This year's National Dance Awards were announced yesterday at a streamed event from Cervantes Theatre in London.
The NDA Chair, Graham Watts, paid tribute to Liam Scarlett who was nominated six times for the Best Classical Choreography Award and won the prize in 2010, and Matthew Bourne paid tribute to the freelancers who have suffered the loss of livelihoods during the pandemic.
Four additional awards were necessitated by the pandemic: Best Digital Choreography, Best Dance Film, Best Short Dance Film and Best Company Response to the Pandemic. Watts emphasised that this year's line-up was the most diverse in the history of the NDA, drawing attention to Simone Damberg Würtz being the first contemporary dancer to win the Best Female Dancer Award.
The awards were announced and presented by Carlos Acosta, Richard Alston, Gary Avis, Leanne Benjamin, Matthew Bourne, Alexander Campbell, Viviana Durante, Francesca Hayward, Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, Xander Parish, Arlene Phillips, Arthur Pita, Ivan Putrov, Tamara Rojo, and several others.
Winners of the National Dance Awards 2020
Dancing Times Award for Best Male Dancer
Simone Damberg Würtz
Best Female Dancer
Richard Alston Dance Company
Stef Stefanou Award for Outstanding Company
English National Ballet
Best Company Response to the Pandemic
Marquee TV Award for Best Independent Company
Cathy Marston for The Cellist
Best Classical Choreography
Crystal Pite and Jonathon Young for Revisor
Harlequin Floors Award for Best Modern Choreography
Wim Vandekeybus for Draw From Within
Best Digital Choreography
Scottish Ballet for The Secret Theatre
Marquee TV Award for Best Dance Film
Alleyne Dance for (Re)United
Best Short Dance Film
Emerging Artist Award
Begoña Cao in Five Brahms Waltzes in the Manner of Isadora Duncan
Lauren Cuthbertson in the title role as The Cellist
Outstanding Female Classical Performance
Dada Masilo in the title role as Giselle
Outstanding Female Modern Performance
Marcelino Sambé as the Instrument in The Cellist
Outstanding Male Classical Performance
Jermaine Spivey in Revisor
Outstanding Male Modern Performance
Outstanding Creative Contribution
De Valois Award for Outstanding Achievement
Graham Spicer is a writer, director and photographer in Milan, blogging (under the name ‘Gramilano') about dance, opera, music and photography for people “who are a bit like me and like some of the things I like”. He was a regular columnist for Opera Now magazine and wrote for the BBC until transferring to Italy.
His scribblings have appeared in various publications from Woman's Weekly to Gay Times, and he wrote the ‘Danza in Italia' column for Dancing Times magazine.