The Ninette de Valois
Trust Fund - 2005 Winner Liam Scarlett:

The Ninette de Valois Trust Fund’s Choreographer prize was set up (with Madame’s approval) under the administration of the Vic Wells Association to give £1000 to a promising ballet choreographer to study the arts in the widest sense, and in particular to study other artistic influences such as painting, music, architecture and theatre.

Lady MacMillan and Sir Peter Wright presented the award at the Royal Ballet School on March 1st 2005. Sir Peter spoke of Dame Ninette’s love of choreography, and his debt to her in influencing his early choreographic work. Addressing her portrait, which hangs in the main practice room of the school, he reminded everyone of the firmness of her resolve and the standards she consistently demanded. He admitted to shedding many a tear after listening to her critique of his early work.

In presenting the award to Liam, who had already won the Ursula Moreton Choreographic prize in 2004 and will shortly join the Royal Ballet, Lady MacMillan explained that the idea of the award had been widely supported within the arts community. Nicholas Hytner, Director of the National Theatre, has agreed to offer Liam the chance to attend rehearsals and have access to the creative process of work in progress with stage directors there. Lady MacMillan said “it is very difficult for choreographers today. Kenneth would never have become a choreographer in today’s world.”

The annual award is open to promising choreographers from the Royal Ballet, the Birmingham Royal Ballet, the English National Ballet, Scottish Ballet, the Rambert Dance Company and their principal feeder schools.

James Ranger, Sir Peter Wright, Liam Scarlett and Lady MacMillan

James Ranger, Sir Peter Wright, Liam Scarlett and Lady MacMillan

(Natasha Oughtred and Johannes Stepanek rehearsing Liam Scarlett’s new ballet)

(Natasha Oughtred and Johannes Stepanek rehearsing Liam Scarlett’s new ballet)