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English National Ballet - Emerging Dancer 2020 Competition

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So I bought my ticket and watched online tonight and thoroughly enjoyed the evening.


I thought it was very well thought out and the socially distanced audience certainly added atmosphere to the screening.


Ore Oduba is obviously the "go to" presenter for ballet these days and he was enthusiastic and had a decent script.  Gavin Sutherland was his usual erudite self.  The evening passed remarkably quickly with the dancers paired into 3 couples.  There was a short introductory film and then we were straight into 3 classical pdd - Satanella, Talisman & Diana and Actaeon.  (I did feel that William Yamada was disadvantaged by the truly hideous and unflattering costume that he had to wear).  We immediately went into three newly created contemporary duets for which, interestingly and annoyingly, the lighting was much darker.


The interlude had Ore Oduba interviewing Stina Quagebeur, Mthuthuzeli November and Sarah Kundi, the opportunity to text vote for the People's award and a musical interlude from the ENB Sinfonia.


Tamara Rojo presented the awards.


Bravo to all 6 dancers.  Yes there was one I voted for but in reality I thought they all deserved to win for giving us such a pleasurable evening.


I must say that during these difficult times ENB has shown up every other company in the UK with proactive streaming and now this ticketed streamed event.  Bravo ENB.


Well done to the winners!  

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What a lovely evening. A few technical gremlins meant I couldn't watch live or vote, but had a thoroughly enjoyable time all the same. Fantastic watching all the performances by superbly talented young dancers, but the winner was also the clear favourite in my living room, so congratulations to them (not mentioning names in case anyone is catching up on demand)!


For me, though, the other big winner tonight was Stina Quagebeur. Hollow was simply mesmerising. For me it felt like the stunning offspring of her own Vera and Crystal Pite's 10 Duets on a Theme of Rescue, I was transfixed. I adore the way she choreographs a pas de deux, and was reminded of something @Two Pigeons said in a comment on a review I posted donkeys' years ago; 'Peter Schaufuss described a Bournonville pas de deux as a conversation between two people rather than an exercise in porteuring,' and that's precisely why I feel Stina Quagebeur nails them so effectively. 


I've largely avoided ballet this year to a certain extent, it would've made me too sad to miss it. This, though, was a lovely reintroduction. Fingers crossed BRB at Sadler's Wells can still go ahead, I'm more excited than ever for it now!

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Thoroughly enjoyable evening and the judges had a tough job. 


What I think needs to be acknowledged though is ENB's incredible studio/theatre/digital stage which is what will allow them to facilitate their transformation into a digital broadcaster during this really challenging period. The filming of the event was covered from every angle and I am sure the digital production side of things was a significant operation. Having the small audience in house made it feel more like a real live performance - no doubt for the dancers as much as the people at home (although I did miss the whooping and cheering from ENB colleagues which usually accompanies these events. This taster of what ENB can do has me quite excited for their digital programme.


Feeling uplifted having had the opportunity to watch some live ballet this evening.

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All the same here on Chrome, Firefox and Safari - really Quite strange.  If I concentrate hard on a capital Q, I can see there's a tiny speck in the bottom right corner but, for all practical purposes, I'm reading it as O.  (No - Os, Mon Repos - and having reached this point, let there be no more on the topic!)

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11 hours ago, BristolBillyBob said:

For me, though, the other big winner tonight was Stina Quagebeur. Hollow was simply mesmerising. For me it felt like the stunning offspring of her own Vera and Crystal Pite's 10 Duets on a Theme of Rescue, I was transfixed. 

My thoughts as well. The piece blew me away.

Bravo to Ivana Bueno for winning the award, she was gorgeous and confident and really surprised me. I would not consider myself as an expert but to me, both her pieces were flawless and she had a good connection to her partner.

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This seemed a more appropriate thread than news and here's the press release about the winners:




English National Ballet Announces Winners of Emerging Dancer 2020


English National Ballet is pleased to announce the winner of the 2020 Emerging Dancer Award is Ivana Bueno. 



Winner of the 2020 Emerging Dancer Award, Ivana Bueno (right) © Laurent Liotardo


Having performed a pas de deux from Talisman and FULL-OUT a new contemporary piece choreographed by Mthuthuzeli November with her partner William Yamada, Ivana was announced as winner during the worldwide broadcast of the event from the Holloway Production Studio at English National Ballet's headquarters on London City Island last night (Tuesday 22 September 2020).


Of winning the 2020 Emerging Dancer Award, Ivana Bueno said: “I’m very, very happy and so grateful. I enjoyed the process so much. It was a big challenge for me; I knew I had to work for it and show my best, that’s all I wanted to do no matter what. And I guess hard work pays off so I’m very happy! My family in Mexico, friends and people from my old school have all been able to watch me tonight and I’m so grateful ENB were able to broadcast the event live. I want to thank my partner Will, we worked very well together, he’s great, very open to everything and I just had the best time.”


The special evening, which marked ENB's first live performance since lockdown, also saw finalist Victor Prigent awarded the People’s Choice Award, as voted for by members of the live audience around the world who texted to vote during the live stream, and Artist of the Company Claire Barrett named as the Corps de Ballet Awardwinner acknowledging her exceptional work during last season. 


Of winning the People’s Choice Award, Victor Prigent said: “Just being nominated was amazing, and now winning the People’s Choice Award! I’m blessed, really. I enjoyed every bit of it - from working through the rehearsals with my partner Emily to finally getting back on stage after eight months - the whole thing was just amazing. I can’t express how grateful I am to everyone who voted for me, thank you so much - it’s an honour."


Of winning the Corps de Ballet Award, Claire Barrett said: “This is a great surprise and so appreciated. It’s already amazing to be part of English National Ballet and then to be acknowledged for what you’ve brought on stage - it’s really incredible. I’m surrounded by such amazing dancers, so to be chosen is such an honour.”

Artistic Director Tamara Rojo CBE, Artistic Director of English National Ballet was joined on the judging panel by Matthew Hart, Kerry Nicholls, Natalia Osipova, Kenneth Tindall and Edward Watson. 


Tamara Rojo CBE, Artistic Director of English National Ballet said: “I’m especially proud of all of this year’s finalists for rising to the occasion and coming out of lockdown with such dedication and passion. We are delighted to present Emerging Dancer as the first event in our return to performing, it is an opportunity to celebrate the rising talent in the Company and the bright future of ballet. The talent we saw on stage tonight has been extraordinary. It was incredibly hard for the panel to pick a winner but what they saw in Ivana was that she was able to deliver both in the classical repertoire as well as in the contemporary with a strong technique, precision and cleanness. She has a wonderful presence and charisma that transferred from the stage to the audience.”


The other finalists this year were Carolyne Galvao, Angel Maidana, Emily Suzuki and William Yamada. 

The performances were all accompanied by live music by the English National Ballet Philharmonic and the event was hosted by TV presenter and Strictly Come Dancing winner Ore Oduba. The evening finished with special performances from last year’s Emerging Dancer Award winner Julia Conway and the People’s Choice Award winner Rhys Antoni Yeomans, who performed Mañana Iguana, a new creation by Arielle Smith. 


The broadcast remains available to watch online until Tuesday 29th September, visit www.ballet.org.uk/emerging 



English National Ballet is a National Portfolio Organisation supported by Arts Council England. 


Notes to Editors


About English National Ballet 
English National Ballet has a long and distinguished history. Founded in 1950 as London Festival Ballet by the great English Dancers Alicia Markova and Anton Dolin, it has been at the forefront of ballet’s growth and evolution ever since.

English National Ballet brings world class ballet to the widest possible audience through performances across the UK and on eminent international stages including The Bolshoi Theatre and Palais Garnier; its distinguished orchestra, English National Ballet Philharmonic; and being a UK leader in creative learning and engagement practice, building innovative partnerships to deliver flagship programmes such as English National Ballet’s Dance for Parkinson’s.

Under the artistic directorship of Tamara Rojo CBE, English National Ballet has introduced ground-breaking new works to the Company’s repertoire whilst continuing to honour the tradition of great classical ballet, gaining acclaim for artistic excellence and creativity. 2019 saw English National Ballet enter a new chapter in its history with a move into a purpose-built state-of-the-art home in East London which brings a renewed commitment to, and freedom for, creativity, ambition, and connection to more people, near and far, than ever before.


About Arts Council England

Arts Council England is the national development body for arts and culture across England, working to enrich people’s lives. We support a range of activities across the arts, museums and libraries – from theatre to visual art, reading to dance, music to literature, and crafts to collections. Great art and culture inspires us, brings us together and teaches us about ourselves and the world around us. In short, it makes life better. Between 2018 and 2022, we will invest £1.45 billion of public money from government and an estimated £860 million from the National Lottery to help create these experiences for as many people as possible across the country. www.artscouncil.org.uk

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11 hours ago, Sabine0308 said:

My thoughts as well. The piece blew me away.

Bravo to Ivana Bueno for winning the award, she was gorgeous and confident and really surprised me. I would not consider myself as an expert but to me, both her pieces were flawless and she had a good connection to her partner.


I agree I loved Stina's piece.  She's an amazing choreographer. 


I thought all the dancers were excellent although I'm not sure what William Yamada did or who he offended to have to suffer that indignity of a costume.  


I thought it was a really lovely evening.  

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I had to watch this on catch up and have avoided the forum until I had seen it to the end. How wonderful it is to see live dance even if it is on a screen. I thought they all did well but to me the real winner was HOLLOW which I thought was wonderful, I hope Stina choreographs many more ballets. 

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