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The 18th National Dance Awards


Announcement of Nominations



The Dance Section of the Critics’ Circle is pleased to announce the nominations for the 18th National Dance Awards, which are as follows:



Miguel Altunaga                    (Rambert)

Isaac Hernández                     (English National Ballet)

Xander Parish                                    (Mariinsky Ballet)  

Liam Riddick                           (Richard Alston Dance Company)

Marcelino Sambé                  (The Royal Ballet)



Francesca Hayward               (The Royal Ballet)

Sophie Martin                        (Scottish Ballet)

Yasmine Naghdi                     (The Royal Ballet)

Zenaida Yanowsky                 (The Royal Ballet)

Eva Yerbabuena                     (Cĩa Eva Yerbabuena)



42ND Street  

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater  

English National Ballet   

Northern Ballet

Scottish Ballet



Avant Garde Dance

Ballet Cymru


Rosie Kay Dance Company

Vincent Dance Theatre   



[Sponsored by The Ballet Association]

Akram Khan for ‘Akram Khan’s Giselle’       (English National Ballet)

Crystal Pite for ‘Emergence’                                     (Scottish Ballet)

Crystal Pite for ‘Flight Pattern’                     (The Royal Ballet) 

Liam Scarlett for ‘Symphonic Dances’           (The Royal Ballet)

Kenneth Tindall for ‘Casanova’                     (Northern Ballet)



[Sponsored by Northern Ballet]  

Michael Asante & Kenrick Sandy for ‘Blak Whyte Gray’    (Boy Blue Entertainment)

Matthew Bourne for ‘The Red Shoes’                                   (New Adventures)

Michael Clark for ‘To a simple, rock ‘n’ roll…song.’                         (Michael Clark Company)

Michael Keegan-Dolan for ‘Swan Lake/Loch na hEala’       (Teaċ Damsa)

Arthur Pita for ‘Stepmother/Stepfather’                             (HeadSpaceDance)  



[Sponsored by The L&M Trust]  

Harry Alexander                    (Dancer, Michael Clark Company/ Julie Cunningham & Company)

Vincenzo Lamagna                (Composer, ‘Akram Khan’s Giselle’ – English National Ballet) 

Dickson Mbi                           (Dancer, Boy Blue Entertainment/ Russell Maliphant Company)

Botis Seva                               (Choreography for Far From the Norm and Scottish Dance Theatre)

Francesca Velicu                    (First Artist, English National Ballet)



[Sponsored by DWFM Beckman]

Antonia Grove in ‘Virgin Territory’                                      (Vincent Dance Theatre)

Shelley Eva Haden in ‘MK Ultra’                                           (Rosie Kay Dance Theatre)

Ashley Shaw as Vicky Page in The Red Shoes’                     (New Adventures)

Clemmie Sveaas in ‘Stepmother/Stepfather’                       (HeadSpaceDance)

Francesca Velicu in ‘The Rite of Spring’                                (English National Ballet)



Mithkal Alzghair in ‘Displacement’                                       (Mithkal Alzghair)

Christopher Akrill in ‘Stepmother/Stepfather’                    (HeadSpaceDance)

Karl Fagerlund Brekke in ‘Stepmother/Stepfather’                         (HeadSpaceDance)

Robert Fairchild as Jerry Mulligan in ‘An American in Paris’

Dickson Mbi in ‘Blak Whyte Gray’                                         (Boy Blue Entertainment)



[Sponsored by Lee McLernon]

Alina Cojocaru as Giselle in ‘Akram Khan’s Giselle’            (English National Ballet)

Bethany Kingsley-Garner in Emergence’                (Scottish Ballet)

Kristen McNally in Flight Pattern’                           (The Royal Ballet)

Aditi Mangaldas in ‘Inter_rupted’                            (Aditi Mangaldas Dance Company)

Eva Yerbabuena in ‘Aperiencias’                              (Cĩa Eva Yerbabuena)



Israel Galván in ‘FLA.CO.MEN’                                              (Cĩa Israel Galván)

Christopher Harrison in ‘MC 14/22 (Ceci est mon corps)’   (Scottish Ballet)

Brandon Lawrence in ‘Wink’                                                            (Birmingham Royal Ballet) 

Marcelino Sambé as Colas in ‘La Fille mal gardée’’                         (The Royal Ballet)

James Streeter as Albrecht in ‘Akram Khan’s Giselle’         (English National Ballet)


The winners will be announced at a lunchtime ceremony to be held in Central London on Monday, 19th February 2018.


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


The National Dance Awards have been organised by the Dance Section of the Critics’ Circle in each year of this Millennium to celebrate the vigour and variety of Britain’s thriving dance culture. They are presented by the Dance Section of the Critics’ Circle, which brings together around 60 dance writers and critics.   They are the only awards given by the body of professional dance critics in the UK.  


In announcing the awards, the chairman of the Dance Section, Graham Watts OBE, said:


“Once again, these short-listed nominees come from a long list of almost 500 dancers, choreographers, other creatives and companies nominated by professional dance critics, during 2016/17.


I am especially pleased with the diversity of this year’s nominations list, covering ballet, contemporary, dance theatre, flamenco, hip-hop, kathak and musical theatre.


It is a remarkable testament to the diversity of dance in Britain that the 43 individuals nominated originate from 21 countries:  to the west, they’re  from Canada, Cuba, Mexico and the USA; in Europe, they are from Denmark, England, France, Italy, Portugal, the Republic of Ireland, Romania, Scotland, Spain, Sweden and Wales; and from the rest of the world there is representation from Australia, Bangladesh, India, Kenya and South Africa.   I wonder where else in the world “national” awards for dance would spread so far across the globe?  


There are a few welcome firsts amongst this year’s nominations: , a composer [Vincenzo Lamagna] is nominated as an Emerging Artist; a musical theatre ensemble [42nd Street] is nominated for Outstanding Company; a Syrian refugee (Mithkal Alzghair) is nominated for the outstanding male performance (modern); and the same choreographer (Crystal Pite) receives two nominations in the Outstanding Classical Choreography Award.


The Royal Ballet and English National Ballet top the list with eight nominations, apiece, followed by Scottish Ballet and HeadSpace Dance with five each; Boy Blue Entertainment and the Flamenco Festival [3 each]; and Michael Clark Company, New Adventures, Northern Ballet, Rosie Kay Dance Company and Vincent Dance Theatre [all with 2 nominations, each].


For the second successive year, an Akram Khan production garners the most nominations with four for Akram Khan’s Giselle for English National Ballet; although, this year, that distinction is shared with HeadSpaceDance’s Stepmother/Stepfather; and Boy Blue Entertainment’s Blak Whyte Gray follows closely with three nominations. Other productions with more than one nomination are: Crystal Pite’s Emergence for Scottish Ballet and her Flight Pattern for The Royal Ballet, plus Matthew Bourne’s The Red Shoes.


The Emerging Artist category is the most diverse yet with a composer, a choreographer, two contemporary dance artists and a ballet dancer.


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”.  

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I'm especially pleased that Sophie Martin has been nominated. Her mesmerising performance in David Dawson's Swan Lake last year was unforgettable. I really felt that she wasn't given the praise due for not only her technical ability but for her artistry and interpretation throughout the performance. I don't know if this nomination is for that particular performance? But in case it's a long overdue acknowledgement of this beautiful dancer.

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Nomination for outstanding performance in Wink. How good is tha?. Well deserved and fingers crossed that he wins it. Remembering  that he also created Pan as well as wonderful performances in the company repertoire he really does deserve all the plaudits he gets on the forum.

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Congratulations to all nominees in the various categories, a well balanced choice this year by the Critics'Circle.

Great to see Kristin McNally's performance in "Flight Pattern" was nominated too, and I am absolutely thrilled Yasmine Naghdi has been nominated for the "Best Female Dancer" Award. 

There are not many dancers in the other categories I have had the opportunity to see but I am sure they are all great in their own right.

The judges have also included the internationally renowned Flamenco dancer Eva Yerbabuena (whom I have seen performing) but how will they "measure" a Flamenco dancer against a classical ballet dancer? Two classical dance forms yes but each a very different style of dancing.

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  • 2 months later...

Best Classical Choreography goes to AKRAM KHAN for ‘Akram Khan’s Giselle’

MARCELINO SAMBÉ as Colas in ‘La Fille mal gardée’ is the winner of the Dance Europe Award for Outstanding Male Performance (Classical)

ALINA COJOCARU as Giselle in ‘Akram Khan’s Giselle’ wins Outstanding Female Performance (Classical)

ZENAIDA YANOWSKY wins the Grishko Award for Best Female Dancer

LIAM RIDDICK wins Dancing Times Award for Best Male Dancer 


Many congratulations to all the winners, and nominees.

Edited by Richard LH
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Both Foteini and I were at the awards ceremony at the Barbican, and took some photos before (with the nominees and their certificates), during, and after the presentations. Here are some photos of the event....



© Foteini Christofilopoulou. 
Courtesy of DanceTabs / Flickr


ENB nominees
© Dave Morgan. 
Courtesy of DanceTabs / Flickr




See more...
Set from DanceTabs: National Dance Awards for 2017
Courtesy of DanceTabs / Flickr


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