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National Dance Awards

Posted on January 25, 2016

nda logoSylvie Guillem, Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures and Crystal Pite were among the winners at the 16th Critics’ Circle National Dance Awards (NDA), presented at a ceremony held at The Place, London.

Unusually, the judging panel awarded two De Valois awards for outstanding achievement, recognising ballerina Sylvie Guillem, who brought her 30-year career in dance to an end with the international Life in Progress tour, and Caroline Miller, chief executive of Dance UK, who has campaigned to give dance a political voice over the past ten years. Miller’s award was presented to her by Tamara Rojo, artistic director of English National Ballet.

The Dancing Times award for best male dancer went to Vadim Muntagirov of The Royal Ballet. Presenting the award, Dancing Times editor Jonathan Gray dedicated it to critics Mary Clarke and Kathrine Sorley Walker, who both died last year. Both women had long and influential careers in British dance criticism and at Dancing Times, where Mary Clarke was editor from 1963 to 2008.

There were several first-time winners. Canadian choreographer Crystal Pite won the award for best modern choreography for her monumental work Polaris, part of Sadler’s Wells’ evening of dance to music by Thomas Adès. Matthew Bourne’s company, New Adventures, won the Stef Stefanou award for outstanding company for the first time, with Zizi Strallen winning outstanding female performance (modern) for her portrayal of Lana in Bourne’s The Car Man. This year’s best independent company went to Rosie Kay Dance Company. Kay was also nominated for best modern choreography for her work 5 Soldiers.

The Royal Ballet had a record year, with wins in choreography and performance categories. Wayne McGregor won the award for best classical choreography for Woolf Works, his evening-length work for The Royal Ballet. The star of Woolf Works, Alessandra Ferri, won the Grishko award for best female dancer – the first dancer over the age of 50 to do so. Alongside Muntagirov’s win, there were also awards for Laura Morera, who won outstanding female performance (classical) for her marvellous Lise in La Fille mal gardee, and for Matthew Ball, who won the emerging artist award.

Birmingham Royal Ballet’s William Bracewell won the outstanding male performance (classical) award for his performance as Le Roi Soleil in David Bintley’s The King Dances.

The NDA committee for 2015 also awarded a high commendation for exceptional artistry to two great contemporary flamenco artists, Israel Galván and Rocío Molina.

The Dance UK Industry Award went to Tamara McLorg, dance educator and choreographer.

WINNERS

GRISHKO AWARD FOR EMERGING ARTIST

Matthew Ball (first artist, The Royal Ballet)

JANE ATTENBOROUGH DANCE UK INDUSTRY AWARD

Tamara McLorg

BEST CLASSICAL CHOREOGRAPHY

Wayne McGregor for Woolf Works by The Royal Ballet

BEST MODERN CHOREOGRAPHY

Crystal Pite for Polaris for Sadler’s Wells

OUTSTANDING FEMALE PERFORMANCE (CLASSICAL)

Laura Morera as Lise in La Fille mal gardée for The Royal Ballet

OUTSTANDING MALE PERFORMANCE (MODERN)

Ben Duke in Paradise Lost [lies unopened beside me] for Lost Dog

OUTSTANDING MALE PERFORMANCE (CLASSICAL)

William Bracewell as Le Roi Soleil in The King Dances for Birmingham Royal Ballet

OUTSTANDING FEMALE PERFORMANCE (MODERN)

Zizi Strallen as Lana in The Car Man for New Adventures

SPECIAL AWARD FOR EXCEPTIONAL ARTISTRY

Israel Galván and Rocío Molina

BEST INDEPENDENT COMPANY

Rosie Kay Dance Company

GRISHKO AWARD FOR BEST FEMALE DANCER

Alessandra Ferri

DANCING TIMES AWARD FOR BEST MALE DANCER

Vadim Muntagirov

STEF STEFANOU AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING COMPANY

New Adventures

DE VALOIS AWARDS FOR OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT

Sylvie Guillem CBE

Caroline Miller

elliott-franks nda 2015

Pictured, left to right: Wayne McGregor, Caroline Miller, Kevin O’Hare (director of The Royal Ballet, who accepted the award on behalf of Alessandra Ferri), Rosie Kay, Tamara McLorg, Vadim Muntagirov, Matthew Bourne, presenter Arlene Phillips, Zizi Strallen, Laura Morera, Matthew Ball, William Bracewell, Ben Duke, Graham Watts (chairman of the Dance Section of the Critics’ Circle)

Photograph: Elliott Franks

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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