It’s a special Victory for Chita Rivera…
The 84-year-old half-Puerto Rican actress, dancer and singer will be honored by the New York-based Victory Dance Project at its third anniversary celebration.
Rivera, a Broadway legend, will be presented with the company’s Woman of Valor Award at the celebration at the Manhattan Movement & Arts Center on June 15.
The award honors “a woman whose artistic excellence, advocacy, and legacy represents the highest level of integrity and artistic vision.”
The event, themed From This Movement On, will also include a world premiere piece choreographed by the company’s artistic director Amy Jordan, as well as pieces from the company’s repertoire.
Jordan and Rivera share a similar experience. Victory Dance Project was founded in 2014 by Jordan after she survived a bus accident that nearly claimed her life. She says she resolved that if she survived, she would do a “victory dance” to celebrate, and launched VDP Project with the mission to “Make the Impossible Possible with the Power of Movement.”
Rivera survived a 1986 Manhattan car accident that shattered her left leg. After therapy, she returned to the stage, winning the 1993 Tony Award for Best Leading Actress in a Musical for her performance in Kiss of the Spider-Woman. She had previously won a Tony for her performance in The Rink.
Her additional credits include the original Broadway productions of Guys and Dolls, West Side Story, Bye Bye Birdie, Can-Can, Chicago, Merlin, The Visit and her autobiographical musical, Chita Rivera: The Dancer’s Life.
“We are thrilled to be honoring the amazing Chita Rivera with Victory Dance Project’s Woman of Valor Award. I can’t think of a more apt recipient—Her incredible talent, spirit and strength inspire us on so many levels—she is truly a woman of valor,” said Jordan in an interview with Playbill.