The 22nd National Dance Awards – #NDA22

The Dance Section of the Critics’ Circle is pleased to announce the short-listed nominations for the National Dance Awards (#NDA22).

The qualifying period for performances, both live in the UK and digital (available in the UK) was between 1st January and 31st December 2021.

We are delighted to recognise the sponsors of this year’s awards, without whose support, the awards would not be possible. This year’s confirmed sponsors are Dancing Times, Harlequin Floors, Lee McLernon, Stef Stefanou, Tendu, The Ballet Association, The L&M Trust, London Ballet Circle and The Critics’ Circle. Other sponsors are expected to be announced shortly.

The short-listed nominees are taken from nominations made by the members of the Dance section of the Critics’ Circle.

In total there were 355 companies, choreographers, performers and other creative artists nominated (down from 456 in 2020), which evidences the fact that a part of the year was spent in lockdown, from which the short-listed nominees are:

Jeffrey Cirio (English National Ballet)
Francesco Gabriele Frola (English National Ballet)
Brandon Lawrence (Birmingham Royal Ballet)
Vadim Muntagirov (The Royal Ballet)
Edward Watson (The Royal Ballet)

(sponsored by Tendu)

Momoko Hirata (Birmingham Royal Ballet)
Marianela Nuñez (The Royal Ballet)
Natalia Osipova (The Royal Ballet)
Cira Robinson (Ballet Black)
Erina Takahashi (English National Ballet)

English National Ballet
New Adventures
Northern Ballet
The Royal Ballet

Ballet Black
Ballet Cymru
Hofesh Shechter Company
Scottish Dance Theatre

Amina Khayyam Dance Company
Far From The Norm
Rhiannon Faith Company
Yorke Dance Project

(sponsored by The Ballet Association)
Gene Kelly & Christopher Hampson for Starstruck (Scottish Ballet)
Wayne McGregor for The Dante Project (The Royal Ballet)
Mthuthuzeli November for The Waiting Game (Ballet Black)
Arielle Smith for Jolly Folly (English National Ballet)
Valentino Zucchetti for Anemoi (The Royal Ballet)

(sponsored by Harlequin Floors)

Miguel Altunaga for City of a Thousand Trades (Birmingham Royal Ballet)
Matthew Bourne for The Midnight Bell (New Adventures)
Robert Cohan for Afternoon Conversations with Dancers (Yorke Dance
Dimitris Papaioannou for Transverse Orientation (Dance Umbrella/Sadler’s
Botis Seva for BLKDG (Far From The Norm)


(sponsored by The L&M Trust)
Nafisah Baba (Freelance Dance Artist)
Lanre Malaolu (Performer, Choreographer and Writer)
Bruno Micchiardi (Soloist, Scottish Ballet)
Gina Storm-Jensen (Soloist, The Royal Ballet)
Emily Suzuki (Artist, English National Ballet)

Cordelia Braithwaite as Clara in Nutcracker! (New Adventures)
Sutton Foster as Reno Sweeney in Anything Goes (Anything Goes/The
Rosie Kay in Absolute Solo 2 (Rosie Kay Dance Company)
Michela Meazza in the The Midnight Bell (New Adventures)
Yolande Yorke-Edgell in Lamentation (Yorke Dance Project)

Dan Daw in The Dan Daw Show (Dan Daw Creative Projects)
Paris Fitzpatrick in The Midnight Bell (New Adventures)
Akram Khan in Xenos (Akram Khan Company)
James Vu Anh Pham in Outwitting the Devil (Akram Khan Company)
Richard Winsor in The Midnight Bell (New Adventures)

(sponsored by Lee McLernon)

Antoinette Brooks-Daw as Morgan in Merlin (Northern Ballet)
Alessandra Ferri in L’Heure exquise (The Royal Ballet/AF Dance/Ravenna Festival)
Marianela Nuñez in the title role as Giselle (The Royal Ballet)
Natalia Osipova in the title role as Giselle (The Royal Ballet)
Beatriz Stix-Brunel in After the Rain (The Royal Ballet)

(sponsored by London Ballet Circle)

Jeffrey Cirio in the title role as Creature (English National Ballet)
Vadim Muntagirov in the title role as Apollo (The Royal Ballet)
Tyrone Singleton as Romeo in Radio and Juliet (Birmingham Royal Ballet)
Joseph Sissens in The Statement (The Royal Ballet)
Edward Watson as Dante in The Dante Project (The Royal Ballet)

Thomas Adès (Composer, for The Dante Project)
Rickard Berg (Composer, for Coppélia, KVN Dance)
Lez Brotherston (Designer, for The Midnight Bell)
Tacita Dean (Designer, for The Dante Project)
Logela Multimedia (Digital Imagery in the work of Motionhouse)

Kyle Abraham/New York City Ballet for When We Fell
Rhiannon Faith/Rhiannon Faith Company for DROWNTOWN
William Forsythe/CLI Studios for The Barre Project
Gene Kelly & Christopher Hampson/Scottish Ballet for Starstruck
Jo Strømgren/Rambert for Rooms

The winners will be announced at a live ceremony to be held at a Central London venue (to be announced) on Monday, 13th June 2022.

The event will also play host to the De Valois Award for Outstanding Achievement for which there are no prior nominations.

This year’s awards recognise the genius of two choreographers who are no longer alive. Firstly, in nominating the revival and reimagining of Gene Kelly’s Pas de Dieux – originally choreographed for Paris Opera Ballet, in 1960 – and now revisited by Scottish Ballet with a new title, Starstruck, with Kelly’s original choreography recreated and reimagined by Christopher Hampson, working with Kelly’s widow, Patricia. Starstruck is nominated for both the Best Classical Choreography and Best Dance Film Awards.

Sir Robert Cohan is also nominated posthumously for his final work Afternoon Conversations with Dancers, performed by Yorke Dance Project. Sir Robert died in January 2021 having completed the work with dancers remotely over Zoom prior to its first live performance in November 2021.

Once again, The Royal Ballet tops the list with a total of 17 nominations (just down from the record 18 in 2020), followed by English National Ballet and New Adventures (7 apiece), Birmingham Royal Ballet (4), and Ballet Black, Scottish Ballet and Yorke Dance Project (3 each). There was a wide spread of nominations covering over 25 separate companies.

In terms of individual productions, Matthew Bourne’s The Midnight Bell tops the list with five nominations, just ahead of Wayne McGregor’s The Dante Project for The Royal Ballet, which has four nominations.

The Chair of the National Dance Awards, Graham Watts, said: “The 2021 dance year was reduced to around seven months’ of live performances and so there was less scope for the critics to make nominations. However, what we lacked in quantity was more than compensated by the outstanding quality of the work presented and the choices in all categories were closely contested with at least 20 on the long list for each award. The Company awards have been traditionally difficult to judge with the mid-scale companies often being squeezed out of consideration and so, in response to requests from the sector itself, we have introduced a new (third) company award for companies that receive NPO funding or equivalent, which will sit between the Outstanding Company and Best Independent Company awards. This has enabled companies from across the sector, from the largest to the smallest project-based freelancers, to be recognised”.

The National Dance Awards have been organised by the Dance Section of the Critics’ Circle in each year of this Millennium to celebrate the vigour and variety of Britain’s thriving dance culture. They are presented by the Dance Section of the Critics’ Circle, which brings together over 60 dance writers and critics. They are the only awards given by the body of professional dance critics in the UK.

The Awards Committee wishes to express grateful thanks to our sponsors, without whom the event would not be possible; to the body of dance critics across the UK for giving their time to ensure the best possible list of nominees; and, above all, the companies, choreographers and performers for providing such a rich variety of choice.

To discuss opportunities to sponsor the National Dance Awards contact the Chairman, Graham Watts on or +44 (0) 7710 057252.

For further information contact:

Graham Watts – Chairman – +44 (0) 7710 057252 –;
Deborah Weiss – Secretary –

Note: The National Dance Awards Committee is: Debra Craine (Deputy Chair), Sarah Crompton, Maggie Foyer, Jonathan Gray, Lynette Halewood, Donald Hutera, Josephine Leask, David Mead, Neil Norman, Graham Watts OBE (Chair), Deborah Weiss (Secretary) and Lindsay Winship

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