Tony winner Alan Cumming hosted the awards ceremony, which honored Darling ( Billy Elliot) with the Best Broadway Choreographer Award and David Alvarez, Trent Kowalik and Kiril Kulish with the Best Male Dancer Award for their work in the title role of the Elton John musical.
Pia Glenn ( You're Welcome America A Final Night with George W Bush) earned the Best Female Dancer Award, and Longines Fernandes was awarded Best Film Choreographer for "Slumdog Millionaire."
As previously reported, Liza Minnelli presented "Singin' in the Rain" and "On the Town" film director/choreographer Stanley Donen with the Douglas Watt Lifetime Achievement Award, Geoffrey Rush presented the award for Best Film Choreographer, and Bebe Neuwirth presented the award for Best Male Dancer.
The Astaire Awards boasted performances from the nominees and Martha Plimpton, who reprised "That Terrific Rainbow" from the recent Roundabout revival of Pal Joey. A special tribute to Clive Barnes and Stanley Donen was also presented.
The 2009 Fred & Adele Astaire Award nominees follow (winners in bold and preceded by an asterisk):
BEST BROADWAY CHOREOGRAPHER:
Andy Blankenbuehler, 9 to 5
Karole Armitage, Hair
* Peter Darling, Billy Elliot
Sergio Trujillo, Guys and Dolls
Graciela Daniele, Pal Joey
BEST FILM CHOREOGRAPHER:
Anthony Van Laast, "Mamma Mia"
* Longines Fernandes, "Slumdog Millionaire"
Aakomon “AJ” Jones, "Center Stage Turn It Up"
Tracy Phillips, "Make It Happen"
Patrick De Bana and Pedro Gomes, "Fados"
Kenny Ortega, "High School Musical 3"
Todd Underwood, "Were the World Mine"
BEST FEMALE DANCER:
Karen Olivo, West Side Story
Angel Reed, Katherine Tokarz and Savannah Wise, Rock Of Ages
Kearran Giovanni, Guys and Dolls
* Pia Glenn, You’re Welcome America. A Final Night with George W Bush
Established in 1982, the Fred & Adele Astaire Awards (formerly known as The Astaire Awards) recognize outstanding achievement in dance on Broadway each season. The award was established with the cooperation of Fred Astaire to honor him and his sister, Adele, who starred with her brother in ten Broadway musicals between 1917 and 1931.
For more information visit AstaireAwards.