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Singh receives the Pola Nirenska Award

Washington Performing Arts Society, in association with the Pola Nirenska Memorial Awards Committee, announces the presentation of the 2013 Pola Nirenska Memorial Award for Outstanding Contribution to Dance to Daniel Phoenix Singh, and the Pola Nirenska Memorial Award for Lifetime Achievement in Dance to Sandra Fortune-Green. The Pola Nirenska Memorial Awards are given annually to individuals who have demonstrated outstanding contributions, artistic excellence or potential, or devoted service to dance. The award presentations will take place during the DC Metro Dance awards program at George Washington University’s Marvin Center on September 9, 2013.

Pola Nirenska (1910-1992) was a matriarch of modern dance in Washington, DC who survives through her work, and the gift of an annual award to honor those who have made outstanding contributions to dance. Founded in 1993 and supported by donations by Dr. Jan Karski, the late Ms. Nirenska’s husband, the Fund is administered by the Washington Performing Arts Society which hosts a committee that annually decides to whom the award shall be given. Special consideration is given to the community of dance in Washington, DC where the couple lived and worked during their later years. The current committee is comprised of Dance and Arts community leaders including: 1) Veteran dance critic George Jackson who wrote frequently for the Washington Post, Dance Magazine and is an active contributor for the www.danceviewtimes.com. 2) SaliAnn Kriegsman, wife of the late Pulitzer Prize winning dance critic Alan Kriegsman, 3) Carla Perlo, Founding Artistic Director at Dance Place, 4) Anthony Gittens, Director of Film Fest DC, 5) Meg Booth, Director of Dance Programming at the Kennedy Center, 6) Doug Wheeler, President Emeritus of the Washington Performing Arts Society. The award is highly competitive and past recipients have included distinguished leaders such as Rima Faber (current chair), Liz Lerman of Dance Exchange, Carla Perlo of Dance Place, and prominent choreographers Eric Hampton, Jacek Luminski, and Sharon Wyrrick. Daniel Phoenix Singh has been chosen for the 2013 Pola Nirenska Award for Artistic Excellence.

Daniel Phoenix Singh is the Artistic Director and President of Dakshina/Daniel Phoenix Singh Dance Company, whose revival of Anna Sokolow’s Lyric Suite at Dance Place was selected as one of the top three local dance performances in 2012 by Pulitzer Prize winning dance critic Sarah Kaufman in the Washington Post.

Singh holds an MFA in Dance and a Graduate Certificate in Women’s Studies from the University of Maryland. He also holds a Laban Movement Analyst Certificate from the Laban/Bartenieff Institute of Movement Studies in New York City. Singh trained in the Indian classical dance style of Bharata Natyam with Guru Meena Telikicherla of Nrityanjali. Singh’s most recent explorations in dance include Cuban/Colombian variations of Salsa and Merengue with Javier Varela and Shawn Malone. Singh is currently on the faculty at Maryland Youth Ballet.

Dakshina/Daniel Phoenix Singh Dance Company received the Founder’s Award for Innovation in Dance in 2007 and received the Emerging Group and Excellence in Costume Design Awards in 2008 from the Metro DC Dance Awards. In 2009, Dakshina received a prestigious touring grant, performing Anna Sokolow’s work in India. The company was also the first U.S.-based dance company to visit Bangladesh since the country’s founding in 1972. In 2010, Singh became one of the youngest finalists for the DC Mayor’s Arts Awards in the Innovation in the Arts category. Dakshina is one of two U.S. based dance companies to be invited to perform in the Kennedy Center festival Maximum India in 2011.