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Junor Souza and Alison McWhinney win English National Ballet emerging dancer prize

Junor Souza and Alison McWhinney, joint winners of English National Ballet's Emerging Dancer Competition 2014. Photo: Arnaud Stephenson.
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English National Ballet dancers Junor Souza and Alison McWhinney have been named joint winners of the company’s Emerging Dancer Competition.

At the live competition on Monday night at London’s Lyceum Theatre, the pair danced the pas de deux from Esmeralda. This was followed by a performance from Souza of Last Minute, choreographed by himself, while McWhinney danced an extract from David Dawson’s A Million Kisses to my Skin.

The couple each won a prize of £2,500, while Souza, who was also given the People’s Choice award which is voted on by audiences, received an additional £1,000.

They were selected from a shortlist of six ENB dancers by a panel of judges comprising former dancers Deborah Bull, Gillian Lynne, Arlene Phillips and Wayne Sleep, critic Clement Crisp and ENB artistic director Tamara Rojo.

The other nominees – Madison Keesler, Senri Kou, Vitor Menezes and Joan Sebastian Zamora – will all receive £500 each.

Rojo 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.”


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