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Horton Awards 2011

May 23, 2011

The Lester Horton Dance Awards are a local recognition presented by the Dance Resource Center of Los Angeles to acknowledge the impact and craft of dancers, dance companies and others in the dance community. This year’s award ceremony brought together many talents from the vibrant LA dance community and highlighted their contributions.

C. Derrick Jones & Nehara Kalev - 2011 Horton Awards

The following are the award winners for this year:

• Outstanding Achievement in Performance – Company
Helios Dance Theater, “Beautiful Monsters,” Laura Gorenstein Miller

• Outstanding Achievement in Performance – Male
Bradley Beakes, “Always Remember Never Forget,” Visions Dance Theatre, Macarena Granadillas

• Outstanding Achievement in Performance – Female
Drea Sobke, “Gods and Marionettes,” LA Contemporary Dance Company

• Outstanding Achievement in Performance – Small Ensemble (Duets/Trios/Quartets)
C. Derrick Jones & Nehara Kalev, “IRON,” Catch Me Bird

• Outstanding Achievement in Choreography – Long Form (more than 15 minutes)
Barak Marshal, “Rooster”

• Outstanding Achievement in Choreography – Short Form (less than 15 minutes)
Nate Hodges, “Flowers That Pick Themselves,” RhetOracle Dance Company*

• Outstanding Achievement in Costume Design
Kharen Zuenet, “WreckTangle,” Invertigo Dance Theatre

• Outstanding Achievement in Music for Dance
String Theory (composed by Toby Karlin, Najeeb Sabour, Luke Rothschild, Holly Rothschild, Joseph Harvey, Danny Moynahan), “Wrecktangle,” Invertigo Dance Theatre

• Outstanding Achievement in Set Design
Chris Kuhl, “Tov,” Rosanna Gamson Worldwide

• Outstanding Achievement in Lighting Design
Monique L’Heureux, “Hammerklavier,” Raiford Rogers Modern Ballet

• Outstanding Production of a Festival or Series
Pasadena Dance Festival, produced by Lineage Dance Company, Hilary Thomas

• Outstanding Achievement in World Dance
Malathi Iyanger, “Shivaya,” Rangoli Dance Company

*Presented at Celebrate Dance 2010 (nominated for Outstanding Production of a Festival or Series)

In addition, to the amazing dancers and industry professionals whose achievements were noted above, four industry recognition awards for excellence were given.

• Furthering the Visibility of Dance
Fred Strickler: Mr. Fred Strickler is a virtuoso tap dance artist acclaimed by audiences and critics alike for his originality and musicality and has presented his work in 17 countries.Fred was a co-founder of the seminal Jazz Tap Ensemble, touring throughout the USA and in Europe. The JTE also toured in Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and The Philippines, serving as cultural ambassadors under the sponsorship of the US Information Agency. He was a co-founder of the modern dance group, Eyes Wide Open Dance Theatre, was a dancer-choreographer with the Bella Lewitzky Dance Company and a dancer/choreographer with Rhapsody in Taps.Since 1983, Fred has performed his choreographic version of the “Tap Dance Concerto” with more than 40 orchestras. An active choreographer, Strickler has created dances for tap, modern and ballet companies.Currently, Mr. Strickler directs his own group, Fred Strickler & Friends, and conceived and produced Masters of American Tap Dance, a series of ten-minute master lessons with 37 of America’s best tap artists/teachers and has also begun his own series of 20 instructional videos, “Tap Teasers”, for YouTube. Mr. Stickler is a Distinguished Professor Emeritus at U.C. Riverside, where he taught from 1967-2007.

• Excellence in Teaching
Bando Mitsusa: Bando Mitsusa ‘s dancing career spans over 72 years. She opened her first studio in Los Angeles in 1938, shortly before the outbreak of World War II. In 1957 Mme. Bando was appointed as the official American representative of the Bando School. She was the first to be given such recognition in this country by any of the leading dance masters of Japan. Mme. Bando’s early credits of demonstration and participation include nationally televised half-time performance for the L. A. Lakers, Disneyland’s Holiday Festival, International Day Festival at the International Institute and the Opening Ceremonies for the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles. Mme. Bando has received commendations from the City and County of Los Angeles as well as the State of California and was awarded the Cultural Heritage Award by the Japanese American Historical Society of Southern California.

• Service to Our Dance Community
Melanie Rios Glasner, The Wooden Floor: Founded in 1983 by Beth Burns, The Wooden Floor, previously known as Saint Joseph Ballet, is a nonprofit organization that offers hope and opportunity to low-income youth in Orange County, California. Through Dance, The Wooden Floor provides approximately 50 dance classes each week to nearly 400 students, produces an annual, professional quality performances, reaches nearly 3,000 young people through DanceFree Weeks, a week long Community Outreach Program, provides 2,500 hours of academic tutoring to more than 200 students and helps prepare 150 students for the college application process in addition to providing college scholarship awards to alumni at The Wooden Floor enrolled in college. The Wooden Floor also helps their families with access to counseling and community resources, provides one-on-one youth counseling, offers workshops to more than 500 parents on topics such as nutrition, parenting and financial management, and enriches hundreds of youth through field trips to cultural and sporting events as well as local businesses and college campuses.

• Lifetime Achievement Award
Inesita:Inesita was born in New York City and grew up in a musical family. Dance studies took her to Mexico and to Spain where she learned flamenco and all aspects of Spanish dance. Inesita performed in London, Paris, New York, Mexico City, Valletta, Malta, and in communities and colleges from coast to coast. In addition to solo performances, she also gave lectures and workshops. Inesita also appeared in films alongside Bob Hope, Tony Martin, Arlene Dahl, and Rosemary Clooney. Her discovery of the connection between Scarlatti and the Spanish dance has led her to choreograph a program of traditional Spanish dances to the sonatas of Domenico Scarlatti.

The Dance Resource Center (DRC) of Los Angeles, the sponsoring body of these awards, provides an array of services to dance companies and organizations in Los Angeles County. Members of the organization get assistance with marketing, funding, rehearsal spaces and other resources to help them thrive.

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