"Monica Mason" tag
© Critics’ Circle National Dance Awards

2016 National Dance Awards – Winners Announced

The Critics’ Circle National Dance Awards for 2016 were presented today at a ceremony in London, hosted by Kenrick ‘H2O’ Sandy MBE and Michael ‘Mikey J’ Asante, the creative team behind the highly successful dance company, Boy Blue Entertainment.

Akane Takada and James Hay in The Sleeping Beauty.© Bill Cooper, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – Sleeping Beauty – London

★★★★✰   The grand pas de deux was the triumphant highlight of the fairytale festivities. Hay expressed the prince’s pride and pleasure in his variations; Takada was demure and regal in hers…

Book cover - Peter Wright: Wrights and Wrongs – my life in dance.© Oberon Books. (Click image for larger version)

Book – Peter Wright: Wrights and Wrongs – my life in dance

His is an insider’s account, complete with waspish comments and cameos of the famous people he encountered…

Kim Brandstrup.© Johan Persson. (Click image for larger version)

Kim Brandstrup – Choreographer

It’s a busy time for Kim Brandstrup with premieres at Rambert, New York City Ballet and, later in spring, a full-evening work for Royal Danish Ballet. Jann Parry interviews one of the most thoughtful and reflective of choreographers…

Laura Morera in Song of the Earth (with Edward Watson in full version).© Tristram Kenton, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Interview – Laura Morera – Principal, The Royal Ballet

“I’ve never won a prize before…” on the day Laura Morera won an Outstanding award at the National Dance Awards, Margaret Willis had a long chat with the excited, and much loved, Royal Ballet principal…

Karen Kain.© Aleksandar Antonijevic, courtesy NBoCanada. (Click image for larger version)

Interview: Karen Kain – Artistic Director, National Ballet of Canada

The much admired Karen Kain has been directing the National Ballet of Canada for 10 years now – Oksana Khadarina catches up with her as the company prepare to visit Washington with Christopher Wheeldon’s “Winter’s Tale”…

David Drew in his later years - here as the Duke of Courland in Giselle.© John Ross, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Obituary: David Drew, Royal Ballet Principal, with the company 56 years

David Drew, for 56 years a member of The Royal Ballet, has died after a long battle with illness. He described himself as one of a ‘bridge generation’ of dancers. The longevity of his career meant that he worked with many figures from the Ballets Russees – but also taught many dancers and choreographers working today.

Zenaida Yanowsky.© Rob Moore, ROH. (Click image for larger version)

Interview – Zenaida Yanowsky – Principal, The Royal Ballet

The Royal Ballet’s Zenaida Yanowsky talks about her long career and also about the joys of working with Carlos Acosta – part of which is appearing with him in ‘Cubania’ this summer…

Mbulelo Ndabeni in INALA.© Giulietta Verdon-Roe. (Click image for larger version)

Mark Baldwin & Ladysmith Black Mambazo – INALA – London

Inala is set to be a runaway success

Kevin O'Hare (Director The Royal Ballet) receives the QEII Award from Darcey Bussell (President Royal Academy of Dance) and Luke Rittner (CEO of the Royal Academy of Dance).© Elliott Franks, Royal Academy of Dance . (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet receives the Royal Academy of Dance’s highest award during fundraising gala

The Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) marked the 60th anniversary of its highest honour – the Queen Elizabeth II Coronation Award (QEII Award) – by giving it to The Royal Ballet. A good time for DanceTabs to catch up with director Kevin O’Hare and some of his dancers at the awards reception…

Anastasia Soboleva and Victor Lebedev in La Fille mal gardée.© Stas Levshin. (Click image for larger version)

Mikhailovsky Ballet – La Fille mal gardee – St. Petersburg

…the audience was in thrall to the bucolic genius of Ashton’s production with as many curtain calls at the premiere as I can recall witnessing for a very long time.

Dusty Button in William Forsythe’s The Second Detail.© Dave Morgan. (Click image for larger version)

2013 Dance Memories – London

Lynette Halewood with her personal selection of London dance memories this last year…

Never Far from Dancing book cover.© Routledge. (Click image for larger version)

Book – Never Far from Dancing, Ballet artists in new roles by Barbara Newman

While some of the views expressed may not chime with your own, the fascination of this book is to understand how contentious maintaining and developing ballet as vibrant theatre often is.

Robert Helpmann offstage. Courtesy and © The Royal Ballet School Collections, White Lodge Museum. (Click image for larger version)

The Many Faces of Robert Helpmann Symposium – London

Eighty years after Robert Helpmann left Australia and joined the Sadler’s Wells Ballet company, a Royal Ballet School symposium celebrated his achievements as a man of the theatre.

Brenda Lee Grech and Victor Zarallo in a poster image for Elite Syncopations and Rite of Spring.© G W Shooting. (Click image for larger version)

Scottish Ballet – The Rite of Spring, Elite Syncopations – Glasgow

An imaginatively contrasting double-bill, it pulled in audiences and left them buzzing.

Trespass: corps dancers (l-r): Leticia Stock, Dawid Trzensimiech, Yasmine Naghdi, Kevin Emerton, Lara Turk, Valentino Zucchetti.© Dave Morgan, courtesy the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Book – Titian: Metamorphosis – Art, Music, Dance

About the book, complete with 6 Dave Morgan pictures from it…

Sergei Polunin and Tamara Rojo in Marguerite & Armand.© Dave Morgan, by kind permission of the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – Ashton Bill including Marguerite & Armand with Rojo and Polunin – London

But it was Rojo who really surprised me, with the most emotionally open performance I’ve ever seen from her. …a swansong, indeed: what a way to go!

Sergei Polunin in Narcisse.© Dave Morgan. (Click image for larger version)

2012 Dance Memories – London

Lynette Halewood with her personal selection of London dance memories this last year…

Liam Scarlett, along with Melissa Hamilton and Sergei Polunin, at the 2009 National Dance Awards - where they were all nominated. © John Ross and taken from Graham Watts report of the Awards for Balletco. Click image for larger version, or one that fills the browser window.

Liam Scarlett appointed first ever Royal Ballet Artist in Residence

Kevin O’Hare, Director of The Royal Ballet, announced today that First Artist Liam Scarlett is appointed the first ever Artist in Residence of The Royal Ballet, a position that will allow him to focus solely on his choreographic work.

Marianela Nuñez & Thiago Soares in Swan Lake.© Dave Morgan, by kind permission of the Royal Opera House. (Click image for larger version)

Royal Ballet – Swan Lake – London

And in the next act she (Nunez) did just that, giving us one of the best Odiles I remember seeing. She looked as if bamboozling innocently trusting princes was her favourite thing in the world, the most fun she’d ever had…

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