The Ivey Awards and the Sage Awards are like twin siblings with everything in common who have somehow consciously chosen to be as different as possible from each other. The Ivey Awards is big, in a big theater, with big, glitzy production values and big, glitzy ticket prices. The awards are chosen by a wide panel of evaluators, anyone who wants to join up can join up, giving the selections a highly populist feel. O, and there are no nominees and no categories, only winners.

The Sage Awards, at least from what I saw last year, are low-key, kind of rambling even. The tickets are only $12, and the awards--and nominees--are chosen by a secret panel of local dance experts. As I watched them give out awards, and read what the panelists had concluded about the winners, I felt like I was getting a peak inside the passions of professional dancers--not populist at all but educational about dance. O, and there are production numbers too but they were as much difficult dance as crowd-pleasing dance, and the production values felt DIY.

(Tangent: It's funny that something like the Sage Awards would fit the definition of "elitist" since its really a party thrown by dancers for dancers in which they talk about dance in a way that sometimes doesn't even make sense to the general public. Except as the general public (sort of), I felt a real warm and cozy sense of community and learned so much about dance that I wanted to then go out and experience. With the Ivey's, on the other hand, where there is a much larger and seemingly wider general audience, I generally think only that its nice to see pretty people dressed up in pretty dresses and applaud for people who I think are very nice people. . .I am so confused about the word "elitist".)

Anyway -- all of this is to introduce the fact that the Sage Awards, at the Southern Theater this year on Tuesday, September 14, have announced this year's nominees.

They are (in alphabetical order):

Outstanding Dance Educator (1 honoree)
Awarded to a dance educator/teacher for commitment and accomplishment in the field of dance education. This award can include efforts from past seasons or over a career.

Karla Grotting
Mary Harding
Judith Howard
Beck Stanchfield

Special Citation (1 honoree)
Awarded completely at the panel’s discretion to anyone with a strong connection to the field of dance in Minnesota, and may include past efforts or work from past seasons.

Susanna di Palma
Patrick Scully
Linda Shapiro

Outstanding Performance (3 honorees)
Awarded for the performance of a show, a work or a piece of choreography at which an audience was present. Interdisciplinary work can be considered. The award will be given to the creator or creators of the performance.

Francis Kofi and Hayor Bibimma for Anyendo Hwendo “Rainbow Spirit”
Joanie Smith for Bolero
Uri Sands for Earth
Ranee Ramaswamy and Aparna Ramaswamy for Ihrah: Sacred Water
Angharad Davies and Alex Grant for Security
Kenna Sarge for -ER+A

Outstanding Ensemble: new award for 2010 (1 honoree)
Awarded to a performance ensemble or a group, without limit to the number of performers. An audience must be present.

Cast of Heaven by Morgan Thorson
Cast of Women & Men by Shapiro & Smith Dance
Zenon Dance Company for performances in Fall Concert, Spring Concert and the opera
Orpheus and Eurydice

Outstanding Design (2 honorees)
Awarded to an artist or group of artists who work in the areas of costume design, lighting design, music composition and sound design, set design or installation works, or film and video.

Body Cartography – Production design for Half Life
Mary Ann Bradley, Andrew Welken and Shawn McConneloug – Film and direction for SubVert
Paul Herwig – Set design for The Jury
Deborah Jinza Thayer (Mathew Smith, music; Lisa Axell/Laura Adams, costumes; Jeff Bartlett, lighting; Deirdre Murnane, puppetry; Brian Axell, set) – Concept and production design for Ode to Dolly

Outstanding Performer (3 honorees)
Awarded to a single dancer or dancers in an ensemble or a group, without limit to the number of performers. An audience must be present.

Rachel Barnes – Femme de la Swashbuckle Box; Ode to Dolly; Dougieland
Mary Ann Bradley & Greg Waletski – Here, Now That You’re Gone
Brian Evans – Just One More; In Between-Between Places; Love Triangle (from The Jury); Abandon Me; A Word With You Dear; Tales from the Book of Longing
Penelope Freeh - We’ll Survive if We Don’t Protect Ourselves; Tributes; Ballet Works Project; Ode to Dolly: The Sheep; Inter Alia; Moving Works
Jin Ming & Galen Treuer – Arrangements

Minnesota SAGE Awards for Dance: Event information
Date/time: September 14, 2010
Tue. at 7:30pm, reception to follow
Tickets: $12
Southern Theater box office: 612.340.1725