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for the year 2004
   
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De Valois Award for Outstanding Achievement
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Richard Sherrington Award for Best Female Dancer
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Best Male Dancer
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Best Choreography (Classical)
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Best Choreography (Modern)
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Best Choreography (Musical Theatre)
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Best Foreign Dance Company
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Outstanding Female Artist (Classical)
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Outstanding Male Artist (Classical)
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Outstanding Female Artist (Modern)
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Outstanding Male Artist (Modern)
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Company Prize for Outstanding Repertoire (Classical)
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Company Prize for Outstanding Repertoire (Modern)
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The 2004 winner is Merce Cunningham Dance Company
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The nominations:
Bolshoi Ballet, Merce Cunningham Dance Company,
National Ballet of China

More information about each company is given below:
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Bolshoi Ballet
The Bolshoi Ballet’s recent visit to London overflowed with its usual flamboyance and traditional bravura. In the classics the company never looked better: a beautifully trained corps, exceptional character dancers and colourful and entertaining productions. It also presented its radical and controversial new Romeo and Juliet, which, while alarming some purists, showed that the company is bursting with the talent needed for experimentation. Director Alexei Ratmansky has now the auspicious opportunity of leading the 228 year old company into pastures new while preserving the company’s historic traditions.

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Merce Cunningham Dance Company
There is no one in the world quite like Merce Cunningham, the grand old man of modern dance.  For more than fifty years he has resolutely followed his own path as a choreographer, even when his style of plotless, avant-garde dance was completely out of step with the prevailing taste. His unorthodox artistic philosophy, developed in association with his partner John Cage, insists that his dance has nothing to do with its music or design, while the choreography itself incorporates chance procedures in the creative process. Cunningham was the first major choreographer to use computer technology and even at the age of eighty-five he is still eager to find new ways to challenge his fine dancers with his lifelong zest for experimentation.
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National Ballet of China
The National Ballet of China made an immediately positive impression at Sadler's Wells in autumn 2003 with Raise the Red Lantern, based on Zhang Yimou's film Goodbye, My Concubine, through the high production standards, the remarkable classically-based dancing in both solo roles and the ensemble. Zeng Li's dramatic designs and Jérôme Kaplan's tastefully colourful costumes added to the effect. Wang Xinpeng's stylized choreography for the long mah-jong session was outstanding. Zhu Yan touched all hearts as the "Third Wife", while the men showed off their virtuosity in a Spartacus-like episode.
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Picture credits
Mark Morris Dance Group © Mark Morris Dance Group,
Bolshoi Ballet © John Ross,
Merce Cunningham Dance Company © Merce Cunningham Company,
National Ballet of China © M. Han Wengui.

All text is © copyright of the Critics' Circle / National Dance Awards.