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Arts Awards

A fall harvest of theatre, dance, and architecture prizes

By Robert Faires, Fri., Dec. 9, 2011

Andersson-Wise's award-winning Block 21 and W Hotel
Andersson-Wise's award-winning Block 21 and W Hotel
Image courtesy of Andrew Pogue

• The University of Texas School of Architecture 2011 Student Architecture Award was presented to Andersson-Wise Architects for Block 21 and the W Hotel on Friday, Dec. 2. A student-led jury selected the project over two other finalists: the Arthouse at the Jones Center renovation by LTL Architects and Balcones House by Pollen Architecture & Design. The deciding factor in naming it the best building completed in the Austin area in the past year was "the complexity of the project and how well Andersson-Wise managed to accommodate every program of the building," says jury secretary Karl Gleason. "The W Hotel, we felt, managed to bring diverse programs, constituents, and clients together and create an innovative ensemble that seamlessly blends the functions of the building together."

Steven Dietz, distinguished professor of playwriting in the UT Department of Theatre & Dance, received the Creative Research Award at the 15th annual Robert W. Hamilton Book Author Awards, sponsored by the University Co-op. The Pulitzer nominee, whose 360 (round dance) was given its world premiere by the department in November, received $5,000 with the prize. In September, Dietz was also named the third recipient of the Tennessee Repertory Theatre's Ingram New Works Fellowship.

Ballet Austin has received a fellowship initiative grant from the New York Choreographic Institute to support an emerging choreographer developing new classical dance. That choreographer is Jennifer Hart, who has taught at the Ballet Austin Academy for four years and was a finalist for the Festival des Arts de Saint-Sauveur 2011 international choreography competition. In her four years with BA, Hart has choreographed Strange Shadows and Imago for Ballet Austin II, its second company/apprentice program.

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