News: Hip hop breakthrough at National Dance Awards
For the first time in the thirteen year history of the National Dance Awards (presented by the dance section of the Critics’ Circle) two awards went to hip hop dance artists. Both Outstanding Performance (modern) awards went to stars of ZooNation’s hit show Some Like it Hip Hop: Teneisha Bonner and Tommy Franzén (who received the award for his performance in Russell Maliphant’s The Rodin Project as well).
Graham Watts, Chairman of the Critics’ Circle National Dance Awards said: “Although it is overdue, it is fantastic to see two supremely talented dancers who have come from a hip hop background gain this level of recognition. ZooNation has previously been nominated as Outstanding Company but this is the first time hip hop has claimed an award, and in the time-honoured tradition of such things, you wait a while and two come along at once!”
ZooNation’s founder and Artistic Director, and director of Some Like it Hip Hop, Kate Prince said “Not only is this a huge personal achievement for both Teneisha and Tommy, but it is also the first time that hip hop dance as a genre has won anything at the NDAs. It is a sure sign that there continues to be a shift in dance in the UK, and that hip hop dance theatre has established itself firmly on the map alongside other classical and contemporary genres.”
The show was also nominated in the Best Modern Choreography category (won by Arthur Pita for The Metamorphosis)
“Just to be nominated I thought would definitely mark an awesome achievement in my career, but to WIN has definitely bumped things up a little to one of my top three highlights”, said a delighted Teneisha. “Even better I got it for spending more than half my time on stage in drag – that just adds the cherry of achievement on top!”
Some Like it Hip Hop returns for a third West End season at the Peacock Theatre later this year (3 May – 30 June). Tommy Franzén will be back in the role of Simeon, alternating with Denny Haywood (who starred in the show’s 2012 UK tour); Bonner reprises her role as Kerri, which she shares with new cast member Sammi Lee-Jayne and Lizzie Gough completes the leading line up, returning to the role of Jo-Jo, alternating with Sarah Richards (who previously played Jo-Jo on tour).
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