Saturday, 5 November 2016

The Terpsichore Nominations

Just a bit of fun inspired by the National Dance Awards and not to be taken at all seriously but at the end of every year I do a review of the best work that I have seen in the previous 12 months (see Highlights of 2015 29 Dec 2015). At the end of the post I set out my favourites which were:

Ballet of the Year
Ballet Cymru's Cinderella, runner up Ballet Cymru's Tir

Company of the Year
Scottish Ballet, runners up Dutch National Ballet and the Royal Ballet

Small Companies of the Year
Ballet Black and Ballet Cymru

Contemporary Company of the Year
Phoenix Dance Theatre

Male Dancer of the Year
Denis Rodkin in La Bayadere, runner up Matthew Golding in the Royal Ballet's Onegin and the Dutch National Ballet's Cinderella

Female Dancer of the Year
Laura Morera as Lise runners up Anna Tsygankova and Bethany Kingsley-Garner as Cinderella

Choreographers of the Year
Christopher Hampson for Perpetuum Mobile for Northern Ballet and Ernst Meisner for Embers for the Dutch National Ballet's Junior Company

Dancers to watch
Floor Elmers of Dutch National Ballet, Krystal Lowe of Ballet Cymru, Marie-Astrid-Mence of Phoenix Dance Theatre and Gavin McCaig of Northern Ballet

Promising Newcomers
Bart Engelen, Norwegian Ballet, Cristiano Principato and Emilie Tassinari, Dutch National Ballet Junior Company, Tim Hill of Ballet Cymru and Prentice Whitlow of Phoenix Dance Theatre

This year we shall do it a little differently. I invite everyone who has contributed to Terpsichore in the last year or so (that is to say Alison Winward, David Murley, Gita Mistry, Janet McNulty, Joanne Goodman and Mel Wong (happy birthday Mel by the way) to nominate for each category. Then I shall hold a ballot for the readers.

I have not quite made up my mind yet but provisionally Jean-Christophe Maillot is leading the way in the best full-length ballet stakes with his Taming of the Shrew for the Bolshoi pursued hotly by Ted Brandsen's Mata Hari, David Dawson's Swan Lake and Cathy Marston's Jane Eyre in that order.

In the one-act ballets category, it is a dead heat between Ernst Meisner's No Time before Time  and Christopher Hampson's Storyville.

My classical company of the year is the Durch National Ballet though I was impressed by the Australians and the Bolshoi when they came to London and the Royal Ballet and English National Ballet are always near the top of my lists.

My nominations for best small company are Ballet Black and the Dutch National Ballet Junior Company,

Having seen a lot of contemporary dance, this year I can't make my mind up between Netherlands Dance Theatre and Rambert though Phoenix and the National Dance Company of Wales are also on my list. I am not sure how to classify Alvin Ailey but they definitely deserve an award.

Best male dancer this year has to be Federico Benelli for his Albrecht in Giselle and Lauren Cuthbertson as best female in the same production, However, I would make special personal awards to Bethany Kingsley-Garner for her Odette-Odile in Liverpool and Anna Tsyganlova for her Mata Hari.

Dancers to watch? There are so many but I think we shall be seeing a lot of Cristiano Principato of the Dutch National Ballet who proved his worth as a choreographer, artistic director and chief cook and bottlewasher as well as dancer in Trecate earlier this year, Daniele Gould in Hungary who was an enchanting Puss in Boots and Mthuthuzeli November here.

I would also like to add a special adult ballet education award to Karen Sant of KNT Danceworks for organizing wonderful intensive workshops for adult ballet beginners in Swan Lake, Romeo and Juliet, La Bayadere and The Nutcracker and Jane Tucker for teaching them.

Alison, David, Gita, Janet, Joanne and Mel are invited to let me have their nominations (if any by 17:00 on 30 Nov) and then we shall offer it to the readers for a vote.

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