The 2012 Martha Hills Awards Gala
ABOUT THE LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARDEES:
Gemze de Lappe is an American dancer who worked very closely with Agnes de Mille and was frequently partnered by de Mille's favorite male dancer, James Mitchell. Originally trained by Irma Duncan and Michel Fokine, de Lappe began her career in Fokine's company. Her Broadway musical theatre performance credits include Simon of Legree in the original production of The King and I (also in the film version), Paint Your Wagon (Donaldson Award winner), Juno, and The American Dance Machine.  De Lappe's long concert dance career included engagements with American Ballet Theatre and the Agnes de Mille Dance Theatre.
Yuriko Kikuchi known to audiences by her stage name Yuriko, is an American dancer and choreographer. She is best known for her work with the Martha Graham Dance Company. She began studying with Martha Graham in 1944 and continued with the company for the next 50 years. She danced in the first production of Graham's masterpiece, Clytemnestra, as well as in Appalachian Spring, Cave of the Heart, and Dark Meadow. In addition to her work in modern dance, Yuriko performed on Broadway in the first performances of The King and I (1951 - '54) and The Flower Drum Song (1958 - '60). She formed her own modern dance company in 1967, which remained active until 1973.
ABOUT THE MID-CAREER AWARDEES:
H. T. Chen's background is in both Chinese and Western dance and theater. To Mr. Chen, providing cultural arts services to the local community is as important as creating new works. The School (formerly known as Arts Gate Center), established in 1980 as a year-round performing arts school in Chinatown, currently offers classes in ballet, modern dance, wushu, and piano. In 1988, Mr. Chen established the Theater (formerly known as Mulberry St Theater), Chinatown's first performing arts venue that presents several modern dance series. newsteps, a semi-annual series, supports new choreography through showcase opportunities and production support; the Ear to the Ground series provides commissions and production support for emerging Asian artists; and Co-presentations allows the Theater and studios to support independent modern dance choreographers looking to produce or rehearse their own work.
Dian Dong has worked with Anna Sokolow's Players' Project, Kathryn Posin, Janet Soares, Lance Westergard, Kazuko Hirabayashi, Lincoln Center Institute, the ADF 25th Anniversary Repertory Company, Walter Nicks and the national tour of The King & I. She has taught at NYU School of Ed., Montclair State College, the Center for Modern Dance Ed. and Chen Dance Center. Ms. Dong organizes and designs the education programs for CDC's homebased and residency programs.
ABOUT THE YOUNG PROFESSIONAL AWARDEE:
Lissa Smith, was born and raised in Miami, Florida. She is currently dancing with Hubbard Street 2 of Hubbard Street Dance Chicago. She attended the New World School of the Arts High School and The Boston Conservatory where she was both a Dance Conservatory Scholarship recipient and Jan Veen Dance Scholarship recipient. Lissa was chosen for this award by The School at Jacob's Pillow.