Australian Dance Awards, 2015

The Queensland Ballet, Lucinda Dunn, Waangenga Blanco and Narelle Benjamin were among those honoured this evening in the Australian Dance Awards, presented in Adelaide.

Li Cunxin, artistic director of the Queensland Ballet, was acknowledged for the company’s performance of Kenneth MacMillan’s Romeo & Juliet, a production that won Outstanding Performance by a Company.

This was the first time MacMillan’s R&J was performed in Australia and Cunxin added glamour to the production with his guest artists, the Royal Ballet’s former principals, Tamara Rojo and Carlos Acosta, the Australian Ballet principal, Daniel Gaudiello and former Australian Ballet principal, Steven Heathcote.

Lucinda Dunn, a principal with the Australian Ballet from 2002 until 2014, was awarded Outstanding Performance by a Female Dancer for her interpretation of Manon in the ballet of the same name by MacMillan, performed by the Australian Ballet, while Waangenga Blanco was awarded Outstanding Performance by a Male Dancer for his role in Bangarra Dance Theatre’s Patyegarang.

Narelle Benjamin, for Hiding in Plain Sight, won the award for Outstanding Achievement in Choreography and the award for Outstanding Achievement in Independent Dance went to Torque Show and Michelle Ryan with Lavender vs Rose for Intimacy.

Outstanding Achievement in Youth Dance was awarded to STEPS Youth Dance Company for Fights & Flights, Outstanding Achievement in Dance on Film or New Media was won by Claire Marshall for Ward of State, Outstanding Achievement in Commercial Dance, Musicals or Physical Theatre, went to Gravity & Other Myths for A Simple Space, and Outstanding Achievement in Community Dance, was won by Tracks Dance Company for Milpirri (Jarda–Warnpa)

The photographer, Jeff Busby, was awarded Services to Dance, and Tanya Pearson Services to Dance Education

As previously announced, the former director of the Australian Dance School, Marilyn Rowe, was awarded Lifetime Achievement Award. She was unable to attend the awards gala due to illness and the award was received on her behalf by Leigh Rowles, from the Australian Ballet School.

Inducted into the Hall of Fame were Marilyn Jones, the former principal dancer and artistic director of the Australian Ballet, and Elizabeth Cameron Dalman, founder of Australian Dance Theatre.

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Adam Bull and Lucinda Dunn, Manon, Australian Ballet