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  2001 Critics' Circle National
Dance Awards winners

London, Tuesday January 15, 2002

The names of the winners of the 2001 Critics' Circle Dance Awards were announced today at a ceremony in the Crush Room at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.

Russian dance legend Irek Mukhamedov was joined by Patron of the Awards and founder of English National Ballet, Dame Alicia Markova, together with Sir Peter Wright to present the awards.

Matz Skoog (Artistic Director, English National Ballet), Yvonne Sherrington (Sponsor), Carlos Acosta (Principal Dancer, The Royal Ballet), Agnes Oaks (Principal Guest Artist, English National Ballet) and young British choreographer Cathy Marston also presented awards.

The winners of the 2001 Critics' Circle Dance Awards are:

The De Valois Award
(for outstanding contribution to the development of dance in the UK)
Sir Anthony Dowell (former Artistic Director, The Royal Ballet)

Best Female Dancer
Tamara Rojo (principal Dancer, The Royal Ballet)

Best Male Dancer
Johan Kobborg (principal Dancer, The Royal Ballet)

Best Male Newcomer
Edward Watson (Soloist, The Royal Ballet)

Best Female Newcomer
Erina Takahashi (principal Dancer, English National Ballet)

Best Foreign Dance Company
The Kirov Ballet

Best Choreography
Christopher Wheeldon

Two special awards were presented to people whose outstanding contribution to dance does not come under any of the standard categories for the Critics' Circle Dance Awards. They are:

Bob Lockyer
Bob Lockyer is one of the great heroes of British dance. As director and executive producer of dance programmes at the BBC he has brought the art form to millions of people, many of whom enjoyed their first experience of dance through the medium of television. He has three decades of experience as a maker of dance programmes for the BBC and a well-deserved international reputation. Bob Lockyer has worked with many choreographers including Sir Frederick Ashton, Sir Kenneth MacMillan, Sir Peter Wright, Robert Cohan CBE and Lloyd Newson. His programmes have won many international awards, including the Prix Italia. His Critics' Circle Dance Award was presented to him by Chairman Mike Dixon.

Irek Mukhamedov
Irek Mukhamedov is unique in the world of dance, having starred as the Principal dancer of both the Bolshoi and Royal Ballet companies. In Russia he was seen as the natural successor to Nureyev, Baryshnikov and Vassilev, offering astonishingly athletic performances in Ivan the Terrible, The Golden Age and Spartacus. In 1990 Mukhamedov left his homeland in search of greater artistic fulfillment and became a permanent member of The Royal Ballet. He rapidly became one of the finest exponents of Sir Kenneth MacMillan's work, scoring his greatest successes in Mayerling, Manon, Romeo and Juliet and in the created role of the Foreman in The Judas Tree. He has appeared frequently on television as an actor and has recently re-choreographed Swan Lake for the Polish National Ballet. His utter devotion to his art, and his ability to speak directly to the heart of audiences, has assured him a significant place in the history of dance. His Critics' Circle Award was presented to him by Committee Member, Jeffery Taylor.
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