Louisville Ballet Names 2023 Dysart Award Winner, Robyn Mineko Williams

Annual industry award honors the next generation of inspiring, world-class choreographers

LOUISVILLE, KYLouisville Ballet has announced the recipient of the 2023 Dysart Award in Robyn Mineko Williams. The Dysart Award is a nationally and internationally recognized annual award launched by Louisville Ballet in 2021. The award was established to recognize and support promising choreographers on the cusp of their professional careers. Ms.Williams is the second recipient of this award.

Robyn Mineko Williams is a multi-disciplinary artist, director, and producer. She has choreographed works for Pacific Northwest Ballet, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, and Malpaso Dance Company, among others. Williams also works as a creative on an array of projects outside of traditional dance, including music videos, art installations, theater, and film. 

A PGF-USA fellowship recipient and 2014 Dance Magazine’s “25 to Watch” honoree, Robyn’s work has been presented at Kennedy Center, Harris Theater, Jacob’s Pillow, MCA Chicago, and others. In 2015, Williams founded Robyn Mineko Williams and Artists with a mission to partner with a variety of dynamic artists to make and create in the many lanes and intersections of performance, design, culture, and place. 

Photo by Andre Walker

View photos of Williams in action here

Each Dysart Award winner receives a $20,000 (USD) cash award, a $5,000 (USD) charitable gift to a dance education institution of their choice, and a commission to create a work that will be included as part of a Louisville Ballet season production. 

Williams’ choreography will be featured as a part of Louisville Ballet’s Spotlight Series: Women in Focus production running March 2-4 at the Brown Theatre in Louisville. Tickets are available for purchase now. 

“Louisville Ballet is excited for this opportunity to offer the Dysart Award to another choreographer with a growing impact on our art form,” said Robert Curran, Louisville Ballet Artistic Director and Dysart Award Co-Director. “Robyn’s artistic vision and clear commitment to interdisciplinary collaboration truly speaks to the future of dance. We hope this award acknowledges what she’s already accomplished with a view towards the impact she will continue to have on the dance world.” 

Unlike other industry awards, the Dysart Award is presented by nomination only. Dysart Award winners are selected from a short list of choreographers nominated by an internationally recognized panel of adjudicators from throughout the dance world. This year’s Selection Panelists included: Matthew Rushing, Rupert Tookey, Medhi Walerski, Wendy Whelan, and Robert Curran. 

2022/2023 Dysart Award Nominating Panelists included: Katrin Hall, Artistic Director – GöteborgsOperans Danskompani; Virginia Johnson, Artistic Director – Dance Theatre of Harlem; Lourdes Lopez, Artistic Director – Miami City Ballet; Ingrid Lorentzen, Artistic Director – Norwegian National Ballet; Kevin O’Hare, Artistic Director – The Royal Ballet, Matthew Rushing, Associate Artistic Director – Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater; Debbie Turner, CEO  – Cape Town City Ballet; Medhi Walerski, Artistic Director – Ballet BC; Wendy Whelan, Associate Artistic Director – New York City Ballet.


Established in 2021 through the support of generous Louisville-based donors, the Dysart Award is named after Nancy Dysart, one of the founders of Louisville Ballet. The Dysart Award honors the past of the art form while looking to its future. Dysart Award Co-Directors Robert Curran and Rupert Tookey share a commitment to securing the future of dance and believe that this award is critical to elevating the work of a diverse group of dance makers dedicated to artistic innovation. 

The Dysart Award seeks to highlight artists who have a vision for their vocabulary, a clear commitment to their practice, and who are ready to be propelled into the next phase of their careers. Through the international panel of nominators and the intensive nomination process, this award also seeks to exponentially multiply exposure and opportunities for choreographers on the global stage and brings the best of the future of dance to the Louisville community.

Last year’s inaugural Dysart Award was presented to Anne Jung. 


Louisville Ballet, led by Artistic Director Robert Curran and Executive Director Philip Koester, is an evolved, but accessible artistic organization that boldly and beautifully communicates stories both classic and new. We exist to move, to evoke emotion, to provoke thought, and to challenge perceptions. We are artists, athletes, and activists. We are inventors and inspirers.

As the official State Ballet of Kentucky, we have hosted some of ballet’s biggest names including Mikhail Baryshnikov, Twyla Tharp, and Wendy Whelan, performed for tens of thousands of people, and reach over 20,000 school children throughout the Commonwealth with educational programs annually.

Now in our 71st year, making us the fifth-oldest ballet company in the country, our 2022/2023 Season of Transcendence continues our work of making moving art that respects tradition, encourages innovation, and fosters life-long learning. We inspire connection, conversation, and a profound sense of community, by striving for bold collaborations, by nurturing the next generation of artists, by celebrating diversity, and by creating access for all.