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National Dance Awards 2014

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Looking at the nominees for Best Male Dancer, I get a strange feeling of déjà vu :)


Lovely to see Francesca Hayward already getting nominated up there among some greats.


Congratulations to all the nominees: from what I've seen of them, they all seem to have considerable merits.

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Interesting that this year's line up includes two nominations each for:


Alina Cojocaru (Best Female Dancer and Outstanding Female Performance (Classical))

Natalia Osipova (Best Female Dancer and Outstanding Female Performance (Classical))

Francesca Hayward (Outstanding Female Performance (Classical) and Emerging Artist)

Jonathan Goddard (Best Male Dancer and Outstanding Male Performance (Modern))

Vadim Muntagirov (Best Male Dancer and Outstanding Male Performance (Classical))

Akram Khan (Best Modern Choreography and Outstanding Male Performance (Modern))


Hope I haven't missed anyone!

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Gosh, I wouldn't like to have to choose between all these wonderful nominees!! I am delighted that two of the three 'Lest We Forget' ballets from ENB are involved. I saw this programme months ago, and I am still thinking about it, especially as we get ever nearer to 11th November.


I am seeing Jonathan Goddard in Dracula in a couple of weeks so am very much looking forward to that.


Many congrats to all the nominees, and good luck!

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Northern Ballet Press Release:



Award nominations continue for Northern Ballet 

Northern Ballet is proud to have received a nomination for Outstanding Company at the 2014 National Dance Awards with additional recognition for dancer Kevin Poeung, who has been nominated for the Emerging Artist Award. The awards celebrate achievements in dance in the UK from September 2013 to August 2014. The winners will be announced at a ceremony in London on 26 January 2015 and are chosen after a vote by more than 50 dance writers and critics from theCritics’ Circle.

The Leeds-based Company has been nominated for the Stef Stefanou Award for Outstanding Company at the 2014 National Dance Awards along with leading International companies English National Ballet, Mark Morris Dance Group, Stuttgart Ballet and Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch. In September 2014 Northern Ballet won the Best European Company award at the Taglioni European Ballet Awards.

Coryphée dancer Kevin Poeung has been nominated for the Emerging Artist Award alongside Francesca Hayward (The Royal Ballet), Drew McOnie (choreographer, The McOnie Company), Marcelino Sambé (The Royal Ballet) and Alexander Whitley (choreographer, Alexander Whitley Dance Company). Poeung, who joined Northern Ballet from English National Ballet School in 2012, has performed various soloist roles with Northern Ballet, creating the Young Prince in Cinderella and most recently taking on the role of Renfield in Dracula where he ‘tore himself to shreds in his manic portrayal of insanity with a physical and dramatic talent promising much for the future’ (Sunday Express).   

Northern Ballet’s Artistic Director David Nixon OBE said: “I am thrilled that the Company and Kevin have been recognised with these nominations. Between September 2013 and August 2014 we held the world première of our new Cinderella, performed A Midsummer Night’s Dream in China and sold out the Royal Opera House’s Linbury Studio Theatre on our inaugural visit in May 2014. In addition to Cinderella, we performed A Midsummer Night’s DreamA Christmas Carol,Cleopatra and two children’s ballets, Ugly Duckling and Three Little Pigs, in 36 theatres across the UK totalling 240 performances. Northern Ballet is committed to creating and touring innovative productions throughout the UK and reaching as many people as possible with world-class ballet.

Kevin Poeung is a very unique dancer and I am not surprised that his extraordinary talent is being honoured by a nomination for Emerging Artist. He is an incredibly gifted, versatile dancer and a humble young man and I look forward to continuing to nurture his outstanding talent.”

Northern Ballet specialises in creating and touring full-length narrative ballets and will hold the UK première of Jean-Christophe Maillot’s Romeo and Juliet in February 2015 followed by the world première of 1984, an adaptation of the George Orwell novel by Jonathan Watkins, in autumn 2015. For detailed information on Northern Ballet’s extensive national tour, visit northernballet.com


Notes to Editors
Voted Best Company at the 2014 Taglioni European Ballet Awards, Northern Ballet is one of the UK’s five large ballet companies. Based in Leeds it performs throughout the UK as well as overseas. Northern Ballet’s productions mix classical dance and theatre, embracing popular culture and taking inspiration from literature, opera, or giving a unique interpretation of popular classical ballets.
Northern Ballet is the busiest touring ballet company in the UK and is typically on the road for around 32 weeks of the year. The Company of 46 dancers tours a combination of full-length new work and established repertoire to cities throughout the UK and is the only large scale ballet company to do so. The Company tours widely with its ballets for children, the first two of which were adapted for TV by CBeebies, and also performs a Mixed Programme annually showcasing the versatility of the its dancers.
Visit northernballet.com for more information on the Company and tour. 

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Forgive this question from a newcomer, only recently taking up a serious interest in ballet.


The last post refers to "UK's five large ballet companies." I believe that four of these are the RB, BRB, ENB, and Northern Ballet. What is the fifth?

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Thanks for the information, aileen.


During the RB section of World Ballet Day, Kristen McNally had mentioned the four I listed in my last post as the main ballet companies in the UK. As she clearly wasn't reading from a script, it was probably just a slip of the mind to not mention the Scottish Ballet.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 months later...

Natalia Osipova has just won the outstanding female performance (classical)  award for Giselle.


Francesca Hayward is the Emerging Artist winner


Best Classical Choreography winner is Christopher Wheeldon for Winters Tale.


Great day for the RB so far.

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English National Ballet is the Outstanding Company.



Oh, I am SO glad ENB has got this.  They - the entire Company as masterminded by Rojo - so richly deserve it for their wonderful output in 2014.  It was rich indeed. 

Edited by Bruce Wall
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The official Press Release detailing the winners:





The 15th National Dance Awards


The Place, London: 26th January 2015


New records were set at the Critics’ Circle National Dance Awards for 2014, which took place today in London at a ceremony hosted by Arlene Phillips CBE.   


The choreographer and dancer, Akram Khan MBE, became the first person to win a sixth NDA, picking up this year’s award for Best Modern Choreography for Dust, his work for English National Ballet that was part of their Lest We Forget commemoration of the centenary of the outbreak of WW1 and was subsequently featured at Glastonbury.    This was Khan’s third choreographic award to add to three awards as a performer.


Christopher Wheeldon became the first person to win five awards in the same category, winning the Best Classical Choreography Award for The Winter’s Tale for The Royal Ballet.  He had previously won for work in 2001, 2004, 2008 and 2013.


Natalia Osipova and Jonathan Goddard became the first dancers to pick up two awards at the same ceremony.   Osipova won in the category of Outstanding Female Performance (Classical) for her performance in the title role as Giselle for The Royal Ballet; and Goddard won the Outstanding Male Performance (Modern) for his portrayal as Dracula for Mark Bruce Company (which won the award for Best Independent Company).  Both Osipova and Goddard went on to be named as the Best Dancers of 2014.  This was Goddard’s second naming as The Dancing Times Best Male Dancer (he had previously won in 2007) and it was a record-breaking fourth time as Grishko Best Female Dancer for Osipova (following her awards in 2007, 2010 and 2013). 


The Outstanding Company of 2014 was English National Ballet and the award was received by the company’s artistic director and principal ballerina, Tamara Rojo.


The De Valois Award for Outstanding Achievement was presented by Darcey Bussell CBE to Carlos Acosta CBE in recognition of his outstanding career as a dancer and as a producer of new work. 


The Dance Section of the Critics’ Circle introduced a new award for 2014 to recognise Emerging Artists and this was won by the Royal Ballet soloist, Francesca Hayward, who has impressed and delighted critics over the past year in a number of new roles, notably in her performances of the Ashton repertoire.


The Outstanding Male Performance (Classical) was won by Xander Parish, a dancer from Hull who left The Royal Ballet in 2010 to join the Mariinsky Ballet of St Petersburg.  He won the award for his performances of George Balanchine’s Apollo during the Mariinsky’s season at the Royal Opera House in August 2014.


The Outstanding Female Performance (Modern) went to Wendy Houstoun, a performer now in her 50s, for her extraordinary one-woman show, Pact with Pointlessness, inspired by the death of choreographer, Nigel Charnock


And the Dance UK Industry Award, determined by a separate panel of judges chosen by Dance UK, went to parliamentarian Frank Doran MP, who steps down at the forthcoming General Election, for his many years’ service as Secretary to the All Party Parliamentary Group for Dance.           


With the exception of the Dance UK award, the National Dance Awards are decided by the 60 members of the Dance Section of the Critics’ Circle after an extensive round of nominations and voting.   To be eligible, performances had to be given in the UK between 1st September 2013 and 31st August 2014.


The full list of winners is given below:  





Jonathan Goddard in the title role as Dracula for Mark Bruce Company


Natalia Osipova in the title role as Giselle for The Royal Ballet


Akram Khan for Dust by English National Ballet


Xander Parish in the title role as Apollo for the Mariinsky Ballet


Wendy Houstoun for Pact with Pointlessness


Christopher Wheeldon for The Winter’s Tale by The Royal Ballet


Frank Doran MP, Secretary of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Dance



            Francesca Hayward


Mark Bruce Company


English National Ballet


Jonathan Goddard


Natalia Osipova


Carlos Acosta CBE



Speaking at the event, Arlene Phillips CBE said:   I am thrilled to be invited to present the National Dance Awards for 2014.  Dance, dancers and choreography were outstanding in every category and I would like to congratulate all nominees and the winners”.    


The Chairman of the Awards committee, Graham Watts OBE, said:  ‘These awards are a celebration of brilliance amongst the rich diversity of dance forms we enjoy in the UK, both from home-based companies and the many touring ensembles from overseas, several of whom have been recognised in this year’s nominations.  The 383 recommendations from British dance critics for companies, choreographers and performers seen in 2014 easily represented a new record, which must say something about the ever-increasing spread of excellence in dance.’


The dance section of the Critics’ Circle is delighted and honoured to thank the 2014 National Dance Awards Sponsors:


Grishko, Dancing Times, Stef Stefanou, The Critics’ Circle, The Ballet Association, Lee McLernon, The Office of Architectural Culture and Dance UK for the Jane Attenborough Dance UK Industry Award.  Dance UK announced that Sprizzato will sponsor the Industry Award in 2015.


The next National Dance Awards are scheduled to be held in London on 25th January 2016.   

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Just for the record, should the Dancing Times page ever vanish, these were the nominations:




Jonathan Goddard, Mark Bruce Company, New Movement Collective and HeadSpaceDance

Vadim Muntagirov, English National Ballet and The Royal Ballet

Steven McRae, The Royal Ballet

Edward Watson, The Royal Ballet



Alina Cojocaru, English National Ballet

Marianela Nuñez, The Royal Ballet

Natalia Osipova, The Royal Ballet

Diana Vishneva, Maryinsky Ballet




English National Ballet

Mark Morris Dance Group

Northern Ballet

Stuttgart Ballet

Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch



Ballet Black  


Mark Bruce Company

New Movement Collective



David DawsonThe Human Seasons for The Royal Ballet

Arthur Pita, A Dream Within A Midsummer Night’s Dream for Ballet Black

Liam Scarlett, No Man’s Land for English National Ballet

Christopher Wheeldon, The Winter’s Tale for The Royal Ballet



Richard Alston, The Britten Bill – Hölderlin Fragments/Illuminations/Barbican Britten: Phaedra for Richard Alston Dance Company

Mark Bruce, Dracula for Mark Bruce Company

Akram Khan, Dust for English National Ballet

Arthur Pita, Facada in Solo for Two for Ardani Artists

Crystal Pite, The Tempest Replica for Kidd Pivot




Francesca Hayward, dancer, The Royal Ballet

Drew McOnie, choreographer, The McOnie Company

Kevin Poeung, dancer, Northern Ballet

Marcelino Sambé, dancer, The Royal Ballet

Alexander Whitley, choreographer, Alexander Whitley Dance Company



Alina Cojocaru as Medora in Le Corsaire for English National Ballet

Francesca HAYWARD in Rhapsody for The Royal Ballet

Natalia Osipova in the title role of Giselle for The Royal Ballet

Kristina Shapran as Terpsichore in Apollo for the Maryinsky Ballet



Yonah Acosta as Conrad in Le Corsaire for English National Ballet 

Alexander Jones as Petruchio in The Taming of the Shrew for Stuttgart Ballet

Vadim Muntagirov as Conrad in Le Corsaire for English National Ballet 

Xander Parish in the title role of Apollo for the Maryinsky Ballet



Fang-Yi Sheu in PresentPast and Two x Two at Sadler’s Wells

Wendy Houstoun in Pact with Pointlessness

Carys Staton in Still Current for Russell Maliphant Company

Clemmie Sveass in If Play is Play for HeadSpaceDance



Miguel Altunaga in Rooster for Rambert

Jonathan Goddard in the title role of Dracula for Mark Bruce Company

Akram Khan in Dust for English National Ballet

Liam Riddick in Illuminations for Richard Alston Dance Company

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Congratulations are due to all the winners, in what I think must have been a set of very difficult decisions, given the quality of the nominations.  But perhaps particular congratulations should be given to the Mark Bruce Company for running away with 3 of the awards!  It's good to see one of the small companies holding its own.

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Oh, I am SO glad ENB has got this. They - the entire Company as masterminded by Rojo - so richly deserve it for their wonderful output in 2014. It was rich indeed.


I don't think you're anywhere near as happy as Tamara Rojo was! She was genuinely thrilled to win. And I was glad Dust won for them and Akram Khan too - just seeing the wee clips gave me goosebumps
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Press Release from ENB:


English National Ballet’s success at The Critics’ Circle National Dance Awards 2014


We are delighted to announce that English National Ballet and Akram Khan as a collaborating choreographer have won a total of two awards across two categories at the prestigious National Dance Awards 2014. 

Tamara Rojo, Artistic Director of English National Ballet, says;

“I am absolutely thrilled with our success at this year’s National Dance Awards. It is core to my artistic vision for English National Ballet to continue to honour the classics, and create the classics of the future with productions such as Lest We Forget. Receiving these awards means so much to the entire Company, and is a testament to how hard working everyone at English National Ballet is.”

English National Ballet won in the following categories:



English National Ballet



Akram Khan’s Dust for English National Ballet


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