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ERGO awarded dance prizes

May 09, 2014

On Saturday, May 3, ERGO, the main sponsor of the Estonian National Ballet, handed out the ERGO Dance Awards 2014 at the ballet gala held on International Dance Day. The award for the best female dancer went to Abigail Sheppard and the best male dancer award to Vitali Nikolajev.

According to Maarika Liivamägi, a Member of the Board of ERGO, as the main sponsor of the Estonian National Ballet, ERGO takes great pleasure in rewarding dancers . “Ballet is the crown jewel of dancing. Only a few chosen ones have the ability for it. How enthralling it is for the rest of us. Hard work and virtuosity deserve acknowledgement,” she said. “I hope that the awards will inspire the dancers even more,” she added.

Abigail Sheppard began her dance studies in 2002 at Canada’s National Ballet School. During her studies she danced both in school performances as well as in productions of the Canadian National Ballet. In 2011 she moved to Amsterdam to continue her studies at the Dutch National Ballet Academy. At the same time she performed in the following productions at the Dutch National Ballet: Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake (choreographer Rudi van Danzig) and The Nutcracker and the Mouse King (choreographer Wayne Eagling). Since autumn 2012 Abigail has been a member of the Estonian National Ballet. Her most important role on the stage of the Estonian National Ballet is Glauce (Schiavoni’s Medea performed to the music of Stravinsky, Schnittke and Dead Can Dance).

Vitali Nikolajev graduated from the Tallinn Choreography School in 1986 and has since danced at the Estonian National Ballet, and has been a soloist there since 2001. His roles include the Fool (Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake), the Wooer and Prince Fortuné (Tchaikovsky’s The Sleeping Beauty), the Devil (Tubin’s Goblin), the Station Guard (Shchedrin’s Anna Karenina), Mercutio (Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet), the Forester (Adam’s Giselle), Priamo Mancuso (Cannito’s Cassandra), Kashchei (Stravinsky’s The Firebird), Camacho (Minkus’s Don Quijote), Madge (Bournonville’s La Sylphide), Coppelius (Delibes’s Coppélia), Monsieur G. M. and Gaoler (MacMillan’s Manon), Alfredo (Hynd's Rosalinde), and Petrushka (Stravinsky’s Petrushka), etc.

ERGO has awarded dance prizes since 2010.