Yesterday the Ninette de Valois Junior Choreographic Award 2014 took place at our base at White Lodge, Richmond Park. This year the award inspired 24 entries, from which 14 works by students from Years 7, 8 and 9 were shortlisted to perform at the competition. The winner was Gene Goodman (Year 9), with his work Arachnid, which he described simply as: ‘Spiders. Three spidery female figures dying’. Gene was also awarded The James Monahan Medal for the most promising choreographer. In joint second place were Elijah Trevitt and Samara Langham. Elijah described his composition Lockdown as being ‘about three couples who are prisoners and their dance motifs are all about how to get out of the prison’. Samara said her piece Intuition is ‘abstract, but loosely based around how people react and feel towards others’. Third prize went to Mirabelle Seymour for Infinite Life, which she described as being about ‘Life and the way it evolves – evolution.’
The April Olrich Award for Dynamic Performance went to Amelia Palmiero (Year 11) and, a new award this year, the Frank Freeman Summer School Scholarship, sponsored by Malcolm Stewart, went to Albjon Gjorllaku. The Valerie Adams Prize for exceptional talent in musicality and dance quality was awarded jointly to Isabella Knights and Daniel Myers (both Year 11), and the John Mitchell Prize for the choreographer who submits the best choreography folder, went to Lydia Baker for her work The Waltzing Cat.
Our thanks go to the competition judges Dame Monica Mason, former Director of The Royal Ballet, Sara Matthews, Director of Central School of Ballet and Sir Peter Wright, Director, Choreographer and Producer (who also generously sponsors the first, second and third prizes). Also to Susie Cooper, who coordinates the choreography course at White Lodge.