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Nominations for the National Dance Awards announced

Posted on October 29, 2015

Nominations for the National Dance Awards, organised by the Dance Section of the Critics’ Circle, were announced today in advance of the award ceremony being held at the Robin Howard Theatre at The Place in London on January 25, 2016. The awards celebrate the vigour and variety of the UK’s thriving dance scene between September 1, 2014 and August 31, 2015, and are the only ones given by the body of professional dance critics in the UK.

In announcing the awards, the chairman of the Dance Section, Graham Watts, said: “This year the list of nominees is perhaps the most diverse ever, with a spread of nominations both geographically and across dance forms. It is an especially bumper year for Spanish dancers and choreographers, with no less than nine Spanish nominees spread across seven categories, from flamenco, ballet and contemporary dance. Canadian artists are strongly represented in the category for Best Modern Choreography, with Crystal Pite and the creative team of Le Patin Libre being nominated. It is certainly the first time that ice dance has figured in the award nominations.

“However, for the first time, all four of the nominees for Outstanding Company are UK-based, with last year’s winner, English National Ballet, once more in the reckoning, alongside Candoco, Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures and Northern Ballet. It’s also a good year for veteran ballerinas, with Sylvie Guillem and Alessandra Ferri each gaining nominations. Other dancers to receive two nominations are Israel Galván, Rocío Molina and Vadim Muntagirov, as does Leeds-based choreographer, Kenneth Tindall.

“Once again, these short-listed nominees come from a long list of around 400 dancers, choreographers and companies nominated from amongst the membership of the Dance Section of the Critics’ Circle. The Awards Committee wishes to express grateful thanks to our sponsors, without whom the event would not be possible; to the body of dance critics across the UK for giving their time to ensure the best possible list of nominees; and, above all, the companies, choreographers and performers for giving us such a rich variety of choice”.

The nominations are as follows:

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

GRISHKO AWARD FOR BEST FEMALE DANCER: Alina Cojocaru (English National Ballet), Alessandra Ferri (guest artist with The Royal Ballet), Sylvie Guillem (Life in Progress), Rocío Molina (Compañía Rocío Molina), Marianela Nuñez (The Royal Ballet)

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

BEST INDEPENDENT COMPANY: 2Faced Dance, Ballet Cymru, Company Chameleon, Rosie Kay Dance Company, Shobana Jeyasingh Dance Company

BEST CLASSICAL CHOREOGRAPHY: Paco Peña, Fernando Romero, Angel Muñoz, Charo Espino and Carmen Rivas for Flamencura by Paco Peña Company; David Bintley for The King Dances by Birmingham Royal Ballet; Wayne McGregor for Woolf Works by The Royal Ballet; Liam Scarlett for The Age of Anxiety by The Royal Ballet; Kenneth Tindall for The Architect by Northern Ballet

BEST MODERN CHOREOGRAPHY: Mark Baldwin for Dark Arteries by Rambert, Ben Duke for Paradise Lost [lies unopened beside me] by Lost Dog, Rosie Kay for 5 Soldiers by Rosie Kay Dance Company, Le Patin Libre for Vertical Infuences; Crystal Pite for Polaris

EMERGING ARTIST AWARD: Avatâra Ayuso (choreographer and performer with Ava Dance and Shobana Jeyasingh Dance Company), Matthew Ball (dancer with The Royal Ballet), Cesar Corrales (dancer with English National Ballet); Carlos Pons Guerra (choreographer and director of DeNada Dance Theatre); Kenneth Tindall (freelance choreographer)

OUTSTANDING FEMALE PERFORMANCE (CLASSICAL): Lauren Cuthbertson for Song of the Earth with The Royal Ballet, Alessandra Ferri for Woolf Works with The Royal Ballet, Francesca Hayward for the title role in Manon with The Royal Ballet, Laura Morera for Lise in La Fille mal gardée with The Royal Ballet, Eve Mutso for Blanche DuBois in A Streetcar Named Desire with Scottish Ballet

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

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

OUTSTANDING MALE PERFORMANCE (MODERN): Ben Duke for Paradise Lost [lies unopened beside me] with Lost Dog, Isráel Galvan for Torobaka, Igor and Moreno for Idiot-syncracy, Dominic North for the title role in Edward Scissorhands with Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures, Liam Riddick for Franz Liszt in Burning with Richard Alston Dance Company

In addition, the event will also play host to the De Valois Award for Outstanding Achievement and the Dance UK Industry Award, given in memory of Jane Attenborough, for both of which there are no prior nominations.

Jonathan Gray is editor of Dancing Times. He studied at The Royal Ballet School, Leicester Polytechnic, and Wimbledon School of Art where he graduated with a BA Hons in Theatre Design. For 16 years he was a member of the curatorial department of the Theatre Museum, London, assisting on a number of dance-related exhibitions, and helping with the recreation of original designs for a number of The Royal Ballet’s productions including Danses concertantes, Daphnis and Chloë, and The Sleeping Beauty. He has also contributed to the Financial Times, written programme articles for The Royal Ballet and Birmingham Royal Ballet, and is co-author of the book Unleashing Britain: Theatre gets real 1955-64, published in 2005.

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