Here Are All the Princess Grace Award Winners

Jacqulin Harris - photo: Andrew Eccles

The Princess Grace Awards is one of the most important awards a dancer can receive. Princess Grace of Monaco spent much of her life supporting emerging artists. After her death in 1982, Prince Rainier of Monaco put together a group of people to create a set of awards in her honor, and the tradition still continues today.

In 35 years, the Princess Grace Foundation has awarded over 800 theater, dance, and film artists. Previous dance winners include Talli Jackson, Isabella Boylston, Robert Battle, Tiler Peck, and David Hallberg.

This week, the Foundation announced their winners for 2017. They are:

DANCE

Jacqulin Harris
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater

Mikaela Kelly
Julliard School of Dance

Miriam Miller
New York City Ballet

Gian Carlo Perez
The Washington Ballet

Lyvan Verdecia
Ballet Hispanico of New York

CHOREOGRAPHY

Bryan Arias
Charlotte Ballet

Gemma Bond
The Washington Ballet

Raja Feather Kelly
Ririe-Woodbury

If you're interested in applying for the 2018 grant cycle, visit their website

photo: Jacqulin Harris, credit: Andrew Eccles

NEA Funding Update: All is Not Lost

NEA Funding Update: All is Not Lost

We've got some good news for your Monday, pluggers!

The past March, President Trump proposed completely eliminating the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities. These two agencies provide much needed funding and support to organizations all over the country.

And just when it seemed as if there was no chance for survival, there's a light at the end of the tunnel! The House Committee has approved a budget that includes $145 million for each organization. Next, the proposal will move to the full House, who will vote on the bill (probably as a part of a larger bill that may include other proposals such as the environment appropriations bill).

It's a small victory for the arts, but a victory nonetheless! Don't forget to write to your Senators and Representatives and tell them how important the NEA is to you.

David Hallberg Will Release a Memoir This Fall

David Hallberg Will Release a Memoir This Fall

American Ballet Theater and Bolshoi Ballet principal dancer David Hallberg has announced that he will release a memoir in the fall about his life and experiences as a dancer. The book, called 'A Body of Work: Dancing to the Edge and Back,' will be published by Touchstone/Simon & Schuster and released on November 7th.

Hallberg has had a tough few years. After an ankle injury in 2014, he was forced to take over 2 years off from dancing. He spent much of his recovery time at The Australian Ballet, going through physical therapy and conditioning his body. Hallberg began performing again at the end of 2016.

Hallberg made the following statement on his website:

“I am thrilled to share the announcement of my book A Body of Work: Dancing to the Edge and Back… For the past several years, I have been writing about my career and experience performing on some of the most amazing stages in the world, but the true impetus for the book came when I suffered my injury three years ago. It was then that I decided to open up and write about what I was going through during that struggle to return to my art form.”

You can now preorder 'A Body of Work' on Amazon.

Ohad Naharin Will No Longer Direct Batsheva Dance

Ohad Naharin and the company - photo: Michal Chelbin

Last week Ohad Naharin, famed Israeli choreographer and Artistic Director of the Batsheva Dance Company, announced that he will be stepping down from the role in September of 2018. Naharin, who has led the company since 1990, will be replaced by the current rehearsal director (and former Batsheva dancer) Gili Navot.

He's certainly not the first dance director to take a step like this. In 1999, Jiri Kylian gave up his position as artistic director of Nederlands Dans Theatre. More recently, in 2008 Alexei Ratmansky left his position as artistic director of the Bolshoi and moved to American Ballet Theater to focus on choreography.

Naharin has become world-renowned for not only his leadership of the company and choreography, but for his development of the movement language 'Gaga', which he began on his Batsheva dancers and is now taught around the world. Naharin has stated that this new shift will allow him more time and energy to devote to choreographing and further refining the Gaga technique.

Naharin will still remain involved in the company, continuing as resident choreographer.

photo: Michal Chelbin