Fini Dance Festival & Awards will be presented at the Ailey Citigroup Theater this month

The Fini Dance Festival and Awards returns to the Ailey Citigroup Theater to present a gala and awards show to outstanding personalities in the dance community on August 31 at 8 p.m., hosted by the charming actress/TV personality from Milan , Tabata Caldironi. Founded in 2011 in Calabria, Italy by Calabrian native Antonio Fini, the annual event celebrates artists from Italy and New York, sharing a program in the spirit of exchange and collaboration. The evening also includes prizes for dance notables. Past award recipients include Alessandra Ferri, Edward Villella, Luigi, Alessandra Corona, and more.

Representations of

Ballet Belvedere (from Calabria)

Ballet Eloelle-Grandiva (based in New York)

Dzul Dance (based in New York)

Fini Dance Company (Calabria and NY)

Turin Tap Dance (Turin Italy)

Karol & Gabriel Chiappetta, Dancing with the Stars finalists in Italy

Fini Dance Junior Company

2022 Award Winners

Louise Cantrell, Founder of Dancing Angels Foundation – Lifetime Achievement Award

Lloyd Knight, Solo with Martha Graham Dance Co. – Outstanding Dancer Award

Bianca Delli Priscoll, senior artist with Ajkun Ballet – Rising Star Award

Angela Valentino, International Makeup Artist – Makeup Award

Learn more about the program:

Ballet Belvedere de Calabria will present a duo choreographed by Maria Marino, danced by Karol and Gabriel Chiapetta.

Ballet Eloelle-Grandiva: The all-male comic ballet company will perform in Corsaire’s Odalisque Pas de Trois, choreographed

by director Victor Trevino to music by Adolphe Adam. Danced by Palomina Carrera, Marianela Moreorless and Teresa Carino.

Dzul Dance: Javier Dzul and Miriam Barbosa will appear as a duo.

Fini Dance New York will present Memories of Tirana, danced by Antonio Fini and Nina Chong-Jimenez.

Turin Tap Dance from Turin will appear in a trio danced by Davide Accossato, Martina Barone and Allegra Schwerdtfeger.

Fini Dance Junior Company in a work by Danielle Marie Fusco

Learn more about the winners:

Lifetime Achievement Award: Louise Cantrell, Founder of Dancing Angels Foundation: 

Originally from New York, Louise Cantrell earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the College of New Rochelle. With over ten years of experience, she became Assistant Vice President at Guy Carpenter & Company. In 2004, she moved to North Carolina and married Edward Cantrell, who joined the 3rd Special Forces Group. During her husband’s career, Louise gave up her own career and became a stay-at-home mom, caring for their daughters Isabella and Natalia. On March 2, 2012, tragedy struck when their house burned down. Louise survived, but her husband and daughters perished. To honor and perpetuate the memory of Isabella and Natalia, Louise established the Dancing Angels Foundation to ensure their memory through dance scholarships for dedicated dancers. As a Gold Star spouse, Louise also works to mentor the families of fallen soldiers and is involved in other military organizations.

Extraordinary Dance Award: Lloyd Knight, Principal Dancer of the Martha Graham Dance Company:

Born in England and raised in Miami, Lloyd trained at the Miami Conservatory of Ballet and the New World School of the Arts. He joined the Martha Graham Dance Company in 2005 and performs major roles in Graham’s repertoire including Appalachian Spring, Embattled Garden, Night Journey and many more. Lloyd appeared with ballet stars Wendy Whelan and Misty Copeland in iconic Graham duets, and had roles created for him by Nacho Duato and Pam Tanowitz. He is currently principal guest artist of the Royal Ballet of Flanders, directed by Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui.

Rising Star Award: Bianca Delli Priscoli, Senior Artist of Ajkun Ballet Theatre:

Bianca trained at Artestudio in her hometown of Salerno, Italy, where she studied ballet, modern and jazz techniques, and continued her training at the Accademia Nazionale di Danza in Rome. Moving to New York in 2014, she studied at the Ailey School and performed with a variety of classical and contemporary companies in the United States and abroad. His repertoire includes Giselle, Apollon Musagete, Don Quichotte, Les Sylphides and Casse-Noisette. Bianca is a Certified ABT Teacher from Kindergarten to Level 7 of the National ABT Curriculum Training. She joined Ajkun Ballet Theater in 2020.

MakeUp Award: Angela Valentino, international make-up artist:

The Milan native developed a passion for makeup while a student at Liceo Artistico Caravaggio in Milan. She graduated in 2008 from the Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera in Milan, ranked first in the best art academies in the world. Angela studied scenography and costume design, then makeup, which she studied at the prestigious BCM cosmetics school in Italy. Now a resident of New York, she has worked in haute couture shows in Italy and the United States and contributed to international fashion magazines, as well as creating sets and costumes for theater, television and the movie theater.

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