Photography Paul Jeffers
The 2014 Telstra Ballet Dancer Award (TBDA) nominees were announced on stage at the free Telstra Outdoor concert held in Melbourne on 7th March in front of an audience of 8,106 attendees.
Six talented young dancers are in the running to take home The Australian Ballet’s highest honour and the nominees are; Dimity Azoury (Queanbeyan, ACT), Imogen Chapman (Kelmscott, WA), Ingrid Gow (Randwick, NSW), Cristiano Martino (Adelaide, SA), Rina Nemoto (Tokyo, Japan) and Jade Wood (Cairns, QLD).
Introduced in 2003 to encourage young Australian ballet dancers to reach their full potential, the Telstra Ballet Dancer Award has catapulted some of The Australian Ballet’s brightest stars into the stratosphere.
Last year Coryphée Christopher Rodgers-Wilson won the 2013 Telstra Ballet Dancer Award and the Telstra People’s Choice Award went to Benedicte Bemet.
Six previous TBDA winners have ascended the ballet rankings to reach principal artist status, including Chengwu Guo (2011) Matthew Lawrence (2003), Amber Scott (2004), Lana Jones (2005), Daniel Gaudiello (20007) and Kevin Jackson (2008).
This year marks a remarkable 30-year partnership between The Australian Ballet and Principal Partner Telstra. Warwick Bray, Telstra’s Group Managing Director, Products, said the Award aims to support and encourage the next generation of talent within The Australian Ballet. “The announcement of our six nominees is a highly anticipated moment every year as it is an opportunity to recognise and reward young dancers for their hard work, talent and passion in this highly competitive and demanding industry,” said Mr Bray.
This year’s nominees were chosen by The Australian Ballet’s artistic staff, previous winners of the award and principal artists. The six dancers were judged on their performances throughout 2013, the ongoing development of their skills and their support of fellow company members.
The winner, announced near the end of 2014, will be decided by an industry panel – comprising of representatives from The Australian Ballet, Telstra and the media – and will receive a $20,000 cash prize from Telstra. The People’s Choice Award has a $5,000 prize and is decided by public vote.
Vote for your favourite dancer here
Watch Telstra's promotional videos for each nominee here