Thoughts About the A.W.A.R.D. Show!, First Night Dec 11, 2009

by Tania Kupczak

From Anne L:

Things that I liked a lot:
1. The huge audience. How often does the Mainstage sell out on a Thursday night? I hope OTB makes a lot of money from this format.

2. Tonya Lockyer running the post-performance Q & A. Her intelligence and insight almost seemed to be contagious.

3. The chance to see familiar work performed by different casts. I had seen every piece in last night's show before, some repeatedly. But Vincent Lopez replacing Jonathan Porretta gave Ultimatum a very different energy; I liked experiencing that. And Danny Boulet and Robert Talamantez replacing Sean Tomerlin and Patrick Pulkrabek/Richard Isaac in He Said, She Said created a different performance experience, too.

4. Choreographers becoming better known. No voting until you've listened to the auteurs! A brilliant idea.

Things that I didn't care for:
1. The P.O.E.M. guidelines. I attend contemporary dance performances hoping to be hit by lightning, so my main criterion for voting was "Which choreographer, if given $10,000, would be most likely to create something as electrifying as The Devil You Know . . . (Scofield) or Crushed (O'Neal)?" That led me to emphasize Potential, almost to the exclusion of everything else. In some cases, my vote had less to do with what I saw last night than with what I knew about a choreographer's track record.

2. Outstanding choreographers conspicuous by their absence. Amy O'Neal, Cyrus Khambatta, and Zoe Scofield are three who quickly come to mind; there are many others. I know that, in some cases, they didn't even apply. But what does it say about a program when so many of our most talented choreographers decide not to apply?