You know it will be a memorable awards ceremony when the list of presenters reads like a who’s who roster of its own. Last night, Robert Barnett, Jorma Elo, Christopher Wheeldon, Damian Woetzel and Charles Reinhart presented the 2013 Dance Magazine Awards to Patricia Wilde, Mats Ek, Yuan Yuan Tan, Philip Glass and Martha Clarke, respectively. As always, there’s plenty of star-gazing to enjoy at the DM Awards. Here are the major moments of the evening:
• The performances: Patricia Wilde coached New York City Ballet’s Ashley Bouder in Wilde’s role in Square Dance, with the original entrance that “bounces you onto the stage,” she said. And Alessandra Ferri and Herman Cornejo performed Martha Clarke’s romantic new work, Chéri. I don’t want to brag, but sitting front row for Ferri’s feet was pretty special. Yes, they’ve still got it.
• The highlight reels: We were treated to two best-of compilations: clips of Mats Ek’s choreography, featuring, most notably, the extraordinary Sylvie Guillem, and clips of Tan’s most beautiful stage moments with San Francisco Ballet, including Wheeldon’s After the Rain, performed at the seaside Fire Island Dance Festival.
• The speeches: Educator and former artistic director of Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre Patricia Wilde shared stories from her NYCB days under Mr. B.; Wheeldon paid lovely tribute to Tan as a dancer and a person, citing her warmness and sense of humor, qualities few audience members typically get to appreciate.
It was Philip Glass’ acceptance speech that stuck in everyone’s minds, however. The iconic composer actually thanked the dance world for what it’s given him, flooring us all. He even shared an anecdote about taking class with Lucinda Childs’ company to sample the other side of the musical experience. Host and DM editor at large Wendy Perron summed it up nicely, commenting that Glass has given us so much to us as dancers, it’s nice to know we’ve given him something, as well. Talk about humbling.
Photos by Christopher Duggan