Professor David Dorfman ’81 wins Connecticut’s Artistic Excellence Award
Dance professor and prolific choreographer David Dorfman ’81 has won a $5,000 Artistic Excellence Award through the state of Connecticut’s Artist Fellowship Program, which provides recognition and funding support for Connecticut artists to pursue new work and advance their artistic careers.
Dorfman has taught dance for more than 40 years and served as the artistic director of the influential modern dance company David Dorfman Dance since 1987, performing extensively throughout North and South America, Europe, and Central Asia. In 2017, he made his Broadway debut as the choreographer of Indecent, by Paula Vogel, and recently partnered with USAID El Salvador to bring dance to youth in an area plagued by gang violence, having previously made similar trips to Turkey, Armenia and Tajikistan.
His impressive resume also includes a 2019 United States Artists Fellowship, four fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, three from the New York Foundation for the Arts, a Guggenheim Fellowship, an American Choreographers Award, a Lucille Lortel Award for best choreography, the first Paul Taylor Fellowship from The Yard, and a New York Dance & Performance Award (“Bessie”).
Dorfman is one of only seven Connecticut artists to win the 2021 Artistic Excellence Award, and the only person to win for choreography.
“Every award is unbelievably special and super welcome—even after all these years,” Dorfman said.
While he isn’t sure exactly what he will use the prize money for, Dorfman has no shortage of ideas.
“I have been thinking of starting on a book—perhaps a mini-memoir that also might be a bit of a teaching/creating manual,” he said. “David Dorfman Dance is also doing a film project based on our recent (A)Way Out of My Body, so any support for that is super welcome. And I’m always wanting to get in the studio and start something new—we have a working title of Truce Song (and its variations), so perhaps this boost will either get me going sooner or give me some more time to reflect before we hit full speed again, post-pandemic.”
As Connecticut College’s company-in-residence since 2007, David Dorfman Dance spends three weeks each year working with Conn students and developing new works. This week, the company, in virtual residence, is teaching classes, hosting lunch discussions and conducting open rehearsals on the new (A)Way Out of My Body film project.