Posted on March 6, 2012
Yonah Acosta was presented with English National Ballet’s 2012 Emerging Dancer Award last night at the Queen Elizabeth Hall on London’s Southbank. Cuban-born Acosta, Dancing Times’ Dancer of the Month in November 2011, competed against five of his ENB colleagues to take the prize, and appeared in solos from Diana and Actaeon and Don Quixote with dazzling authority and confidence.
Acosta also received The People’s Choice Award for 2012, voted for by members of the public who attended performances by ENB during its autumn and Christmas seasons. His two victories proved immensely popular with audience and colleagues alike: “It’s a bit like Adele,” quipped Wayne Eagling, ENB’s artistic director.
The competition was introduced by Michael Nunn and William Trevitt, the Balletboyz, and the decision to make the award was taken a jury of distinguished dance experts, including Wayne Eagling, ballet critic Clement Crisp, Arlene Phillips, Southbank Centre’s Wendy Martin, and David Wall.
Also taking part were ENB artists Barry Drummond, Nancy Osbaldeston, Ksenia Ovsyanick, and Jia Zhang, and junior soloist Junor Souza. Whilst the judges deliberated, the audience was treated to a solo performance by Anton Lukovkin, the 2011 People’s Choice Award Winner. Before announcing Acosta as the winner, Eagling said: “I would like everybody to win this prize – they are all fantastic. I’m inspired to see them performing.”
Pictured: Yonah Acosta in Serge Lifar’s Suite en blanc. Photograph by Amber Hunt.