NEW YORK, Feb. 2, 2016 /PRNewswire/ --The American Dance Institute (ADI) is pleased to announce that its Artistic Advisory Board has selected New York City-based choreographer and dancer Raja Feather Kelly as the winner of the 2016 Solange MacArthur Award for New Choreography. ADI will provide Kelly with $10,000 in commissioning funds, fee-free fiscal sponsorship, strategic marketing and development support, and a presentation of the commissioned work in the 2017-18 season.
ADI's annual Solange MacArthur Award, launched in 2014 as the Commissioned Artist Program, reflects the organization's vital and growing role as a supporter of American choreographers creating new works. ADI's Artistic Advisory Board—including Brian Brooks, Jane Comfort, David Dorfman, Doug Elkins, Dan Hurlin (Chair), Jodi Melnick, David Neumann and, newly this year, Jawole Willa Jo Zollar—chooses the winner after a closed nomination process. Steven Reker won last year, and Chris Schlichting won the inaugural award in 2014.
Raja Feather Kelly epitomizes the kind of artist ADI seeks to support through the Solange MacArthur Award. Acclaimed for his technical virtuosity, stage presence, sensitivity and insight into popular culture, Kelly is gaining prominence on the national contemporary dance scene. He creates what he calls "radical and surreal dance theater" with his company the feath3r theory and has performed with Kyle Abraham and Abraham.In.Motion, David Dorfman Dance, Tzveta Kassabova, Paul Matteson, Zoe Scofield, Zoe | Juniper and Reggie Wilson, among others. The New York Times called his recent work Color Me, Warhol, which imagined A Chorus Line as interpreted by Warhol, "marvelous and moving…largely because Mr. Kelly maintains a skilled balance between cheekiness and sincerity." On February 5 & 6 at GK Arts Center in DUMBO, Brooklyn, Kelly hosts Lyrical Dances for a Lost Generation, for which he has curated 13 artists to choreograph dances to pop music.
Kelly said of winning the Solange MacArthur Award, "I am honored, overjoyed and proud of my feath3r team. There is an outstanding feeling you get when you are awarded something you did not apply for. I am most excited to continue paving a way for the kind of work that I do. I am going to keep working hard—only now with resources! That is a dream come true. Thank You, ADI, the Advisory Board, and the feath3r theory."
The Solange MacArthur Award is one of numerous ways that the nascent American Dance Institute, led by Executive Director Adrienne Willis, is becoming a national organization that evaluates the needs of artists throughout their creation process and fills gaps in the structures that exist to support them. This summer ADI will present its first New York season, giving five leading American choreographers—Yvonne Rainer, Jane Comfort, Brian Brooks, Jack Ferver and Susan Marshall—each a New York premiere at The Kitchen between June 2 and July 2. In January, ADI announced that it will transform a former lumberyard on the Catskill, NY waterfront into a state-of-the-art new home for contemporary dance and performance, including the organization's Incubator program, which gives artists and companies from across the U.S. housing, space, time and other resources to develop new work before a New York or national premiere. The facility is slated to open in the spring of 2018.
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SOURCE American Dance Institute