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English National Ballet, Emerging Dancer 2019

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The Emerging Dancer 2019 is ......Julia Conway.

Rhys Antoni Yeomans won The People’s Choice Award.

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Posted (edited)

Privilege to see this tonight. Julia Conway a deserving winner. She beamed confidence right from the start of her classical pas de deux — from Flames of Paris with Rentaro Nakaaki (also fantastic). 

Edited by Candleque
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Posted (edited)

I was happy to be in the audience tonight. Julia Conway is a wonderful winner. She was very focused from the beginning and especially in her contemporary part. Also, I agree that Rentano was very convincing in the Pd2 with her. I was a bit surprised that the classical Pd2 were so very diverse, when it came to show the technical skills for the male dancers.

The piece that took my breath away was Shale Wagman's contemporary part. I am not sure if everyone got the message of this piece, I certainly did and told him so afterwards. 

It was also very lovely to chat with @LinMM, we must repeat this.😍 

Edited by Sabine0308
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I was really impressed with Rentaro too.  I thought he was the most consistent over both genres. 

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Can I just say, as a side note, that if James Streeter was reading from an autocue, he's an absolute natural?!  (Or perhaps he's an absolute natural regardless?)  He could take up presenting once he retires!

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Adam Cooper was presenting, I think.

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26 minutes ago, SPD444 said:

Adam Cooper was presenting, I think.

 

Adam Cooper was on stage, James Streeter was presenting the live stream.

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This was the first time I had attended the Emerging Dancer Award evening since the very first one 10 years ago.  The past couple of years I have watched it via live stream.  It makes a big difference, as always, to be there.  You really get the atmosphere, and can watch the dancers in a different way.  

 

There was a lot of talent on display, as you would expect.  All six dancers had something good to give, but for me the prize for consistency, as I said above, went to Rentaro Nakaaki.  I thought his partnering was very good, as was his technique in the solos of the pdd.  In the contemporary piece, he was very expressive and did his best with choreography that didn't quite match the music.  He is definitely one to watch and should be a winner of this prize in the near future.  

 

Looking at the other two men,  Shale Wagman and Rhys Antoni Yeomans....I thought Shale and Alice Bellini looked nervous at the beginning of their pdd, and made a couple of small errors.  Wagman is an incredible dancer, but he needs more experience in partnering, and that will surely come.  I didn't much like his contemporary piece.  He danced and expressed it well, but I think the problem was that neither of these pieces showed him at his best, and what he can really do.  Many people (including me) were expecting him to win before the evening started,  but during the interval I knew already that it wasn't going to be his night.  But his day will come, that's for sure.   Rhys was much better in his contemporary solo than in the classical piece.  He has a fun personality that he exudes from stage to audience and I can see why he won the People's Choice Award.  

 

As for the three women.....as with the men, I thought they were each stronger in one area than another.  As mentioned above, Alice Bellini was a bit nervous in the classical pdd, and this impeded her a bit.  However, she was delightful in her contemporary piece (a kind of variation of La Sylphide) and showed lots of wit and fun to her dancing.  She was much more relaxed here.  Emilia Cadorin danced a pdd from Coppelia with Rhys.  I don't think either of them was suited to the piece, and it was the pdd I enjoyed the least of the three.  However, she seemed to be a different dancer in her contemporary piece and I could then see why she was a finalist in the competition.  

 

Finally, to the winner, Julia Conway.  She danced the pdd from Flames of Paris with Rentaro, and this was by far the best of the three pdd.  Both of them had superb technique and showed us that they were enjoying themselves.  She was also good in the contemporary piece, although I didn't much like it.   Although she deserved to win, I think that, on the night, I would have given the prize to Rentaro.  This is because he is 18, and truly an emerging dancer (and was darn good!).   I think it is difficult to pitch someone who has danced Bluebird, pdt in Swan Lake and other soloist (and above) roles against two dancers who have never done anything like that before (the female dancers).  Of course her experience of the roles and of dancing them on stage would stand her in good stead and give her a distinct advantage over those with no experience.  We have asked the question many times before:  how do they describe an 'emerging' dancer?  

 

Whilst the judges were deliberating, we were treated to the pdd from DonQ danced by Daniel McCormick (last year's winner) and rising star Francesca Velicu.  It was danced really nicely after the nerves settled and they deservedly brought the house down.  I loved watching them together and would love to see them do more.  

 

Many congratulations to all six finalists;  from what I saw last night they all have bright futures and I look forward to watching them develop their careers.  Congratulations also to the winner of the Corps de Ballet award, whose name I unfortunately didn't catch, and try though I might I can't find any announcement of the winners anywhere on the ENB website.  I am sure one of you will enlighten me!!  

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3 minutes ago, Sim said:

Congratulations also to the winner of the Corps de Ballet award, whose name I unfortunately didn't catch, and try though I might I can find any announcement of the winners anywhere on the ENB website.  I am sure one of you will enlighten me!!  

 

It was Eireen Evrard. 

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Thank you.  

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Posted (edited)

It's very interesting how different the views of people in the audience can be. Despite of rooting for Shale, I was really looking forward to the Forsythe piece, danced by Yeomans. When this music comes up, I can't help it but Sylvie Guillem and Laurent Hilaire pop up in my mind. I was disappointed with Yeomans interpretation, I didn't feel any tension which his so much part of this ballet. The contemporary choreography Rentaro danced bored me, whereas in the classical part, he danced with so much verve. I also liked Julia's contemporary part very much, like I already said.

I didn't see any errors from Shale Wagman but I noticed Alicia was nervous. I was sad that Shale didn't get to show thoroughly his skills in the classical part, there were less solo parts for him than for the other two male dancers. It was the first time I saw him dancing a classical piece with a partner, and yes, there is probably improvement on the horizon, agree here with @Sim

As for his contemporary piece: I wholeheartedly disagree with you here @Sim  😉Especially here he was able to show his artistry, put out his pure soul and technical skills, especially his extreme flexibility. I had the impression that not many people got what this piece was about, even laughed in the beginning, I don't know what was so funny. Maybe they expected some sort of slapstick? Couldn't be more far away.  It touched me deeply, and I was sitting in Row N. I even didn't see his face very clear from there. Was the highlight of the night for me. 

As for the decision who was about to win...maybe it was time for a woman, after 2018 saw a male winner. 

Edited by Sabine0308
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31 minutes ago, Sabine0308 said:

As for the decision who was about to win...maybe it was time for a woman, after 2018 saw a male winner. 

 

Ouch!

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43 minutes ago, capybara said:

 

Ouch!

 

Exactly.  I think that's a pretty horrid thing to say about the winner (and the jury).  I said to someone beforehand that she should watch out for Julia Conway (whom I recall from RBS days as being something quite special) and, having watched the six competitors, I didn't disagree with the result (though I also wouldn't have disagreed with certain other results either).

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I didn't say that she did not deserve to win. But I do believe that there's also politics involved in such decisions, and if it's "only" being longer in the company than e.g. Rentano. Just saying.😉

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After Muntagirov and Corrales, Daniel McCormick seems ready for the Royal Ballet !

 

Kevin O'Hare can we have him ?  :)

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42 minutes ago, MAX said:

After Muntagirov and Corrales, Daniel McCormick seems ready for the Royal Ballet !

 

Kevin O'Hare can we have him ?  :)

 

I’m not sure it’s fair to ENB to see them as some kind of training company for the RB.

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Posted (edited)

McCormick was on fire last night! Velicu was a lovely partner and they worked well together but Daniel McCormick has such incredible presence for this punchy pdd.

 

Speaking of punch, Julia Conway appeared to be channeling Osipova - sublimely Russian and danced her pdd with such authority - and what a fantastic pairing with Rentaro who was also electric!

 

It was definitely one of those years where you really couldn’t guess the winner. Wagman was obviously in his element given his competition history, he and his partner worked well together although she and Yeomans’ partner looked a little nervous. The ladies danced beautifully but Conway was a step ahead In the ladies’ camp. Yeomans was just a joy to watch - he was radiant and reminded me of one of my nephews with his dimply smile (I could just pinch those cheeks!). Soft spot because he is a fellow Manc. 

 

Had the pleasure of sitting next to/infront of some of the principals/first soloists who coached the performers (including Jeffrey Cirio who seems a lot taller in real life!) and their whooping after each performance really added to the enjoyment (although a certain Grizabella infront of us chose to stick her fingers in her ears).

Edited by Blossom
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54 minutes ago, MAX said:

After Muntagirov and Corrales, Daniel McCormick seems ready for the Royal Ballet !

 

Kevin O'Hare can we have him ?  :)

He has enough talent in the company , after yesterday’s showing 

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Obviously watching from the live feed is different from being there. I knew several things going in - that many people assumed Shale would win and also that Julia would be a strong contender. It is difficult in competition to compare pieces like that of the three classical pas performed. Alice did seem nervous, but rightfully so in having to dance Classique which can toy with the brain of even a seasoned professional. Shale was lovely, but it was not what I expected from him, and I feel these two dancers would have fared better with another choice.  I kept thinking Paquita or La Sylphide would have been beautiful for them.  Coppelia and Flames are both better competition fare. I thought Rhys did well, but Emilia was obviously nervous. At this point, Rhys was my pick. Ren and Julia were great, but the pas in Flames requires very little. I thought Julia was polished and very comfortable. Ren let out a huge sigh of relief after the pas, and I think it showed how nervous he was for that portion. They then danced their solo portions superbly. I do think Ren could have used more time rehearsing. After this, Julia was in the lead for me. The contemporary works were varied, and I hope in the future they disallow well-established choreographers. It is hard to compare those pieces to lesser known choreographers. I liked Alice’s piece, although not my taste in contemporary, it was interesting, different, and obviously difficult to dance. I thought Rhys did well and so did Julia. Shale’s piece, once again, was disappointing for me, as I expected more with the build -up to the competition. At the end, it was between Julia and Rhys for me, although like others, I would have been happy for any of them. Competition is more about process than winning. And kudos to James Streeter. He was wonderful. A pleasant and well-spent afternoon for me. 

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First of all to say how lovely it was to meet Sabine yesterday and all I had  to go on was a pair of shiny blue shoes lol but we had a great time discussing the show and ballet in general.

Almost certainly the most exciting ( not necessarily the best technically)  and most watchable couple from the  pas de deux section for me was Julia Conway and Rentaro Nakaaki ......he was very flamboyant but almost out danced his strength he put so much into it. She was amost the opposite .....a pool of calm and natural strength but together they created some very enjoyable moments

I did not really enjoy the Coppelia piece much last night but it is much trickier than it looks. In The Grand Pas piece Shale Wagman and Alice Bellini danced superbly but perhaps lacking in a bit of wow.....they seemed a little subdued ....unusual for them .....perhaps the nerves of being the first couple to dance? 

To my mind they both made up for it in the Contemporary section .....I loved Shales piece and a wonderful piece of dancing from him. Alice put everything into hers but I just didn't like the choreography. Yeomans did not choose a piece for me that was contemporary enough ....it was too balletic ....although modern ....and I didn't think he suited it that well for me. The same for Emilia Cadorin the choreography didn't touch me at all and was too balletic.

I thought the piece Rentaro chose was at least showing a different side of his dancing style but was too repetitive ( not his fault) so didn't touch me much.

Julia Conways piece was more interesting for me .....I think composed by a Rambert or perhaps now ex Rambert dancer and was beautifully and convincingly danced but in the end in this section it was Shales piece that moved me most and the piece I felt had most to it.

However it was not to be his night and Julia was a worthy winner ......though on this occasion not a dancer to move me. For me both shale Wagman and Rentaro Nakaaki are definitely exciting talents to watch and hope they both stay with the Company 

I really enjoyed the Don Q pas de deux with Daniel McCormick and Francesca Velicu ...really loved him in particular if he danced like that last year am not at all surprised he won it!! But they looked good together.

And hands off McCormick .....we want two equally good ballet companies with fine dancers in each so the Royal have enough of their own at mo! I hope he stays at ENB though I can see why after a while being based in one place does have its attractions. 

 

 

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Actually the most moving part of the evening was Eireen Evrard receiving her Corps de Ballet award! She was so sweet and just kept saying Thankyou in different ways not used to speaking to so many people!  you just wanted to give her a hug and definitely felt her joy !

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Just now, LinMM said:

First of all to say how lovely it was to meet Sabine yesterday and all I had  to go on was a pair of shiny blue shoes lol but we had a great time discussing the show and ballet in general.... The Grand Pas piece Shale Wagman and Alice Bellini danced superbly but perhaps lacking in a bit of wow.....they seemed a little subdued ....unusual for them .....perhaps the nerves of being the first couple to dance? ...but in the end in this section it was Shales piece that moved me most and the piece I felt had most to it.However it was not to be his night and Julia was a worthy winner ......though on this occasion not a dancer to move me.

 

 

I give this right back at you LinMM, it was really nice to meet you and chat about our favorite topics😀. We agreed to repeat this. And yes, now that I have seen the live stream, I noticed Shale's trademark smile was a bit forced after the Pd2. I could not see that from my seat. Perhaps going first on stage took really its toll. We agreed on Shale anyway. And yes once again, Julia danced technically very good, without that final "wow".

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I continue to be fascinated by the People's Choice award, which people can vote for on the back of the cast sheets for any performance during the season so far.  I'm never really sure, but I've always tended to assume that the fact you have to provide an email address is intended to limit you to only one vote (or maybe just identify you if you keep voting for the same dancer each time?!), because I keep wanting to change my mind again over the course of the season!  Looking at the potential voters, it seems that they could be divided into 3 basic categories:

 

i)  (a limited number of?) people who are profoundly familiar with all or most of the company's dancers, and able to identify them onstage even if they are only dancing in the corps, with hair back and maybe headdresses or something on (that used to be me, but that was years ago, I'm afraid :( ) - probably go to loads of performances, circumstances permitting

ii)  the more casual fan, who can probably only identify a dancer if they are dancing a named role at the performance (I'm thinking this must have disadvantaged any of the Chosen Ones in the Bausch Rite of Spring, since they aren't identified, for example) - probably only go a few times a year, if that

iii) people who are very familiar with one or more dancers (family, friends, social media followers, etc.), but not necessarily the whole company - may be more selective in the performances they pick

 

I was quite intrigued that the winner of this year's award should actually be one of the Emerging Dancer candidates too - after all, it's not as if it was an audience vote taken at that performance (unlike the one time I went to the Genee, when the audience voted for Céline Gittens in quite substantial numbers, I believe) - but I guess that to some extent corroborates the choice of candidates.  I'd been expecting some company member to struggle up on stage from some seat in the stalls somewhere, as happens with many awards ceremonies in theatres.

 

 

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15 hours ago, MAX said:

After Muntagirov and Corrales, Daniel McCormick seems ready for the Royal Ballet !

 

Kevin O'Hare can we have him ?  :)

 

The fantastic Daniel is available to watch as a member of ENB. The Company deserves as much support as the RB.

 

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Just for the record there doesn't seem to be any particular pattern in who gets selected for the award eg: male one year female the next etc

The awards since 2014 (couldn't get any further back!) are 

2014 : joint winners Junor Souza and Alison MvWhinney

2015 : Jinhao Zhang ( male) 

2016 : Caesar Corrales ( male) 

2017: joint winners Rina  Kanehara and Aitor Arrieta

2018: Daniel McCormick ( male) 

2019: Julia Conway.

The people's choice award always seems to be won by one of the six finalists it seems.....but somehow rightly or wrongly I expect this! 

Some dancers are obviously going to be known more than others but probably only by real ballet fans anyway......though perhaps The Young Dancer of the Year award opens to a wider than average public and I think Rhys Yeomans won the ballet section at least so more people than average may have heard of him than some of the other six contenders this year. 

 

 

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The 2011 winner was Shiori Kase, and the audience choice was  Anton Lukovkin, who was not one of the 6 in the finals.

 

(the other dancers in the final  were Muntagirov, Ovsyanick, Summerscales, James Streeter and Max Westwell)

 

I think the 2010 winner was Anais Chalendard.

 

 

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14 minutes ago, LinMM said:

Just for the record there doesn't seem to be any particular pattern in who gets selected for the award eg: male one year female the next etc

The awards since 2014 (couldn't get any further back!) are 

2014 : joint winners Junor Souza and Alison MvWhinney

2015 : Jinhao Zhang ( male) 

2016 : Caesar Corrales ( male) 

2017: joint winners Rina  Kanehara and Aitor Arrieta

2018: Daniel McCormick ( male) 

2019: Julia Conway.

The people's choice award always seems to be won by one of the six finalists it seems.....but somehow rightly or wrongly I expect this! 

Some dancers are obviously going to be known more than others but probably only by real ballet fans anyway......though perhaps The Young Dancer of the Year award opens to a wider than average public and I think Rhys Yeomans won the ballet section at least so more people than average may have heard of him than some of the other six contenders this year. 

 

 

 

Earlier winners:

2010 Anaïs Chalendard

2011 Shiori Kase

2012 Yonah Acosta

2013 Nancy Osbaldeston

 

The People’s Choice 2017 wasn’t one of the finalists. It was Georgia Bould, a member of the corps de ballet.

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Somebody has just told me that last year Alice Bellini won the people's choice award .......and she wasn't one of the six finalists last year so guess it's not always one of them. 

So guess you can choose any dancer who isn't a Principal? Or is it ANY dancer in the ENB Company? 

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The People's Choice voting forms on the back of the cast sheets always state that it's up for grabs by anyone who isn't a Principal (or Lead Principal).

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Ha ha just seen the above posts! 

I thought Georgia Gould won the Corps de Ballet award not the people's choice award! 

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