The Big Guns of the Northern California dance world come out to play at the A.W.A.R.D. Show, starting tonight. International touring companies, grant-getters, award-winners, and innovators show up for this American Idol-style round robin with a great big $10,000 grand prize. For the first three nights, four choreographers display 15-minute pieces; you vote for a winner after participating in post-show discussion with critics and the creators themselves. On the 15th, the three winners go at it again, and again, the audience gets a vote -- not the only vote, with this much money hanging in the balance, come on. A panel of excruciatingly experienced, and let's assume totally impartial judges also have a large say in who gets the wad. Obviously, dance fans win every night, as the likes of Liss Fain, Manuelito Biag, Kara Davis, Dominic Duong, and others bring out their very, very, very best stuff.
Jan. 12-15, 8 p.m., 2011