The 2011 Dance Council Honors served up inspirational speeches and dances.
The 2011 Dance Council Honors, presented by the Dance Council of North Texas, Oct. 2 at Dallas Black Dance Theatre, began with an impromptu speech and warm-up by African dance master Baba Chuck, which included hugging our neighbors and chanting.
“Never stop moving,” says Honoree Michael Serrecchia quoting master of jazz Luigi. Serrecchia, who shared in his acceptance speech that he didn’t have the use of his legs till he was 13, was the 2011 recipient of the Natalie Skelton Award for Artistic Excellence. He says his childhood experience only reaffirmed his love and commitment to the arts.
“Texas is not a desert, but an oasis of art and culture,” says Revathi Satyu, the 2011 recipient of the Mary Bywaters Award for Lifetime Contribution to Dance, during her thought-provoking acceptance speech.
2011 Texas Tap Legend recipient Gene Pflug gave an emotional speech sprinkled with funny little anecdotes about his life, including the one thing he has in common with Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire – his bald head.
The speeches weren’t the only things bringing people to tears and cheers. Bruce Wood’s piece Love Just Is – A Poem, performed by the ethereal Kimi Nikaidoh and solid as a rock Harry Feril, paid homage to the Mary Warner Award for Service to Dance 2011 Honoree Daniel Curry’s devotion to dance and especially to the Bruce Wood Dance Project.
The Dallas Black Dance Theatre’s performance of Instinct 11.1 was the perfect way to end the event. The 6 male members of the company stomped, clapped and chanted their way through what appeared to be a warriors ritual dance. The movement was controlled chaos – body gyrations into a perfect side tilt arabesque; quick foot-stomping into a slow motion run. Perseverance is what I took away from the piece. And the arts in Dallas will continue to persevere as long as the Dance Council of North Texas exists.
(Note: Not in attendance was the 2011 Larry White Dance Educator Award recipient Dorothy “Dottie” Williams Hunt Kleeb.)