Martha Hill circa 1922
With my Juilliard professors Laura Glenn (Limon technique) Janet Soares (Dance composition) and Danny Lewis (Limon technique)
© Tony Powell. Mary Hinkson
To say that a quarter of The Cathedral NYC‘s ballroom last night was occupied by living legends of the dance world is not an over statement. Each year around 200 dancers, choreographers, and educators gather to celebrate the life of pioneer in-the-field, Martha Hill. I have the great honor of being the official photographer of the Martha Hill Dance Award Gala and look forward to it each year with great anticipation.
© Tony Powell. Martha Hill Dance Fund President Vernon Scott
© Tony Powell. Dancer Dian Dong and Choreographer HT Chen
© Tony Powell. Choreographer Robert Garland and Ailey II director Sylvia Waters
© Tony Powell. Choreographer, dancer, and teacher Mary Anthony
© Tony Powell. Hannah Baumgartner and Henning Rubsam
Martha Hill is credited with singlehandedly uniting the chiefs of modern dance, during it’s infancy, and also for laying the groundwork that enabled the discipline to be studied, as a major, in colleges all across the country.
Tony Powell. Choreographer/Dancers Murray Louis and Beverly Blossom
© Tony Powell. Awardees Beverly Blossom, Hortense Zera, Jacqueline Green, and Virginia Johnson
I was very fortunate to have been one of the last students hand-picked by Martha to attend The Juilliard School - where she presided over the dance program for over 30 years. Well into her eighties at the time, Martha Hill was an inspiration like none other, full of energy and insight, wisdom, and compassion.
© Tony Powell
Ten years ago an award was created to celebrate her life which recognizes 3 individuals each year in 3 different categories of the life arc of a dancer: The Young Professional, The Mid-Career, and The Lifetime Achievement Awards. This year’s event was presided over by choreographer and dancer Murray Louis with awards going to Jacqueline Green, Virginia Johnson, and Beverly Blossom respectively.
© Tony Powell. Dance critic Jennifer Dunning
© Tony Powell. My Juilliard professors Jeanne Ruddy (Graham technique) and Linda Kent (Taylor technique)
© Tony Powell. Georgia Engel, Virginia Johnson, Elvi Moore
With my Juilliard classmates choreographer and dancer Rebecca Stenn on the left and author and dance educator Dr. Elizabeth McPherson (Beth just wrote the new book about Martha Hill)
© Tony Powell
© Tony Powell. Ernesta Corvino