Established in 1981 by the American arts benefactor, the $50,000 award is given annually to a choreographer who has contributed to and influenced modern dance, through his or her dedication to creation in the field.
Narahin at work (Photo: Yaron Brenner)
Naharin, who became the artistic director of the world-renowned Israeli dance ensemble, Batsheva, in 1990, has taken the troupe all over the world. Additionally, his choreographed pieces have been performed internationally by numerous dance groups.
The prize will be presented to Naharin in a special ceremony June 25 at 8 pm at the Durham Performing Arts Center. Afterwards, his 2007 work, "Decadance", will be performed by the Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet, as part of an Israeli segment of the 2009 American Dance Festival.
The organization referred to Naharin as "a trailblazing choreographer whose 2007 work pieces together two decades of choreography into an explosive masterpiece."
In receiving the award, the Israeli dancer is joining a long line of famous artists, including Martha Graham and Alvin Ailey.