Murray Louis to Receive the 2006
Samuel H. Scripps/American Dance Festival $35,000 Award

DURHAM, N.C. —The American Dance Festival will award distinguished choreographer Murray Louis with the 2006 Samuel H. Scripps/American Dance Festival (ADF) Award. Established in 1981 by Samuel H. Scripps, the annual award honors choreographers who have dedicated their lives and talent to the creation of modern dance. The $35,000 award will be presented to Mr. Louis in a ceremony on Sunday, June 18, 2006 at 7:30 pm in Page Auditorium at Duke University.

Mr. Louis, Artistic Director of Murray Louis and Nikolais Dance Company, began dancing in 1949 with Hanya Holm at Colorado College. He joined Alwin Nikolais also in 1949 at the Playhouse Dance Company and collaborated with him until Nikolais' death in 1993. After forming the Murray Louis Dance Company in 1953, Mr. Louis went on to become a major force in modern dance creating over 100 works, touring five continents and performing in every state in the United States. He has choreographed dances for the Royal Danish Ballet, Limón Dance Company, Hamburg Opera Ballet, Scottish Ballet, Berlin Opera Ballet, and Cleveland Ballet as well as smaller companies in the United States and Canada. Mr. Louis has been commissioned as a choreographer by the 16th International Festival of Dance at the Theatre Champs-Elysées, the Taorimina Art Festival and the American Dance Festival. He has worked extensively in television and film and is the author of two books of essays, Inside Dance and On Dance. He is the recipient of the Dance Magazine Award and honorary doctorate degrees from The Boston Conservatory, Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers, Ohio University, and Indiana University. 

Past recipients of the Samuel H. Scripps/American Dance Festival Award include Martha Graham, Merce Cunningham, Paul Taylor, Hanya Holm, Alwin Nikolais, Katherine Dunham, Alvin Ailey, Erick Hawkins, Twyla Tharp, Anna Sokolow, Donald McKayle, Talley Beatty, Trisha Brown, Meredith Monk, Anna Halprin, Fayard and Harold Nicholas, Pina Bausch, Pilobolus Dance Theatre, Garth Fagan, Maguy Marin, Eiko and Koma, and Bill T. Jones. In memoriam awards have been given in memory of Doris Humphrey, Jose Limón, Pearl Primus, Helen Tamiris, and Charles Weidman.

The 2006 the American Dance Festival will be held June 8–July 22. Founded in Bennington, Vermont, in 1934, the festival moved to Connecticut College in New London in 1947 where it remained until 1977 when it relocated to Durham, North Carolina, on the grounds of Duke University. The site of over 550 premieres since its inception, the festival has played a significant role in commissioning choreographers of modern dance companies. In addition, the festival has played a vital role in nurturing young talent. Every summer at the American Dance Festival School the festival serves nearly 500 professional and pre-professional dancers from around the globe.

For more information on the American Dance Festival and all of its programs please call (919) 684-6402 or visit