5 MANNC artists presented the performing artist award
Florida State University, the School of Dance, and the array of talented artists lived up to their reputation this year, as five exceptionally dedicated artists from the Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography received one of the the most important prizes for the performing arts in the country: the Doris Duke Performing Artist Award.
The award is part of the Doris Duke Preforming Artists’ Initiative to “recognize the potential of individual artists and ensure their future viability”. Each year, the awards program recognizes artists with a focus on contemporary dance, theater, jazz and other related interdisciplinary works.
Among the pool of highly skilled and talented artists, seven recipients of the 2016 Doris Duke Performing Artist Award focus on contemporary dance. Of these seven contemporary dancers, five are MANCC artists who have engaged with Florida State University and the surrounding communities of Tallahassee.
The Maggie Allesee National Choreography Center (MANCC) has offered these artists and choreographers developmental residencies in order to develop new works and is the only national choreography center in the world located within a large research institution. As a member of Florida State University and the FSU School of Dance, MANCC offers dancers and choreographers the opportunity to hone their artistic practice and develop new work within a creative community.
Representing the MANCC, the State of Florida and the School of Dance, the winners were Kyle Abraham, Faye Driscoll, Miguel Gutierrez, Aparna Ramaswamy and Morgan Thorson.
“There is nothing like it elsewhere in the country,” said Miguel Gutierrez, Guggenheim Fellow in Choreography and winner of the Doris Duke Prize.
“You have so much access to so much support from the MANCC, not only on stage but in other areas as well – the fact that you can receive financial support, access resources that help you in your work and establishing interactions with other artists interested in similar things, help the MANCC to stand out as unique, ”said Gutierrez.
In addition to receiving a Guggenheim Fellowship, Gutierrez has presented his work at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, the Festival D’Automne in Paris, ImPulsTanz in Vienna, and many other venues around the world.
Gutierrez also caught the attention of the national press, as Eva Yaa Asantewaa called him “one of our most provocative and needed artistic voices” in Dance Magazine.
Gutierrez has choreographed and performed various pieces around the world and in the United States, and he commented on the nature of artistic performances presented nationally versus performances presented outside of the United States.
“When I started touring in Europe, I noticed that people seemed more ready to criticize right after or even during a performance,” said Gutierrez. “While in the United States a lot of people compliment, encourage and use the very American script of positivity, gratitude and constructive criticism, many parts of the world are not caught up in this kind of script.”
Based in New York City, Gutierrez uses his work to explore lingering philosophical and social questions, capitalizing on endurance-based performance art, noise music, and influences from Broadway, Vegas and queer club performance. . Her artistic style and unique blends of choreography have received and continue to receive accolades, as her 2005 piece, “Retrospective Exhibitionist and Difficile Bodies” and her 2009 piece “Last Meadow” won the NY Dance & Performance Bessie Awards.
As a highly decorated and experienced performance creator, Gutierrez highlighted the particularly constructive environment of Florida State University and the influence of the Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography.
“The MANCC asked me, what do you really want to do? Until then, I don’t know if anyone really asked me this question. I don’t think I have ever felt authorized to answer this question until then, ”commented Gutierrez.
“Until someone, something or an institution like the MANCC asks you this question and you have to formulate an answer, that is when you will begin to realize that your desires are greater than what you could have allowed them. “