The Lifetime Achievement Award is presented to honour the late Dr Tom Brown, in recognition of his immeasurable contribution to the development of dance in Hong Kong.
Dr Brown’s life was one truly dedicated to dance. Following a successful career as a dancer, dance director and choreographer in his native USA, he came to Hong Kong in 1985 to teach Modern Dance at the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts.
From his arrival here until his untimely passing in November 2018, Dr Brown was a tireless pioneer of Hong Kong professional dance education and an advocate of local dance development as mentor, scholar and artist. Among many achievements during his 30 years at the Academy, he nurtured, mentored and inspired generations of local choreographers, dancers and other artists. He developed the BFA Modern Dance curriculum and MFA dance curriculum for HKAPA and set the foundation of professional modern dance education in Hong Kong. He played a pivotal role in the establishment of the HKAPA graduate programmes, not only in leading all the Master Programmes from all the Schools to be successfully accredited, but also in making them financially sustainable.
As the Chairman of the Hong Kong Dance Alliance, Dr Brown steered the Alliance to develop into an active, dynamic and sustainable organization. He fostered the development of professional local dance criticism as the long-standing editor of Hong Kong’s only dance periodical, dance journal/hk and was a key player in steering and developing the Dance Awards, both of which celebrate their 21st anniversaries this year.
In 2007 Dr Brown received the Home Affairs Bureau Certificate of Commendation for his outstanding contribution to the development of arts and cultural activities in Hong Kong, in 2015 the Distinguished Achievement Award at the Hong Kong Dance Awards and in 2017 a Doctorate in Dance Honoris Causa from the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts.