BACK TO DANIEL LEWIS BIO                                   

Presentation given by Peg Richardson at the Capital in Tallahassee.





APRIL 4, 2001

Daniel Lewis & Peg Richardson


Good Afternoon.  It is a pleasure to welcome you to Tallahassee, and an honor to be able to present this award on behalf of Secretary of State, Katherine Harris.


The Florida Arts Recognition Awards recognize outstanding imitative, leadership, or excellence in supporting culture in Florida.  Nominees may be individuals such as patrons, educators, or elected officials, or organizations such as arts groups or corporations.  Recipients must have demonstrated a significant contribution to advancements of the arts, in any discipline or field, such as visual arts, performing arts, or arts education either through a lifetime commitment, or a recent major achievement.  Nominations are reviewed by the Florida Arts Council and the Secretary of State for approval.


The person we are honoring today has amassed a staggering array of accomplishments over the past 35 to 40 years beginning with his graduation from the High School of Performing Arts (The fame School), then from the Julliard School where he subsequently taught on the dance faculty for 20 years.


            He also served as Assistant to the director of the Julliard Dance Division and Artistic Director of his own New York City based Dance Company for twelve years.


            Daniel Lewis is the Founding Director of The Limón Institute. Indeed he is undoubtedly the worlds expert on dancer, choreographer, José Limón, having been a member of the Limon Dance Company for 12 years, serving as his assistant from 1966 to 1992 and publishing several illustrated books on Limon’s techniques.


            He has also published papers on medical problems of performing artists, dance in Hispanic culture, and dance education in the USA, K-12.


            He has staged and directed his own choreography for colleges and universities throughout the U.S., as well as for dance companies in South America and England…for operas at Lincoln Center, Huston and Dallas, and for plays, Broadway Musicals and commercials.


            It comes as no surprise that Daniel Lewis has received many awards for his brilliant work. Among them, the National Society of Arts and Letters presented him with a gold medal for Lifelong Achievement in Dance.  Our own Florida Dance Association has recognized him for Outstanding Service Twice, in 1991 and in 2000. He received the 2002 Nancy Smith Award for outstanding leadership and excellence in dance in Florida.


            He has received many grants from the National Endowment for the Arts as a choreographer and for programs in education and the community, no easy task, as well as grants from the New York State Council on the Arts, Metro-Dade Cultural Affairs Council, Canadian Arts Council and 8 grants from the Florida Division of Cultural Affairs.


            If listed the many, many national and state panels and boards on which he has served, you would be duly impressed.


            Of course, we know Daniel Lewis best as Founding Dean of Dance for the New World School of the Arts in Miami. Since his arrival in 1987, he has developed an 8 year curriculum for training dancers in performance and choreography. Dancers from this program are now dancing in most of the major ballet and modern dance companies throughout the world.


            He has guided the New World School of the Arts high school and college dance program to levels of excellence prompting national acclaim. Because of Danny’s artistic connections throughout the world, students have the opportunity to study under the finest teachers, choreographers and performers.


            In addition to his contributions at New World School of the Arts, Danny Lewis has created Miami Dance Futures, where he serves as Program Director and President. Through Miami Dance Futures, artists who would otherwise not be seen, get to present their work at an optimal venue. He repeatedly shines an international light on Florida through the highly successful conferences and festivals he is able to facilitate and draw to Miami. Several nominees of the Florida Arts Recognition Award credited Danny for not only creating dancers, but also present and future audiences.


            If I may quote one of these nominees, “Mr. Lewis is passionately committed to developing the next generation of choreographers and dancers with a Miami signature.”


            So, Daniel Lewis, on behalf of Secretary of State Katherine Harris and the Florida Arts Council. I present you with our 2001 Florida Arts Recognition Award for your profound impact on the dance world and for sharing our State’s rich cultural heritage with the world at large.