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Review: The 2024 Chita Rivera Awards, Bernadette Peters receives the ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’

On Monday, May 20, the 2024 Chita Rivera Awards took place at the NYU Skirball Center for the Performing Arts.

Bernadette Peters
Bernadette Peters. Photo Credit: Christopher Duggan.
Bernadette Peters. Photo Credit: Christopher Duggan.

On Monday, May 20, the 2024 Chita Rivera Awards took place at the NYU Skirball Center for the Performing Arts.

This award show was produced by Joe Lanteri, the founder and executive director of the New York City Dance Alliance Foundation, in conjunction with Patricia Watt.

These awards recognized outstanding choreography, featured dancers, and ensembles in shows on Broadway as well as choreography in film that opened during the 2023-2024 season.

Joe Lanteri
Joe Lanteri. Photo Courtesy of Christopher Duggan.

The mission of this award show is to celebrate dance and choreographic excellence, preserve notable dance history, recognize past, present, and future talents, while promoting high standards in dance education and investing in the next generation.

2024 Chita Rivera Award winners

This year’s winners included Camille A. Brown of “Hell’s Kitchen” and Jesse Robb and Shana Carroll for “Water for Elephants” for “Outstanding Choreography in a Broadway Show,” while the cast of “Illinoise” won for “Outstanding Ensemble in a Broadway Show.”

Ricky Ubeda and Ben Cook in 'Illinoise' on Broadway
Ricky Ubeda and Ben Cook in ‘Illinoise’ on Broadway. Photo Credit: Matthew Murphy.

Antoine Boissereau of “Water for Elephants” and Tilly Evans-Krueger of “The Outsiders” won for “Outstanding Dancer in a Broadway Show.”

In the “Film & Documentary” category, Jennifer White of “Barbie” won for “Outstanding Choreography in a Theatrical Release,” while David Petersen, the director of “Lift” won for “Outstanding Direction of a Dance Documentary.”

Bernadette Peters: The 2024 ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’ recipient

At this year’s ceremony, Bernadette Peters received the “Lifetime Achievement Award” and Mayte Natalio, the choreographer of “Suffs,” was presented the Douglas and Ethel Watt Critics’ Choice Award.

Peters was presented her award by David Hyde Pierce, who praised her for being a quintuple threat in the industry because Peters “acts, sings, dances, writes, and she is kind.”

Peters is a huge supporter of Broadway Barks, which she co-founded with Mary Tyler Moore. This annual event features Broadway celebrities who use their star power to help find loving homes for animals in need from participating NYC area shelters.

Bernadette Peters
Bernadette Peters. Photo Credit: Bryan Levi

Phil LaDuca was also bestowed the “Vanguard Award” for his contributions to the international dance community.

All proceeds of the Chita Rivera Awards benefit the NYC Dance Alliance Foundation Scholarship Program. The NYCDA Foundation is a 501(c)(3) charity, which is committed to broadening performing arts awareness while advocating education and high standards of excellence in dance. 

Marina Tamayo interview

Prior to the award show, this journalist had the opportunity to chat with Marina Tamayo on the red carpet, who was nominated for “Outstanding Choreography in a Theatrical Release” for “Carmen,” along with Benjamin Millepied.

On her “Outstanding Choreography” nomination, Tamayo remarked, “It is very exciting. I am very honored and very grateful.”

“I loved Chita’s passion, her sacrifices, her dedication, perseverance, and trailblazing career. This is what we all aspire to be,” Tamayo acknowledged.

For young and aspiring dancers and performers, Tamayo said, “Be authentic, be kind, and work hard.”

Regarding her definition of the word success, Tamayo said, “Success means happiness. You just need to be happy.”

Markos Papadatos
Written By

Markos Papadatos is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for Music News. Papadatos is a Greek-American journalist and educator that has authored over 21,000 original articles over the past 18 years. He has interviewed some of the biggest names in music, entertainment, lifestyle, magic, and sports. He is a 16-time "Best of Long Island" winner, where for three consecutive years (2020, 2021, and 2022), he was honored as the "Best Long Island Personality" in Arts & Entertainment, an honor that has gone to Billy Joel six times.

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