What's New on the Rialto
2016 Fred and Adele Astaire Awards
Nominees and Winners
By Michael Portantiere
Honoring outstanding dance and choreography on stage and screen, the 2016 Fred and Adele Astaire Awards were presented on Monday, May 16 at the NYU Skirball Center for the Performing Arts in a ceremony notable for spectacular entertainment, and for a three-way tie for the Best Choreographer Award between Andy Blankenbuehler (Hamilton), Savion Glover (Shuffle Along, Or The Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed), and Sergio Trujillo (On Your Feet).
The award for Best Female Dancer went to Jane Krakowski for her amazing moves in She Loves Me. Phillip Attmore received the Best Male Dancer award for Shuffle Along..., and that show also won for Outstanding Ensemble in a Broadway Show. This is the first year that the Astaire Awards have honored achievement Off-Broadway: Connor Gallagher (The Robber Bridegroom) and Paul McGill (The Legend of Georgia McBride) tied for the award for Outstanding Choreography, while Rumi Oyama (Sayonara) and Robert Creighton (Cagney) won Outstanding Female Dancer and Outstanding Male Dancer. The Outstanding Choreography in Film Award went to Dave Scott for High Strung.
Ably and charmingly hosted by Donna McKechnie and Lee Roy Reams, the ceremony was highlighted by the presentation of honorary awards to Judith Jamison (Douglas Watt Lifetime Achievement Award), Nigel Lythgoe (Outstanding Contribution to the Field of Dance), Maurice Hines (Outstanding Body of Work in the Field of Dance), and Dr. Joan Fallon (Special Achievement in the Field of Autism and Related Disorders).
The proceedings were sparked by such roof-raising dance numbers as "Tradicion" from On Your Feet, a tribute to Maurice Hines by Leo and John Manzari, and "Dr. Jazz," choreographed by Warren Carlyle.
Here is a complete list of the winners and nominees (winners' names in bold).
BEST FEMALE DANCER
BEST MALE DANCER
OUTSTANDING ENSEMBLE IN a BROADWAY SHOW
OUTSTANDING CHOREOGRAPHY IN FILM
OUTSTANDING FEMALE DANCER OFF-BROADWAY
OUTSTANDING MALE DANCER OFF-BROADWAY
OUTSTANDING CHOREOGRAPHY OFF-BROADWAY
Judith Jamison and Nigel Lythgoe were honored with special awards at the ceremony; Jamison is artistic director emerita at Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater; and Lythgoe is creator and executive director of the TV series "So You Think You Can Dance." Maurice Hines was also honored for his body of work.