English National Ballet's annual Emerging Dancer competition has been won by Eric Snyder.
The competition has six of the company's dancers, selected by their peers, perform in front of a panel of judges. Apart from the winner there is a People's Choice Award, selected by members of the public, and the Corps de Ballet Award, acknowledging the work on and off-stage of an Artist of the Company.
Eric Snyder is from Arizona, USA, and was a finalist in the Prix de Lausanne 2018. He studied at the English National Ballet School from 2018, graduating in 2020, and is a member of ENB's corps de ballet.
He performed a pas de deux from The Sleeping Beauty and Cha Cha and Tiara, a new contemporary piece choreographed by Rentaro Nakaaki, with his partner Chloe Keneally.
On winning the Emerging Dancer 2022 Award, he said,
I really am so grateful for this. A big thank you to my mentors James and Shiori who were a rock for both me and my beautiful, amazing partner Chloe. Thank you to those who nominated me and the panel for what they saw in me. My Mom arranged a huge viewing party back home, it's so special to know they have been watching!
Emilia Cadorin received the Corps de Ballet Award, and Precious Adams was awarded the People's Choice Award, voted for by members of the public throughout the season.
I really was not expecting this! I want to thank my colleagues who inspire me to improve every day.
And Precious said,
This is a real surprise; it is great to receive this recognition! Since Covid every performance has felt so precious, and I am honoured to have that acknowledged by the audience.
This year's judging panel included Dana Fouras, Céline Gittens, Kamara Gray, Tamara Rojo, Alistair Spalding and Joseph Toonga.
Tamara Rojo, Artistic Director of English National Ballet said,
Emerging Dancer is a fantastic opportunity to celebrate the bright future of ballet. Watching this incredible showcase of the immense talent among the Company's rising stars is always a joy and a privilege. The talent and skill we saw on stage tonight was extraordinary. Eric showed beautiful qualities in both the classical and contemporary pieces. He is a dancer with enormous potential, and I am delighted this was seen by the jury who agreed unanimously on this year's winner. Huge congratulations to all the finalists for an evening of fantastic performances.
The other finalists this year were Matthew Astley, Ashley Coupal, Noam Durand, Chloe Keneally and Angela Wood.
English National Ballet Philharmonic performed live throughout the evening and the event, which was hosted by radio presenter Jordan Lee, finished with a pas de deux from Le Corsaire performed by the reigning Emerging Dancer winner Ivana Bueno and People's Choice Victor Prigent.
A recording of the broadcast is available on English National Ballet's YouTube channel for the next 30 days.
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.