Joya Powell, founder of the Movement of the People Dance Company and alumna and adjunct professor in the Dance Education Program (MA, ’05) at the NYU Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development, was awarded the 2016 NY Dance and Performance Award for Outstanding Emerging Choreographer.
Joya Powell, founder of the Movement of the People Dance Company and alumna and adjunct professor in the Dance Education Program (MA, ’05) at the NYU Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development, was awarded the 2016 NY Dance and Performance Award for Outstanding Emerging Choreographer. Also known as the Bessie Awards, the NY Dance and Performance Awards are given annually to dance artists in recognition of exceptional work in choreography, performance, music composition, and visual design.
Powell - a native New Yorker and prolific choreographer, performer, and teacher - was recognized by the awards selection committee for “her passionate choreographic engagement with issues of justice and race in our communities and our country, [and] for connecting with the audience in ways that make it clear that these concerns belong to all of us—and action is required.”
Hailed by the New York Times as a “radiant performer,” Powell is a member of the Dance Carribean Collective and has danced with choreographers such as Katiti King, Neta Pulvermacher, Jacqulyn Buglisi, and Paco Gomes. Her choreography has appeared at venues such as: Meet the Artist Saturday's at Lincoln Center, SummerStage, FLICfest 2016 (commission), York College in Toronto, The FLEA, Casa del Prado Theatre in San Diego, and BAAD!. She has also choreographed such Off-Broadway and out of state plays as: JOB by Thomas Bradshaw, The Brothers Size by Tarell A. McCraney, True Bible Tales by Robert Askins, and The Minstrel Show by Amina Henry. Powell has also created commissioned works for ZCO/Dance Project and Ambitions Dance Company.
Powell has taught and studied dance throughout the United States and in Brazil, Puerto Rico, and Cuba. She is currently an adjunct lecturer of dance at SUNY Old Westbury, and is also a part of the Artistic Resource Group for The FLEA Theater. In addition to earning a master’s degree in Dance Education from NYU Steinhardt, she holds a bachelor’s degree in Latin American Studies and Creative Writing from Columbia University.
About the Bessie Awards
Produced in partnership with Dance/NYC, the NY Dance and Performance Awards have saluted outstanding and groundbreaking creative work by independent dance artists in NYC for 30 years. Known as “The Bessie” in honor of revered dance teacher Bessie Schoenberg, the awards were established in 1983 by David White at Dance Theater Workshop. A 40-member Selection Committee comprised of artists, presenters, producers, and writers choose nominees.
About the Dance Education Program, NYU Steinhardt Department of Music and Performing Arts Professions
Founded by legendary dance educator Martha Hill in 1932, the program in Dance Education at NYU Steinhardt is one of the oldest and most prestigious in North America. Its goal is to facilitate the development of creative and critical thinking abilities to increase knowledge and expertise in dance and dance education. The program offers multiple M.A. programs, pursuing discipline-based inquiries and scholarly research to transform the way educators understand and teach dance.
NYU Steinhardt’s Department of Music and Performing Arts Professions instructs over 1,600 students majoring in music and performing arts programs. Music and Performing Arts Professions serves as NYU’s “school” of music and is a major research and practice center in music technology, music business, music composition, film scoring, songwriting, music performance practices, performing arts therapies, and the performing arts-in-education (music, dance, and drama).