Desmond Richardson has been selected as the recipient of the 60th annual Capezio Dance Award granted by the Capezio Ballet Makers Dance Foundation, a philanthropic organization funded by the dance and apparel manufacturer Capezio Ballet Makers.
Awarded annually since 1952, the Capezio Dance Award celebrates significant contributions to American dance by an individual, company, or institution. It recognizes those who bring respect, stature, and distinction to dance and who exhibit innovation, creativity, and imagination.
Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux, president and artistic director of North Carolina Dance Theater, will present the award and the accompanying $10,000 honorarium to Richardson at a performance by Complexions Contemporary Ballet at the Joyce Theater, New York City, on May 24.
Hailed as one of the great modern dancers of his time, Richardson joined Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in 1987 and was a principal dancer for Ailey for seven years. Later, he performed with Ballet Frankfurt and as guest artist with Swedish Opera Ballet, The Washington Ballet, Teatro at La Scala, and San Francisco Ballet, joining American Ballet Theatre in 1997.
Richardson co-founded Complexions Contemporary Ballet in 1994 and continues to serve as its co-artistic director.
Richardson has appeared on Broadway in Fosse, The Look of Love, and Movin’ Out. He had a principal role in Soul Possessed, which premiered at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in 1999. Richardson has worked in television, film, and video, appearing with such pop artists as Michael Jackson, Prince, Aretha Franklin, and Madonna. He was featured in the films One Last Dance, Chicago, and Preaching to the Choir, and performed the lead role of Beowulf in Julie Taymor’s Grendel.