English National Ballet Announces Winners of Emerging Dancer 2020

English National Ballet is pleased to announce the winner of the 2020 Emerging Dancer Award is Ivana Bueno. Having performed a pas de deux from Talisman and FULL-OUT a new contemporary piece choreographed by Mthuthuzeli November with her partner William Yamada, Ivana was announced as winner during the worldwide broadcast of the event from the Holloway Production Studio at English National Ballet’s headquarters on London City Island on Tuesday 22 September 2020.


Of winning the 2020 Emerging Dancer Award, Ivana Bueno said: “I’m very, very happy and so grateful. I enjoyed the process so much. It was a big challenge for me; I knew I had to work for it and show my best, that’s all I wanted to do no matter what. And I guess hard work pays off so I’m very happy! My family in Mexico, friends and people from my old school have all been able to watch me tonight and I’m so grateful ENB were able to broadcast the event live. I want to thank my partner Will, we worked very well together, he’s great, very open to everything and I just had the best time.”

The special evening, which marked ENB’s first live performance since lockdown, also saw finalist Victor Prigent awarded the People’s Choice Award, as voted for by members of the live audience around the world who texted to vote during the live stream, and Artist of the Company Claire Barrett named as the Corps de Ballet Award winner acknowledging her exceptional work during last season. 


Of winning the People’s Choice Award, Victor Prigent said: “Just being nominated was amazing, and now winning the People’s Choice Award! I’m blessed, really. I enjoyed every bit of it – from working through the rehearsals with my partner Emily to finally getting back on stage after eight months – the whole thing was just amazing. I can’t express how grateful I am to everyone who voted for me, thank you so much – it’s an honour.”

Of winning the Corps de Ballet Award, Claire Barrett said: “This is a great surprise and so appreciated. It’s already amazing to be part of English National Ballet and then to be acknowledged for what you’ve brought on stage – it’s really incredible. I’m surrounded by such amazing dancers, so to be chosen is such an honour.”

Artistic Director Tamara Rojo CBE, Artistic Director of English National Ballet was joined on the judging panel by Matthew Hart, Kerry Nicholls, Natalia Osipova, Kenneth Tindall and Edward Watson. 


Tamara Rojo CBE, Artistic Director of English National Ballet said: “I’m especially proud of all of this year’s finalists for rising to the occasion and coming out of lockdown with such dedication and passion. We are delighted to present Emerging Dancer as the first event in our return to performing, it is an opportunity to celebrate the rising talent in the Company and the bright future of ballet. The talent we saw on stage tonight has been extraordinary. It was incredibly hard for the panel to pick a winner but what they saw in Ivana was that she was able to deliver both in the classical repertoire as well as in the contemporary with a strong technique, precision and cleanness. She has a wonderful presence and charisma that transferred from the stage to the audience.”

The other finalists this year were Carolyne Galvao, Angel Maidana, Emily Suzuki and William Yamada. 

The performances were all accompanied by live music by the English National Ballet Philharmonic and the event was hosted by TV presenter and Strictly Come Dancing winner Ore Oduba. The evening finished with special performances from last year’s Emerging Dancer Award winner Julia Conway and the People’s Choice Award winner Rhys Antoni Yeomans, who performed Mañana Iguana, a new creation by Arielle Smith. 


For further information visit www.ballet.org.uk/emerging 


Image: Winner of the 2020 Emerging Dancer Award, Ivana Bueno © Laurent Liotardo