Junor Souza and Alison McWhinney win Emerging Dancer 2014

English National Ballet is pleased to announce both Junor Souza and Alison McWhinney as joint winners of the prestigious Emerging Dancer Competition 2014. Alison and Junor performed the pas de deux from Esmeralda. Junor, who performed Last Minute, also won the People’s Choice Award voted by the public.

Go to set Emerging Dancer 2014 Final

  • Clement Crisp OBE, Dame Gillian Lynne DBE, Madison Keesler, Senri Kou, Wayne Sleep OBE, Arlene Phillips CBE, Alison McWhinney, Junor Souza, Tamara Rojo, Deborah Bull CBE, Vitor Menezes and Joan Sebastian Zamora on stage at the Emerging Dancer 2014 live fi

  • Emerging Dancer 2014 joint winner Alison McWhinney and joint winner and People's Choice Award winner Junor Souza. © Photography by ASH

  • Emerging Dancer 2014 joint winner and People's Choice Award winner Junor Souza. © Photography by ASH

  • Emerging Dancer 2014 joint winner Alison McWhinney. © Photography by ASH

  • Emerging Dancer 2014 joint winner Alison McWhinney. © Photography by ASH

  • Emerging Dancer 2014 finalist Madison Keesler. © Photography by ASH

  • Emerging Dancer 2014 finalist Madison Keesler. © Photography by ASH

  • Emerging Dancer 2014 finalist Joan Sebastian Zamora. © Photography by ASH

  • Emerging Dancer 2014 finalist Joan Sebastian Zamora. © Photography by ASH

  • Emerging Dancer 2014 finalist Senri Kou. © Photography by ASH

  • Emerging Dancer 2014 finalist Vitor Menezes. © Photography by ASH

The Competition, generously supported in its fifth year by Talbot Hughes McKillop (THM), was held last night (19 May) at the Lyceum Theatre and hosted by Natasha Kaplinsky. The judging panel included renowned dance industry figures including, Deborah Bull CBE, Clement Crisp OBE, Dame Gillian Lynne DBE, Arlene Phillips CBE, Tamara Rojo, Wayne Sleep OBE.

Alison, 27, from Australia, who performed A Million Kisses to my Skin, said of receiving her award: “I can’t quite believe it, I’m a bit emotional! – I’m just very grateful to everyone who helped us.”

Junor Souza, 24, from Brazil, said: “The thing I most want to say is thank you very much to our mentors, especially Zdenek Konvalina, who was amazing at helping me with my presence on stage and I am very grateful for that.”

As well as the accolade of the title, the Emerging Dancer winner receives £2,500, the People’s Choice Award winner receives £1,000 and all nominees receive £500 each.

Tamara Rojo, Artistic Director English National Ballet said: “We are delighted to welcome on board Natasha Kaplinsky and the new judges for the Emerging Dancer Competition 2014. I am thrilled to be joined by such an elite group of talented individuals, who between them cover such a broad range of dance expertise.”

 

The Emerging Dancer Competition is an annual opportunity for English National Ballet to recognise and nurture the phenomenal talent of its up-and-coming dancers. The competition encourages excellence and potential within the Company and throughout the Summer English National Ballet’s artistic, music, administrative staff and Principal dancers have been voting for their favourite Emerging Dancer. The Competition, was artistically directed by Associate Artist George Williamson.

Tamara Rojo, English National Ballet Artistic Director said: “The Emerging Dancer Competition 2014 was such a fantastic evening and showed the company in such strong form. It is an important event that helps us to connect with our audience and help them to get to know, and care for our dancers and their tremendous talent. I was very proud of everyone.”

At a time when the Arts Council is reducing its funding, Talbot Hughes McKillop’s sponsorship of the award is a practical demonstration of its belief that business has a clear responsibility to engage constructively in providing support to the arts.

Paul Horn, Managing Partner, Talbot Hughes McKillop commented: “Talbot Hughes McKillop are proud to be invited to continue as sponsors of the Emerging Dancer Award 2014. Talbot Hughes McKillop and English National Ballet share a mutual commitment to delivering outstanding quality at the highest levels of performance and professionalism. Our sponsorship of the Emerging Dancer Award since 2010 has successfully enhanced the profile of the nominees, allowing individuals to flourish and start to achieve their potential.”