Critics’ Circle highlights dance talent

Christopher Wheeldon, Nicolas Le Riche and Yuan Yuan Tan were amongst the names recognised at the Critics’ Circle National Dance Awards on Monday.

The awards were given to outstanding companies and artists who performed in the UK between 1 September 2012 and 31 August 2013.

Speaking at the event, the chairman of the awards committee, Graham Watts, said: ‘These awards are a celebration of brilliance amongst the rich diversity of dance forms. More than 200 nominations of companies, choreographers and performers were received from the dance critics and the 40 shortlisted for the awards came from a wide spectrum, both geographically and by genre, including the breakthrough of three nominees from flamenco.’

Wheeldon’s Aeternum, which premiered at the Royal Ballet in February last year, took the Best Classical Choreography award. 

The award for Outstanding Male Performance (Classical) went to French dancer Nicolas Le Riche (pictured top), for his turn in Le Jeune Homme et la Mort, staged at the English National Ballet.  

San Francisco Ballet principal dancer Yuan Yuan Tan took the award for Outstanding Female Performance (Classical) for her performance in RAkU.

British choreographer Matthew Bourne and Australian dancer Leanne Benjamin (formerly a principal dancer with The Royal Ballet) both received the De Valois Award for Outstanding Achievement.

The full list of artists and companies nominated for an award can be found here.

Photo: Tamara Rojo and Nicolas Le Riche in Le Jeune Homme et la Mort © 2013 David Jenson