Shantala Shivalingappa Wins for “Outstanding Performance” by prestigious Bessie Award Committee

Shantala Shivalingappa was presented with the prestigious Bessie Award for Outstanding Performance, in recognition of her performance in Shiva Ganga, a work she also choreographed, as part of last year’s Fall for Dance Festival at New York City Center.

Madras-born, Paris-based artist Shantala Shivalingappa, celebrated for the “luminosity and clarity” of her dancing (The Financial Times) and lauded for “redefining rhythm with space” through her choreography (The New York Times), was granted New York City’s coveted Bessie Award for Outstanding Performance. Shantala is the first recipient to ever receive this award for the presentation of a South Asian dance form.

“We are honored to recognize Shantala, for the inspiration her performances have brought to New York audiences through her supreme dancing and deeply personal refinement of the traditional Indian dance form of Kuchipudi,” said Lucy Sexton, Director of the NY Dance and Performance Awards, known locally as “The Bessies.” The Bessie Committee awarded Shantala this honor with the following distinction: “For embodying the god Shiva and the spirit of the River Ganges in one riveting performance, shimmering with celestial anger one moment, and melting into serenely flowing water the next: a vibrant athletic battle of life force portrayed in her work ‘Shiva Ganga’.”

This year’s New York Dance and Performance Awards, the Bessies, took place on Monday October 7th of 2013 at the Apollo Theater in New York City.

About the Bessies.
Produced in partnership with Dance/NYC, the NY Dance and Performance Awards have saluted outstanding and groundbreaking creative work by independent dance artists in NYC for 29 years. Known as “The Bessie” in honor of revered dance teacher Bessie Schonberg, the awards were established in 1983 by David White at Dance Theater Workshop. They recognize exceptional work in choreography, performance, music composition and visual design. A 40-member Selection Committee comprised of artists, presenters, producers, and writers choose nominees. All those working in the dance field are invited to join the NY Dance and Performance League—members participate in annual discussions on the direction of the awards and nominate members to serve on the Selection Committee.

Bessies Awards website