Chilean dancer Cesar Morales wins National Dance Awards Critic's Circle

Updated: Aug 22, 2021




The Awards were announced at a streamed event at 3pm on Sunday, 27th June 2021 and the winners were selected from a short list of nominees (announced on 7 May).


Introducing the Awards, NDA Chair, Graham Watts OBE, paid tribute to Sir Robert Cohan CBE – winner of the De Valois Award in 2012 – and Liam Scarlett – six times nominated for the Best Classical Choreography Award and winner in 2010 – both of whom died in 2021. Sir Matthew Bourne OBE paid tribute to freelancers who have suffered the loss of livelihoods during the pandemic.


Graham Watts noted that four additional awards have been necessitated by the pandemic (Best Digital Choreography, Best Dance Film, Best Short Dance Film and Best Company Response to the Pandemic) and he emphasised that these are the most diverse set of awards in the history of the NDA. He drew particular attention to Simone Damberg Würtz being the first contemporary dancer to win the Best Female Dancer Award.


The awards were announced and presented by leaders of the dance community including Carlos Acosta CBE, Sir Richard Alston CBE, Gary Avis MBE, Avatâra Ayuso, Leanne Benjamin AM OBE, Sir Matthew Bourne OBE, Alexander Campbell, Viviana Durante, Jonathan Goddard, Francesca Hayward, Andrew Hurst, Shobana Jeyasingh CBE, Rosie Kay, Karen Krizanovic, Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, Xander Parish, Paula Paz, Dame Arlene Phillips CBE, Arthur Pita, Ivan Putrov, Tamara Rojo CBE, Sonia Sabri, Ashley Shaw, Kenneth Tharp CBE and Deborah Weiss.


We are, as always, grateful to the sponsors of the National Dance Awards, without whose support the awards would not be possible: Stef Stefanou, Marquee TV, Harlequin Floors, Dancing Times, The Place, The Ballet Association, The L&M Trust, Tendu, Olga and Irving David, Lee McLernon, Celeste Fenichel, The Cervantes Theatre and The Critics’ Circle.


The winners are:

César Morales

Dancing Times Award for Best Male Dancer


Simone Damberg Würtz

Best Female Dancer

(sponsored by Tendu)


Richard Alston Dance Company

Stef Stefanou Award for Outstanding Company


English National Ballet

Best Company Response to the Pandemic


Acosta Danza

Marquee TV Award for Best Independent Company


Cathy Marston for The Cellist

Best Classical Choreography

(sponsored by The Ballet Association)


Crystal Pite and Jonathon Young for Revisor

Harlequin Floors Award for Best Modern Choreography


Wim Vandekeybus for Draw From Within

Best Digital Choreography


Scottish Ballet for The Secret Theatre

Marquee TV Award for Best Dance Film


Alleyne Dance for (Re)United

Best Short Dance Film

(sponsored by Olga and Irving David)


Arielle Smith

Emerging Artist Award

(sponsored by The L&M Trust)


Begoña Cao in Five Brahms Waltzes in the Manner of Isadora Duncan

Lauren Cuthbertson in the title role as The Cellist

(joint winners)

Outstanding Female Classical Performance

(sponsored by Lee McLernon)


Dada Masilo in the title role as Giselle

Outstanding Female Modern Performance


Marcelino Sambé as the Instrument in The Cellist

Outstanding Male Classical Performance

(sponsored by Celeste Fenichel)


Jermaine Spivey in Revisor

Outstanding Male Modern Performance


John Macfarlane

Outstanding Creative Contribution


Ronald Hynd

De Valois Award for Outstanding Achievemen