News: National Dance Awards 2013

Monday 27 January 2014 by Carmel Smith

National Dance Award 2013 winners. Photo: Bettina Strenske

The National Dance Awards 2014, decided by the 60 members of the Dance Section of the Critics’ Circle, were announced at a lunchtime reception at The Place yesterday – hosted by Chair Graham Watts and former NDA winner, Tommy Franzèn, and Bennet Gartside of the Royal Ballet. To be eligible, performances had to be given in the UK between 1st September 2012 and 31st August 2013. More than 200 nominations of companies, choreographers and performers were received from the dance critics, with 40 short-listed for the awards.

Three companies picked up two awards each: Balletboyz The Talent, were named Best Independent Company, whilst Fallen, the work Russell Maliphant made for them, received the accolade for Modern Choreography; the Mikhailovsky Ballet was named Outstanding Company, with Natalia Osipova, (now with the Royal Ballet, amongst others), awarded the best female dancer prize for her perfomances with them; Christopher Wheeldon received the Best Classical Choreography for Aeternum by the Royal Ballet and Leanne Benjamin, who retired last year after dancing for 21 years with the company received a De Valois Award, in recognition of her lifetime achievement in dance.

The trip to London proved worthwhile for Paris based Nicolas Le Riche, who picked up the Outstanding Male Performance (Classical) award for his performance with Tamara Rojo in Le Jeune Homme et la Mort for English National Ballet and Australian Paul White, who won the Award For Outstanding Modern Performance (Male) for his performance of Meryl Tankard’s The Oracle at Southbank Centre – both joking that it had been necessary to die on stage to receive their awards. The Best Male Dancer Award went to Rambert’s Dane Hurst.

Choreographer Matthew Bourne also received the De Valois Award for his life time achievement in dance. Having just ended a 25th anniversary year with another sell out winter season of Swan Lake at Sadler’s Wells and a hugely successful tour of the US with Sleeping Beauty, he could well qualify for another one. Announcing the award, Graham Watts said: “He is a choreographer, a director, a story-teller, a magician, and like his early inspiration, Fred Astaire, he is the consummate entertainer” and described Matthew Bourne’s unique way of “turning ballet upside down and giving it a whirl.” A delighted Bourne thanked his “New Adventures family” – in particular Etta Murfitt, Scott Ambler, Lez Brotherston and Robert Noble – and also their audiences:“We wouldn’t be here today without them. Their love and support has kept me going.”

The Jane Attenborough Dance UK Industry Award honours an individual working behind the scenes who has gone above and beyond the call of duty to move dance forward and enable the art form to thrive. The winner is chosen following an open nomination process, making the winner someone who is truly respected and admired by their colleagues – and this year it went to Amanda Chinn, General Manager of Scottish Dance Theatre.

Winners and nominees in full:

BEST CLASSICAL CHOREOGRAPHY
Christopher Wheeldon (Aeternum for Royal Ballet)
Also nominated: Mark Morris (Beaux for San Francisco Ballet); David Nixon (The Great Gatsby for Northern Ballet); Alexei Ratmansky (24 Preludes for Royal Ballet)

BEST MODERN CHOREOGRAPHY
Russell Maliphant (Fallen for BalletBoyz® the Talent)
Also nominated: Guilherme Botelho (Sideways Rain for Alias); Matthew Bourne (Sleeping Beauty for New Adventures); Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui ( Puz/zle for Eastman)

OUTSTANDING MALE PERFORMANCE CLASSICAL
Nicolas Le Riche (in Le Jeune Homme et la Mort for English National Ballet)
Also nominated: Jeffrey Cirio (in Plan to B for Boston Ballet); Israel Galvan (for flamenco performances at Sadler’s Wells); Brian Maloney (for Bratfisch in Mayerling for Royal Ballet)

DANCERS PRO AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING FEMALE PERFORMANCE MODERN
Julie Cunningham (in New Works 2012 for Michael Clark Company)
Also nominated: Rocío Molina (in Danzaora at Sadler’s Wells); Clemmie Sveaas (in Witch-Hunt for Bern Ballett); Hannah Vassallo (for Aurora in Sleeping Beauty for New Adventures)

OUTSTANDING FEMALE PERFORMANCE CLASSICAL
Yuan Yuan Tan (in RAkU for San Francisco Ballet)
Also nominated: Nancy Osbaldeston (for the ballerina in Petrushka for English National Ballet); Cira Robinson (in War Letters for Ballet Black); Akane Takada (for Olga in Onegin for Royal Ballet)

DANCERS PRO AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING MALE PERFORMANCE MODERN
Paul White (in The Oracle for Meryl Tankard)
Also nominated: Nathan Goodman (in Madcap for Richard Alston Dance Company); Christopher Marney (Count Lilac in Sleeping Beauty for New Adventures); Liam Riddick (in Buzzing Round the Hunisuccle for Richard Alston Dance Company)

JANE ATTENBOROUGH DANCE UK INDUSTRY AWARD
Amanda Chinn, General Manager of Scottish Dance Theatre

GRISHKO AWARD FOR BEST INDEPENDENT COMPANY
BalletBoyz® the Talent
Also nominated: bgroup; New Movement Collective; Shobana Jeyasingh Dance

STEF STEFANOU AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING COMPANY
Mikhailovsky Ballet
Also nominated: Boston Ballet; Rosas; San Francisco Ballet

THE DANCING TIMES AWARD FOR BEST MALE DANCER
Dane Hurst (Rambert)
Also nominated: Vadim Muntagirov (English National Ballet); Sergei Polunin (Moscow Stanislavsky Ballet and guest artist, Royal Ballet); Edward Watson (Royal Ballet)

GRISHKO AWARD FOR BEST FEMALE DANCER
Natalia Osipova (Mikhailovsky Ballet and guest artist, Royal Ballet and Bolshoi Ballet)
Also nominated: Maria Kochetkova (San Francisco Ballet); Olga Smirnova (Bolshoi Ballet); Eva Yerbabuena (Ballet Flamenco Eva Yerbabuena)

DE VALOIS AWARDS FOR OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT
Leanne Benjamin
Matthew Bourne

Photo: BalletBoyz® the Talent in Russell Maliphant’s ‘Fallen’. Photo: Panos
Best Independent Company & Best Modern Choreography

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