2020 Harry Haythorne Award recipient announced

Nadia Yanowsky receives the Harry Haythorne Award 2020

The Harry Haythorne Choreographic Award recognises the development of exceptional choreographic talent by a Royal New Zealand Ballet dancer. We are thrilled to announce this year’s recipient as Principal Nadia Yanowsky, who has recently created two new works with the Royal New Zealand Ballet. 

Established in 2015 in memory of the RNZB’s longest serving Artistic Director, Harry Haythorne MBE (1926-2014), the Award is presented by The Ballet Foundation of New Zealand through the generous contributions received from Harry himself and his many friends and professional colleagues.

Jane Meares, Chair of the Ballet Foundation, said “Nadia shows strength and confidence in her choreography and the Foundation is pleased to recognise and encourage her artistry as she begins the transition from dancer to choreographer.”

EόN was Nadia’s first work with the RNZB. This classical ballet was developed at home during lockdown and Nadia completed the two pas de deux in the studios. The worked premiered at RNZB RAW in July 2020.

On the strength of EόN, Artistic Director Patricia Barker commissioned Nadia to create Goldilocks and the Three Bears for the RNZB Te Papa holiday programme. Future performances are also being considered as part of RNZB Education’s programme of free Ballet in a Box performances for schools throughout New Zealand.

Patricia says “it is wonderful to see the Ballet Foundation endorse Nadia’s work, especially in a year when the RNZB is celebrating female choreographers. Nadia’s choreography gives both a compelling narrative and technical complexity; she expects as much from her dancers as she herself would give, and everyone enjoyed the challenging and rewarding experience of working together in the RNZB studios.”

Previous Harry Haythorne Award recipients include Loughlan Prior (inaugural recipient), Shaun James Kelly (2016) and Sarah Knox (2017).

The Ballet Foundation of New Zealand’s vision is that every individual and organisation engaged in staging classical ballet in New Zealand should have the means to pursue excellence. The Foundation is committed to building a sustainable fund to provide long-term stability for ballet in New Zealand. Gifts made to the Foundation ensure that today’s budding dancers can dream of representing New Zealand on the world stage, and that tomorrow’s audiences will enjoy international talent right here at home.

About Nadia Yanowsky:

Nadia was born in Madrid and trained by her parents, Carmen Robles and Anatoli Yanowsky, who were both principal dancers of Lyon Opera Ballet. In 2001, Nadia won the silver medal and audience prize at the Luxemburg International Ballet Competition.

She began her professional career with the English National Ballet in 2002 under former Royal New Zealand Ballet Artistic Director Matz Skoog. In 2003, Nadia joined and become a soloist, few months after, with the Staatsballett Berlin under the direction of Vladimir Malakhov. In 2008, Nadia joined Het National Ballet in Amsterdam becoming a first soloist in 2010.

Nadia Yanowsky performed with RNZB as a Principal Guest Artist in 2017 for the revival of In The Middle Somewhat Elevated, by Wiliam Forsythe. In 2018 she returned to perform lead roles in The Piano: The Ballet by Jiri Bubenicek, Balanchine’s Divertimento no.15, and Kylián’s Petite Mort, in the Dancing with Mozart programme. She created the central role of Mother in Danielle Rowe’s Remember, Mama, as part of the Strength & Grace programme.

Since becoming a permanent Principal in 2019, Nadia has performed many leading significant roles including Forsythe’s Artifact II, Balanchine’s Serenade and Black Swan in Mário Radačovský’s Black Swan/White Swan. Nadia performed the leading roles of the new creations from Moss Patterson’s Hine and James O’Hara’s The Sky Is Not So Different To Us, Perhaps… in the 2019 New Choreographic Series. She was the Mother in RNZB Choreographer in Residence Loughlan Prior’s Hansel & Gretel in 2019.

Nadia is expecting her first child in December.

RNZB-277 For the Royal New Zealand Ballet. Photo credit: Stephen A'Court. COPYRIGHT ©Stephen A'Court