PEOPLE AND COMPANIES IN THE NEWS.
Dance/USA and the National Endowment for the Arts have jointly created the National College Choreography Initiative, allowing colleges and universities nationwide to host professional dancers to restage classic American dance works or create new works on students. The project will be supported by a $520,000 NEA award and $200,000 grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. Matching awards of $10,000 will be awarded to one higher education institution in each state to host dance artists through classes. Potential applicants may request guidelines and application forms from Suzanne Callahan at 202/955-8324 or email@example.com. Complete applications must be postmarked by April 2, 2001 ... In November 2000, Dance Theatre of Harlem became the first arts group to tour China since President Clinton signed a bill October 10 normalizing trade relations with China. The company performed a reworked Firebird and the second act of its Creole Giselle in Beijing and at the Shanghai International Arts Festival, and plans an expanded tour in 2002 ... The Joffrey Ballet of Chicago will be moving into a new $4.5 million facility donated by Chicago's Commonwealth Edison power company, after construction work, which is expected to take approximately two years ... American Ballet Theatre principal dancer Ethan Stiefel and New York City Ballet principal dancer Helene Alexopoulos presented dance awards at the 2000 Princess Grace Awards, held October 23 in New York. Carolina Ballet dancer Lilyan Vigo won the Chris Hellman Dance Award for Ballet; North Carolina School of the Arts student Jerome Johnson and San Francisco Ballet dancer Gonzalo Garcia won ballet dance fellowships; Juilliard student Clyde E. Archer won a modern dance scholarship; Indian dancer Sharanya Mukhopadhyay won an ethnic dance fellowship; and 11-year-old Indian dancer Mallika Murali, the foundation's youngest prizewinner ever, took home an ethnic dance scholarship ... Gordon J. Davis, a former Dance Theatre of Harlem board member, was named president of Lincoln Center, effective Jan. 1, 2001 ... Liz Lerman Dance Exchange was the only dance company among sixteen arts/humanities groups selected to conduct a project for the Animating Democracy Initiative of Americans for the Arts. Aided by a $75,000 grant, the company will focus on arts-based civic dialogue about contemporary issues ... Wayne Hazzard, the former director of San Francisco's Dancers' Group/Footwork studio, which was displaced by an Internet firm last fall, assumed directorship of the city's Cowell Theater November 6. "Dance is the main use of the space," Hazzard said of the Cowell, which hosts such large-scale events as the World Arts West Ethnic Dance Festival and the Summerfest contemporary dance series. At presstime, Dancers' Group was operating out of a new location, and its board of directors was searching for a new director ... The University of Maryland has opened the $107 million Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center. Dance programming plans are forthcoming ... Aspen Ballet Company teacher/choreographer Tracy Straus married guitarist/composer Steven Postel in New York in October ... After an eleven-year tenure, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School director David Holladay announced his resignation in October; it becomes effective March 3, 2001, and a national search is underway for his replacement ... Former San Francisco 49er football player Jeff Stover and former Green Bay Packer Tom Flesher played the Arabian dancers in the Chico Community Ballet's 2000 production of The Nutcracker held in December in California ... In honor of the 70th birthday of the late Orissi Indian dance guru Deva Prasad Das, the Maine-based Indrani Dance Foundation (a nonprofit organization providing financial aid to Indian dance artists) awarded $500 to his widow, Jeetarani Das, and her family ... Four students from New York's Professional Children's School joined the New York City Ballet in December as apprentices: junior Teresa Reichlen and seniors Sophie Flack, Julia James and Dara Johnson ... Smuin Ballets/SF dancer Claudia Alfieri, a former American Ballet Theatre dancer and a student at the Moraga, California-based Liberal Education for Arts Professionals program, won a scholarship from the National Alliance for Excellence Foundation in November ... Check out results of the Prix de Lausanne ballet competition online at www.prixdelausanne.org.