The Fred & Adele Astaire Awards have been renamed in honor of Chita Rivera.
The Fred & Adele Astaire Awards have been renamed in honor of Chita Rivera.
(© David Gordon)

The Fred & Adele Astaire Awards have been renamed in honor of Broadway icon Chita Rivera.

The Chita Rivera Awards for Dance and Choreography will be presented by American Dance Machine for the 21st Century starting this season,with nominations to be announced May 1 at the Friars Club and awards to be held September 11 at the Hammerstein Ballroom. Patricia Watt will serve as executive producer, with ADM21 founder and producing artistic director Nikki Feirt Atkins serving as producer.

The mission of the Chita Rivera Awards for Dance and Choreography is to celebrate dance excellence, and the awards seek to continue that vision by not only celebrating the superb achievement of each nominee but by recognizing the immeasurable talents and passion of every theatrical choreographer and dancer.

Rivera has won two Tony Awards as Best Leading Actress in a Musical and received eight additional Tony nominations. Her career is highlighted by starring roles in West Side Story, Bye Bye Birdie, The Rink, Chicago, Kiss of the Spider Woman, and The Visit. She was presented with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2009 by President Barack Obama, and in 2002 she received the coveted Kennedy Center Honor.