Dance: 2023 BESSIE AWARDS (Nominees Announced; Ceremony on June 4 at Lincoln Center’s Damrosch Park)

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by Nia Liat on May 25, 2023

in Dance,Theater-New York

The New York Dance and Performance Awards, The Bessies, New York City’s premier dance awards honoring outstanding creative work in the field, today announced the nominees for the 2023 Bessie Awards. This year’s Bessie Awards ceremony will be held on Friday, August 4, at 7:30pm, at Lincoln Center’s Damrosch Park as part of Lincoln Center’s Summer for the City. The event is free and open to the public.

Nominations are made by the Bessie Awards Selection Committee, an independent committee of dance industry professionals. With the change in the ceremony’s location this year, a new nominating time frame was established. Performances presented between June 1, 2022, and March 31, 2023, were eligible for consideration. Award categories include Outstanding Choreographer/Creator, Outstanding Performer, Outstanding Revival, Outstanding Sound Design or Music Composition, Outstanding Visual Design, and Outstanding Breakout Choreographer. Additional awards are given for Lifetime Achievement, Service to the Field of Dance, and a special Juried Award in partnership with NYS DanceForce.

“Under the auspices of Lincoln Center’s Summer for the City, The Bessies are thrilled to celebrate this year’s artists with the dance community at our first-ever free ceremony in decades,” said Bessies Executive Director Heather Robles.

The 2023 Bessie Awards Nominations

Outstanding Choreographer/Creator:

Vanessa Anspaugh
mourning after mornings
New York Live Arts

LaTasha Barnes
LaTasha Barnes presents The Jazz Continuum
The Joyce Theater

Sidra Bell
REP: Introspection

Jessica Chen
NüWa (女媧)
Arts on Site

Dormeshia Tap Collective: Rhythm Is Life
The Joyce Theater

Rennie Harris
The Joyce Theater

Deborah Hay
Horse, The Solos
The Joyce Theater

Benjamin Akio Kimitch
Tiger Hands
The Shed

Jordan Demetrius Lloyd
Blackbare in the Basement
Danspace Project

Shamel Pitts
Black Hole: Trilogy and Triathlon
New York Live Arts

Lia Rodrigues
Brooklyn Academy of Music

Omari Wiles
New York Is Burning
Guggenheim Museum Works & Process

Outstanding Performer:

Billy Barry
By Ohad Naharin
The Joyce Theater

j. bouey
A Message from Mx. Black Copper
By j. bouey
Judson Memorial Church

Amanda Castro
Bomba II
By Amanda Castro, performed for Ayodele Casel’s Chasing Magic
The Joyce Theater

Joyce Edwards
Grace, The Equality of Night and Day, and Open Door
By Ronald K. Brown
The Joyce Theater

Timothy Edwards
Mr. TOL E. RAncE
By Camille A. Brown
The Joyce Theater

Rachel Harris
Mr. Withers
By David Parsons
The Joyce Theater

Niall Jones
By Niall Jones
Performance Space New York

Albert Silindokuhle Ibokwe Khoza
And so you see… our honourable blue sky and ever
enduring sun… can only be consumed slice by slice…
By Robyn Orlin
New York Live Arts and FIAF’s Crossing the Line Festival

Maleek Washington
Mr. TOL E. RAncE
By Camille A. Brown
The Joyce Theater

Ensemble: Anand Bolder, Louise Dahl, Freddy Houndekindo, Eliott Marmouset, Adam Schütt, Johanna Tengan, Vincent Van Der Plas
Horse, The Solos
By Deborah Hay
Cullberg Ballet
The Joyce Theater

Ensemble: Bree Breeden, Wendell Gray II, José Lapaz Rodriguez, Jordan Demetrius Lloyd, Mia Martelli, Mykel Marai Nairne, Owen Prum, Kennedy Thomas
Blackbare in the Basement
By Jordan Demetrius Lloyd
Dancespace Project

Ensemble: Marielys Burgos-Meléndez, Rafael V. Cañals Pérez, Christopher “Unpezverde” Núñez
The Circle or Prophetic Dream
By Christopher “Unpezverde” Núñez
Danspace Project

Outstanding Revival:

Pina Bausch & Tanztheater Wuppertal
Água (1995/2023)
Brooklyn Academy of Music

Camille A. Brown & Dancers
Mr. TOL E. RAncE (2012/2022)
The Joyce Theater

Garth Fagan & Garth Fagan Dance
Prelude (1981/2022)
The Joyce Theater

Twyla Tharp
In the Upper Room (1986/2022)
New York City Center

Outstanding Sound Design or Musical Composition:

Roman Bestion, Fouad Boussouf, and Marion Castor

By Fouad Boussouf
The Joyce Theater

Graham Reynolds

Horse, The Solos
By Deborah Hay
Cullberg Ballet
The Joyce Theater

Evil Tracy The International Showoff and DJ Razor Ramon

Rome & Jewels
By Rennie Harris
The Joyce Theater

Charles Turner

LaTasha Barnes presents The Jazz Continuum
By LaTasha Barnes
The Joyce Theater

Outstanding Visual Design:

Isabela Dos Santos (Animation)

Mr. TOL E. RAncE
By Camille A. Brown
The Joyce Theater

Sarai Frazier (Lighting)

all things under dog, where two things are always true
By Monica Mirabile
Performance Space New York

Zane Pihlström (Costume and Stage Design)

Company XIV: Seven Sins
By Company XIV
Theatre XIV

Tina Tzoka and Loukas Bakas (Set Design), Stephanos Droussiotis (Lighting Design), Nektarios Dionysatos (Props) Dimitris Korres (Mechanical Inventions)

Transverse Orientation
By Dimitris Papaioannou
Brooklyn Academy of Music

Outstanding Breakout Choreographer:

Bryan and Shaina Baira of BAIRA
Symara Johnson
Soles of Duende: Amanda Castro, Brinda Guha, Arielle Rosales
marion spencer


The New York Dance and Performance Awards have saluted outstanding and groundbreaking creative work in the dance field in New York City for 39 years. Known as “The Bessies” in honor of revered dance teacher Bessie Schönberg, the awards were established in 1984 by David R. White at Dance Theater Workshop. They recognize choreography, performance, music composition,  visual design, legacy, and service to the field of dance by independent dance artists and organizations. Nominees are chosen by a selection committee composed of artists, presenters, producers, and writers. All those working in the dance field are invited to join the Bessies Membership and participate in annual discussions on the direction of the awards and nominate members to serve on the selection committee. For more information about The Bessies, visit

The 2022–2023 Bessie Awards Selection Committee: Tyler Ashley, Elizabeth Burke, Tymberly Canale, Yoshiko Chuma, Donna Costello, Porshia A. Derival, Tiffany Geigel, Valerie Green, Satsu Holmes, William Isaac, Anabella Lenzu, Gian Marco Riccardo Lo Forte, Shalewa Mackall, Yoko Murakami, Ivan Talijančić, and Kate Thomas.

The Bessies Steering Committee: Paz Tanjuaquio (chair), Yvonne H. Chow, Stanford Makishi, maura nguyễn donohue, Nicky Paraiso, Craig Peterson, Tiffany Rea-Fisher, george emilio sanchez, and Charmaine Warren.

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