Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Prizes, Prizes, Prizes

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Two significant prize givings this week.

First, the Prix de Lausanne which is open to young dancers aged 15 to 18 which took place all last week at the Palais de Beaulieu which you can just make out in the bottom right of the picture (see Prix de Lausanne 29 Jan 2017).

The finals took place on Saturday afternoon and were compèred by Deborah Bull of King's College. For at least the time being can see a recording of the event on the Arte channel. The winners were Michele Esposito from Italy, Marina Fernandes da Costa Duarte and Denilson Almeida from Brazil, Taisuke Nakao and Koyo Yamamoto from Japan, Lauren Hunter from the USA, Stanislaw Wegrzyn from Poland, Diana Georgia Ionescu from Romania, Sunu Lim from Korea.

My congratulations to all the finalists - indeed to everyone who took part in the competition whether they made the week in Lausanne or not - and I should like to wish each and every one of them well in the remainder of their studies and their career in dance,

Secondly, the winners of the National Dance Awards have been announced. You can find the list of winners in 2016 National Dance Awards – Winners Announced 6 Feb 2016. Again, I should like to congratulate the winners of those awards.

However, there are two awards that particularly delighted me. One was the One Dance UK Industry Award to Brenda Last. I remember in the Royal Ballet but I have just learned from Dance Tabs that she was a founder of what is now Scottish Ballet and that she later became director of the Norwegian Ballet who impressed me so much on World Ballet Day. The other was the De Valois Award for Outstanding Achievement to Dame Beryl Gray. She was one of the greats of my youth and she did much to attract me to ballet. I had the good fortune to talk to her briefly at the London Ballet Circle's 70th anniversary celebrations last year.

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