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:
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
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)