NEW YORK CITY: The winners of the Chita Rivera Awards, celebrating dance and choreographic excellence, were announced at a ceremony on Sunday, May 19 at NYU’s Skirball Center for the Performing Arts. The event was hosted by Ann Reinking and Ben Vereen.
During the ceremony, dancer, choreographer, and director Graciela Daniele received the third annual Lifetime Achievement Award, and Flody Suarez, Jeffrey Seller, and Cher—producers of The Cher Show on Broadway—were honored with the Ambassador for the Arts Award for their contributions to the convergence of theatre, film, and television. The SDC Director Award, celebrating exemplary collaboration with choreographers, went to George C. Wolfe, and the Vanguard Award was presented to Carol Paumgarten for her contribution to the international dance community.
On Broadway, David Neumann was awarded with Outstanding Choreography for Hadestown, Ephraim Sykes of Ain’t Too Proud won Outstanding Male Dancer, and Outstanding Ensemble went to King Kong. Broadway’s Outstanding Female Dancer category resulted in a tie between The Cher Show‘s Ashley Blair Fitzgerald and Gabrielle Hamilton of Oklahoma!.
Off-Broadway, Outstanding Choreography was awarded to Rick and Jeff Kuperman for Alice by Heart, Outstanding Male Dancer went to Alice by Heart‘s Wesley Taylor, Irina Dvorovenko of The Beast in the Jungle won Outstanding Female Dancer, and Steven Baruch, Mark Routh, Richard Frankel, and Tom Viertel won Outstanding Ensemble for their work in Smokey Joe’s Café.
The 2019 Chita Rivera Awards were produced by Joe Lanteri, founder and executive director of the New York City Dance Alliance Foundation, Inc. in conjunction with Patricia Watt.