Reports from the Grandison Clark Awards 2016
19 March 2017
Nathan James reports from this year’s successful Awards held at The Venue in Milton Keynes on 20th November
It was a wet and grey start to the day but attending the Grandison Clark Awards has always been a great highlight and guarantees to provide a varied cross-section of the many countries represented within the National Dance genre. Having adjudicated up and down the country for some years now, I was deeply honoured to be invited to adjudicate the 2016 Awards along with my esteemed fellow adjudicators Vivienne Saxton and Patricia Snowden.
So many dance genres have a variety of styles within their vocabulary and accompaniment. I think it is easy to forget that National not only represents a seemingly endless list of countries from which to draw inspiration, but also each of these countries then has a diverse range of styles within them, thus providing such a wonderful repertoire of material to study. It is this dedication to studying the stylistic qualities that deserves a special mention from both the choreographers of the material and the wonderful day of performances from the many dancers who graced the stage.
The Venue, at the Walton High School in Milton Keynes, is a wonderful yet vast space to fi ll. From the youngest dancers in the early morning to the groups in the afternoon, each and every dancer made the most of the space, weaving in and out of the patterns that had been choreographed with suffi cient ease and to the enjoyment of the keen and eager audience.
Sadly, National Dance sections are growing ever smaller in the competition circuit, yet here is a full day featuring an array of engaging performances brimming with energy and a sense of pride in the work that is shown. In particular, what stood out was the clarity and precision in the footwork and the ability to adapt to the complexities of the rhythms within the work.
In today’s industry, versatile dancers are key to sustaining employment. For any dancer fortunate enough to study National Dance, they will take away with them several qualities:
- an ability to adapt to different styles of movement, particularly through the use of the upper body
- clarity and precision in footwork and attention to detail
- a more advanced understanding of complex rhythms and awareness of musical nuances beyond popular music choices
- a more worldly knowledge of dance beyond the trio of genres commonly studied
I left the day enriched and educated, each and every person involved with the day should be justly proud of the work that was produced. Sincerest thanks to the National Dance Committee who made us feel very welcome and ran the day with such precision.
Nathan James, Fellow and Examiner ISTD
GRANDISON CLARK AWARDS RESULTS
Solo Class A
First: Oakley Bassford, Dupont Dance Stage School
Second: Clara York, Kilburn School of Dance
Third: Liberty Gill, Ison Aslanoff School
Junior British Isles A & B
Second: Evie Cowling, Judith Hockaday School of Dance & Drama
Intermediate British Isles C & D
First: Melody Williams, Judith Hockaday School of Dance & Drama
Second: Milly Burrows, Pirouette Academy of Dance
Third: Emily Frost, Judith Hockaday School of Dance & Drama
Solo Class B
First: Poppy Riddell, Dupont Dance Stage School
Second: Lili Skye Howe, Kilburn School of Dance
Third: Phoebe Lucas, Nicola Miles Theatre Studios
Solo Class C
First: Grace Riley, Dupont Dance Stage School
Second: Abigail Huitson, Kilburn School of Dance
Third: Grace Brooks, Kilburn School of Dance
Solo Class D
First: Inez Parsell, Ison Aslanoff School
Second: Jamie Tank, Dupont Dance Stage School
Third: Drew Jeyes, Kilburn School of Dance
First: Kilburn School of Dance
Second: Ison Aslanoff School
First: Kilburn School of Dance
Solo Class E
First: Cerise Bedder and Isobel Knight, both Dupont Dance Stage School
Second: Morgana Byworth and Christian Knight, both Dupont Dance Stage School
Third: Tanisha Brown, Dupont Dance Stage School and Isabella Parsell, Ison Aslanoff School
First: Molly Coleman and Phoebe Lucas, Nicola Miles Theatre Studios
Second: Vivianna McKean and Gracie Payne, Kilburn School of Dance
Third: Poppie Bates and Harriet Lawrance, Dupont Dance Stage School
First: Grace Riley and Jaimie Tank, Dupont Dance Stage School
Second: Abigail Huitson and Alexandra Ratcliffe, Kilburn School of Dance
Third: Ella McGran and Inez Parsell, Ison Aslanoff School
First: Christian Knight and Isabella Monk, Dupont Dance Stage School
Second: Morgana Byworth and Isobel Knight, Dupont Dance Stage School
Third: Ben Culleton and Lucy Woodcock-Tarry, Dupont Dance Stage School
Junior Novice A & B
First: Marianna York, Kilburn School of Dance
Second: Bethany Gault, Judith Hockaday School of Dance & Drama
Third: Alyssa Farrant, Ison Aslanoff School
Intermediate Novice C & D
First: Emily Frost, Judith Hockaday School of Dance & Drama
Second: Bonnie Robins, Judith Hockaday School of Dance & Drama
Third: Alys Battye, Judith Hockaday School of Dance & Drama
Senior Trios & Quartets
First: Ben Culleton, Christian Knight, Isabella Monk and Lucy Woodcock-Tarry, Dupont Dance Stage School
Second: Cerise Bedder, Tanisha Brown, Morgana Byworth and Isobel Knight, Dupont Dance Stage School
Third: Flora Anderson, Eloise Atkins and Megan O’Brien, Kilburn School of Dance
Junior Trios & Quartets
First: Daisy Armitage, Leah Farrant, Liberty Gill and Isobel Lamb, Ison Aslanoff School
Second: Shannon Lyne, Vivianna McKean, Rebecca Paulaskaite-Zile and Mollie Simpson, Kilburn School of Dance
Third: Poppie Bates, Harriet Lawrance and Amber Smirk, Dupont Dance Stage School
Intermediate Trios & Quartets
First: Grace Brooks, Abigail Huitson and Daniel Soutar, Kilburn School of Dance
Second: Alycia Devaney, Poppy Riddell, Grace Riley and Jamie Tank, Dupont Dance Stage School
Third: Libby Marlow, Amy Pidgeon and Annabelle Sheppard, Judith Hockaday School of Dance & Drama
First: Dupont Dance Stage School,
Second: Dupont Dance Stage School
Third: Ison Aslanoff School,
Solo Class A: Raphaela Harrow, Kilburn School of Dance
Solo Class B: Leah Farrant, Ison Aslanoff School
Solo Class C: Grace Riley, Dupont Dance Stage School
Solo Class D: Alycia Devaney, Dupont Dance Stage School
Solo Class E: Josephine Harrison, Marguerita Hoare School
Most Promising Girl: Poppy Riddell, Dupont Dance Stage School
Most Promising Boy: Jamie Tank, Dupont Dance Stage School
Choreography: Robina Smith, Dupont Dance Stage School
HELEN WINGRAVE AWARD 2016
This scholarship is awarded to a teacher for attendance at the annual National Dance Summer School.
Awarded to SALLY UPTON
As a child Sally joined dance classes taught by Mrs Marion Roberts. It wasn’t long before they were all learning dances from different countries. She still remembers the excitement of partnering up for the Nieueplattler to perform in costume for a local fete. Sally enjoyed the projects, making a costume for her doll for her first National exam. Since those days she has carried on the love for National Dance, which she has shared with her two daughters and her dance students.
Sally is now the Principal of Fitzell Roberts School of Dance and hopes to pass on her knowledge to her students so they too can experience the enjoyment of dance.
ISOBEL HAXELL CUP 2016
The cup is awarded to a teacher who, in the opinion of the Committee has given long and loyal service to the National Dance Faculty.
Awarded to CLAIRE QUINN
Claire’s love of National Dance started in 1990 when, inspired and encouraged by Heather Rees, she attended the then ‘Elementary’ National Course in Ilkley. The daughter of dance teacher Cynthia Hay at the Lillian McNeill School in Glasgow, she has danced all her life taking teaching qualifications in various genres.
Having embarked on the study of National Dance, Claire quickly followed up that first examination with the remainder of the vocational and status examinations through to Licentiate. Her intensive training was undertaken at the official ISTD courses and at Kilburn School with Miss Robina Smith and also in the annual National Syllabus and Workshop courses in Bexhill under the guidance of Miss Heather Rees. Further study was taken with specialists at the Society for International Folk Dance courses.
Claire continues her enthusiastic involvement in National Dance, teaching at the highly recommended Vocational School, The Dance School of Scotland in Glasgow, and training the full time students at Dance For All in Edinburgh. She has entered candidates for examinations from grades and vocational levels through to DDI as well as Folk Dance studies. She also choreographs festival dances. She has been a member of the National Teachers Group and a helper at the Grandison Clark Awards in the North and in London.
In 1997 Claire was honoured to be invited to perform the Irish Stepping solo at Congress. It was at this time she became a member of the Northern Lights Performing Group under the direction of Miss Margaret Dixon Philip and Miss Heather Rees. She was involved in their many and various choreographies, including Irish and English Folk Dancing. With the group she toured in France, Italy, Switzerland and Spain performing traditional and choreographed dances from all over the world. The group also competed in the World Folk Dance Festival in Marjorca.
Claire is delighted to be the recipient of the Haxell Cup and would like to pay tribute to all who have trained and encouraged her in National and Folk Dance.