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.
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.
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.
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.