June 5, 2018 user

Carmen De Lavallade, John Kander and Harold Prince Lead Honors At The 2nd Annual Chita Rivera Awards

Nikki Feirt Atkins, Chita Rivera, Joe Lanteri ©atrick McMullan

Nikki Feirt Atkins, Chita Rivera, Joe Lanteri ©atrick McMullan

Winners for the 2018 Chita Rivera Awards were announced at The NYU Skirball Center for the Performing Arts (566 LaGuardia Place off Washington Square Park).

At the evening’s ceremony, actress, dancer, and choreographer Carmen De Lavallade received the second annual Lifetime Achievement Award, iconic composer John Kander received the Outstanding Contribution to Musical Theater as a Composer, legendary theater director Harold Prince was presented with the SDC Director Award for Exemplary Collaboration with Choreographers, and Steven Hoggett, who is represented on Broadway this season with Angels in America and Harry Potter and the Cursed Child,received the inaugural Douglas and Ethel Watt Critics’ Choice Award.

The 2018 Chita Rivera Awards were produced by Nikki Feirt Atkins (Founder and Producing Artistic Director of American Dance Machine for the 21st Century) and Joe Lanteri (Founder and Executive Director of the New York City Dance Alliance Foundation) with Patricia Watt and Iris SmithLanteri also served as director of the 2018 Chita Rivera Awards.

Carrying the namesake of one of the great dance icons of the American musical theater, the mission of the Chita Rivera Awards is to celebrate dance and choreographic excellence — past, present and future. The awards honor the superb achievement of each nominee, while recognizing the talents and passion of every theatrical choreographer and dancer.  Additionally, through education and scholarships, the awards are committed to nurturing future generations, and preserving notable dance history.

Nominators considered outstanding choreography, featured dancers and ensembles in shows on Broadway and Off Broadway, and outstanding choreography in film. There are separate Nominating Committees for Broadway, Off Broadway and Film. Broadway winners are selected by the Awarding Committee.


(winners are starred and in bold)

Outstanding Choreography in a Broadway Show:

Camille A. Brown, Once on This Island

Christopher Gattelli, SpongeBob SquarePants

Casey Nicholaw, Mean Girls

Justin Peck, Carousel

***Sergio Trujillo, Summer: The Donna Summer Musical

Outstanding Ensemble in a Broadway Show:

***Carousel (tie)

***Mean Girls (tie)

Once on This Island

SpongeBob SquarePants

Summer: The Donna Summer Musical

Outstanding Male Dancer in a Broadway Show:

Norbert Leo Butz, My Fair Lady

Andrei Chagas, Carousel 

Gavin Lee, SpongeBob SquarePants

Amar Ramasar, Carousel 

***Tony Yazbeck, Prince of Broadway          

Outstanding Female Dancer in a Broadway Show:

Yesenia Ayala, Carousel

***Ariana DeBose, Summer: The Donna Summer Musical                

Hailey Kilgore, Once on This Island

Katrina Lenk, The Band’s Visit

Skye Mattox, Carousel

Ashley Park, Mean Girls

Brittany Pollack, Carousel

Outstanding Choreography in an Off-Broadway Show:

Nejla Yatkin, The Boy Who Danced on Air 

Sonya Tayeh, Hundred Days 

***Zach Morris & Jennine Willet, Ghost Light 

Chris Bailey, Jerry Springer: The Opera 

Monica Bill Barnes, One Night Only 

Outstanding Female Dancer in an Off- Broadway Show:

Anna Bass, One Night Only

***Monica Bill Barnes, One Night Only

Elizabeth Carena, Ghost Light

Tiffany Mann, Jerry Springer: The Opera 

Kenita R. Miller, Bella

Outstanding Male Dancer in an Off- Broadway Show:

Colin Campbell, Disco Pigs

***Robert Fairchild, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein

Troy Iwata, The Boy Who Danced on Air

Evan Ruggiero, Bastard Jones

Nikhil Saboo, The Boy Who Danced on Air


Theatrical Release Nominees

Basmati Blues – (stars Brie Larson, Donald Sutherland and Tyne Daly) Choreographers are: Noemie LaFrance (listed individually on main credit roll) and Rajeev, Dimple Ganguly, Vijay Ganguly, and, Ryan Heffington (listed in on screen credits by shoot location)

Finding Your Feet – (stars Imelda Staunton, Timothy Spall, and Joanna Lumley) Mark Jennings, Choreographer

Hello Again – (stars Audra McDonald, Martha Plimpton and Cheyenne Jackson) Todd Underwood, Choreographer

Polina, danser sa vie – (stars Juliette Binoche) Angelin Preljocaj, Choreographer

***The Greatest Showman – (stars Hugh Jackman) Shannon Holtzapffel, Ashley Wallen, Choreographers 

Documentary Nominees

Step – Directed by Amanda Lipitz

Bobbi Jene –  Directed by Elvira Lind

***Anatomy of a Male Ballet Dancer – (stars Marcelo Gomes) 

Directed by David Barba and James Pellerito

(Photo Credit: Patrick McMullan)


An accomplished and versatile actress/singer/dancer, Chita Rivera has won two Tony Awards as Best Leading Actress in a Musical and received eight additional Tony nominations for an exceptional 10 Tony nominations. She recently starred in The Visit, the final John Kander/Fred Ebb/Terrence McNally musical directed by John Doyle and choreographed by Graciela Daniele on Broadway (2015), the Broadway revival of The Mystery of Edwin Drood, the Broadway and touring productions of The Dancer’s Life, a dazzling new musical celebrating her spectacular career, written by Terrence McNally and directed by Graciela Daniele and the revival of the Broadway musical Nine with Antonio Banderas. She trained as a ballerina (from age 11) before receiving a scholarship to the School of American Ballet from the legendary choreographer George Balanchine. Chita’s first appearance (age 17) was as a principal dancer in Call Me Madam. Her electric performance as Anita in the original Broadway premiere of West Side Storybrought her stardom, which she repeated in London. Her career is highlighted by starring roles in Bye Bye Birdie, The Rink (Tony Award), Chicago, Jerry’s Girls, Kiss of the Spider Woman (Tony Award), and the original Broadway casts of Guys and Dolls, Can-Can, Seventh Heaven and Mr. Wonderful. On tour: Born Yesterday, The Rose Tattoo, Call Me Madam, Threepenny Opera, Sweet Charity, Kiss Me Kate, Zorba, Can-Can with The Rockettes. Chita was awarded The Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama in 2009 and she received the coveted Kennedy Center Honor in 2002. In November, 2016 she headlined at Carnegie Hall and in 2015, Great Performances aired their special Chita Rivera: A Lot of Livin’ To Do, a retrospective of her extraordinary life and career nationally on PBS. Chita’s current solo CD is entitled And Now I Swing. Her most treasured production is her daughter, singer/dancer/choreographer Lisa Mordente.

American Dance Machine for the 21st Century (ADM21)founded in 2012 by Nikki Feirt Atkins, is dedicated to creating a living and vibrant archive of classic and current notable musical theater choreography. ADM21 is continuing the legacy of the late Lee Theodore, a noted Broadway dancer, choreographer and director, who established The American Dance Machine in 1976 as a “Living Archive” of musical theater dance to address her belief that “many great choreographic works are lost with the musical they once embellished.” Of concern was that the artistry of each dance would vanish with the artists who created them. American Dance Machine for the 21st Century, based in New York City, strives to be a leading center for musical theater dance and to perpetuate the excellence of this genre through the education, preservation and presentation of classic and current notable works of musical theater choreography. ADM21’s educational program has been established to inspire and enrich musical theater dance students and budding choreographers in the development of distinctive artistic expression, through an expanded course of dance instruction, which unites the work of musical theater’s founding choreographers and teachers, with current styles and trends.www.ADM21.org

The NYC Dance Alliance Foundation, Inc. (NYCDAF), founded in 2010 by Executive Director Joe Lanteri, is committed to broadening performing arts awareness while advocating education and high standards of excellence in dance.  The Foundation invests in the next generation of professional performers by offering scholarships for secondary and college education.  To date, over 200 talented teenagers have shared in nearly $2 million awarded directly through NYCDAF.  Those recipients are represented in 42 of the most prestigious university arts programs in the country.  Many have since graduated and are now represented on Broadway, as well concert dance companies based in NYC and around the world.  www.NYCDAFoundation.net 

Chita Rivera, Joe Lanteri ©Patrick McMullan


Carmen de Lavallade ©Patrick McMullan


Luann de Lesseps ©Patrick McMullan


Patricia Watt, Riki Kane Larimer ©Patrick McMullan


Troy Iwata, Nikhil Saboo ©Patrick McMullan


Ashley Park ©Patrick McMullan


Bryonha Marie Parham ©Patrick McMullan


Evan Ruggiero ©Patrick McMullan


Justin Peck ©Patrick McMullan


Maxim Beloserkovsky, Emma Beloserkovsky, Irina Dvorovenko ©Patrick McMullan


Carousel Ensemble ©Patrick McMullan


Mean Girls Ensemble ©Patrick McMullan



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