Max Mara Presents Young Visionary Award in the District

When Javon Jones took the stage at the New World Center during YoungArts Week this past January, the audience’s fixation on the young dancer and choreographer was immediate. Performing original choreography to “Eli, Eli,” (translation: “My God, My God”) composed by György Deák-Bárdos, Jones stepped onto the stage blinded by a heavy, draped burgundy fabric. As the music began, he walked forward, letting the fabric fall and locking eyes with the audience.

Moving powerfully and gracefully across the floor, Jones seemed to underscore the connection between movement and spirituality that lies at the heart of American modern dance.  “I spent long days and nights in the studio seeking that dance which might be the divine expression of the human spirit through the medium of the body’s movement,” wrote modern dance pioneer Isadora Duncan. And as the dancer seeks to find the sacred, the arts have the power to profoundly impact and connect individuals on a higher plane.

Youngarts Javon Jones

Photo: Javon Jones

Perhaps this is why the artist, as a mirror to the soul, remains a crucial figure in modern life. “Dance influences life and life influences dance,” Jones explains. “Dance is a portal to the past, a statement of the present and a looking glass to the future. As I develop as a human being and experience life, this becomes more evident by the realization of society’s dependence on artists and art throughout the world.”

After witnessing Jones’ performance, his courage and vulnerability, it comes as no surprise that the 2016 YoungArts Winner in Dance was selected as the inaugural recipient of Max Mara’s Young Visionary Award.  The fashion house has shown continued commitment to supporting creatives in the avant-garde, especially within education and with emerging, breakthrough artists. With their new award reserved for an exceptional YoungArts winner at the highest award level of $10,000, this is the first of a generous three-year commitment to the organization. 

On March 8, in anticipation of YoungArts Miami—the regional program modeled after the signature National YoungArts Week—Max Mara will be hosting a reception at its Design District boutique at 3841 NE 2nd Avenue. For more information about the event, YoungArts Miami regionals, and its public performances March 10 – 12, visit the website at

With contributions from Elsie Morales