News: Critics' Circle National Dance Awards 2004

Thursday 20 January 2005

The winners of the 2004 Critics’ Circle National Dance Awards were announced yesterday at a ceremony in the Floral Hall of the Royal Opera House, attended by the Rt. Hon Estelle Morris MP, Minister for the Arts. Angela Rippon compered the ceremony in which some 39 nominees – chosen by dance critics to reflect their choice of dancers and classical ballet and modern dance companies who have made ‘an outstanding contribution to the profession over the past twelve months.’

The seventeen awards included two specifically for young people, one voted for purely by audiences and the Dance UK Industry Award. The remaining awards were dominated by two companies. The Royal Ballet won in five categories and Rambert won, or were associated with, all the awards specifically for Modern Dance – Javier de Frutos won the Best Choreography Award (Modern) for Milagros for the Royal New Zealand Ballet, as well as Elsa Canasta for Rambert. Matthew Bourne and company won Best Choreography (Musical Theatre) for Play Without Words.

The new Working Title Billy Elliot Prize ( for boys aged 11 – 16 years) was presented by film director Stephen Daldry to 13 year old Taylor Davies from Swansea. The Sunday Express National Dance Award for Children, given for high achievement in the face of exceptional difficulty, aged from 6 to 16, was won by 9 year old Abbie Hastings from Birmingham.

The UK’s dance community representatives present included John Ashford, Mark Baldwin, David Bintley, Darshan Singh Bhuller, Alina Cojucaro, Thomas Edur, Johan Kobborg, Russell Maliphant, Monica Mason, Irek Mukhamedov, David Nixon, Agnes Oaks, Ashley Page as well as many dancers and other representatives from companies across the UK – including Akram Khan Dance Company, George Piper Dances, Independent Ballet Wales, Northern Ballet Theatre, Phoenix Dance Theatre, the Royal Ballet and Scottish Ballet.

It was announced that Dame Beryl Grey DBE has agreed to become Patron of the Awards, which have been running for just five years, in succession to Dame Alicia Markova, who died last December.

The winners of the 2004 Critics’ Circle National Dance Awards are:

De Valois Award For Outstanding Achievement In Dance: Sir Peter Wright, Director Laureate of Birmingham Royal Ballet
Also nominated: John Ashford, Robert Cohan

Best Male Dancer: Jonathan Cope, for performances as a Principal of The Royal Ballet
Also nominated: Carlos Acosta, Johan Kobborg

Best Female Dancer: Leanne Benjamin, for performances as a Principal of The Royal Ballet
Also nominated: Alina Cojocaru, Svetlana Zakharova

Working Title Billy Elliot Prize ( – for boys aged 11 – 16 years): Taylor Davies

Sunday Express National Dance Award for Children (for children facing exceptional difficulties aged 6 – 16): Abbie Hastings

Dance UK Industry Award: Dick Matchett read more

Audience Award, supported by Ballet.co and Dance UK – chosen solely by audience members for a company seen anywhere in the UK in 2004: Northern Ballet Theatre

Best Choreography (Classical): Christopher Wheeldon , for Rush for San Francisco Ballet
Also nominated: Alastair Marriott (Being and Having Been), David Nixon (A Midsummer Night’s Dream)

Best Choroegraphy (Modern): Javier de Frutos for Elsa Canasta commissioned by Rambert Dance Company and Milagros commissioned by Royal New Zealand Ballet.
Also nominated: Russell Maliphant (Broken Fall), Wayne McGregor (Ataxia)

Best Choreography (Musical Theatre): Matthew Bourne for Play Without Words at the Royal National Theatre
Also nominated: Adam Cooper (Singin’ in the Rain), William Tuckett (The Soldier’s Tale)

Best Foreign Dance Company: Merce Cunningham Dance Company for performances at the Barbican
Also nominated: Bolshoi Ballet, National Ballet of China

Outstanding Male Artist (Classical): Thiago Soares for performances as a First Soloist with The Royal Ballet
Also nominated: Ricardo Cervera, Jose Odoardo Perez

Outstanding Female Artist (Classical): Lauren Cuthbertson for performances as a First Soloist with The Royal Ballet
Also nominated:Pippa Moore, Elisha Willis

Outstanding Male Artist (Modern): Paul Liburd, for performances with Rambert Dance Company
Also nominated: Lee Clayden, Fabrice Serafino

Outstanding Female Artist (Modern): Amy Hollingsworth for performances with Rambert Dance Company
Also nominated:Tanya Richam-Odoi, Jenny Tattersall

*Company Prize For Outstanding Repertoire (Classical):*Royal BalletAlso nominated:Northern Ballet Theatre, Scottish Ballet

Company Prize For Outstanding Repertoire (Modern): Rambert Dance Company
Also nominated: George Piper Dances, Phoenix Dance Theatre

The Critics Circle made up of four sections: Dance, Drama, Film and Music. Membership is by invitation and there are currently around 300 members.

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