Michelle Dorrance, Herb Alpert Award in the Arts dance 2014 winner, is awarded a 2015 MacArthur Fellowship

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Choreographer and performer Michelle Dorrance, winner of the 2014 Herb Alpert Award in the Arts dance category, has been named a 2015 MacArthur Fellow. Transforming the field of tap, Dorrance makes rhythmically sophisticated, emotionally moving, technically demanding passionate work.

Michelle Dorrance. Photo courtesy of The Herb Alpert Award in the Arts

Michelle Dorrance. Photo courtesy of The Herb Alpert Award in the Arts

In addition to her recognition as a singular artist, honoring Michelle is also an affirmation of the quality of the Herb Alpert Award selection process.

Dorrance is the ninth Herb Alpert Award in the Arts winner to receive a MacArthur Fellowship: others are the playwright Suzan-Lori Parks, filmmaker Natalia Almada, composer/musicians George Lewis, Steve Coleman, and Vijay Iyer, and visual artists Carrie Mae Weems, Pepon Osorio, and Kerry James Marshall.

The Herb Alpert Award in the Arts is an unrestricted prize of $75,000 given annually to five risk-taking mid-career artists working in the fields of dance, film/video, music, theatre and the visual arts.

The prize was initiated and funded by the Herb Alpert Foundation and has been administered by the California Institute of the Arts since 1994. The Alpert Award honors and supports artists respected for their creativity, ingenuity, and bodies of work, at a moment in their lives when they are poised to propel their art in new and unpredictable directions. The award recognizes experimenters who are making something that matters within and beyond their field.

Steven D. Lavine, President, California Institute of the Arts, says: "I was thrilled to learn that Michelle had received the MacArthur Award. When she came to CalArts for her Alpert residency last year, she just lit up our Sharon Disney Lund School of Dance, and the work she developed with our students was absolutely the hit of our winter dance concert."

Irene Borger, Director, Herb Alpert Award in the Arts, says: "Michelle makes work unlike any other choreographer working today -- a kind of alchemy of tap and contemporary dance. 'Every single time I dance, I represent those who came before me,' she told us when receiving the Herb Alpert Award last year."

Rona Sebastian, President of the Herb Alpert Foundation says, "Watching Michelle at work is simultaneously inspiring and spell-binding. In addition to her recognition as a singular artist, honoring Michelle is also an affirmation of the quality of the Herb Alpert Award selection process."

For original interviews and video clips from the Herb Alpert Award in the Arts please go to:
http://herbalpertawards.org

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Caroline Graham

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