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  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.

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


For further information including winners biogs, please visit the National Dance Awards website at:
http://www.nationaldanceawards.com

or
contact Annabel Lockyer or Dee McCourt @ Borkowski
T: 020 7404 3000
Annabel@borkowksi.co.uk / dee@borkowski.co.uk
http://www.borkowski.co.uk/


   
   
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