January 2023 News

Last year, the Merce Cunningham Trust created the Barbara Ensley Award, which offers a BIPOC dancer graduating from academia into professional life with a package that includes financial and other support. The Award is named in honor of the legacy and contribution of long-time Merce Cunningham Studio faculty member Barbara Ensley, who taught the Fundamentals class that all incoming students took.
It is a pleasure to announce that the 2023 Barbara Ensley Award recipients are Arielle François and Nyah Malone who were selected by a panel of professionals from applicants of an open application process!
Nyah and Arielle will enjoy the Trust's support and access to the Trust's resources during the six-month Award period in the latter half of 2023. We are thrilled to welcome them to the Trust and the Cunningham community and we cannot wait to see how they continue their artistic development.
Arielle François is a multidisciplinary performance artist originally from Poinciana, Florida. François trained in dance at the Osceola County School for the Arts and the New World School of the Arts (2022) where she graduated summa cum lade with a BFA in Dance Performance. Her subsequent work modeling helped her create new opportunities in editorial fashion and film, which led to her beginning to nurture her love for theatre. François works to challenge any idea that resist Black women from embracing their inherit abundance. As a concert dancer she has performed works by Ron Brown, Liony Garcia, and Peter London. Most Recently François performed her newest work our found:ALLMYTHINGS!! Sponsored by Miami Dance Makers and The National Young Arts Foundation at the Perez Art Museum this past November (2022).
Nyah Malone, a native of Akron, Ohio, began dancing when she was 3 years old, studying primarily classical ballet. In 2015, they began attending the Walnut Hill School for the Arts and graduated with honors in 2019. She is set to graduate from the LINES BFA program at Dominican University of California in 2023, where she studied Horton, Límon, X-work, improvisation, and contemporary ballet. At LINES, they deconstructed the framework of classical ballet technique and shifted to an approach that valued exploration and choice-making, a process that was fundamental to their growth as an artist. In addition to a BFA, they are also graduating with a BA in English with a creative writing concentration. Nyah is interested in how social justice work and dance converge and how artists can be on the forefront of diversity and inclusivity initiatives.

Read Arielle and Nyah's full biographies here.


August Pace | TRAILER
We recently hosted a private screening of Daniel Madoff's film August Pace: 1989-2019.The documentary about our August Pace workshop captures the generosity and close kinship of multiple generations of dancers as one generation passes Merce Cunningham's work to another, from one body to another. We hope you will be able to see the film soon.
Warmest regards,
Ken Tabachnick
Executive Director