Chita Rivera And The Rockettes

Winners for the 2019 Chita Rivera Awards were announced at The NYU Skirball Center for the Performing Arts (566 LaGuardia Place off Washington Square Park).

The 2019 Chita Rivera Awards were produced by Joe Lanteri, Founder and Executive Director of the New York City Dance Alliance Foundation, Inc. in conjunction with Patricia Watt.

Ashley Blair Fitzgerald And Cast Of "Cher"

The mission of the Chita Rivera Awards is to celebrate dance and choreographic excellence, preserve notable dance history, recognize past, present and future talents, while promoting high standards in dance education and investing in the next generation.

Gabrielle Hamilton

Pamela Morgan

Marilu Henner

Presenters for the evening included: Chita Rivera, Andy Blankenbuehler, Camille A. Brown, Ariana DeBose, Luann de Lesseps, Micaela Diamond, Damon J. Gillespie, Savion Glover, Marilu Henner, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Tiler Peck, Lee Roy Reams, Michael Riedel, Ethan Slater, Mary Testa and Richard Thomas.

Ann Reinking With Graciela Daniele, Joe Lanteri And Chita Rivera

Luann de Lesseps
At the evening's ceremony, dancer, choreographer and theater director Graciela Daniele received the third annual Lifetime Achievement Award, and Flody Suarez, Jeffrey Seller, and Cher (producers of The Cher Show on Broadway) were honored with the Ambassador for the Arts Award honoring their contribution to the convergence of theater, film, and television. George C. Wolfe was presented with the SDC Director Award for exemplary collaboration with choreographers on Broadway and Carol Paumgarten received the Vanguard Award for her outstanding contribution to the international dance community, having founded Steps on Broadway Dance Studio 40 years ago. The evening was hosted by Ann Reinking and Ben Vereen.

Ethan Slater

Nominators considered outstanding choreography, featured dancers and ensembles in Broadway and off-Broadway shows, as well as outstanding choreography in film during the theatrical season. The off-Broadway and Film committees made nominations and name winners in those categories. Broadway nominees were designated by the Broadway nominating committee and winners were selected by the Broadway awarding committee.

Joshua Bergasse And Cast Of Smokey Joe's Cafe


A theatrical icon and one of Broadway's greatest triple-threat talents, Chita Rivera is one of the most nominated performers in Tony Award history having earned 10 nominations, won twice and received the 2018 Special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre. A versatile actress/singer/dancer, she recently starred in The Visit, the final John Kander/Fred Ebb/Terrence McNally musical directed by John Doyle and choreographed by Graciela Daniele on Broadway, the Broadway revival of The Mystery of Edwin Drood, the Broadway and touring productions of The Dancer's Life, a dazzling new musical celebrating her spectacular career, written by Terrence McNally and directed by Graciela Daniele and the revival of the Broadway musical Nine with Antonio Banderas. She trained as a ballerina (from age nine) before receiving a scholarship to the School of American Ballet from the legendary choreographer George Balanchine. Chita's first appearance (age 17) was as a principal dancer in Call Me Madam. Her electric performance as Anita in the original Broadway premiere of West Side Story brought her stardom, which she repeated in London. Her career is highlighted by starring roles in Bye Bye Birdie, The Rink (Tony Award), Chicago, Jerry's Girls, Kiss of the Spider Woman (Tony Award), and the original Broadway casts of Guys and Dolls, Can-Can, Seventh Heaven and Mr. Wonderful. On tour: Born Yesterday, The Rose Tattoo, Call Me Madam, Threepenny Opera, Sweet Charity, Kiss Me Kate, Zorba, Can-Can with The Rockettes. Chita was awarded The Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama in 2009 and received the coveted Kennedy Center Honor in 2002. In 2018 she was honored as a Living Landmark by the New York Landmarks Conservancy; in 2016 she headlined at Carnegie Hall and in 2015, Great Performances aired their special Chita Rivera: A Lot of Livin' To Do, a retrospective of her extraordinary life and career nationally on PBS. Her current solo CD is entitled And Now I Swing. Her most treasured production is her daughter, singer/dancer/choreographer Lisa Mordente.

The NYC Dance Alliance Foundation, Inc. (NYCDAF), founded in 2010 by Executive Director Joe Lanteri, is committed to broadening performing arts awareness while advocating education and high standards of excellence in dance. The Foundation invests in the next generation of professional performers by offering scholarships for secondary and college education. To date, over 250 talented teenagers have shared in nearly $2.5 million awarded directly through NYCDAF. Those recipients are represented in 42 of the most prestigious university arts programs in the country. Many have since graduated and are now represented on Broadway, as well as concert dance companies based in NYC and around the world.



Outstanding Choreography in a Broadway Show:

Winner: David Neumann, Hadestown

Warren Carlyle, Kiss Me Kate

Denis Jones, Tootsie

Casey Nicholaw, The Prom

Sergio Trujillo, Ain't Too Proud - The Life and Times of The Temptations

Outstanding Male Dancer in a Broadway Show:

Winner: Ephraim Sykes, Ain't Too Proud - The Life and Times of The Temptations

Corbin Bleu, Kiss Me Kate

Rick Faugno, Kiss Me Kate

James T. Lane, Kiss Me Kate

Jeremy Pope, Ain't Too Proud - The Life and Times of The Temptations

Outstanding Female Dancer in a Broadway Show: (tie)

Winners: Ashley Blair Fitzgerald, The Cher Show; Gabrielle Hamilton, Oklahoma!

Amber Gray, Hadestown

Leslie Kritzer, Beetlejuice

Angie Schworer, The Prom

Outstanding Ensemble in a Broadway Show:

Winner: King Kong

Ain't Too Proud - The Life and Times of The Temptations


Kiss Me Kate

The Cher Show

The Prom


Outstanding Choreography

Winner: Rick and Jeff Kuperman, Alice By Heart

Joshua Bergasse, Smokey Joe's Cafe

Raja Feather Kelly, If Pretty Hurts, Ugly Must Be a Muhfucka

Lorin Latarro, Merrily We Roll Along

Shea Sullivan, Neurosis, A Musical That Gets in Your Head

Outstanding Male Dancer

Winner: Wesley Taylor, Alice By Heart

Brennan Caldwell, Neurosis, A Musical That Gets in Your Head

Zachary Downer, Alice By Heart

Brendan Henderson, Cleopatra

Jelani Remy, Smokey Joe's Cafe

Outstanding Female Dancer

Winner: Irina Dvorovenko, The Beast in the Jungle

Emma Degerstedt, Smokey Joe's Cafe

Mia Dilena, Alice By Heart

Dionne D. Figgins, Smokey Joe's Cafe

Naomi Kakuk, The Beast in the Jungle

Outstanding Ensemble

Winner: Smokey Joe's Café, Steven Baruch, Mark Routh, Richard Frankel, Tom Viertel

Alice By Heart, MCC Theatre

Fiddler on the Roof, National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene

If Pretty Hurts, Ugly Must Be a Muhfucka, Playwrights Horizons

Twelfth Night, The Public Theater


Theatrical Release

Isn't It Romantic - (Release date, February 13, 2019, Rebel Wilson, Liam Hemsworth) Choreographer: Christopher Gattelli; Assistant Choreographer, Jon Rua

***Mary Poppins Returns - (Release date, December 19, 2018, Emily Blunt, Lin-Manuel Miranda)

Choreographers: Rob Marshall & John DeLuca; Co-Choreographer, Joey Pizzi; Associate Choreographer, Tara Nichole Hughes, Assistant Choreographer: Marlon Pelayo***

Shine - (Release date, October 6, 2018, Alysia Reiner, David Zayas)

Director of Choreography: Anderson Cruz, Choreographers, Charlie Garcia, Osmar Perrones, Grisselle Ponce

Swimming with Men - (Release date, December 7, 2018, Rob Brydon, Rupert Graves) Choreographer: Caroline Pope

The Nutcracker and The Far Realms - (Release date, November 2, 2018, Misty Copeland)

Choreographer: Liam Scarlett


Ballet Now - (Release date, July 20, 2018; Tiler Peck)

Director: Steven Cantor

Bathtubs Over Broadway - (Release date, November 30, 2018; Tribeca Film Festival Award Winner prior and other festivals, Chita Rivera, Martin Short, etc.)

Director: Dava Whisenent

Hot to Trot - (Release date, NY, August 24, 2018, nationwide rollout to follow)

Director: Gail Freedman

If The Dancer Dances - (Release date, July 24, 2018, Dance on Camera Festival)

Director, Maia Weschler

***Moving Stories, Lives Transformed By Dance - (Release Date, August 11, 2018, Battery Dance Festival, MoMa)

Director: Rob Fruchtman, Wilderness Films, Producer***

Photos Courtesy Of Lawlor Media GP / Patrick McMullan And Christopher Duggan