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Critics' Circle National Dance Awards

Published: 21 February 2019
Reporter: Vera Liber

The Critics’ Circle National Dance Awards for 2018 were presented at a ceremony in London, hosted by Mbulelo Ndabeni and Cira Robinson.

Mark Baldwin OBE was awarded the De Valois Award for Outstanding Achievement in recognition of his career, to date, as a dancer and choreographer, including his time as Resident Choreographer at Scottish Ballet and his sixteen-year service as Artistic Director of Rambert, which included winning the Outstanding Company Award in 2010. His award was presented by Judith Mackrell, until recently the chief dance critic of The Guardian.

Akram Khan wins a record eighth National Dance Award for his solo performance in XENOS; and there is a first victory for a flamenco artist (Rocío Molina); and for Taiwan, with Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan winning the Stef Stefanou Award for Outstanding Company.

Lighting designer Lucy Carter won the inaugural Outstanding Creative Contribution Award.

Ballet remained the most popular dance form amongst the critics, taking a total of six awards including the two Best Dancer awards, won by The Royal Ballet’s stellar partnership of Vadim Muntagirov and Marianela Nuñez; while Alina Cojocaru of English National Ballet won the Outstanding Female Classical Performance Award for the second successive year.

Critics’ Circle National Dance Awards Winners 2018

Outstanding Creative Contribution

Lucy Carter (Lighting Designer)

Best Modern Choreography

Crystal Pite for The Statement for Nederlands Dans Theater 1

Outstanding Male Classical Performance

José Alves in The Suit for Ballet Black

Outstanding Female Modern Performance

Rocío Molina in Caída del Cielo/ Fallen from Heaven for Cía Rocío Molina/Dance Umbrella

Outstanding Female Classical Performance

Alina Cojocaru as Princess Aurora in The Sleeping Beauty for English National Ballet

Outstanding Male Modern Performance

Akram Khan in XENOS for Akram Khan Company

Best Classical Choreography

Cathy Marston for The Suit for Ballet Black

Emerging Artist Award

Precious Adams (first artist, English National Ballet)

Best Independent Company

Russell Maliphant Company

Stef Stefanou Award For Outstanding Company

Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan

Dancing Times Award For Best Male Dancer

Vadim Muntagirov

Tendu Award For Best Female Dancer

Marianela Nuñez

De Valois Award For Outstanding Achievement

Mark Baldwin OBE

The Chairman of the Awards committee, Graham Watts OBE, stressed the diversity of the award winners and nominees: "these awards celebrate excellence across a rich diversity of dance forms that have both entertained and challenged us over the past year. For the first time, both choreography awards have been won by women and we also have the first award proper going to a flamenco artist; an award for a Kathak-based performance, as well as two awards going to the hugely successful Ballet Black. And the Stef Stefanou Award for Outstanding Company goes to Taiwan, in the form of Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan, a regular visitor to Sadler’s Wells in the 45 years since it was founded by Lin Hwai-min. Taken altogether these awards show that dance is a diverse, global art form and that this world of dance can be seen here in the UK.”