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  The Tenth Annual National Dance Awards
2009 Finalists Announced

The finalists of the Critics’ Circle National Dance Awards 2009 were announced today. The winners will be announced at the most prestigious ceremony in the dance calendar, which will take place in front of a VIP audience in the magnificent Paul Hamlyn Hall of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, London, on Thursday 21 January 2010.

The awards celebrate the vigour and variety of Britain’s thriving dance culture. They are the only professional awards in the UK dedicated to dance and are presented by the Dance Section of the Critics’ Circle, which brings together more than 50 dance writers.

The nominations for the tenth anniversary reflect the successes of well established major companies and small, new companies like Ballet Black which receives two nominations, one for its outstanding company repertoire. This year English National Ballet and Rambert Dance Company each receive four nominations for dancers and choreography and the flagship dance company The Royal Ballet receives five. Most remarkably, all six dancers nominated for the Dancing Times Best Male Dancer and Richard Sherrington Award for Best Female Dancer are in their 30s or early 40s: critics have opted this year for experienced artistry over youth. Liam Scarlett of the Royal Ballet is the youngest choreographer to be nominated for a Best Classical Choreography award.

Dance activity outside London is represented by three nominations for Scottish Ballet, including the Dance Europe Award for Outstanding Company; and Leeds-based Northern Ballet Theatre has a nomination for dancer Tobias Batley.  No fewer than four freelance dancers are nominated; the greatest number in the history of the Awards. Dance UK will present its Industry Award to a dance professional, chosen by their peers, who is usually not in the public eye.

Two new awards for young people are given this year: the Angelina Ballerina Children’s Award sponsored by HIT Entertainment and the Council for Dance Education and Training’s Award for an outstanding student.  

Patron of the Awards, the legendary ballerina Dame Beryl Grey says: “The tenth Anniversary is a true milestone in the history of these prestigious Awards which are the focal point of the UK dance calendar. It has been a monumental achievement to make the event bigger and stronger with each passing year, with three new sponsors joining us very recently.”

The National Dance Awards were established by the Critics’ Circle in 2000 to highlight the astonishing range of dance on offer in the UK. As part of the awards’ unique partnership with Sadler’s Wells and the Royal Opera House, the ceremony alternates between the two venues.

Notes for Editors:

The Critics’ Circle National Dance Awards are presented in collaboration with The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden and Sadler’s Wells.

The awards sponsors are: Yvonne Sherrington in memory of her husband Richard Sherrington, the founder sponsor of the Awards; HIT Entertainment; The Dancing Times; Dance Europe; Dance UK; Artsworld Presentations; The Council for Dance Education and Training and

For further press information contact: Tony Shepherd on 0207 288 0266 or email:

Critics’ Circle National Dance Awards
List of Finalists 2009

Dancing Times Award for Best Male Dancer
Federico Bonelli / The Royal Ballet
Colin Dunne / freelance
Paul Liburd / Scottish Ballet

Richard Sherrington Award for Best Female Dancer
Leanne Benjamin  / The Royal Ballet
Elena Glurdjidze  / English National Ballet
Daria Klimentová  / English National Ballet

Dance Europe Award for Outstanding Company
Ballet Black
Morphoses / The Wheeldon Company
Scottish Ballet

Best Classical Choreography
David Dawson for Faun(e) / English National Ballet
Wayne McGregor for Infra / The Royal Ballet
Liam Scarlett for Consolations and Liebestraum / Royal Ballet, Linbury Theatre

Best Modern Choreography
Christopher Bruce for Hush / Rambert Dance Company
Itzik Galili for A Linha Curva  / Rambert Dance Company
Lloyd Newson and DV8 dancers for To Be Straight With You / DV8 Physical Theatre

Artsworld Presentations Award for Best Foreign Dance Company
The Forsythe Company
Merce Cunningham Dance Company
Royal Ballet of Flanders

Outstanding Female Performance (Classical)
Martina Forioso / Scottish Ballet
Melissa Hamilton / The Royal Ballet
Sarah Kundi / Ballet Black

Outstanding Male Performance (Classical)
Tobias Batley / Northern Ballet Theatre
Esteban Berlanga / English National Ballet
Sergei Polunin / The Royal Ballet

Outstanding Female Performance (Modern)
Malgorzata Dzierzon / Rambert Dance Company
Amy Hollingsworth / freelance
Sally Marie / freelance

Outstanding Male Performance (Modern)
Robin Dingemans / freelance
Thomasin Gülgeç / Rambert Dance Company
Dominic North / New Adventures

For detailed information about the finalists and the Awards visit our website at

For further press information contact: Tony Shepherd on 0207 288 0266 or email:

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