in 1997 where he is a Principal Dancer.

In 2009, Mr. Wevers launched his own company, Whim W’Him, in order to develop and expand his own choreographic horizons. He has choreographed works for numerous companies in Canada, Japan, and the United States, including: Pacific Northwest Ballet, the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Spectrum Dance Theatre and Seattle Dance Project. In January 2010, the world premiere of Wevers’ first piece with Whim W’Him will take place at On the Boards. Wevers has been selected to participate in this year’s National Choreographic Initiative, and In 2008, Mr. Wevers was the recipient of the Artist Trust/ Washington State Arts Commission Fellowship Award, recognizing his work, Shindig. In 2006, he was selected and participated in the prestigious New York Choreographic Institute.

Ricki Mason has been working in Seattle as LAUNCH dance theater since 2003. Her work has been presented by On the Boards, Velocity Dance Center, Bumbershoot, and Century Ballroom. LAUNCH has been funded by 4Culture, the Bossak Heilbron Charitable Foundation, and the Open Flight Flight Deck Residency. Favorite commissions include The Yard on Martha’s Vineyard and The Bridge Project. In addition to choreographing contemporary dance works, Ricki performs as Lou Henry Hoover in Seattle cabaret venues, and directs The Launchettes, Century Ballroom’s resident chorus girl troupe. Currently Ricki teaches ballet at Velocity Dance Center and social dance for queer and non-homophobic people at Century Ballroom. She holds a BFA in Dance from the University of Michigan.

Deborah Wolf began her professional career with the SUNY/Brockport Company in Residence, where she also earned her BA in Dance. She then joined Concert Dance Company of Boston (CDC), New England’s premiere repertory company, performing works by over 50 choreographers including Merce Cunningham, David Gordon, Wendy Perron, Bebe Miller, and Mark Morris. She became CDC’s Resident Choreographer, and Artistic Director. She received a Mass. Artist Foundation Fellowship plus seven Finalist Awards in choreography, and grants from NEA, Boston and Somerville Arts Councils, and Seattle’s Artist Trust.

She’s choreographed for Boston Ballet, Boston Symphony Youth Concerts, and numerous companies in New England and Seattle. Her work has been produced by CDC, WolfWorks, Dance Umbrella, Boston Dances, Jacob’s Pillow, New England Choreographers’ Showcase, and in the Northwest by Velocity’s Strictly Seattle and Under Construction, Rockhopper’s On the Side, Dance On Capitol Hill’s Choreofest and Intimate Works, Men in Dance, Composer/Choreographer #6, Lehua Dance Theater, Evoke Productions, Bellingham Repertory Dance Company, and On the Boards’ 12 Min Max Mainstage and NW New Works.

Coriolis Dance Collective was formed in 2008 by Natascha Greenwalt-Murphy and Christin Call as a gathering place for artists of all disciplines to create new, highly collaborative works. Choreographers such as Hannah Lagerway, Selfick Ng-Simancas, Wade Madsen, and Jason Ohlberg have collaborated with artists Ryan Soper, Carla Korbes, Liise Wyatt, and Adam Rapa for its first repertory performance “Co-LAB 1”, which premiered in May of 2009. Coriolis has been presented by the Chop Shop Festival at Meydenbauer Theatre in Bellevue, WA and Whitman College in Walla Walla, WA. Hannah Lagerway received her BFA from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas and her Graduate Diploma from the Laban center in London, England . She has performed in 10 different countries with Company Flak, Compagnie Cas Public and Transitions Dance Company among others. Hannah has had her own choreography performed in the US , Canada, England and Japan. She is a Principal Artist at Spectrum Dance Theater.

FRI | DEC 11

Catherine Cabeen was a member of the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company from 1998-2005. She was then Assistant Choreographer to Bill T. Jones for his original work on Spring Awakening with the Atlantic Theater. Cabeen is also a former member of the Martha Graham Dance Company and Pearl Lang Dance Theater. She is currently a member of Richard Move’s MoveOpolis! and will comple her MFA at the University of Washington in Seattle June 13, 2009. Cabeen’s choreography has been performed in New York, Philadelphia, Miami, Santa Fe, Bellingham, and Seattle. She has performed her solo work in New York, at Wow Café Theater, La Mama, Aaron Davis Hall, and the 92nd St Y. While in Seattle Cabeen’s choreography has been presented at On the Boards, Broadway Performance Hall, and Meany Studio Theater . Cabeen can be seen performing with BTJ/AZ on the PBS Documentary Free to Dance. She is a featured artist in Gigi Berardi’s book on dance, Finding Balance.

Sonia Dawkins/Prism Dance Theatre is a contemporary, multicultural dance company established/directed by Sonia Dawkins. This multicultural dance company continuously explores the new ways of artistically expressing the beauty of diversity and movement. SD /Prism Dance Theatre strives to enlighten and inspire audiences, educate the community about the many forms of dance, and teach the next generation to perform and appreciate this vital art form.

Sonia Dawkins’s work is inspired by a curiosity about the cultural dimensions of dance, and expresses the artistic, social, and political dimensions of human experience. I am committed to developing a distinct choreography that expands the parameters of modern/contemporary dance as most people know it. I do this by helping the dancers recognize and connect with the spiritual and aesthetic energies of different cultural dance movements. The outcome is the intense expression of form and feeling. Thus, our audiences are better able to think, feel, learn and enjoy the experience along with us.

Scott/Powell Performance. Northwest choreographer Molly Scott has been collaborating with nationally-renowned composer Jarrad Powell for over 14-years. Scott/Powell Performance has been presented through On the Boards, Dance Theater Workshop/NYC, Portland Institute of Contemporary Art T:BA Festival, Western Washington University, Pacific Northwest Ballet/Celebrate Seattle Festival, Myrna Loy Center/Helena Presents, The Southern Theater/Minneapolis, American College Dance Festival, Bumbershoot Festival, Velocity Dance Center, and Composer/Choreographer. Projects of the Company have received funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, National Performance Network/Creation Fund, Paul G. Allen Family Foundation, Artist Trust, 4Culture, Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs/City of Seattle, and the Washington Composers Forum. The Company has been awarded three creative residencies at Centrum in Port Townsend, WA. Scott/Powell Performance was a 2008 SCUBA Touring Program Company.

Shannon Mockli is currently on the dance faculty at the University of Oregon where she teaches modern dance technique, composition, theory, and ballet. She received her M.F.A. and the L. Scott Marsh Mentorship Award from the University of Utah’s Department of Modern Dance in 2008. Shannon has danced with a wide variety of choreographers such as Stephen Koester, Satu Hummasti, Eric Handman, Pamela Geber, Harry Mavromacalis of Dance Anonymous, Doug Elkins, and Tandy Beale. She has performed at the La Mama Theater in New York City, White Wave Dance Festival in Brooklyn, New York Dance Alliance 50th Anniversary, Northwest ACDFA 2006-2008, and at the Rose Wagner Performing Arts Theater in Salt Lake City,

Along with dance, Shannon has professionally developed her skills as a videographer, editor and teacher of dance media. She has served as a videographer and editor for Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival Summer 2004 and Bate’s Dance Festival 2005. Shannon has continued to develop her video skills by working with an independent video production company in Salt Lake City, the University of Utah Modern Dance Audio/Video Department, and as an independent videographer. In spring 2006, she directed the University of Utah’s International Student Dance Film Competition. Most recently she served as a videographer and stead cam operator for Victoria Marks and Ellen Bromberg.

SAT | DEC 12

KT Niehoff was Seattle Magazine’s 2007 dance artist of the Year. She was also featured in Dance Magazine’s April, ’08 issue, “International Women in Dance”. She is a 2001 Seattle Artist Trust Fellow and a 2006 Fellow of the Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography (MANCC). In 1998, KT created Lingo, a roving band of artists, brave hearts and lunatics, which has since been the major platform for her work. Lingo has been presented in Canada, Germany, Japan, Ecuador, and Cuba, and throughout the U.S. including On the Boards (Seattle), SUSHI (San Diego), Joyce SoHo (NYC), Alverno Presents (Milwaukee), The Southern Theater (Minneapolis) and others. Lingo’s artistic integrity has been recognized by The NEA, The National Dance Project, The National Performance Network and Arts International. Most recently, KT implemented her one on one urban “dance gift” called The Lift at Seattle’s historic Pike Street Market and has just finished shooting her first film short titled Parts Don’t Work.

Amelia Reeber is a solo performing artist and choreographer living in Seattle, Washington. She has created many small scale works and improvisations that reflect her interests in time, the narrative of the body, and their relationship to space, landscape, and imagination. She was a founding member of Foot In Mouth, a choreographer/composer collaboration 2002-2005, which was presented in the Northwest Artist Series at On The Boards in 2005. Throughout the years, Amelia has collaborated with and performed for many artists. In 2005, she toured Vivian Girls with the Pat Graney Company. Amelia has also performed 4 of Deborah Hay’s works: Music, Beauty, Mountain, and If I Sing To You (commisioned by the William Forsythe Company, toured internationally 2008-09). Amelia’s work has been supported through grants and residencies, by many organizations in the state of Washington. She was a recipient of the Artist Trust Fellowship in 2006.

Daniel Wilkins formed danielandsomesuperfriends (DASSdance) in 1996, with the intention to push the athletic and architectural limits of dance through the signature All-Terrain style. Formally incorporated with the State of New York as a 501 (c)(3) in 2000, DASS took up residency at Diane von Furstenburg-The Theater and created a sensation in the fashion industry. In 2004, DASS transitioned into a bi-coastal company with primary residence in Seattle. DASS’ seven full-length All-Terrain productions to date have traversed multiple artistic mediums. Visual art, video and photographic projection interact with technologically innovative set and lighting design as well as fashion forward costume design and dynamic, viseeral choreography that juxtaposes a variety of techniques from diverse cultural backgrounds and modes of movement including balletic lines, modern release, martial arts, break dancing, tumbling and wrestling.

Lauren Edson received her early training from Westside Dance Academy and Ballet Idaho. She continued her formal studies at North Carolina School of the Arts and The Juilliard School, under the direction of the late Benjamin Harkarvy. Her professional experiences include: Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Lane Hunter {dance}, The Portland Opera, Ballet Idaho, and Idaho Dance Theatre. She has received grants from the Regional Arts and Culture Council to perform her work and her choreography has been featured at the American Dance Guild Festival in NY, Conduit: Charged, Idaho Dance Theatre, AWOL, Regional Dance America, Ten Tiny Dances, NW Fusion Dance Company, Portland State University, Balance Dance Company and DROP Dance Collective, to name a few. She most recently won NWPDP’s choreography competition the “Pretty Creatives” and will be choreographing for its summer intensive.”

[and a press release from the Joyce Theater]
“The Joyce Theater Foundation
in association with
The Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago
Philadelphia Live Arts Festival
On the Boards (Seattle)

Announces 48 Participants in

The A.W.A.R.D. Show! 2009
Artists With Audiences Responding to Dance

Twelve Choreographers Selected to Participate in Each City: New York City, Chicago, Philadelphia and Seattle

The Joyce Theater Foundation, in association with The Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago, Philadelphia Live Arts Festival and On the Boards (Seattle), is pleased to announce the 12 choreographers in each of the four cities who will participate in The A.W.A.R.D Show! 2009. The 48 participants were selected from a total of 218 applicants from across the country; one from each city will take home a $10,000 award to use toward the creation of a new dance work.

A national panel of distinguished dance experts evaluated the applications for The A.W.A.R.D. Show! series taking place in Chicago, Philadelphia and Seattle. The panelists included Martin Wechsler, Director of Programming of The Joyce Theater Foundation; Phil Reynolds, Executive Director of the Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago; Nick Stuccio, Producing Director of the Philadelphia Live Arts Festival; and Lane Czaplinski, Artistic Director of On the Boards. Each applicant was evaluated according to the P.O.E.M. criteria: Potential, Originality, Execution and Merit.

The applicants for The A.W.A.R.D. Show! series taking place in New York City at Joyce SoHo were also evaluated according to the P.O.E.M. criteria by a group of thirteen panelists that included dance artists, arts administrators and dance enthusiasts.

The 12 participants in each city are:

New York City
• Vanessa Justice—Vanessa Justice Dance
• Sidra Bell—Sidra Bell Dance New York
• Shannon Gillian & Elisabeth Motley—DOORKNOB COMPANY
• Andrea Miller—Gallim Dance
• Makiko Tamura—small apple co.
• Isabel Gotzkowsky—Isabel Gotzkowsky and Friends
• Anthony Whitehurst
• Vershawn Sanders—Red Clay Dance Company
• Ximena Garnica—Garnica LEIMAY
• Monica Bill Barnes—Monica Bill Barnes & Company
• Emery Le Crone
• Tami Stronach—Tami Stronach Dance

• Francisco Aviña
• Rachel Bunting—The Humans
• Archana Kumar
• Julia Rhoads—Lucky Plush Productions
• Lisa Gonzales and Darrell Jones
• Lizzie MacKenzie—Nomi Lamad Dance Company
• Enid Smith—Enid Smith Dance
• Jessica Miller Tomlinson
• Allyson Esposito and Megan Schneeberger—The Space/Movement Project
• Carrie Hanson—The Seldoms
• Molly Shanahan—Molly Shanahan/Mad Shak
• Joel Valentin-Martinez

• Nichole Canuso—Nichole Canuso Dance Company
• Devynn Emory—Devynn Emory/Beast Productions
• Kristen Kaschock
• Braham Logan Crane
• Megan Mazarick
• Jen McGinn
• Jumatatu Poe—Idiosyncrazy Productions
• Gabrielle Revlock
• Jenn Rose
• Zornitsa Stoyanova—Here[begin] Dance Co.
• Kathryn TeBordo—Workshop for Potential Movement
• Kate Watson-Wallace—anonymous bodies

• Catherine Cabeen
• Sonia Dawkins—SD Prism Dance Theatre
• Lauren Edson
• Hannah Lagerway—Coriolis Dance Collective
• Ricki Mason—LAUNCH dance theater
• Shannon Mockli
• KT Niehoff—Lingo
• Amelia Reeber
• Molly Scott—Scott/Powell Performance
• Olivier Wevers—Whim W’Him
• Daniel Wilkins—DASSdance
• Deborah Wolf

Each series of The A.W.A.R.D. Show! will present the work of the 12 promising contemporary choreographers selected over four nights of performances. Three preliminary evenings will feature the work of four choreographers per night. Each dance piece will be 15 minutes or less 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. Awards in Chicago, Philadelphia and Seattle have been generously underwritten by The Boeing Company. The awards in New York City have been generously underwritten by Scott Kasan.

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 18, 2009

3) Philadelphia Live Arts Festival:
Performances September 15–17 and 19, 2009 at 8pm
Arts Bank at the University of the Arts
601 S. Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA
Preliminary Performance Tickets: $25; Final Performance Tickets: $30
Discounts available for multiple ticket buyers
Advance tickets available May 2009: or call 215-413-1318

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 four first-place winners and the eight runners-up of The A.W.A.R.D. Show! 2009 will report back on their progress in creating new work with the prize money that they receive, and when performances of the work are scheduled, they will be advertised on The Joyce Theater website and 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 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.

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

The A.W.A.R.D. Show! was founded in 2006 by Neta Pulvermacher/Neta Dance Company with original co-production by Marisa König Beatty.

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 Company.

The Festival has also grown into a leading presenter of contemporary international performance. In the past six years, the Live Arts Festival has presented work from 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).

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. “