9 August 2021 10:39

The RAD members’ photo competition winners are announced today

The results of the RAD members’ photo competition are announced today with accolades awarded for Overall Winner, Luke Rittner Special Commendation and a Public Choice Award.

The RAD Members’ Photograph Competition is a keenly anticipated event on the RAD membership calendar. The 2021 competition saw entries submitted from around the world and this year entries came from  Malaysia, Italy, Brazil, Singapore, Canada, Hong Kong, Ireland, Mexico, Australia, Greece, Indonesia, China, UK, United States, New Zealand, Scotland, South Africa, Germany, Gibraltar, Macao, and Spain.

The theme for this year’s competition was ‘Dance Makes me feel…’ and entrants were invited to complete the caption and submit a photograph that evoked an emotion.

Judging took place at the Battersea, London, headquarters at the end of July. The judging panel was made up of Dolly Brown, Photographer and Artist, Melanie Murphy, Director of Marketing and Communication, RAD, and Gerard Charles, Artistic Director, RAD.

Melanie comments: ‘It was a joy to judge the 2021 RAD Members’ Photo competition. Thank you to all the members who entered. This year’s entries were of an exceptionally high standard,  however, we the judges, were all aligned and felt there were two clear stand-out winners because they both evoked an emotional reaction and we understood how dance made them feel.’

Gerard adds: ‘It was a pleasure to view the entries and be part of the judging panel. I am delighted that we continue to receive such high-quality and very personal entries. I was very excited and impressed by both the range of images and the messages and emotions they convey.’

Our guest judge this year was Dolly Brown (aka @londonlivingdoll on Instagram). Dolly is a Korean-American photographer and artist, whose work focuses on dancers, movement, performance, and the presentation of artistic practice in performing arts venues and institutions. Dolly remarked: ‘It was an honour and pleasure to be invited to be a judge of the RAD members’ photo competition. It was wonderful to see the various ways in which the entrants chose to express their feelings about dance through the medium of photography, and to see such a huge variety of entries from all over the world, showing that dance is a universal language.’

The overall winner of the competition was a photograph by Jon Raffoul, UK, of L. Apicella-Howard with the caption ‘Dance makes me feel on top of the world’. The judges felt this was a very visually pleasing image, colourful and bright, it conveys the energy and dynamic qualities of dance. It has strong lines echoed by the background. The clever use of shadows adds depth and interest. It is a strong composition and coveys the emotion of dance making her feel on top of the world.

The Luke Rittner Special Commendation goes to a photograph by Vera Stephenson, USA with the caption ‘Dance make me feel like me!’. The judges felt this photograph conveyed what we want everyone to feel about dance. The dancer in the photo shows the purest expression of herself. It is natural, joyful and heartfelt, and shows the emotion of dance making her ‘feel happy to be herself’.

The public choice award attracted 2072 votes and identified the winner as a photograph by Stella Smyrnaki, Greece. It is a stunning photograph that captures ‘dance makes me feel strong’ through the image of a pair of young dancers holding a beautiful pose in front of a mountain landscape.