Tap dancer Danny Nielsen nabs Santa Aloi Award
The Santa Aloi Award is going for the first time to a tap dancer, Danny Nielsen, the Dance Centre announced today.
The $4,500 award is aimed at assisting choreographers to hire dancers to rehearse and perform new work.
Nielsen is set to use the money to help create a full-length piece with an ensemble cast that includes well-known tap dancers Mattie Shields and Travis Knight. The show is scheduled to debut at the Scotiabank Dance Centre in fall 2012, coproduced with the Vancouver International Tap Festival.
Past recipients of the three-year-old award have come from the contemporary dance field (Sara Coffin and Jennifer Clarke). But 2012's nod is fitting, considering the award is named for a choreographer and performer who also pursued tap.
Nielsen is currently completing his second year as an artist in residence at the Vancouver Tap Dance Society. Nielsen's performances have included the famous tap sequence at Vancouver's 2010 Olympic Opening Ceremonies, as well as recent shows in Germany, Switzerland, Brazil, and the U.S.