The Martha Hill Dance Fund just announced the 2021 Martha Hill Dance Fund Virtual Celebration will stream pre-recorded on November 22, 2021 via Vimeo. The Martha Hill Dance Fund continues to celebrate the legacy of an outstanding woman whose influence in the world of dance and performance continues to this day. The guest host/emcee for this year’s celebration is Dance Curator of City Parks Summer Stage and former dancer with Philadanco and Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, Danni Gee.

Martha Hill - courtesy of Martha Hill Dance Fund

Martha Hill – Photo courtesy of Martha Hill Dance Fund

Martha Hill was the founding director of the dance programs/departments at New York University’s School of Education (teaching dance in the Physical Education department starting in 1930 and initiating the graduate program in dance education in 1938), Bennington College (1932), and The Juilliard School (1951) as well as the summer festivals The Bennington School of the Dance (1934) and The Connecticut College School of the Dance (1948), precursors to The American Dance Festival, one of the most important dance festivals in the United States, now held at Duke University. As a demonstration of the dedication and energy Hill put into her support of dance, she maintained full-time appointments at Bennington College and New York University simultaneously while also directing summer dance programs. Read more about this amazing woman, Martha Hill HERE.

Martha Hill - courtesy of Martha Hill Dance Fund

Martha Hill – courtesy of Martha Hill Dance Fund

This year’s Lifetime Achievement Award goes to founder of Urban Bush Women, Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, and the recipient of the Mid-Career Award will be presented to Heidi Latsky, Artistic Director of Heidi Latsky Dance. Short films by Videographer Daniel Madoff will be shown highlighting the two awardees, as well as a short dance film by Liz Gerring ,(featuring Cemiyon Barber, one of the 2020 Martha Hill Covid Relief grantees), as well as a Limón Dance Company excerpt in celebration of their 75th Anniversary. Zollar and Latsky will converse with Gee regarding the state of the art in these complex times. The evening will also include Board President Vernon Scott updating the community on current MHDF projects and initiatives. Audience members will be able to chat during the presentation, and there will be a separate link to a ZOOM After-Party for the requisite socializing that has become a well-known feature of the Fund’s annual in-person gala events.

Jawole Willa Jo Zollar - Photo by Crush Boone

Jawole Willa Jo Zollar – Photo by Crush Boone

Jawole Willa Jo Zollar earned her B.A. in dance from the University of Missouri at Kansas City and her M.F.A. in dance from Florida State University. In 1980 Jawole moved to New York City to study with Dianne McIntyre at Sounds in Motion. In 1984 she founded Urban Bush Women (UBW) as a performance ensemble dedicated to exploring the use of cultural expression as a catalyst for social change. She has created over 34 works for UBW, as well as for Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and others. Read more about Jawole Willa Jo Zollar and the Urban Bush Women HERE.

Heidi Latsky - Photo courtesy of the artist.

Heidi Latsky – Photo courtesy of the artist.

Heidi Latsky, a committed leader in the physically integrated dance field, began Heidi Latsky Dance (HLD) in 2001. The company has toured internationally and been presented at many institutions, including Peak Performances, Kennedy Center, American Dance Festival, Joyce Theater, Whitney Museum, Cooper Hewitt, National Portrait Gallery, ICA Boston, and annually at Lincoln Center since 2015. She was the Head of the Movement Department at the School for Film and Television for7 years, on faculty at STEPS and American Dance Festival and has served as an adjudicator of dance numerous times. Currently, Latsky is creating a series of 15 films/movement portraits as well as collaborating with digital artists creating interactive experiences. To read more about Heidi Latsky and her company, click HERE.

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WHAT: Martha Hill Dance Fund Virtual Celebration to honor Jawole Willa Jo Zollar and Heidi Latsky

WHEN: November 22, 2021 at 7 PM EST (4 PM PST)

WHERE: On Vimeo

TICKETS: $25  Register HERE.

By Jeff Slayton

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