PEOPLE AND COMPANIES IN THE NEWS.
Nine dance groups, including Bates College, Trisha Brown Dance Company, Performance Space 122, Stephen Petronio Dance Company and San Francisco's Zaccho SF, received Rockefeller Foundation grants to create new works ... Janis Brenner, artistic director of the New York-based Janis Brenner & Dancers, won a $20,000 American Artists Abroad grant that took her to Indonesia this winter. The U.S. Cultural Center in Dakar is currently sponsoring Brenner's work in Senegal ... Choo-San Goh choreography awards, which help offset choreographers' fees and expenses, went to Cincinnati Ballet for a new work by Julia Adam and Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre for a piece by Dwight Rhoden. In addition, the Diablo Ballet received funding for a work by their assistant artistic director Kelly Teo ... The Pennsylvania Ballet received a $150,000 American Express grant to support a dance series designed to attract a younger, more diverse audience ... The California Institute of the Arts got $1.171 million in federal funds to support arts education programs in Los Angeles high schools ... ODC/San Francisco, a Bay Area performance space and school, received $16,000 to explore expanding its space to add more studios ... The Bay Area dance community will also be the focus of a needs-assessment study. Dance/USA received a $200,000 grant from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation to fund the project and is likely to work with San Francisco's Dancers' Group, which recently launched a separate study ... In London, the Critics' Circle award for outstanding contribution to dance went to David Bintley, director of the Birmingham Royal Ballet. Akram Kahn, choreographer in residence at the Royal Festival Hall, won for most promising newcomer ... Abdoulaye Sylla, master dancer and drummer, will host a sixteen-day visit to Guinea, his homeland in West Africa, from May 25 to June 10. Check out www.danceanddrum.com ... The National Dance Education Organization's annual conference will be held April 19-22 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Go to www.ndeo.org ... Jump Rhythm Jazz Project celebrated its tenth anniversary in March by performing a section of a dance the Limon Dance Company commissioned from JRJP Artistic Director Billy Siegenfeld. The Limon Company will premiere the complete work at Jacob's Pillow in June ... The National Ballet of Canada's Les Sylphides is pictured on Canada's new silver dollars minted to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of NBC's first performance ... The Australian Ballet's Geon van der Wyst has joined The National Ballet of Canada as a principal dancer. NBC also promoted Christopher Body to first soloist, and Laura Bolton, Nehemiah Kish and Blair Puente have joined the corps ... New York City Ballet soloist Jennie Somogyi is now a principal dancer ... David Nixon, artistic director of BalletMet in Ohio, will leave in August to direct the Northern Ballet Theatre in Leeds, England. Dennis Cornell was named BalletMet executive director ... The Donald Byrd Dance Foundation has named Peter Poliakine executive director ... Arlene Shuler, ex-Joffrey dancer, lawyer and, until recently, Senior Vice President for Planning and External Affairs at Lincoln Center, has been named head of the Howard Gilman Foundation ... Jorma Uotinen will be stepping down after ten years as ballet director for Finnish National Opera Ballet. Dinna Bjorn, formerly director of the Norwegian National Ballet, will take over ... Tony Hall, news executive with the BBC, has been named the new director of London's Royal Opera House, replacing Michael Kaiser (see Dance Magazine Awards, page 50).