The 2017 Chita Rivera Awards were presented on September 11 at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre. The evening was hosted by Bebe Neuwirth and presented by American Dance Machine for the 21st Century (ADM21) and its founder and producing artistic director, Nikki Feirt Atkins, in association with Patricia Watt.
The list of winners included performers Megan Sikora and Corbin Bleu (Holiday Inn), the ensemble of Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812, Lyrica Woodruff (Finian's Rainbow), and Brandon Espinoza (Baghdaddy); choreographers Andy Blankenbuehler (Bandstand), Joshua Bergasse (Sweet Charity), and Javier de Frutos (London Road); and the film Restless Creature, directed by Linda Saffire and Adam Schlesinger.
Check out photos from the festivities below.
The event featured performances by Robert Fairchild and Melanie Moore, who danced a duet from La La Land, as well as performances by casts of A Bronx Tale — The Musical, Come From Away, and off-Broadway's Sweet Charity at the ceremony. The evening also included a performance by the New York City Ballet of "America" from West Side Story to honor Rivera, who originated the role of Anita on Broadway. ADM21 performed "We'll Take a Glass Together" from Grand Hotel in honor of theater and dance legend Tommy Tune, who will be presented with the inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award at the ceremony.
In addition to Tune, Diane Paulus received the Outstanding Contribution to Musical Theater Award as Director, and Antonio Vendome received the Outstanding Contribution to the Arts and Humanity Award.
The mission of the Chita Rivera Awards is to celebrate dance and choreographic excellence. 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.