News: National Dance Awards 2015 announced

Monday 25 January 2016 by Carmel Smith

National Dance Awards winners 2015. From left: Wayne McGregor, Caroline Miller, Kevin O'Hare (representing Alessandre Ferri), Rosie Kay, Tamara McLorg, Vadim Muntagirov, Matthew Bourne, Arlene Philips (presenting), Zizi Strallen, Laura Morera, Matthew Ball, William Bracewell, Graham Watts (Chair, NDA Chair). Photo: Bettina Strenske.

The Critics’ Circle National Dance Awards for 2015 were presented today at a ceremony The Place in London, hosted by choreographer Arlene Phillips. Covering all forms of dance, from ballet to flamenco – and this year for the first time, contemporary dance on ice – the awards are the only such event in the UK solely dedicated to dance and provide a focal point for the dance industry.

This year the De Valois Award for Outstanding Achievement, for which there are no prior nominations, was awarded to two women in recognition of their unique achievements. Sylvie Guillem – the most famous ballerina of her generation retired from the stage at the end of 2015, after an extensive internationsl tour of her final Life in Progress, ending a thirty year career. Caroline Miller, the outgoing Chief Executive of Dance UK is recognised for a decade of work, during which she instigated the transformation of the organisation, giving dance a political voice and bringing together four major dance organisations in a merger that has produced the newly formed One Dance UK – a truly national organisation which will represent all facets of the dance profession. Although Sylvie Guillem wasn’t there to accept her award, Caroline Miller was presented with her award by English National Ballet’s Artistic Director, Tamara Rojo.

It was a good year for ballet – and for The Royal Ballet in particular, with choreographer Wayne McGregor winning Best Classical Choreography for Woolf Works, his triptych of one act ballets based on the life and work of Virginia Woolf for The Royal Ballet – and 52 year-old Italian ballerina, Alessandra Ferri – picking up the Grishko Award for Best Female Dancer for her leading role in the production (thereby becoming the first dancer over the age of 50 to do so). First artist Matthew Ball won the Emerging Dancer Award; Vadim Muntagirov won the Dancing Times Award for Best Male Dancer and Laura Morera won the award for Outstanding Female Performance (Classical) for her exceptional portrayal of Lise in La Fille mal gardée.

William Bracewell of Birmingham Royal Ballet won the award for Outstanding Male Performance (Classical) for his performance as Le Roi Soleil in David Bintley’s The King Dances.

The award for Best Modern Choreography went to Canadian choreographer, Crystal Pite for her work Polaris, at Sadler’s Wells, where she is an Associate Artist; and the award for Outstanding Male Performance (Modern) was won by Lost Dog’s Ben Duke for his one-man show, Paradise Lost [lies unopened beside me].

Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures won the Stef Stefanou Award for Outstanding Company for the first time and company dancer Zizi Strallen picked up the award for Outstanding Female Performance (Modern) for her portrayal of Lana in The Car Man.

The award for Best Independent Company went to midlands-based Rosie Kay Dance Company.

This year’s nominations had included nine Spanish artists and the NDA Committee for 2015 awarded a high commendation for exceptional artistry to two great contemporary flamenco artists. Israel Galván – who was at the event and also nominated in the Outstanding Male (Modern) category and Rocío Molina, nominated in the Outstanding Female (Modern) and Best Female Dancer categories, who will be presented with her award in Madrid later this year.

The Dance UK Industry Award, determined by a separate panel of judges chosen by Dance UK, went to Tamara McLorg, the internationally-renowned dance educator and choreographer. Her citation, by choreographer Royston Maldoom was read by Caroline Miller.

With the exception of the Dance UK award, the National Dance Awards are decided by the 50 plus members of the Dance Section of the Critics’ Circle after an extensive round of nominations and voting. To be eligible, performances had to be given in the UK between 1st September 2014 and 31st August 2015.

NATIONAL DANCE AWARDS 2015, IN FULL

GRISHKO EMERGING ARTIST AWARD
Matthew Ball (Dancer – The Royal Ballet)
Also nominated: Avatâra Ayuso (Choreographer & Performer, Ava Dance/ Shobana Jeyasingh Dance Company); Cesar Corrales (Dancer – English National Ballet); Carlos Pons Guerra (Choreographer – Denada Dance Theatre); Kenneth Tindall (Freelance Choreographer)

BEST CLASSICAL CHOREOGRAPHY
Wayne Mcgregor (Woolf Works for The Royal Ballet)
Also nominated: Paco Peña, Fernando Romero, Angel Muñoz, Charo Espino & Carmen Rivas (Flamencura for Paco Peña Company); David Bintley (The King Dances for Birmingham Royal Ballet); Liam Scarlett (Age Of Anxiety for The Royal Ballet); Kenneth Tindall (The Architect for Northern Ballet)

BEST MODERN CHOREOGRAPHY
Crystal Pite (Polaris for Sadler’s Wells)
Also nominated: Mark Baldwin (Dark Arteries for Rambert); Ben Duke (Paradise Lost [Lies Unopened Beside Me] for Lost Dog); Rosie Kay (5 Soldiers for Rosie Kay Dance Company); Le Patin Libre (Vertical Influences for Dance Umbrella)

OUTSTANDING FEMALE PERFORMANCE (CLASSICAL)
Laura Morera (as Lise in La Fille Mal Gardée for The Royal Ballet)
Also nominated: Lauren Cuthbertson (in Song Of The Earth for The Royal Ballet); Alessandra Ferri (In Woolf Works for The Royal Ballet)
Francesca Hayward (in the title role as Manon for The Royal Ballet); Eve Mutso (as Blanche Dubois in A Streetcar Named Desire for Scottish Ballet)

OUTSTANDING MALE PERFORMANCE (MODERN)
Ben Duke (in Paradise Lost [Lies Unopened Beside Me] For Lost Dog)
Also nominated: Isráel Galvan (in Torobaka); Igor And Moreno (for Idiot-Syncracy); Dominic North (in the title role as Edward Scissorhands for Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures); Liam Riddick (as Franz Liszt In Burning for Richard Alston Dance Company)

OUTSTANDING MALE PERFORMANCE (CLASSICAL)
William Bracewell (as Le Roi Soleil in The King Dances for Birmingham Royal Ballet)
Also nominated: Matthew Ball (as Lensky in Onegin for The Royal Ballet); Erik Cavallari (as Stanley Kowalski in A Streetcar Named Desire for Scottish Ballet); Kimin Kim (as Siegfried in Swan Lake for St Petersburg Ballet Theatre); Vadim Muntagirov (in Symphonic Variations for The Royal Ballet)

OUTSTANDING FEMALE PERFORMANCE (MODERN)
Zizi Strallen (as Lana In The Car Man for Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures)
Also nominated: Sylvie Guillem (in Life In Progress); Rocío Molina (in Bosque Ardora for Dance Umbrella); Nancy Nerantzi (as Marie in Burning for Richard Alston Dance Company)

BEST INDEPENDENT COMPANY
Rosie Kay Dance Company
Also nominated: 2faced Dance; Ballet Cymru; Company Chameleon; Shobana Jeyasingh Dance Company

GRISHKO AWARD FOR BEST FEMALE DANCER
Alessandra Ferri (Guest with The Royal Ballet)
Also nominated: Alina Cojocaru (English National Ballet); Sylvie Guillem (Life In Progress tour); Rocío Molina (Compañía Rocío Molina); Marianela Nuñez (The Royal Ballet)

DANCING TIMES AWARD FOR BEST MALE DANCER
Vadim Muntagirov (The Royal Ballet)
Also nominated: Tobias Batley (Northern Ballet); Israel Galván (Compañía Israel Galván); Steven Mcrae (The Royal Ballet); Edward Watson (The Royal Ballet)

STEF STEFANOU AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING COMPANY
Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures
Also nominated: Candoco Dance Company; English National Ballet; Northern Ballet

SPECIAL AWARD FOR EXCEPTIONAL ARTISTRY
Israel Galván and Rocío Molina

DE VALOIS AWARDS FOR OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT
Sylvie Guillem
Caroline Miller

JANE ATTENBOROUGH DANCE UK INDUSTRY AWARD
Tamara McLorg

Photos: Bettina Strenske

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