Mary Brennan wins prestigious One Dance UK Award

20 Feb 2018

Mary Brennan (left) with Head of Industry and Artists Support from One Dance UK, Helen Laws. Image: Foteini Christofilopoulou

Congratulations to Mary Brennan, who has been awarded the 2017 Jane Attenborough One Dance UK Industry Award.

Dedicated to Jane Attenborough, who was the founding Director of Dance UK (now One Dance UK), the Award honours an individual working in dance who has made an outstanding contribution to the art form. It aims to highlight the important, but often unacknowledged, contributions made by individuals who make a real difference to how dance is created, supported and seen.

Previous winners of the Jane Attenborough Dance UK Industry Award include Dick Matchett MBE (2003), Janet Smith MBE (2008), and Brenda Last (2016).

Dance critic for The Herald newspaper, Mary contributes significantly to the profile, development and discourse of dance in Scotland and internationally. Innumerable artists praise her dance writing skill and insight, commitment and tireless support of dance and dance artists at all stages of their careers.

Anita Clark, Director of The Work Room, comments:

‘Mary writes passionately about dance. She has championed the work of many choreographers, artists and companies, and will fearlessly defend their right to experiment and take risks. Her writing has been vital in raising the public profile of dance.’

Liv Lorent MBE, Artistic Director of balletLORENT, adds:

‘For me, and for many other dance makers, Mary is an unsung hero of dance as an art form.’

The Award was presented to Mary at the Critics’ Circle National Dance Awards yesterday, 19 February, in a lunchtime ceremony at The Barbican, London.

Upon receiving the Award, Mary said:

‘I am genuinely surprised, and profoundly touched, by this nomination for the Jane Attenborough One Dance UK Industry Award.

‘Previous recipients – and indeed Jane Attenborough herself – have all been shakers and movers on the dance scene. I sit back… and look on, from what I frankly admit is a highly privileged position.

‘So many people – including previous recipients of this, and the National Dance Awards – have opened countless doors for me. I’ve been invited to share in so many inspiring creative journeys, often at moments of vulnerability when a dancer is rehearsing a new role or a choreographer is shaping steps and ideas according to the bodies he or she has before them.

‘I am forever grateful to all of them. And also, now, to those who felt that a critic could be worthy of this very special award.’

Read the full list of 2017’s Critics’ Circle National Dance Award winners here.