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Billy Siegenfeld named Dance Chicago 2011 Choreographer of the Year

Dance Chicago and the Cliff Dwellers Arts Foundation have named Northwestern University School of Communication dance professor Billy Siegenfeld the 2011 Dance Chicago Choreographer of the Year.

Siegenfeld, who founded the Jump Rhythm Jazz Project, shared the award with his colleagues.

“I feel honored for many reasons—but I feel most touched because the award affirms the work of the members of Jump Rhythm who work with me,” he said. “Their generosity and openness to new exploration allowed them to learn the three new pieces cited by the evaluating committee in one year.”

Siegenfeld went on to name Jump Rhythmmembers and School of Communication alumni Jordan Kahl, Kevin Durnbaugh and Lizzie Perkins, as well as School of Communication adjunct theatre and dance lecturers Brandi Coleman and Kristina Saldarelli.

Siegenfeld won choreographer of the year based on three premiere and distinctive works he created, including You Do Not Have To Be Good, There Never Was A War That Was Not Inward, and The Sumptuous Screech of Simplicity.

“I was inspired by the magnitude of talent from all of the Chicagoland area choreographers whose works hit the stage at this year’s festival,” said John Schmitz, Dance Chicago’s curator and artistic director. “I feel that this may have been one of our most exciting seasons to date.”

Dance Chicago celebrated its 17th season this year with 17 nights of performances from more than 250 companies and choreographers. Formed by Schmitz in 1995, the group has won critical acclaim for its diverse offerings.

Cara Lockwood