The Evil Imp

Six Degrees

Here in TheLab™ we have been mulling for a week or so about whether or not to write this piece. We have to do it every year and, to be honest, it’s getting old. We are of course referring to the National Dance Awards.

These awards are presented by The Critics Circle (TCC), pretty soon to be renamed The Purveyors of Writings of Such Staggering Irrelevance We Should All Take Up Typewriter Maintenance Because That Would Be More Useful To Society, Probably.

TCC’s motto is “Audacter et Sincere” which translates roughly as “Stinks of Fish” although Google’s Latin translator may be off the mark on that one we think.

So, to the awards, stay with us because this is going to go fast;

Alistair Spalding, AD CEO CBW of Sadler’s Wells Theatre, was presented with an “outstanding achievement in dance” award for his work at Sadler’s Wells. The award for best modern choreography went to Russel Maliphant, who is funded by Sadler’s Wells, for his work ‘Afterlight’ that was part of ‘In The Spirit of Diaghlev’ the uber expensive, massive flop produced and paid for by Sadler’s Wells. Daniel Proietto, dancer with Russell Maliphant, won an award for his turn in the aforementioned ‘Afterlight’, re-read from beginning of this sentence and stir gently for 30 seconds. Outstanding company went to Rambert Dance Company and Pieter Symonds also picked up and award, Ms Symonds is a dancer with Rambert Dance Company, said company are regular performers at Sadler’s Wells Theatre.

A “Customary Grudging Acceptance of the Scruffy Regions Award” went to a dancer from Northern Ballet, based in Leeds

Finally, Jann Parry won an award for some book or other about Kenneth MacMillan (we hear it’s a real page turner). Ms Parry is a member of TCC and she used to sit on the National Dance Awards Committee.

If there is one morsel of balance to be had from this farce it was the award given to Gill Clarke whom, in a coincidence of Freudian proportions, was unable to attend in person to accept her gong.

The awards were orchestrated for pure PR effect held at, drum roll please, Sadler’s Wells Theatre, they are also a sponsor. Said theatre is in London, where all the winners apart from the Bolshoi and Northern Ballet are based.

You couldn’t make this stuff up, you really couldn’t.

Were the TCC a nation then they would almost certainly be in the news facing threats of imminent invasion with overwhelming force being used to enact immediate and lasting regime change.

Article19 called the Ministry of Defence to see if any kind of coordinated massive attack was being planned against TCC. Our protestations that they were a weird little principality like Lichtenstein, only more nefarious, fell on deaf ears though. The MOD told us to stop calling or they would set The Met on us.

Mercifully there was very little press coverage of this debacle, even the Guardian couldn’t suppress its gag reflex long enough to write a process piece. The BBC fashioned a paragraph or two on an orphaned page on its website, nothing more.

In a statement TCC denied being completely useless or at a least they would have done if we’d asked them because who would admit to such a thing?

To sum up, in our pidgin Latin;

Munus et hoc inaniter studeant eos commisceri proscriptus qui ardentibus perpetrantes puteos inferos.