The New York Dance and Performance Awards, known as the Bessies, have announced that Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, the choreographer and founding artistic director of Urban Bush Women, will receive the 2017 award for Lifetime Achievement in Dance, and writer Eva Yaa Asantewaa will be honored with this year’s award for Outstanding Service to the Field of Dance. The two prizes will be presented at the thirty-third annual Bessie Awards ceremony on Monday, October 9, at NYU’s Skirball Center for the Performing Arts.
“I am thrilled that the Bessies Selection Committee has chosen to honor these two outstanding women,” said Lucy Sexton, executive director of the Bessies. “Jawole Willa Jo Zollar has created groundbreaking dance with her company Urban Bush Women for more than three decades. In addition, her revolutionary insight into curating and her dedication to nurturing dance artists, particularly women choreographers of color, continues to transform and expand the dance landscape. Eva Yaa Asentewaa’s illuminating writing and her multifaceted and engaged support for the wide range of dance artists in the city are truly a service to our field, and we are so excited to be celebrating her.”