White Bird Inaugerates White Bird Dance Awards to be Given on April 7 at Feathered Follies 15th Anniversary Event




In celebration of its’ 15th anniversary, White Bird is proud to announce the inauguration of the White Bird Dance Awards. The first awards will be presented at White Bird’s 15th anniversary fundraising event, the Feathered Follies, on Sunday, April 7, 2013 at Castaway (1900 NW Avenue, Portland).  These awards recognize 1) Lifetime Achievement in Excellence in Community Engagement, and 4) an established or emerging choreographer in the Western States who will receive a $15,000 prize to create a new dance work for a future White Bird Season.


The First White Bird Award recipients are:
· Lifetime Achievement — Paul Taylor
· Angel — Nancy and George Thorn
· Excellence in Community Engagement — BodyVox
· “Barney” Choreographic Prize — Alonzo King


Since its founding in 1997, White Bird has presented more than 170 dance companies from around the world and commissioned 29 new works.  White Bird Co-Founders Walter Jaffe and Paul King are thrilled to inaugurate these dance awards to celebrate the rich abundance of contemporary dance presented and created in Portland and the Western States. White Bird is honored that all awardees will appear at the April 7 event to receive their awards.


For more information about White Bird’s 15th Anniversary Event the Feathered Follies, visit www.whitebird.org/follies.


The Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes a dance artist from the United States who has made an extraordinary contribution to contemporary dance. 
Paul Taylor is widely considered the greatest living American choreographer, as well as the last living member of the pantheon that created modern dance in America. White Bird was launched in October 1997 with a performance of the Paul Taylor Dance Company at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall.


Angel Award recognizes individuals who have made a significant difference in the Portland region either as a volunteer or donor.
Nancy and George Thorn are founding White Bird Board Members. George Thorn is Co-Director and Co-Founder, with Nello McDaniel, of Arts Action Research, specializing in advising arts non-profits in the United States and Canada.  Through a program supported by the Regional Arts & Culture Council, Mr. Thorn has advised most of Portland’s arts nonprofit organizations. He has also collaborated with Portland’s Business for Culture and the Arts on The Art of Leadership program.


Excellence in Community Engagement Award recognizes individuals or organizations serving the Portland-area dance field that have made a major contribution by bringing together dance artists and community members, including youth, in an impactful way.


BodyVox was founded by Jamey Hampton and Ashley Roland in Portland, Oregon  in 1997, in the same year as White Bird, which presented BodyVox’s world premiere performances at Lincoln Hall in June 1998.  Over its 15-year history, BodyVox has created an impressive body of work and, with their second company BodyVox 2, has developed a wide-ranging  dance program for schools.  The BodyVox Dance Center opened in 2009 and has become widely recognized in the Portland region as a vital new resource for dance by offering classes for children and adults, housing two versatile rehearsal spaces, and providing an important new performance venue both for BodyVox and other performing arts groups.


The “Barney” Choreographic Prize is named after Paul and Walter’s white Goffin’s cockatoo who inspired the name of the company White Bird.  A cash award of $15,000 will go to a choreographer, either an emerging or established artist, from the Western states, whose dynamic artistry and singular voice stand out among all others, and the prize will be used to create a new dance work that will appear in a future White Bird season. The cash award is funded through a generous donation by the Dorothy Lemelson Trust and the White Bird/MKG Financial Group New Works Fund.


The first recipient is Alonzo King, one of the most gifted and visionary choreographers in the United States. He is the founder and Artistic Director of Alonzo King’s LINES Ballet, based in San Francisco. In 2012 he was named “a San Francisco treasure” by the San Francisco Museum and Historical Society.


White Bird’s 15th season (2012–2013) is supported by the Regional Arts & Culture Council and Work for Art, The James F. and Marion L. Miller Foundation, Paul G. Allen Family Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust, PGE Foundation, The Jaffe Foundation, Oregon Arts Commission, Oregon Cultural Trust, Starseed Foundation, Trust Management Services, and Harold & Arlene Schnitzer CARE Foundation.