Emerging Dancer 2015

English National Ballet Emerging Dancer 2015The winner of English National Ballet’s 2015 Emerging Dancer Award – the company’s sixth competition – was Jinhao Zhang. Zhang, who joined the Company just last year after graduating from English National Ballet School, performed the Dying Swan which he choreographed himself, and also a pas de deux from Don Quixote with fellow nominee and English National Ballet School graduate Isabelle Brouwers. The evening also saw Laurretta Summerscales named as the recipient of The People’s Choice Award, voted for by members of the public throughout the 2014/2015 season.

The annual competition, held at the Southbank Centre’s Queen Elizabeth Hall, was judged by an esteemed industry panel: Leanne Benjamin AM OBE, Michael Nunn OBE and William Trevitt OBE (BalletBoyz), Wayne Sleep OBE, Didy Veldman and English National Ballet Artistic Director Tamara Rojo. The judges had a hard task on their hands in their requirement to select a winner from such huge talent and strong performances on stage.

The competition allows English National Ballet to recognise and nurture talent and encourage excellence in the Company. The other finalists for 2015 were Anjuli Hudson, Jeanette Kakareka, Katja Khaniukova, Vitor Menezes and Max Westwell, all of whom performed admirably. The finalists are voted for by English National Ballet’s dancers, Artistic team, orchestra and administrative staff, and then perform in front of a panel of eminent judges. The Emerging Dancer Award winner is announced together with the recipient of the People’s Choice Award, which is voted for by members of the public throughout the year.

Before the winners were announced, last year’s joint Emerging Dancer Award winners, Junor Souza and Alison McWhinney, performed a pas de deux from Liam Scarlett’s No Man’s Land: Junor, who also won the 2014 People’s Choice Award, has since been promoted to First Soloist and performed Principal roles in Swan Lake and Nutcracker. Alison has since been promoted to First Artist.

Judges Announced for ENB’s Emerging Dancer

ENB Emerging Dancer Competition 2013

The judging panel of English National Ballet’s prestigious Emerging Dancer Competition 2013 has been announced, as the annual event moves into its fourth year within the classical ballet diary.

Judging the developing yet hugely accomplished six dancers of the Company will be Darcey Bussell CBE, new President of the Royal Academy of Dance and Strictly Come Dancing judge, Tommy FranzĂ©n, runner-up of BBC1’s So You Think You Can Dance and choreographer of ZooNation’s Some like it Hip Hop, Luke Jennings, Author and Dance Critic at The Observer newspaper, Jude Kelly, Artistic Director of Southbank Centre and Tamara Rojo, newly appointed Artistic Director of English National Ballet.

The Emerging Dancer competition, taking place on 4 March 2013 at the intimate venue of the Southbank Centre’s Queen Elizabeth Hall, allows ENB to publicly recognise and praise its upcoming talent, nurturing and encouraging excellence within the Company’s ranks. Last year’s winner was the nephew of renowned Royal Ballet dancer Carlos Acosta, Yonah Acosta, who has since achieved more success throughout 2012, most recently in the Company’s production of The Nutcracker. The young, talented nominees receive the opportunity to perform in an exciting live final with two solos in front of this eminent panel of expert judges. The winner is announced at the end of the evening along with the recipient of The People’s Choice Award, which is voted for by members of the public, closing on 9 February 2013.

Competing in The Emerging Dancer’s Competition for the top spot will be Alison McWhinney, Guilherme Menezes, Nancy Osbaldeston, Ken Saruhashi, Laurretta Summerscales and Nathan Young.

Image courtesy of ENB.