Stichting Dansersfonds ’79 has announced the winners of its annual dance awards. This year’s Incentive Award goes to the young Dutch dancer and choreographer Joshua Junker, working in England, who made his overwhelming debut on the Dutch stage this year with his work Remembrance. Junker created the piece for Dutch National Ballet’s Junior Company.
Joshua Junker was born in Nijmegen and started modern dance and breakdance at the age of eight with Boys Action. From the age of fourteen, he turned his focus on ballet and was accepted for the Royal Conservatoire in The Hague. Two years later, he continued his training at The Royal Ballet School in London.
In 2017, Junker joined the Aud Jebsen Young Dancers Programme at The Royal Ballet, where he was promoted to Artist of the company in 2018 and to First Artist in 2022. In recent years, Junker has also created several promising works with The Royal Ballet, for the choreographic project Draft Works, the British equivalent of New Moves. For his work Remembrance, Junker received praise from the press: de Volkskrant called him ‘a discovery’ and Het Parool said he was a ‘choreographic surprise’.
Set up in 1979 on the initiative of the founders of the Dansersfonds, Alexandra Radius and Han Ebbelaar, the Dansersfonds Awards are the longest-running Dutch dance awards. The award ceremony took place on Monday 13 November at the Dutch Ballet Gala, at the DeLaMar theatre in Amsterdam, in the presence of Her Royal Highness Princess Beatrix.