The Isadora Duncan Dance Awards, known locally as the Izzies, are awarded annually to acknowledge exceptional creative achievements in the performance and presentation of dance. This year the Isadora Duncan Dance Awards Committee will celebrate 33 years of honoring local dance artists by acknowledging their outstanding achievements in dance.
Awards are given in nine categories to honor the dancers, choreographers, designers, composers, dance companies, dance scholars and other individuals who have made important contributions to the San Francisco Bay Area’s thriving dance community.
During each 12-month performance cycle, running September 1-August 31, the volunteer Izzies Committee collectively views over 400 eligible performances. The final nominees and honorees are selected at an annual voting meeting held in September after the close of the viewing cycle.
The winners will be honored at an awards ceremony to be held in the spring of 2019. This event will be free and open to the public. The following is a list of Nominees and Honorees by awards category.
Outstanding Achievement in Choreography
Christine Chung, Alex Nana-Sinkam, Nina Wu, Julie Ni, Daniel Cancel, Isa Musni, and Tanya Gonzalez Rivera, I, Too, Sing America, Bay Area Theater Company, Buriel Clay Theatre, San Francisco
Christopher Wheeldon, Bound To, San Francisco Ballet, War Memorial Opera House, San Francisco
David Dawson, Anima Animus, San Francisco Ballet, War Memorial Opera House, San Francisco
Jyothi Lakkaraju, Ananda Narthana Ganapathi, SF Ethnic Dance Festival, War Memorial Opera House, San Francisco
Keith Hennessy, Sink, Circo Zero, Joe Goode Annex, San Francisco
Trey McIntyre, Your Flesh Shall Be A Great Poem, San Francisco Ballet, War Memorial Opera House, San Francisco
Outstanding Achievement in Performance – Individual
Crystaldawn Bell, XO: eXquisite Orientation, choreographed by Randee Paufve, Paufve Dance, Joe Goode Annex, San Francisco
Giordan Cruz, existence, choreographed by Dazaun Soleyn, dazaun.dance, Dance Mission Theater, San Francisco
Mathilde Froustey, Sleeping Beauty, choreographed by Helgi Tomasson after Marius Petipa, San Francisco Ballet, War Memorial Opera House, San Francisco
Hien Huynh, Within These Walls, choreographed by Lenora Lee and dancers, Lenora Lee Dance, Angel Island Immigration Station, San Francisco
Frankie Lee Peterson III, helmet of salvation, The Black Choreographers Dance Festival: 2018, Laney College Theater, Oakland
Outstanding Achievement in Performance – Ensemble
Isaiah Bindel and Erik Debono, Floating in Mid-Air, choreographed by Gregory Dawson, dawsondancesf, YBCA Theater, San Francisco
Melecio Estrella, Ben Juodvalkis, and Andrew Ward, Manimal Suite, choreographed by Fog Beast, Fact/SF Summer Dance Festival, Joe Goode Annex, San Francisco
Hien Huynh, Zoe Klein, Andrey Pfening, Jeremy Vik, and Xedex, Born, Never Asked, choreographed by Zoe Klein, Dance Mission Theater, San Francisco
Miriam, Andy, and Frida Wolodarski Lundberg, The Dad Joke at the End of the World (part of Dance Lovers 7), choreographed by Miriam and Andy Wolodarski, CounterPulse Theater, San Francisco
Xochitl Sosa and Caroline Wright, Unravel, choreographed by Xochitl Sosa and Caroline Wright with input from Sarah Poole, San Francisco Aerial Arts Festival, Cowell Theater, San Francisco
Outstanding Achievement in Performance – Company
Alleluia Panis’ Diasporic Futurism Dance-Media Project, Incarcerated 6×9, choreographed by Alleluia Panis, Bindlestiff Studio, San Francisco
Margaret Jenkins Dance Company, Skies Falling/Skies Calling, choreographed by Margaret Jenkins, Wilsey Center, Veterans Building, San Francisco
OngDance Company, excerpts from Salt Doll (Dance of Flowers; Dance of Life) (SF Ethnic Dance Festival), choreographed by Kyoungil Ong, War Memorial Opera House, San Francisco
San Francisco Ballet, entire Unbound: A Festival of New Works, War Memorial Opera House, San Francisco
Sean Dorsey Dance, Boys in Trouble, choreographed by Sean Dorsey, Z Space, San Francisco
Outstanding Achievement in Music/Sound/Text
Michelle Carter (libretto), Janet Kutulas (music/lyrics), Erika Chong Shuch (direction), and Kitka Vocal Ensemble, Iron Shoes, choreographed by Erika Chong Shuch, Shotgun Players, Ashby Stage, Berkeley
Sean Dorsey (text), Boys in Trouble, choreographed by Sean Dorsey, Sean Dorsey Dance, Z Space, San Francisco
Zakir Hussein and Sabir Khan (music and performance), Sutra, choreographed by Alonzo King, Alonzo King LINES Ballet, YBCA Theater, San Francisco
Othello Jefferson (music direction), I, Too, Sing, America, choreographed by Christine Chung, Alex Nana-Sinkam, Nina Wu, Julie Ni, Daniel Cancel, Isa Musni, and Tanya Gonzalez Rivera, Bay Area Theater Company, Buriel Clay Theatre, San Francisco
Outstanding Achievement in Visual Design
June Arellano (costume) and Wilfred Galila (media art), Incarcerated 6×9, choreographed by Alleluia Panis, Alleluia Panis’ Diasporic Futurism Dance-Media Project, Bindlestiff Studio, San Francisco
Byb Chanel Bibene (set/costume) and Del Medoff (lighting), Nkisi Nkondi: Sacred Kongo Sculpture, choreographed by Byb Chanel Bibene, Kiandanda Dance Theater, ODC Theater, San Francisco
Christine Crook and Alice Ruiz (costumes), Kal Domici (Moonhead design), Haleigh Park Dulce (set/props), Ray Oppenheimer (lighting), Darl Andrew Packard (video content), and Wolfgang Lancelot Wachalovsky (projection design), In Event of Moon Disaster, created by ?Stephanie DeMott, Erin Mei-Ling Stuart, Isa Musni, Nayeli Rodriguez, Soren Santos, and Don Wood, Mugwumpin, Z Below, San Francisco
Sheldon B. Smith (set/video design), Six Degrees of Freedom, created by Sheldon B. Smith and Lisa Wymore, Smith-Wymore Disappearing Acts, ODC Theater, San Francisco
amara tabor-smith, House/Full of BlackWomen: episode 12: passing/through/the great middle, co-created by Amara Tabor-Smith and Ellen Sebastian Chang in collaboration with the performers, Live Arts in Resistance, EastSide Cultural Center, Oakland
Outstanding Achievement in Restaging / Revival / Reconstruction
Jean-Pierre Frohlich and Isabelle Guerin, revival of Fancy Free (1944)/The Cage (1951)/Other Dances (1976), choreographed by Jerome Robbins, San Francisco Ballet, War Memorial Opera House, San Francisco
Joanna Haigood, revival of The View from Here (2002), directed by Joanna Haigood, Zaccho Dance Theatre, Zaccho Studio, San Francisco
Special Achievement Award for Outstanding Production Honoree
Within These Walls, concept/production/direction: Lenora Lee, Lenora Lee Dance, Angel Island Immigration Station, San Francisco, for telling the story of the immigrants that passed through Angel Island and remembering the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act. Staged at the former immigration station on the island, the work reflects the strength and trauma of those historically detained at the station via site-specific dance, video projection, and original music.
Special Achievement Award Honoree
San Francisco Ballet, for Unbound: A Festival of New Works, War Memorial Opera House, San Francisco, for an unprecedented festival of contemporary ballets by 12 globally-acclaimed choreographers. Along with films, behind-the-scenes interviews, rehearsal footage, and talks and lectures about the creative process, the festival brought contemporary ballet into the international spotlight by bringing dancers, critics, and dance aficionados together.
Sustained Achievement Award Honorees
AXIS Dance Company, for 30 years of innovative artistry, sustained community engagement, and steadfast local and international advocacy for dancers of all ages and abilities. AXIS led the charge to create inclusive movement spaces, and continues to provide opportunities for community empowerment in the Bay Area and beyond.
Carnaval San Francisco, for celebrating the diverse Latin American and Caribbean roots of the Mission District and the Bay Area for over 40 years. Carnaval San Francisco has been an opportunity for many cultures to come together in one spirit and share their creative expression.
Jodi Lomask, who through her company, Capacitor, has for 20 years combined dance and circus arts with science to create outstanding artistic and educational moments. Over the years she has worked closely with scientists in the fields of geology, oceanography, computer science, neuroscience, and more to create authentic experiences that extend the art of dance to a larger community, and that make science understandable to the layperson.