Natalia Osipova and Ivan Vasiliev in the Mikhailovsky Ballet's 'Don Quixote'. Photo: © Mikhailovsky Theatre

Natalia Osipova and Ivan Vasiliev in the Mikhailovsky Ballet’s ‘Don Quixote’.
Photo: © Mikhailovsky Theatre

David Mead

After twelve months that included some exceptional dance, the Critics’ Circle National Dance Awards for 2013 were handed out on Monday (January 27th) at a ceremony in London at The Place’s Robin Howard Dance Theatre, hosted by former winner Tommy Franzèn, and Bennet Gartside of the Royal Ballet.

In a year that saw several major international visitors, the award for outstanding company went to the Mikhailovsky Ballet who staged a sparkling season that included “Giselle”, “Don Quixote”, “Laurencia” and two mixed programmes at the London Coliseum in March and April.

In a separate category for smaller, independent companies that don’t get huge regular funding, top spot went to BalletBoyz The Talent. Russell Maliphant’s “Fallen” for the company also picked up the prize for best modern choreography.

Co-founders and Artistic Directors Michael Nunn and William Trevitt are presently deep in rehearsals for the next leg of the tour as well as filming scenes for their next edition of ‘Random Acts’ for Channel 4, so were unable to receive the award personally. However, in a statement they said, “We are absolutely thrilled to have won the award for Best Independent Company and are tremendously proud of our team; the dancers, creative collaborators and our small but dedicated production team.    We are also delighted to have commissioned the winner of Best Modern Choreography.  It was tremendous to work with Russell Maliphant and Michael Hulls on a new commission and to see the inspiration he drew from working with our dancers.”

Speaking at the event, Chairman of the Awards committee, Graham Watts, noted the rich diversity of dance forms covered by the awards and mentioned in nominations from the 60 members of the Dance Section of the Critics’ Circle, the UK’s professional critics association. This year, the names of over 200 companies, choreographers and performers were put forward, with the 40 short-listed coming from a wide spectrum, both geographically and by genre.

The full list of winners is as follows (to be eligible, performances had to be given in the UK between 1st September 2012 and 31st August 2013):

Stef Stefanou Award for Outstanding Company: Mikhailovsky Ballet

Grishko Award for Best Independent Company: BalletBoyz The Talent

The Dancing Times Award for Best Male Dancer: Dane Hurst (Rambert Dance Company)

Grishko Award for Best Female Dancer: Natalia Osipova (Mikhailovsky Ballet)

Best Classical Choreography: Christopher Wheeldon for “Aeternum” (The Royal Ballet)

Best Modern Choreography: Russell Maliphant for “Fallen” (BalletBoyz The Talent)

Outstanding Male Performance (Classical): Nicolas Le Riche for “Le Jeune Homme et la Mort” (English National Ballet)

Dancers Pro Award For Outstanding Modern Performance (Female): Julie Cunningham for “New Works 2012” (Michael Clark Company)

Outstanding Female Performance (Classical): Yuan Yuan Tan for “RAkU” (San Francisco Ballet)

Dancers Pro Award for Outstanding Modern Performance (Male): Paul White for “The Oracle” (Meryl Tankard)

Jane Attenborough Dance UK Industry Award: Amanda Chinn, General Manager of Scottish Dance Theatre

De Valois Awards for Outstanding Achievement: Leanne Benjamin, Matthew Bourne