Dancers from 'Pippin,' 'Motown' get Astaire Awards

AP News
Posted: Jun 04, 2013 4:13 PM
Dancers from 'Pippin,' 'Motown' get Astaire Awards

NEW YORK (AP) — The Tonys aren't until Sunday, but when it comes to achievement in dance, "Pippin" and "Motown the Musical" are already at the head of the pack.

Both dancers and choreographers from the two shows won Fred and Adele Astaire Awards Monday night for their achievement this Broadway season.

From "Pippin," Charlotte d'Amboise took the trophy for best female dancer in her role as Fastrada, Pippin's scheming (and high-kicking) mother-in-law. And Eric LaJuan Summers won best male dancer for his portrayal of singer Jackie Wilson in "Motown."

For best choreography, Chet Walker, who recreated the Bob Fosse choreography in the "Pippin" revival, tied with Patricia Wilcox and Warren Adams of "Motown."

The Astaire awards honor dance in film, too, and this year's winner was Sidi Larbi Cherkaouit for "Anna Karenina."

The evening at New York University's Skirball Center for the Performing Arts was filled with dance performances — everything from tap to jazz to ballet. Highlights were Tiler Peck and Robert Fairchild of New York City Ballet in a haunting rendition of the "Carousel" pas de deux, choreographed by Warren Carlyle, and a reconstructed "Simply Irresistible" from the Broadway show "Contact," performed by the American Dance Machine for the 21st Century. The New Jersey-based Art of Dance troupe offered a vibrant "Dancin' Fool."

Singer Harry Belafonte gave a poignant speech presenting his friend Marge Champion, the dancer, actress and choreographer, now 93, with a lifetime achievement award.