ROCKLAND/NATIONWIDE — The Ellis-Beauregard Foundation, in partnership with Portland Ovations, announces a $40,000 award for contemporary dance.

A national $25,000 award to a contemporary choreographer is paired with an additional $15,000 to bring a performance of the awardee’s work to a Maine audience. The Ellis-Beauregard Foundation is proud to partner with Portland Ovations to present the work of the awardee through its Raising the Barre initiative. Applications by choreographers living in the United States are being accepted through  beginning May 1, 2022 through the deadline of July 1, 2022.

“As a complement to the Foundations’ Visual Arts and Composer Awards, the Contemporary Dance Award is an effort to bolster the field, incubate new ideas and, thanks to our wonderful partnership with Portland Ovations and our amazing jurors, bring more dance to Maine. In its finest iteration, contemporary dance is transcendent and sublime, expressive and powerful beyond language. We are thrilled to join the conversation and support movement based art,” said Donna McNeil, Founding Executive Director, Ellis-Beauregard Foundation.

Ellen Golden, President of the Board at Ellis-Beauregard Foundation added, “The Foundation is excited to be expanding our capacity to support the arts through the addition of this new award. This program evolved through conversations with many professionals affiliated with dance who enthusiastically supported our decision and the value this award brings to the field.”

Aimee Petrin, Executive Director of Portland Ovations, further stated, “Ovations is thrilled to partner with the Ellis-Beauregard Foundation on this landmark award. Together, we will further Maine’s legacy as a place where contemporary dance happens.”

Three jurors will select the awardee, they are:

Kyle Abraham is an American choreographer and dancer. He founded his own company, A.I.M by Kyle Abraham, in 2006 in New York City and has produced many original works for A.I.M such as “The Radio Show,” “Absent Matter,” “Pavement,” “Dearest Home,” “Drive,” “INDY,” “Studies on Farewell” and “An Untitled Love.” Abraham is a recipient of the McArthur Foundation “Genius” award.

Janet Wong is the Associate Artistic Director of the Bill T Jones/Arne Zane Dance Company. She was born in Hong Kong and trained in Hong Kong and London. Union graduation, she joined the Berlin Ballet where she first met Bill when he was invited to choreograph on the company. In 1996, she became Rehearsal Director of the Company, Associate Artistic Director in 2006 and Associate Artistic Director of New York Live Arts in 2016.

Philip Bither, Walker Art Center’s Senior Curator of Performing Arts since April 1997, oversees one of the country’s leading contemporary performing arts programs. He has overseen significant expansion of the Performing Arts program, including the building of the McGuire Theater, an acclaimed new theatrical space within the Walker expansion (2005); the raising of the program’s first commissioning/programming endowment; the commissioning of more than 100 new works in dance, music and performance; and the annual presentation/residency support of dozens of contemporary performing arts creators, established and emerging. Prior to this, he served as Director of Programming/Artistic Director for the Flynn Center, later becoming Associate Director/Music Curator at Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM). He received
the Fan Taylor Distinguished Service Award in 2009. He sits on numerous federal, state, local and national foundation arts panels and he speaks and writes about the contemporary performing arts nationally.