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Nathaniel Beau Hancock named the winner of the 2014-2015 Ellen Forman Memorial Award

DSC_0484_3   Photo by Bill Hebert copy-red
***Photo Credit Bill Hebert

NATHANIEL BEAU HANCOCK has been named the winner of the 2014-2015 Ellen Forman Memorial Award. The award consists of a $2,000 cash prize and production costs for setting a work on the dance company at Drexel University during the 2014-2015 academic year.

The Ellen Forman Memorial Award supports Philadelphia-area choreographers by giving them the opportunity to set a work on Drexel University’s Dance Ensemble as part of the Drexel Dance Program. Award decisions are made by the EFMA Advisory Committee. Since its establishment in 1991, the Fund has granted 19 awards. The Ellen Forman Memorial Fund, a component fund administered by The Philadelphia Foundation, also has endowed a dance studio in Ms. Forman’s name at Drexel University; Drexel is a co-sponsor of this award.

Beau Hancock earned his MFA in Dance from Temple University, where he was a University Fellow and Rose Vernick Choreographic Achievement Award recipient. He also has a BA in Dance and American Studies from the University of Kansas, and was a founding member of the Bowery Dancers, a Lawrence, Kansas-based movement collective.  In 2009, he won the Cleveland Art Prize/Kathryn Karipides Scholarship, a national prize for summer dance study.  As a choreographer, he frequently collaborates with Eleanor Goudie-Averill as the company Stone Depot, most recently presenting a new work in the Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts.  As a performer, Beau has had the pleasure to work with Ben Munisteri Dance Projects, Kathy Dunn Hamrick Dance Company, Douglas Dunn and Dancers, Merian Soto/Performance Practice, Nichole Canuso Dance Company, Bronwen MacArthur Dance Project, Kun-Yang Lin and Dancers, Subcirlce, and Miro Dance Theatre. In 2012-2013, he was a nEW Festival Artist-in-Residence, a Dance USA/Philadelphia Polish Exchange Artist, a PEW Fellowship Nominee, and a “Rocky” Award Recipient.  He is currently a Visiting Assistant Professor of Dance at Rowan University.

The Ellen Forman Memorial Fund was established by friends and colleagues under the auspices of The Philadelphia Foundation in memory of Ellen Forman, a dancer and choreographer, who died before her time in 1990 at the age of 45. Ms. Forman co-founded the South Street Dance Company, one of Philadelphia’s first professional modern dance companies. This ground-breaking company received support from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, Pew Memorial Trust and William Penn Foundation. For over a decade, SSDC presented new works in Philadelphia. As part of her belief in education and outreach to students, Ellen created a workshop program combining dance, theatre and visual arts in conjunction with Young Audiences. Among many accomplishments, she is known for her production of a series of annual concerts called Body/Language which were staged at the Painted Bride Arts Center, and for her tribute to Isadora Duncan, an exemplification of her love of both the movement and the music.

Since 1918, The Philadelphia Foundation has linked those with financial resources to those who serve societal needs. It is the region’s community foundation, serving Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties. By growing the 900 funds established by its donors and distributing $20 million annually in grants and scholarships to effective nonprofit organizations, The Philadelphia Foundation improves Southeastern Pennsylvania’s quality of life. The Foundation helps build healthy communities, strengthen children and families, advance economic opportunities and enhances culture and recreation. For more information visit www.philafound.org

- Steven Weisz

Founder & Editor
While not a dancer himself, Weisz’s love for the arts and dance started as a child growing up in New York City. With parents, who were strong supporters of the arts and part of a community with an incredible array of notable artists in music, dance, theater and fine arts, Weisz’s access and affinity for the performing arts took root. Upon attending college in Philadelphia at the University of Pennsylvania in the mid 70’s, Weisz started performing as a puppeteer, magician, juggler and fire eater as a means of supplementing his income. This soon grew in to what became Rainbow Promotions Inc., one of the largest entertainment and special events producers in the region. It was here that he began to promote and book dance for major events throughout the city. Many of the dancers he worked with in the early days of his company are now major choreographers in Philadelphia. At the same time, Weisz’s interest in computers and the early developments of what is now known as the Internet, led him to also start another company, Delaware Valley On Line, which became one of the first regional ISPs. It was this combination of event production, internet development and event marketing that led him to examine the use of the internet as a means to promote the arts. Dance continued to be a major interest for Weisz and in 2005 he founded PhiladelphiaDANCE.org as a major online resource to promote dance in the city. It was soon after that the Dance Journal was also founded as a way to provide an outlet for writing on a range of topics that encompass the ever growing and emerging dance community in the region. Weisz continues to run both PhiladelphiaDANCE and The Dance Journal on purely a voluntary basis with no income derived from any of his projects. He is also the Artistic Director of Graffito Works, a unique platform for dancers and performing artists to create site-specific work and to make it readily accessible to the public.

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