[Durham, NC] – The American Dance Festival (ADF) will award the 2015 Balasaraswati/Joy Ann Dewey Beinecke Endowed Chair for Distinguished Teaching jointly to Zvi Gotheiner, James Sutton, and Jaclynn Villamil. A ceremony will take place on Friday, June 12, 2015 on the campus of Duke University, time and location TBA.
The Balasaraswati/Joy Ann Dewey Beinecke Endowed Chair for Distinguished Teaching was established in 1991 to honor educators who have made extraordinary contributions to the field of dance. Endowed through a generous gift from Luise Elcaness Scripps and with additional support by Walter Beinecke, the daughters of Joy Ann Dewey Beinecke, and ADF, the chair signifies the importance of honoring those who act to preserve dance history and tradition as well as cultivating the future of the art form.
“All three honorees have endeared themselves to a generation of dancers, training legions of students and helping professional dancers enhance their technique and performance skills through a classical approach to movement,” said ADF Dean Gerri Houlihan.
Zvi Gotheiner (shown above) came to New York in 1978 on a dance scholarship from the American-Israeli Cultural Foundation and went on to dance with the Joyce Trisler Dance Company, Feld Ballets/NY, and the Batsheva Dance Company. He founded ZviDance in 1989.
Mr. Gotheiner is also known for his internationally acclaimed teaching method, inspired by the work of Maggie Black, under whom he studied for many years. Combining different traditions of ballet, with emphasis on placement and movement efficiency, this method is respectful of the human body and the specific needs and abilities of each individual.
James Sutton was an Associate Arts Professor in Dance at the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University for fourteen years and is currently Ballet Master and Resident Choreographer for New York Theatre Ballet. He is a frequent guest instructor around the US and has taught on the faculties of Connecticut College, Southern Methodist University, the University of Michigan, and for thirteen summers at ADF. Mr. Sutton was formerly the ballet master for Ballet Hispanico, and, for five years, company teacher for the Metropolitan Opera Ballet.
As a performer, he appeared as principal dancer with Houston Ballet, Chicago Ballet, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, Milwaukee Ballet, and DANCERS. He currently works in communications for the Brooklyn Academy of Music and is a contributing writer for Ballet Review.
Jaclynn Villamil has taught contemporary ballet for thirty-seven years. Ms. Villamil was a full-time faculty member at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts from 1996 to 2012 and served as director and ballet mistress of the Second Avenue Dance Company, comprised of each year’s MFA and BFA graduating class. She was on the faculty at ADF for ten years as a ballet teacher and Laban Movement Analysis educator from 1983 to 1998 and taught for the Dance Professionals Workshop in 1999 and 2000.
As a performer, Ms. Villamil appeared on Broadway, Off-Broadway, in summer stock, opera, light opera, on television, and in the contemporary dance field. She was awarded choreography fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Creative Artists Public Service in New York State in 1979-80 for her work with the Theatre Dance Collection, a contemporary company she co-founded in 1972.
Reflecting on this year’s award recipients, ADF Associate Dean Leah Cox commented, “Together, Zvi Gotheiner, Jim Sutton, and Jackie Villamil form a glorious ballet pas de trois of exceptional teachers.”
[Photo of Zvi Gotheiner by Anja Hitzenberger]