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  The Tenth Annual National Dance Awards

Richard Bonynge Announced as Winner of National Dance Award

Three New Sponsors Announced for National Dance Awards

Legendary ballerina Dame Beryl Grey will present conductor Richard Bonynge with the Patron’s Award for 2009 at the Critics’ Circle National Dance Awards at the Royal Opera House next week.

The Patron’s Award is given to an individual or organisation that has significantly furthered the cause of dance in the UK. The recipient of the Award is chosen by Dame Beryl Grey, Patron of the Critics’ Circle National Dance Awards. The awards ceremony, the most prestigious in the dance calendar, will take place at The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden at 2pm on Thursday, 21 January 2010 in front of a VIP audience.

Dame Beryl said: “I decided to give the award to Richard Bonynge for his huge recorded catalogue of all the major ballets and his unique recordings of important items in the ballet canon unrecorded elsewhere (Russian Rarities, The Art of the Prima Ballerina, Homage to Pavlova etc). He has given access to the repertoire for many people unable to listen to this music live in the theatre. Richard Bonynge is world famous for his many recordings of operas with his wife, Dame Joan Sutherland, and Luciano Pavarotti and in addition has recorded ballet music throughout his long career.”

Past Patron’s Award winners:

    2008 -  Northern Ballet Theatre
    2007 – Darcey Bussell
    2006 – Strictly Come Dancing

The National Dance 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.

Founded just 10 years ago the awards have rapidly become the dance event of the year drawing together the entire industry in sharing the very best of dance and ballet in the UK.

It is only natural that dance critics should celebrate as well as evaluate the art form about which they write and the National Dance Awards aim to highlight the astonishing diversity of dance in Great Britain. Dancers and dance-makers make a vital contribution to our vibrant cultural life and the Awards are our way of saying congratulations – and thank you.

As part of the awards’ unique partnership with Sadler’s Wells and the Royal Opera House, the ceremony alternates between the two venues.

HIT Entertainment, Dance UK and the Council for Dance Education and Training announced as new sponsors for the National Dance Awards.

Dame Beryl Grey said: “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.”

HIT Entertainment is among the newest sponsors of the Critics’ Circle National Dance Awards and next week will present the Angelina Ballerina Children’s Award to nine-year-old Lucy Wood (Susan Robinson School of Dance). The exciting new award was won by Lucy after a nationwide audition process which culminated in the best of the young hopefuls gathering at the studios of English National Ballet in front of a jury consisting of well-known broadcaster Angela Rippon, Dirty Dancing star Martin Harvey, Katherine Hollabird, author of the Angelina Ballerina books, and English National Ballet choreographer Antony Dowson. (Award Announcement)

Another major new sponsor is the Council for Dance Education and Training who will present their Student of the Year Award to 17-year-old Sam Chung (Tring Park School for the Performing Arts), an outstanding male dancer who triumphed in a national competition with very high standards in front of a jury chaired by Dame Beryl Grey herself. The new award will recognise each year a student of outstanding ability.

The Dance UK Industry Award will be presented to an individual working in dance who has made an outstanding contribution to the art form. The award is designed to acknowledge the contribution of a person who is often an unsung hero. It is a unique award given by the winner’s peers in the dance profession. The winner will be announced at next week’s ceremony at the Royal Opera House.

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; PMB Presentations; The Council for Dance Education and Training, Tom Merrifield Studios and

A full list of dancers, choreographers and companies nominated for National Dance Awards can be found at

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

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