National dance awards 2023

National Dance Awards 2023

The National Dance Awards 2023 took place on Tuesday 5 June, and we were proud to see many of our alumni nominated. Held at the Coronet Theatre, the ceremony was presented by Mariana Gomes, former dancer of the Bolshoi Ballet, and José Alves, former Ballet Black dancer.

The Critic’s Circle

Organised every year by the dance section of the Critic’s Circle, the National Dance Awards are nominated by over 60 dance writers and critics. They celebrate the UK’s dynamic dance culture and recognise dance excellence from all genres. This year’s nominees were shortlisted from over 400 nominations made by members for performances between 1 January and 31 December 2022.  

Nominations and winners

11 of our alumni were nominated for awards this year under various categories. Both The Royal Ballet and Birmingham Royal Ballet were put forward for the Stef Stefanou Award for Outstanding Company.

Laura Morera won this year’s award for Best Female Dancer, a timely acknowledgement of her remarkable career as she retires at the end of the Season. Laura trained at The Royal Ballet School from the age of 11, before joining The Royal Ballet. She has danced with the Company since 1995 and was promoted to Principal Dancer in 2007. After an incredible 27 years, Laura’s final performance on the Royal Opera House stage will be Saturday 17 June.

Outstanding Male Classical Performance was awarded to Marcelino Sambé for his role as Pedro in Like Water for Chocolate. He was previously given the same award in 2017 as well as Best Male Dancer in 2019. Marcelino trained with us at Upper School and joined The Royal Ballet in 2012, where he has been Principal dancer since 2019.

We would like to congratulate Laura, Marcelino, and all of our alumni who received nominations for awards this year.

Winners in full

Best Male Dancer: Jeffrey Cirio

Best Female Dancer: Laura Morera

Stef Stefanou Award for Outstanding Company: Scottish Ballet

Best Independent Company: Alleyne Dance

Best Classical Choreography: Jessica Wright and Morgann Runacre-Temple (Jess and Morgs) for Coppélia (Scottish Ballet)

Best Modern Choreography: Ben Duke for Ruination (Lost Dog)

Emerging Artist Award: Musa Motha

Outstanding Female Modern Performance: Zeleidy Crespo in 100% Cuban (Acosta Danza)

Outstanding Male Modern Performance: Israel Galván in La Consagración de la Primavera (Compañia Israel Galván)

Outstanding Female Classical Performance: Constance Devernay-Laurence as Swanilda in Coppélia (Scottish Ballet)

Outstanding Male Classical Performance: Marcelino Sambé as Pedro in Like Water for Chocolate (The Royal Ballet)

Outstanding Creative Contribution: Bob Crowley (Designer for Like Water for Chocolate)

Paco Peña (Director and Guitarist for Solera)   

The De Valois Award for Outstanding Contribution: Jonzi D

Alumni nominees

Best Male Dancer:

William Bracewell (The Royal Ballet)

Brandon Lawrence (Birmingham Royal Ballet)

Best Female Dancer:

Francesca Hayward (The Royal Ballet)

Momoko Hirata (Birmingham Royal Ballet)

Laura Morera (The Royal Ballet)

Best Classical Choreography:

Christopher Wheeldon for Like Water for Chocolate (The Royal Ballet)

Outstanding Female Classical Performance:

Francesca Hayward as Tita in Like Water for Chocolate (The Royal Ballet)

Marianela Nuñez as Natalia Petrovna in A Month in the Country (The Royal Ballet)

Outstanding Male Classical Performance:

Bruno Micchiardi as Coppelius in Coppélia (Scottish Ballet)

Vadim Muntagirov as Crown Prince Rudolf in Mayerling (The Royal Ballet)

Marcelino Sambé as Pedro in Like Water for Chocolate (The Royal Ballet)