The 2013 TBDA nominees. Photo by Chloe Gordon
Artistic Director of The Australian Ballet David McAllister announced the 2013 Telstra Ballet Dancer Award (TBDA) nominations on Wednesday 13 February 2013 in Melbourne.
Coryphées Natasha Kusen and Sharni Spencer, and corps de ballet members Benedicte Bemet, Cameron Hunter, Christopher Rodgers-Wilson and Valerie Tereshchenko are in the running to take home the coveted prize.
McAllister said he was excited for the group of six young dancers as they began the first steps of their TBDA journey.
“I’m also particularly thrilled that for the first time, the nominees will use Instagram to document their TBDA experience. Ballet fans can follow them with the hashtag #TBDA13” McAllister said.
Last year Senior Artist Amy Harris was crowned the 2012 TBDA winner. Her win was a case of third time lucky, with previous nominations for the esteemed Award in 2008 and 2010. In both of those years she took home the public-voted Telstra People’s Choice Award, but last year was the first time she had won the main accolade.
The Telstra Ballet Dancer Award was introduced in 2003 to encourage young Australian ballet dancers to reach their full potential.
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 2012, the ongoing development of their skills and their support of fellow company members.
The winner, announced near the end of 2013, 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.
To vote for your favourite dancer from the selection of nominees, SMS their first name, along with your full name and postcode to 0439 BALLET (0439 225 538) (standard SMS charges apply) or go to telstra.com/ballet to enter online and see full terms and conditions.
The Australian Ballet congratulates this year’s nominees and wishes them the best as they embark on their quest for TBDA glory.