The Dance Magazine Awards Selection Committee named Nina Ananiashvili as one of the recipients the 2002 Dance Magazine Awards, the most prestigious annual prize in the dance world. Other awardees are Frank Andersen, Jack Mitchell and Tina Ramirez. Following are excerpts from the official press release:

New York City: The Dance Magazine Awards Selection Committee is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2002 Dance Magazine Awards, the most prestigious annual recognition in the international dance community. They are:

NINA ANANIASHVILI: Born in Tbilisi in the Republic of Georgia, the Bolshoi ballerina is today the embodiment of incomparable Russian and Soviet training. She was the first post-World War II Soviet Era dancer to establish herself in American dance, first performing with the New York City Ballet in 1988, and then enriching American Ballet Theater for many seasons with classic and contemporary roles. Today, she is a much-beloved and frequent guest in dance companies around the world.

FRANK ANDERSEN: Danish-born dancer, teacher, and energetic visionary who, as a Bournonville advocate and specialist, two-time artistic director of the Royal Danish Ballet, and artistic director of the Royal Swedish Ballet has made an enormous impact on Scandanavian and world dance.

JACK MITCHELL: An American photographer whose photographs published over almost five decades in Dance Magazine and The New York Times established a fresh, clean, etched studio style that  is one of the very few consistent, comprehensive, and original records of twentieth-century performing and creative artists.

TINA RAMIREZ: Founder and director of the nation’s preeminent Hispanic-American dance company and school, Ballet Hispanico, Tina Ramirez has through her tireless, determined, and gifted service to the arts and the community helped to build through dance a better  world of understanding, opportunity, and trust.

The Awards presentation will take place on Monday, April 22, 2002 at the Merkin Concert Hall at 129 West 67th Street in New York City. Attendance is by invitation.

The Awards Selection Committee is chaired by Dance Magazine Senior Editor Clive Barnes, and includes Dance Magazine Editor at Large Richard Philp, Dance Magazine Awards Chair Roslyne Paige Stern, and the magazine’s publishers and editors.

Since their inception, the Awards have been held in New York City, but the scope of the recipients is international. Performers may have been selected for an Award at relatively early stages in their careers, as were Mikhail Baryshnikov (in 1978) and Robert Joffrey (in 1963), and Savion Glover (in 1996). Or an Award may be presented later, when careers have matured and the accomplishments become well known,  as with Martha Graham (in 1956), Katherine Dunham (in 1968), Sir Anton Dolin (in 1981), John Neumeier (in 1983), Alexandra Danilova (in 1984), or Ann Reinking (in 2000). The Awards recognize many dance disciplines, such as the multifaceted career of Donald Saddler (in 1984), the administrator/manager Jeannot Cerrone (in 1983), the composer Aaron Copland (in 1979), and jazz/tap/film stars Fayard and Harold Nicholas (in 1995). In addition to honoring those working in ballet, modern, jazz, folk, film, nightclubs, and Broadway, the Awards have recognized organizations such as CBS (in 1954), Wesleyan University Press (1966), Dance Masters of America (1984), and Barbara Horgan for the Balanchine Trust (1999).

Among other great ballerinas who have received the award are: Moira Shearer (1955), Alicia Markova (1957), Alicia Alonso (1958), Maria Tallchief (1960), Margot Fonteyn (1962), Maya Plisetskaya (1965), Violette Verdy (1967), Carla Fracci (1968), Suzanne Farrell (1976), Natalia Makarova (1977), Martine van Hamel (1983), Merrill Ashley (1987)