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 Post subject: Critics' Circle (UK) National Dance Awards - January 2006
PostPosted: Fri Nov 11, 2005 5:17 am 
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
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DANCING’S ‘OSCARS’

The National Dance Awards will be held at a glittering ceremony at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden on January 19th 2006, where an array of the world’s finest talent will be found celebrating the many forms of dance from classical ballet to the extremes of the avant garde.

The most impressive talent emerging in this year’s Awards is the British Asian dancer and choreographer Akram Khan, with a total of three nominations in “Outstanding Male Artist (Modern)”, “Best Choreography (Modern)” and Company Prize for Outstanding Repertoire (Modern). Khan won the “Outstanding Newcomer” prize at the very first National Dance Awards, and his originality and technique have since won him an international reputation.

The announcement of this year’s nominations is also a triumph for Scottish dance, with Scottish Ballet gaining its first major acknowledgement since Ashley Page took over as Artistic Director in 2002. Not only is Eve Mutso individually nominated as Best Female Dancer, but the company as a whole is recognised for “Outstanding Repertoire (Classical)” This has been a remarkable “phoenix from the ashes” story and its ramifications will resonate throughout the Scottish arts scene.

The Brits also dominate in the category Best Choreography (Musical Theatre). The dance makers nominated for three great West End musicals are Peter Darling for Billy Elliot, Rob Ashford for Guys and Dolls, and Matthew Bourne and Stephen Mear for Mary Poppins.

In the senior ballet categories the honours for “Best Male Dancer”, sponsored by Dancing Times, are split between the USA, (Clifton Brown of the Alvin Ailey Dance Theatre), The Ukraine (Ivan Putrov of the Royal Ballet) and Denmark (Thomas Lund of the Royal Danish Ballet) while the prize for top ballerina - “Best Female Dancer” - will be a difficult choice between the Argentinian Marianela Nunez of the Royal Ballet, Estonian Eve Mutso of Scottish Ballet as mentioned above, and the stunningly beautiful Russian Irina Kolesnikova of the St Petersburg Ballet Theatre.

TV presenter Angela Rippon, O.B.E., former chair of English National Ballet and a passionate advocate for dance who has compèred the Awards on two previous occasions, believes that despite the absence of Britons from certain categories dance in the UK is in a healthy state…

“I’ve seen what amounts to an explosion of enthusiasm among the young; with dancing schools and academies of all kinds completely full up. In the six years the awards have run, the scene in this country has changed beyond recognition for the better.”


THE NATIONAL DANCE AWARDS

Founded just six years ago, the Awards are the only professional Awards in this country dedicated specifically to the art of dance, and are already spoken of within the industry as the British Dance ‘Oscars’. The Critics’ Circle felt it was natural that they should come together annually to celebrate as well as to evaluate the art form about which they write, so the Awards aim to highlight the astonishing diversity of dance in the UK and celebrate the beauty of dance.

What’s more, it’s a truly British occasion, where friendships are newly forged and re-kindled between legendary ballerinas and cutting edge modern dancers, company directors and students, bridging the gap between classical and contemporary in a one-of-a-kind celebration and get-together.

This year marks a new relationship between the National Dance Awards, the Royal Opera House and Sadler’s Wells. Henceforth, starting with the Royal Opera House this year, the Awards will alternate annually between these two great dance venues of the nation’s capital, both recently refurbished to a magnificent standard.

Also this year the ‘Audience Award’ supported by Ballet.co and Dance UK, gives the audience the opportunity to participate by voting, via text message, for their favourite dance or Ballet Company from those they’ve seen over the last year in the UK.

Among the sponsors of this year’s presentation, who also include the animated mouse Angelina Ballerina, Working Title Films, (co-producers of Billy Elliot The Musical), Ballet.co, The Royal Opera House, Sadler’s Wells, The Dancing Times, Artsworld Presentations, Old Vic Productions, Dance UK, Cadogan Hotel London, Robert Heindel, Tom Merrifield, is Yvonne Sherrington, widow of founding sponsor Richard Sherrington who helped launch the event in 2000.

“I’m so thrilled and relieved that Richard’s legacy as a major supporter of dance in the United Kingdom will endure.” she told us. “With the difficulties of the last couple of years behind us, I’m greatly looking forward to making our association with the world of dance as much of a positive celebration as possible, and above all an encouragement to young dancers everywhere.”

For further information please visit the National Dance Awards website at www.nationaldanceawards.com


NATIONAL DANCE AWARDS NOMINATIONS 2005

Best Male Dancer

Clifton Brown Alvin Ailey,

Ivan Putrov Royal Ballet

Thomas Lund Royal Danish Ballet



Best Female Dancer

Marianela Nunez Royal Ballet

Eve Mutso Scottish Ballet

Irina Kolesnikova St Petersburg Ballet Theatre



Best Choreography (Classical)

Kim Brandstrup

David Dawson

Christopher Newton for Ashton’s Sylvia Royal Ballet



Best Choreography (Modern)

Russell Maliphant

Marisa von Stockert

Akram Khan and Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui



Best Choreography (Musical Theatre)

Peter Darling for Billy Elliot

Rob Ashford for Guys and Dolls

Matthew Bourne and Stephen Mear for Mary Poppins



Best Foreign Dance Company

Nat. Ballet of Cuba

Australian Ballet

Pina Bausch



Outstanding Male or Female Artist (Classical)

Rupert Pennefather

Sarah Lamb

Deirdre Chapman



Outstanding Male or Female Artist (Modern)

Antonia Grove

Akram Khan

Jenny Tattersall Walker Dance Park Music



Company Prize for Outstanding Repertoire (Classical)

BRB

Royal Ballet

Scottish Ballet



Company Prize for Outstanding Repertoire (Modern)

Rambert

Henri Oguike

Akram Khan Dance Company


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2005 6:57 am 
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Location: Canada
Quote:
What’s more, it’s a truly British occasion,


Which makes it quite intriguing that of the three dancers nominated for 'best male dancer', two are from foreign companies, and none of the dancers, men or women, in the 'best dancer' categories are British.

I also find it odd that Christopher Newton is nominated for his staging of "Sylvia" alongside Dawson and Brandstrup, who are nominated for original works. From what I've heard, Newton's work is most worthy of recognition, but staging someone else's choreography, even if you add some of your own into the mix, is a whole different matter from creating a brand new ballet/piece. It would seem that for the judges, it's almost comparing apples to oranges.

I'm also curious as to the distinction between 'Best Dancer' and 'Outstanding Artist'... are certain categories limited to dancers/companies from British companies?

Kate


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2005 7:26 am 
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
Yes, I was a little surprised at the use of "British". Like the dance world generally, the National Dance Awards are an international event with visiting companies and dancers born overseas and working for UK companies joining with "locals" and that is what helps to make it a fine occasion. Productions and dancers not performing in the UK over the past year are not eligable, so in that sense it is "British". The press release is right when it talks about the NDA uniquely bringing together the various strands of the dance world, as seen in this country.

I also understand your point, Kate, about Christopher Newton's nomination; I surmise that, given the quality of the work revived and the importance of Newton's contribution, the members of the Critics' Circle felt it appropriate to nominate him for this award. I think it also says something about the scarcity of interesting new ballet choreography.

On the overlap of the dancer awards, from memory, I believe that the first award was for the "Best Male" and "Best Female. Then the committee realised that because far more critics go to see the ballet productions than the modern ones, they introduced the "Outstanding Artists..." awards, split by dance technique, but left the "Best..." in place as well.

My question is what you do about an artist like the Kathak dancer , Sonia Sabri, who is one of the best dancers in the UK in the view of several people I know.

Like most things, the NDA can be improved, especially considering that it is organised by an amateur committee. Perhaps the key thing is that individuals from the dance world are given publicity and praise through the nominations and the actual awards - the dance profession loves it and so do I.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2006 5:37 am 
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
Yesterday was the big day and here are the winners:

THE WINNERS OF THE 2005 CRITICS’ CIRCLE NATIONAL DANCE AWARDS ARE:

Best Male Dancer
Thomas Lund, Royal Danish Ballet

Best Female Dancer
Marianela Nunez, Royal Ballet

Best Choreography (Classical)
Christopher Newton for Ashton’s Sylvia, Royal Ballet

Best Choreography (Modern)Russell Maliphant

Best Choreography (Musical Theatre)Peter Darling for Billy Elliot

Best Foreign Dance Company
Australian Ballet

Outstanding Artist (Classical)
Rupert Pennefather, Royal Ballet

Outstanding Artist (Modern)
Akram Khan

Company Prize for Outstanding Repertoire (Classical)
Royal Ballet

Company Prize for Outstanding Repertoire (Modern)
The Rambert Dance Company

De Valois Award for Outstanding Achievement in Dance
Monica Mason OBE Director Royal Ballet

Working Title Billy Elliot Award
Kristopher Spencer

Dance UK Jane Attenborough Industry Award
Brendan Keaney

Audience Award supported by Ballet.co and Dance UK
Northern Ballet Theatre & Motionhouse Dance Theatre


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2006 5:38 am 
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
press release

gDA director wins Dance UK Industry Award

gDA director, Brendan Keaney, was presented with the prestigious Dance UK Industry Award – known within the industry as Great Britain’s Dance Oscars - at the 2005 National Dance Awards, held at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, on Thursday 19 January 2006. The Dance UK Industry Award honours an individual working in dance who has made an outstanding contribution to the art form beyond the scope of their usual role. This special award aims to highlight the many important but often unacknowledged contributions that make a real difference to how dance is created, supported and seen.

Brendan Keaney started his career in dance as a freelance performer. His first professional engagement was as a dancing sailor in Derek Jarmen’s film adaptation of The Tempest. He has since worked as a teacher, animateur and more recently as an administrator/manager. Immediately prior to joining Greenwich Dance Agency in 1996, Brendan was employed as a Dance Officer at the Arts Council of England. In addition to his work at gDA Brendan has served on a number of boards and committees, and he is currently an advisor to the Bonnie Bird Choreography Fund.

Brendan’s job is to direct the programme and business of gDA. This includes devising and planning future initiatives, promoting the organisation at senior level in order to build strong external relationships, networking with choreographers, artists, and staff in related organisations locally, regionally, nationally and internationally. As the most senior officer within the organisation, Brendan has overall responsibility for gDA and reports directly to the Board of Management.

The aim of the Critics’ Circle National Dance Awards is the celebration of dance and dancers in Britain. Founded in 1999 these are the only professional awards in this country dedicated specifically to the art of dance.

gDA
Since its inception in 1993, Greenwich Dance Agency (gDA) has built an international reputation for quality and innovation. Based in the historic former Borough Hall, gDA is a meeting place for professional dance artists and the local community. gDA hosts and produces a vast array of activities from cutting edge contemporary dance events to a comprehensive programme of youth projects, tea dances, classes and courses. gDA also provides activities such as school dance clubs, youth collectives and chair-based movement sessions for older people in a range of other venues throughout the borough. gDA's extensive professional development programme for dance is recognised as one of the most important and valued resources for emerging and established artists in this country. Many of the UK's brightest choreographic talents - amongst them Michael Clark, Akram Khan, Jonathan Burrows, Fin Walker, and Russell Maliphant - have chosen gDA as their rehearsal and research base for creating new work.

gDA is funded by Greenwich Council and Arts Council England.

gDA’s new website is now on-line www.greenwichdance.org.uk


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2006 5:42 am 
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
gDA and Brendon Keaney are highly respected within the UK contemporary dance community. He has created an artist friendly centre that provides excellent support to a range of dance artists and Brendan is always ready to help with advice from his wide knowledge base and drawing on his amazing contacts list.

Congratulations to Brendan and to gDA.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2006 5:44 am 
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press release

2005 Critics' Circle National
Dance Awards winners
London, Thursday 19 January, 2006
www.nationaldanceawards.com

DANCE AWARDS GRACE OPERA HOUSE AS ROYAL BALLET TRIUMPHS


WINNERS OF THE 2005 CRITICS’ CIRCLE NATIONAL DANCE AWARDS WERE ANNOUNCED TODAY IN A GLITTERING CEREMONY AT THE ROYAL OPERA HOUSE, COVENT GARDEN.

The stars of dance were splendidly represented today at the annual presentation of the Critics' Circle National Dance Awards. From classical ballet's ballerinas Dame Beryl Grey (National Dance Awards Patron) and Darcey Bussell, (Principal Dancer, The Royal Ballet) to Zoë Ball and her 'Strictly Come Dancing' partner Ian Waite, past and present performers from every aspect of the terpsichorean arts applauded as the winners were announced. The afternoon was a special triumph for the Royal Ballet, which frequently performs at the Royal Opera House: in total the company scooped no fewer than 3 of the major awards, for Outstanding Repertoire (classical), Best Choreography (classical) and Best Female Dancer.

Picking up the coveted prizes for Best Male, and Best Female Dancer were, respectively, Thomas Lund of the Royal Danish Ballet and Marianela Nunez of the Royal Ballet, while the Awards for Outstanding Artist went to Maidenhead-born Rupert Pennefather in the Classical section, and Akram Khan in the Modern. Pennefather recently partnered Darcey Bussell in Frederick Ashton's ballet A Month in the Country, while Khan's ground-breaking dance company has recently been working in Hungary and the Netherlands.

The De Valois Award for Outstanding Achievement in Dance, named after the late Dame Ninette de Valois who founded the Royal Ballet a mere 75 years ago and led it for many years, was awarded to the company's present Director and former principal Monica Mason OBE.

Billy Elliot choreographer Peter Darling collected the Award for Best Choreography in a piece of musical theatre.

Guests at the event included the Cuban superstar Carlos Acosta, the newly-appointed director of English National Ballet Wayne Eagling, and Lady Deborah MacMillan, who designed the artwork for the awards when they were first established six years ago. Choreographer Arlene Phillips, ex-Royal Ballet dancer, TV star Jeremy Sheffield and the actor and dancer Adam Garcia were also present.

At midday attendees were greeted by a riot of colour and action provided by dancers from the Simply Ballroom company, and the Jiving Lindy Hoppers, before being whisked up to the Floral Hall for drinks and refreshments. Here, young students from Britain's leading dance schools performed as the lunchtime reception got into its stride. This included children from the Royal Academy of Dance, the Rambert School, the English National Ballet School, White Lodge (the Royal Ballet Lower School) the Central School of Ballet, Arts Educational School at Tring Park and Elmhurst School for Dance.

Celebrations began in earnest at 2.00pm when broadcaster and journalist, Angela Rippon stepped forward to host the Awards ceremony itself. Performers from every field of dance were celebrated and congratulated during the hour-long event. These Awards hold a special importance for the dance fraternity, since they are voted for by the Critics' Circle, probably most knowledgeable dance experts in the country, and to win is a major honour. This year the ceremony also included an Audience Award, sponsored by Ballet.co and Dance UK, with record numbers of the general public voting for their favourite dance companies during the past year.

The UK's dance community was out in full force with other attendees including Ashley Page, Lord, Lady and Michael Attenborough, Rafael Bonachela, Russell Maliphant and Irina Kolesnikova, as well as many dancers and other representatives from companies across the UK and abroad - including the Akram Khan Dance Company, Rambert Dance Company, Birmingham Royal Ballet, Scottish Ballet, Northern Ballet Theatre, Australian Ballet, Henry Oguike Dance Company, Motionhouse Dance Theatre, National Ballet of Cuba, The Royal Ballet and Konstantin Tatchkin’s St Petersburg Ballet Theatre.


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