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English National Ballet’s Emerging Dancers

Posted on January 31, 2014

junor souza as ali in le corsaire. photography by ash

junor-souza-as-ali-in-le-corsaire.-photography-by-ashEnglish National Ballet has announced the finalists for this year’s Emerging Dancer Competition. Now in its fifth year, the competition is an annual opportunity for the company to recognise the talent of its up-and-coming dancers.

The finalists for 2014 are Madison Keesler, Senri Kou, Alison McWhinney, Ken Saruhashi, Junor Souza (pictured) and Joan Sebastian Zamora. They have been chosen by the company’s staff: throughout the year, English National Ballet’s artistic, music and administrative staff, along with its principal dancers, have been voting for their favourite emerging dancer.

Tickets are now on sale for the final of the competition, which will be held at London’s Lyceum Theatre on May 19. The six dancers will perform in front of a panel of judges. The winner will be announced at the end of the evening, along with the winner of the People’s Choice Award, which is voted for by members of the public. Last year’s winner, Nancy Osbaldeston, went on to be nominated for a National Dance Award for her performance in Petrushka.

This year’s final will be directed by English National Ballet’s associate artist George Williamson. The competition is generously supported by restructuring experts Talbot Hughes McKillop. The winner receives £2,500, the People’s Choice award-winner receives £1,000 and all nominees receive £500.

Tamara Rojo, artistic director of English National Ballet, said: “Our annual Emerging Dancer competition is a fantastic platform for the rising young dancers of our company and a key part of continuing investment in creating the stars of the future. It also gives our audience a chance to have their say. Last year’s sold-out event has shown that it has become a key date in the London ballet calendar, and we are extremely grateful to Talbot Hughes McKillop for making this possible.”


Picture: Junor Souza in Le Corsaire. Photograph: ASH 



Zoë was born in Edinburgh, and saw her first dance performances at the Festival there. She is the dance critic of The Independent, and has also written for The Independent on Sunday, The Scotsman and Dancing Times. In 2002, she received her doctorate from the University of York for a thesis on “Nationhood and epic romance: Ariosto, Sidney, Spenser”. She is the author of The Royal Ballet: 75 Years and The Ballet Lover’s Companion.

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