Akane Takada

The Critics Circle

Introducing Nominees for 2011 NDA

Award for Outstanding Female Performance (Classical)

Debra Craine and Graham Watts

Published: 22/01/2012

Award for Outstanding Female Performance (Classical)

Melissa Hamilton

Born in Belfast, Melissa trained at the Jennifer Bullick School of Ballet and at 16 joined the Elmhurst Ballet School where she was taught by Masha Mukhamedov, who continued to train her privately after she left school. Hamilton joined the Royal Ballet in 2007 and was promoted to soloist in 2010. While still a first artist in the corps de ballet, she made her debut as Mary Vetsera in Kenneth MacMillan’s Mayerling. She has created roles in Wayne McGregor’s Infra, Acis and Galatea, Limen and Live Fire Exercise, and created a principal role in Alastair Marriott’s Sensorium (2009). She won the 2009 Critics’ Circle Outstanding Female Performance (Classical) Award.

Sophie Martin

Born in Cherbourg, Sophie trained at the Conservatory National Superieur of Paris and worked with leading dancers and choreographers in France. She joined Scottish Ballet in 2003 and was promoted to principal in 2008. She dances most
of the leading roles in the repertoire and in 2011 danced both the title role and the Queen of Hearts in Ashley Page’s new Alice.

Akane Takada

Born in Tokyo, Akane trained at Hiromi Takahashi Ballet School and the Bolshoi Ballet Academy. She won an apprentice scholarship and an audience award at the Prix de Lausanne in 2008. She joined the Royal Ballet that year and was promoted to first artist in 2010.   This is her second successive nomination for a NDA.

Elisha Willis

Born in Australia, Elisha trained at the Australian Ballet School, joining Australian Ballet in 1999 where she was promoted to soloist in 2001. She joined Birmingham Royal Ballet two years later and was promoted to principal in 2004. As well as dancing the leading ballerina roles, including Lise and Juliet, she created the role of Roxane in David Bintley’s Cyrano and Eurydice in his The Orpheus Suite. In 2010 she created the starring role in Bintley’s new version of Cinderella.




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