Entertainment & Arts

National Dance awards honour Bourne and Benjamin

Matthew Bourne
Image caption Matthew Bourne's dance productions include an all-male Swan Lake and Edward Scissorhands

Choreographer Matthew Bourne and former Royal Ballet dancer Leanne Benjamin have been honoured for their outstanding achievement at the Critic's Circle National Dance Awards.

However Bourne's Sleeping Beauty was beaten to the modern choreography prize by Russell Maliphant for Fallen.

Maliphant created the piece for Ballet Boyz' touring group The Talent, which won best independent company.

Rambert's Dane Hurst won best male dancer and Natalia Osipova best female.

Image copyright PANOS
Image caption Ballet Boyz touring group The Talent performing Russell Maliphant's Fallen

Osipova won the prize for her performances with the Mikhailovsky Ballet, which also won outstanding company, and has also danced as a guest artist with the Royal Ballet and Bolshoi Ballet.

The classical choreography prize went to Christopher Wheeldon for the Royal Ballet's Aeternum, beating David Nixon's The Great Gatsby, Alexei Ratmansky's 24 Preludes and Mark Morris's Beaux for San Francisco Ballet.

The prizes for outstanding classical performance were given to Nicolas Le Riche in the male category for Le Jeune Homme et la Mort with the English National Ballet; and Yuan Yuan Tan won the female award for RAkU at the San Francisco Ballet.

In the modern performance category, Julie Cunningham won outstanding female for New Works 2012 with the Michael Clark Company, while Paul White was honoured with outstanding male for Meryl Tankard's The Oracle.

"These awards are a celebration of brilliance amongst the rich diversity of dance forms," said Graham Watts, chairman of the awards committee.

"More than 200 nominations of companies, choreographers and performers were received from the dance critics and the 40 short-listed for the awards came from a wide spectrum, both geographically and by genre, including the breakthrough of three nominees from flamenco."

Leanne Benjamin was given her outstanding contribution award in recognition of her 20 years as the Royal Ballet's principal dancer, after stepping down from the role last year.

The awards were voted for by 60 members of the dance section of the Critics' Circle, from a selection of performances given in the UK between 1 September 2012 and 31 August 2013.

Image caption Dane Hurst from the Rambert Dance Company won best male dancer

Here is a full list of winners:

Best classical choreography

Christopher Wheeldon for Aeternum by The Royal Ballet

Best modern choreography

Russell Maliphant for Fallen by BalletBoyz The TALENT

Outstanding male performance (classical)

Nicolas Le Riche for Le Jeune Homme et la Mort / English National Ballet

Outstanding female performance (classical)

Yuan Yuan Tan for RAkU / San Francisco Ballet

Outstanding modern performance (female)

Julie Cunningham for New Works 2012 / Michael Clark Company

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

Best independent company

BalletBoyz The Talent

Outstanding company

Mikhailovsky Ballet

Best male dancer

Dane Hurst / Rambert Dance Company

Best female dancer

Natalia Osipova / Mikhailovsky Ballet

De Valois awards for outstanding achievement

Matthew Bourne and Leanne Benjamin

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