News: New Adventures Choreographer Award

Tuesday 30 August 2011

James Cousins

New Adventures have announced that 22 year old James Cousins is the winner of the very first New Adventures Choreographer Award (NACA). Bowled over by the standard of all the applications, the judges decided to also create a runner-up prize which has been awarded to 19 year old Tom Jackson Greaves. Nearly 100 aspiring choreographers applied for the award that was created by colleagues and friends in celebration of Matthew Bourne‘s 50th birthday last year.

James Cousins will be granted an amount of money (in excess of £15,000) to work on his choreographic skills over a period of 12 months. Throughout the year, he will have the chance to be mentored by Matthew Bourne and other New Adventures associate artists to research and develop a programme of work with a company of New Adventures dancers. In addition, he will receive advice and support from the management and administrative staff at New Adventures and Re:Bourne, including creating and managing budgets, marketing and general management. A showcase performance of James’ work will be the culmination of the award.

Tom Jackson Greaves will also receive mentoring from Matthew and New Adventures as well as a small budget to help him create a solo work, which will also be shown at the Winner’s Showcase performance.

The other shortlisted choreographers for the 2011 award were – Daniel Hay-Gordon, Soledad de la Hoz, Kristen McNally, Christopher Marney, Drew McOnie, Ernst Meisner, Jelka Milic, Ash Mukherjee, Rachael Nanyonjo, Sophie Robinson, Shane Shambhu, Neil Westmoreland and James Wilton.

Matthew Bourne said, “I am delighted to be able to announce the winner of the first New Adventures Choreographer Award (NACA). James Cousins is a highly talented choreographer at the beginning of his career. A recent graduate of the London Contemporary Dance School, the judges were impressed by his ambitions to form his own company and his refreshing desire to entertain. We received an astonishingly varied group of applications, both in style and experience, from almost 100 choreographers representing everything from Dance Theatre to Classical Ballet, Musical Theatre to Contemporary, Kathak to Hip Hop and even Ice Dance! The judges and I have been very impressed by the creative ingenuity, passion and sheer talent of our 15 shortlisted choreographers. Our aim was to find a winner that we feel will benefit most from what New Adventures has to offer, at this stage in their careers. … Through reading the applications it was obvious to me how needed this , and other such awards, have become for young choreographers. I’m therefore thrilled to announce, today, that we will be presenting our next NACA award in 2013”

The New Adventures Choreographer Award judging panel consisted of Matthew Bourne – Artistic Director New Adventures (Head Judge), Lez Brotherston – Tony and Olivier Award winning Theatre Designer, Assis Carreiro – Artistic Director and Chief Executive of Danceeast, Aletta Collins – International Choreographer and Director, Christopher Hampson – International Ballet Choreographer, Sharon Watson – Artistic Director Phoenix Dance Theatre aided by New Adventures leading artistes, Scott Ambler, Nina Goldman and Etta Murfitt.

Contributions towards the next New Adventures Choreographer Award are gratefully received; for details of how to help please email:

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