Washington arts briefs

ON THE SLATE: The Kuchipudi Kalanidhi company is scheduled to perform at the 10th Anniversary Metro D.C. Dance Awards.
ON THE SLATE: The Kuchipudi Kalanidhi company is scheduled to perform at the 10th Anniversary Metro D.C. Dance Awards. (Kuchipudi Kalanidhi)
Sunday, September 19, 2010

Metro D.C. Dance Awards

The 10th Anniversary Metro D.C. Dance Awards will be hosted for the first time at the Harman Center for the Arts on Oct. 6, the service organization Dance/MetroDC has announced.

Awards will be given to those voted the best dancers, choreographers and designers, as well as to productions appearing throughout the region in the past year. Presenting the awards will be two Washington-area natives: Virginia Johnson, former leading ballerina of Dance Theatre of Harlem and DTH's artistic director, and Patrick Corbin, formerly of the Paul Taylor Dance Company.

The event will also feature performances by the Suzanne Farrell Ballet, dancing George Balanchine's "Meditation"; Washington Ballet member Andile Ndlovu; the Indian troupe Kuchipudi Kalanidhi; the Next Reflex Dance Collective; Urban Artistry; Thomas Dwyer from Liz Lerman Dance Exchange and George Mason University students dancing an excerpt from Mark Morri's "Grand Duo."

Also performing will be the winners of the "Should I Quit My Day Job? Dance-Off." These are non-dancers who will compete for a spot on the awards program after raising money for their chosen charity. Those attending a pre-performance reception will see the last round of competitions judged by a panel including NBC4 meteorologist Chuck Bell.

Tickets can be purchased at the Harman Center box office, http://www.shakespearetheatre.org or 202-547-1122. Pre-show reception tickets can be purchased through Dance/MetroDC by calling 202-778-1190, or e-mail csidwell@dancemetrodc.org for more information.

-- Sarah Kaufman

Pola Nirenska Award

The 2010 Pola Nirenska Award for Lifetime Achievement will go to Seda Khoyan Gelenian, a dance advocate and teacher, the Washington Performing Arts Society and the Pola Nirenska Award Committee announced recently. The award will be presented Oct. 3 during performances by local dance companies on the Kennedy Center's Millennium Stage.

The annual award honors outstanding contributions, artistic excellence or devoted service to dance. It was established by Nirenska's husband, Jan Karsk, in 1993 in memory of the modern dancer, choreographer and teacher who died in 1992. She was born in 1910 in Warsaw and trained as a dancer in Europe but became established in Washington as a teacher and company director at a time when modern dance was a little-known art form.

Gelenian studied with Nirenska and has taught dance extensively throughout the area. She served on several arts panels and was the founder, artistic director and choreographer of the Armenian Folk Dance Group of Greater Washington.

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