The 2015 Martha Hills Awards

On the occasion of our 15th anniversary, we honored Lifetime Achievement Award recipients Carla Maxwell and Murray Louis. The 2015 Mid-Career Award recipient was Mark DeGarmo and the Young Professional awardee was Jacoby Pruitt. The Dance Notation Bureau received a special citation for celebrating their 75th year. The Awards Gala took place on the evening of Monday, November 30, 2015 at The Manhattan Penthouse in New York City.

Although Mr. Louis was not well enough to attend the Gala, his award was graciously accepted by Alberto del Saz, director of the Nikolais/Louis Foundation for Dance. We were deeply saddened when on February 1st, Mr. del Saz informed us of Mr. Louis' passing. A bright light has left the dance world.

Here is a lovely tribute to him by Jack Anderson of The New York Times

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Carla Maxwell joined the José Limón Dance Company in 1965. She soon became a principal dancer under Limón's direction and, in 1975,  served as Associate Artistic Director under  Ruth Currier. Ms. Maxwell was appointed Artistic Director in 1978 and, during her 37 year  tenure, the company has emerged as one of the finest repertory dance ensembles in the world. Awards include Dance Magazine (1995), a  Bessie (1998) and an Isadora (2003). Her work has been honored by the governments of Colombia and Mexico.

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Murray Louis (1926-2016) is known as a great dancer, a gifted choreographer, and a teacher and eloquent spokesman for the dance. He had created  over 100 works including dances for Royal  Danish Ballet, José Limón Company, Hamburg Opera Ballet among others. In 1949 he became a soloist with the Nikolais Dance Theater and in 1951, was appointed Associate  Director. He became a driving force in the  evolution of the aesthetic and pedagogic theory, which today is known as the Nikolais/Louis technique. In 1957 The Murray Louis Dance  Company was founded. Other notable accomplishments include piloting the "Artist in School" program, continuous grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, published  essays, a film series, and several honorary doctorate 

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Mark DeGarmo is exemplary for combining a notable career as an innovative dancer/performer and choreographer/writer with founding a highly-respected and impactful dance education program based on transdisciplinary scholarship. In the former he created over 100 dance/theater works based on contemporary social issues that were performed in multiple international tours. Currently he serves as Founder, Executive & Artistic Director of Mark DeGarmo Dance which brings transformative dance education to over 1,500 public school students annually. Honors and awards include a Fulbright Senior Scholar Fellowship (Peru), American Cultural Specialist Award from the U.S. Department of State (Ecuador), and National Finalist in Dance, Millennium Artist Program. He served as consultant to the NYC DOE's Task Force to develop the Arts Blueprint, serving 1.1 million students in 1,500 public schools. He earned a Doctorate of Philosophy with a specialization in Experiential Education and The Arts from Union Institute & University and a BFA in Dance from The Juilliard School.

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Jacoby Pruitt began his dance training in Miami, FL where he attended New World School of the Arts. Jacoby has spent his summers  training on scholarship at The Dance Theater of Harlem, The Alvin Ailey School, Alonzo King's Lines Ballet, and was selected to study abroad in Prague for the summer of 2014. He has had the pleasure of performing works by Bill T.  Jones, Lara Murphy, Germaul Barnes, Daniel Lewis, James Martin, Laura Glenn, Maxwell Parr Perkins, Shannon Gillan, and Cora Bos-Kroese among others. Jacoby is currently earning his BFA at New York University's Tisch School of Dance, expecting to graduate in the spring of 2015.

The Dance Notation Bureau's (DNB) mission is to advance the art of dance through the use of a system of notation. DNB does this by creating dance scores using the symbol system called Labanotation. This allows the dances to continue to be performed long after the lifetime of the artist. Dance scores function for dance the same way music scores function for music. DNB has produced and houses scores by artists such as George Balanchine, Paul Taylor, Antony Tudor, Bill T. Jones, Doris Humphrey, William Forsythe, José Limón, Laura Dean, and about 270 others. Each year DNB assists in staging around 150-200 performances from scores.

2015 Gala Photos

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Contributors

Platinum Table
The José Limón Company


Golden Benefactors

Jerry Bywaters Cochran, Allen Maniker,The Janis and Alan Menken Foundation, 

Victoria Phillips, Elizabeth Gerring Radke

Patrons
Jody & John Arnhold

Lynn Granola

Jeanna Ruddy

Sponsors

Laura Colby, Kathleen Hardy Gray, Lawrence Reed Hansen, Virginia Johnson, Daniel Lewis, Dawn Lille, 

Fred Murphy, Lawrence Rhodes, Allegra Fuller Snyder, Megan Williams, Joan Woodbury

Sponsors for Students

Gina Bonati, Helene Breazeale, Margot Mink Colbert, Ernesta Corvino, Laura Glenn,

Sally Hammond, Allen Maniker, Carla Maxwell, Lawrence Rhodes

Honorary Committee

Gladys Bailin, Jonah Bokaer, Janis Brenner, Beverly D'Anne, Alberto del Saz, Julia Gleich, Laura Glenn, Ruth Grauert, Jan Hanvik, Roxane D'Orleans Juste, Phyllis Lamhut, Daniel Lewis, Lar Lubovitch, Jodee Nimrichter, Jody Oberfelder, Richard Ortner, Norton Owen, Shirley Ririe, Lawrence Rhodes, Jennifer Scanlon, Robert Small, Sarah Stackhouse, Risa Steinberg, Karen DeLuca Stephens, Clay Taliaferro, Emiko Tokunaga, Doug Varone, Joan Woodbury