The Martha Hill Dance Fund has honored Jim May, founder of Sokolow Theatre/Dance Ensemble, with a Lifetime Achievement Award. The award will be presented by Daniel Lewis at a gala dinner on February 26, 2024, in New York City.
Joan Myers Brown, founder of The Philadelphia Dance Company (PHILADANCO) and the Philadelphia School of Dance Arts, will also receive a Lifetime Achievement Award. Dancers/choreographers Ronald K. Brown and Jacqueline Buglisi will be honored with Martha Hill Mid-Career awards.
Monday, Feb 26, 2024 at 6 pm
The Manhattan Penthouse
80 Fifth Avenue
New York City
Jim May was a devoted disciple of Anna Sokolow for 35 years and co-artistic director of her dance company, Players’ Project, since 1990. His aim as founder of the Sokolow Theatre/Dance Ensemble was to expand the art of dance to include the other arts (music, theater, painting, literature), working toward a progressive new style of theater/dance.
Mr. May was a dancer on the New York scene for over 40 years, having danced with the Limón Company under José Limón’s direction and as a soloist under Carla Maxwell’s direction. Other companies include those of Ruth Currier, Eliot Feld, Kathryn Posin, Kazuko Hirabayashi (soloist) and Daniel Lewis (principal). In addition he danced with all three of the original DTW founders; Jeff Duncan, Jack Moore and Arthur Bauman. He has danced on Broadway and as a guest artist, he has performed works by Donald McKayle, Don Redlich, Murray Louis, Pauline Koner, and Kurt Jooss.
Mr. May has taught on the faculties of SUNY Purchase, Juilliard School of Music, and Princeton University, and was on the faculty of the Limón Institute for many years. In 1992 he received the Marcus Award for Teaching Excellence from Washington University. He taught extensively in Taiwan, where he founded the company Dance Forum Taipei, and in Mexico at Central de Investigacion Corografica. He has taught at many Universities and schools in the United States, Europe, and South America; he was granted a Fulbright award to teach in Chile. His choreography has been in the repertories of Dance Conduit, Dance Forum Taipei, Thoughts in Motion, and the Sokolow Theatre/Dance Ensemble.
Mr. May embraced the distinct dance styles of both Ms. Sokolow and Mr. Limón. He won a 1996 Fulbright Scholarship to Mexico City to extend his studies of his two mentors and their roles in the “across the border” relationship between modern dance in the US and Mexico.
Mr. May received the 1999 Bessie Award for lifetime achievement, “for a sustained achievement over decades as dance’s premiere leading man, an actor-dancer of extraordinary range and scope of character, in the living theater of Anna Sokolow.”