A nerve-cracker: waiting in the wings for ballet title

With poise, grace, and no noticeable nervous wobbles, the finalists of the Young British Dancer of the Year award line up after performing at the Royal Opera House on Saturday.

Anna Rose O'Sullivan, aged 16, was named as the winner after competing over the past two months against more than 100 of the most talented British dancers, aged 15 to 17, from across the UK.

Anna Rose performed from the classical ballet repertoire, in front of a judging panel chaired by Manuel Legris, who was formerly étoile of the Paris Opera Ballet and now works as artistic director of the Vienna State Opera Ballet. The artform has been experiencing a recent revival, with Natalie Portman taking an Oscar for her performance in Black Swan this year.

The English National Ballet, which runs adult ballet lessons at its studios in west London, has said it cannot keep pace with demand, while Karl Lagerfeld put tutu skirts and plume-infused fabrics in his Chanel spring 2011 ready-to-wear collection.

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