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2017 National Dance Awards – Announcement of Nominations

© Critics’ Circle National Dance Awards
© Critics’ Circle National Dance Awards

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Press Release: 12:00, 21 November 2017

The 18th National Dance Awards Announcement of Nominations

The Dance Section of the Critics’ Circle is pleased to announce the nominations for the 18th National Dance Awards, which are as follows:

Miguel Altunaga (Rambert)
Isaac Hernández (English National Ballet)
Xander Parish (Mariinsky Ballet)
Liam Riddick (Richard Alston Dance Company)
Marcelino Sambé (The Royal Ballet)

Francesca Hayward (The Royal Ballet)
Sophie Martin (Scottish Ballet)
Yasmine Naghdi (The Royal Ballet)
Zenaida Yanowsky (The Royal Ballet)
Eva Yerbabuena (Cĩa Eva Yerbabuena)

42ND Street  
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater  
English National Ballet   
Northern Ballet
Scottish Ballet

Avant Garde Dance
Ballet Cymru
Rosie Kay Dance Company
Vincent Dance Theatre   

[Sponsored by The Ballet Association]
Akram Khan for ‘Akram Khan’s Giselle’ (English National Ballet)
Crystal Pite for ‘Emergence’ (Scottish Ballet)
Crystal Pite for ‘Flight Pattern’ (The Royal Ballet)
Liam Scarlett for ‘Symphonic Dances’ (The Royal Ballet)
Kenneth Tindall for ‘Casanova’ (Northern Ballet)

[Sponsored by Northern Ballet]
Michael Asante & Kenrick Sandy for ‘Blak Whyte Gray’ (Boy Blue Entertainment)
Matthew Bourne for ‘The Red Shoes’ (New Adventures)
Michael Clark for ‘To a simple, rock ‘n’ roll…song.’ (Michael Clark Company)
Michael Keegan-Dolan for ‘Swan Lake/Loch na hEala’ (Teaċ Damsa)
Arthur Pita for ‘Stepmother/Stepfather’ (Arthur Pita & HeadSpaceDance)

[Sponsored by The L&M Trust]  
Harry Alexander (Dancer, Michael Clark Company/ Julie Cunningham & Company)
Vincenzo Lamagna (Composer, ‘Akram Khan’s Giselle’ – English National Ballet)
Dickson Mbi (Dancer, Boy Blue Entertainment/ Russell Maliphant Company)
Botis Seva (Choreography for Far From the Norm and Scottish Dance Theatre)
Francesca Velicu  (First Artist, English National Ballet)

[Sponsored by DWFM Beckman]
Antonia Grove in ‘Virgin Territory’ (Vincent Dance Theatre)
Shelley Eva Haden in ‘MK Ultra’ (Rosie Kay Dance Theatre)
Ashley Shaw as Vicky Page in The Red Shoes’ (New Adventures)
Clemmie Sveaas in ‘Stepmother/Stepfather’ (Arthur Pita & HeadSpaceDance)
Francesca Velicu in ‘The Rite of Spring’ (English National Ballet)

Mithkal Alzghair in ‘Displacement’ (Mithkal Alzghair)
Christopher Akrill in ‘Stepmother/Stepfather’ (Arthur Pita & HeadSpaceDance)
Karl Fagerlund Brekke in ‘Stepmother/Stepfather’ (Arthur Pita & HeadSpaceDance)
Robert Fairchild as Jerry Mulligan in ‘An American in Paris’
Dickson Mbi in ‘Blak Whyte Gray’ (Boy Blue Entertainment)

[Sponsored by Lee McLernon]
Alina Cojocaru as Giselle in ‘Akram Khan’s Giselle’ (English National Ballet)
Bethany Kingsley-Garner in Emergence’ (Scottish Ballet)
Kristen McNally in Flight Pattern’ (The Royal Ballet)
Aditi Mangaldas in ‘Inter_rupted’ (Aditi Mangaldas Dance Company)
Eva Yerbabuena in ‘Aperiencias’ (Cĩa Eva Yerbabuena)

Israel Galván in ‘FLA.CO.MEN’ (Cĩa Israel Galván)
Christopher Harrison in ‘MC 14/22 (Ceci est mon corps)’ (Scottish Ballet)
Brandon Lawrence in ‘Wink’ (Birmingham Royal Ballet)
Marcelino Sambé as Colas in ‘La Fille mal gardée’ (The Royal Ballet)
James Streeter as Albrecht in ‘Akram Khan’s Giselle’ (English National Ballet)

The winners will be announced at a lunchtime ceremony to be held in Central London on Monday, 19th February 2018.

The event will also play host to the De Valois Award for Outstanding Achievement and the One Dance UK Industry Award, given in memory of Jane Attenborough, for both of which there are no prior nominations.

The National Dance Awards have been organised by the Dance Section of the Critics’ Circle in each year of this Millennium to celebrate the vigour and variety of Britain’s thriving dance culture. They are presented by the Dance Section of the Critics’ Circle, which brings together around 60 dance writers and critics.   They are the only awards given by the body of professional dance critics in the UK.

In announcing the awards, the chairman of the Dance Section, Graham Watts OBE, said:

“Once again, these short-listed nominees come from a long list of almost 500 dancers, choreographers, other creatives and companies nominated by professional dance critics, during 2016/17.

I am especially pleased with the diversity of this year’s nominations list, covering ballet, contemporary, dance theatre, flamenco, hip-hop, kathak and musical theatre.

It is a remarkable testament to the diversity of dance in Britain that the 43 individuals nominated originate from 21 countries:  to the west, they’re  from Canada, Cuba, Mexico and the USA; in Europe, they are from Denmark, England, France, Italy, Portugal, the Republic of Ireland, Romania, Scotland, Spain, Sweden and Wales; and from the rest of the world there is representation from Australia, Bangladesh, India, Kenya and South Africa.   I wonder where else in the world “national” awards for dance would spread so far across the globe?  

There are a few welcome firsts amongst this year’s nominations: , a composer [Vincenzo Lamagna] is nominated as an Emerging Artist; a musical theatre ensemble [42nd Street] is nominated for Outstanding Company; a Syrian refugee (Mithkal Alzghair) is nominated for the outstanding male performance (modern); and the same choreographer (Crystal Pite) receives two nominations in the Outstanding Classical Choreography Award.

The Royal Ballet and English National Ballet top the list with eight nominations, apiece, followed by Scottish Ballet and HeadSpace Dance with five each; Boy Blue Entertainment and the Flamenco Festival [3 each]; and Michael Clark Company, New Adventures, Northern Ballet, Rosie Kay Dance Company and Vincent Dance Theatre [all with 2 nominations, each].

For the second successive year, an Akram Khan production garners the most nominations with four for Akram Khan’s Giselle for English National Ballet; although, this year, that distinction is shared with HeadSpaceDance’s Stepmother/Stepfather; and Boy Blue Entertainment’s Blak Whyte Gray follows closely with three nominations. Other productions with more than one nomination are: Crystal Pite’s Emergence for Scottish Ballet and her Flight Pattern for The Royal Ballet, plus Matthew Bourne’s The Red Shoes.

The Emerging Artist category is the most diverse yet with a composer, a choreographer, two contemporary dance artists and a ballet dancer.

The Awards Committee wishes to express grateful thanks to our sponsors, without whom the event would not be possible; to the body of dance critics across the UK for giving their time to ensure the best possible list of nominees; and, above all, the companies, choreographers and performers for giving us such a rich variety of choice”.  

For further press information contact:
Graham Watts – Chairman – +44 (0) 7710 057252
Fabiana Jaramillo – Secretary – +44 (0) 7886 344037

email:  or

twitter: @NatDanceAwards
Instagram: @national_dance_awards
Facebook: National Dance Awards



  • To qualify for the NDA in 2017 performances will have been given in the UK between 1st September 2016 and 31st August 2017;
  • The Committee for the NDA in 2016 is: Zoe Anderson, Debra Craine, Mike Dixon, Gerald Dowler, Maggie Foyer, Jonathan Gray, Donald Hutera, Luke Jennings, Emma Kauldhar, Josephine Leask, Judith Mackrell, Bruce Marriott, Neil Norman, Graham Watts, Deborah Weiss and Lyndsey Winship



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