Critics' Circle National Dance Awards
London, Tuesday January 14, 2003
The names of the winners of the 2002 Critics' Circle National Dance Awards were announced today at a glittering ceremony at Sadlers' Wells Theatre.
Britain's best-loved politician, Baroness Boothroyd, first woman Speaker of the House of Commons, was joined by Patron, Dame Alicia Markova, Sponsor, Yvonne Sherrington and Darcey Bussell, Principal dancer of the Royal Ballet and a host of top names from the world of dance.
Former Tiller Girl Betty Boothroyd compared the event attended by Angela Rippon (Chair, English National Ballet), Tamara Rojo (Royal Ballet), David Bintley (Artistic Director, Birmingham Royal Ballet), award winning choreographer Matthew Bourne and dancers from the two Royal Ballet companies, English National Ballet, Rambert Dance Company, Random Dance, Henri Oguike Dance Company, Arc Dance, Walker Dance and others.
Here are the results, together with the full list of nominations, where appropriate: De Valois Award for Outstanding Contribution to Dance
: Christopher Bruce (Rambert Dance Co) Service to dance
: Dame Beryl Grey Best Partnership (special Committee award)
: Agnes Oaks and Thomas Edur (English National Ballet) Best Male Dancer
: Thomas Edur (English National Ballet)
Adam Cooper for his performances with the Royal Ballet and in On Your Toes
Jonathan Cope for his performances as a Principal with the Royal Ballet
Thomas Edur for his performances as a Principal with English National Ballet Best Female Dancer
: Alina Cojocaru (Royal Ballet)
Alina Cojocaru for her performances as a Principal with the Royal Ballet
Agnes Oaks for her performances as a Principal with English National Ballet
Miyako Yoshida for her performances as a Principal with the Royal Ballet Best Choreography (Classical)
: Christopher Hampson (English National Ballet)
Christopher Hampson for his Double Concerto for English National Ballet
Cathy Marston for her Facing Viv for English National Ballet's Tour de Force
David Nixon for his Madame Butterfly for Northern Ballet Theatre Best Choreography (Modern)
: Mark Morris (Mark Morris Dance Company)
Wayne McGregor for his Nemesis made for Random Dance Company
Mark Morris for “V” for the Mark Morris Dance Group
Henri Oguike for his Melancholy Thoughts and Front Line, made for the Henri Oguike Dance Company Outstanding Young Female Dancer (Modern)
: Joanne Fong (Arc Dance)
Joanne Fong for her performances with Arc Dance Company
Davina Givan for her performances with Scottish Dance Theatre
Antonia Grove for her performances with Rambert Dance Company Outstanding Young Male Dancer (Modern)
: Martin Lindinger (Rambert Dance Company)
Lee Clayden for his performances with Walker Dance
Martin Lindinger for his performances with Rambert Dance Company
Jason Piper for his performances with the Richard Alston Dance Company Outstanding Young Female Dancer (Classical)
: Marianela Nunez (Royal Ballet)
Begoña Cao for her performances as a Junior Soloist with English National Ballet
Marianela Nuñez for her performances as a Soloist with the Royal Ballet
Jenny Tattersall for her performances as a First Artist with the Royal Ballet Outstanding Young Male Dancer (Classical)
: Ivan Putrov (Royal Ballet)
Jonathan Olivier for his performances with Northern Ballet Theatre
Ivan Putrov for his performances as a Soloist with the Royal Ballet
Yosvani Ramos for his performances as a Senior Soloist with English National Ballet Company Prze for Outstanding Repertoire (Classical)
: Birmingham Royal Ballet
Birmingham Royal Ballet
English National Ballet
Northern Ballet Theatre Company Prize for Outstanding Repertoire (Modern)
: Rambert Dance Company
Mark Morris Dance Group
Nederlands Dans Theater 1
Rambert Dance Company Best Foreign Dance Company
: Mark Morris Dance Group (USA)
Ballett Frankfurt for its performances of director William Forsythe's programmes at Sadler's Wells Theatre
Mark Morris Dance Group for its Umbrella season at Sadler's Wells Theatre
Tanztheater Wuppertal for its performances of director Pina Bausch's Masurca Fogo during the company's season at Sadler's Wells Theatre
This was a glittering celebration of dance in the UK. As you can see from the list above, visiting companies are also included, which provides a good way of ensuring that the highest standards are maintained.
From the awards themselves, I think the key thing is to be nominated, as in most instances the final selection is between different manifestations of excellence. Thus choosing between the Mark Morris Dance Group rather than Ballett Frankfurt could be seen as telling us more about the love of classicism by UK critics rather than the relative merits of the two companies - they are both outstanding. I was pleased that Rambert won three awards and the prize for repertory reflects the breadth of styles that they showcase around the country.
On the other awards, Joanne Fong is a very fine dancer, who deserves to be better known, so this was an award that pleased me greatly. It was interesting, but not surprising that all three nominations for best visiting company were for performances at Sadler's Wells.
The charming Thomas Edur and Agnes Oakes were delighted with their awards and I did my duty and e-mailed the result to my press contacts in Estonia as soon as I got home. Edur told me that they would soon be celebrating the 20th Anniversary since their first dance in ballet school. This fine dancing couple still have strong links with their home country and hope to dance there again before too long.
Christopher Bruce has had a richly deserved series of awards this year and mentioned to me that the Amnesty International award
had also meant a great deal to him.
Of the speeches, it was interesting to hear Ashley Page talking about what's happening at Scottish Ballet. In summary:
- currently rounding off the programme put in place by Robert North
- they will then have an extended quiet period when much work will be done behind the scenes
- around 15 new dancers have been (or will be recruited)
- Page had been pleasantly surprised by the talent he has to build on in the Company, which runs contrary to what some had said to him
Dame Alicia Markova made a speech which I found moving, especially after having had the benefit of recently seeing the excellent Bravo film of her rehearsing dancers from POB for French TV. Unscripted, she connected her memories of the earlier Sadler's Wells building to the young dancers who had entertained the guests as they arrived.
Betty Boothroyd's enthusiasm for life came across as vividly as ever and she was self-deprecating about her own dance abilities and told us that just after the War, it was easier to get into the Tiller Girls.
If there was one small disappointment, it was the limited coverage given to the results in the UK media. The organisers, Mike Dixon, Jeffery Taylor, Debra Craine, Luke Jennings, Bruce Marriott and Freda Pitt, deserved better, having put together such an impressive event covering the cream of UK dance.
<small>[ 11 February 2003, 03:37 AM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>