"Dance. A dancing country will never die!" The dancer Jon Maya was excited last night to win the Best Dance Show Award at the Max Performing Arts Awards. And he had every reason to be excited: Kukai Dantza Taldea, the company he directs, won three out of seven nominations. They were not the only Basque winners at the gala held at the Palau de las Arts in Valencia; the company Marie de Jongh and the actress Ainhoa Santamaria were also awarded. The Navarreses Alfredo Sanzol and Ánger Ruiz also won prizes.
The company from Renteria won three out of three nominations for the show Oskara: the Best Dance Show, the Best Cast (Jon Maya, Eneko Gil, Martxel Rodriguez, Ibon Huarte, Urko Mitxelena, Alain Maya and Jonatan Lopez) and the Best Costume Design (Iraia Oiartzabal). Kukai created Oskara together with Marcos Morau and the company La Veronal,. The show premiered in January 2016 in the framework of the cultural capital Donostia 2016. The work fuses Basque tradition and contemporary dance, and it talks about the importance of culture for mankind.
This is not the first time the Max Awards have awarded the company: in 2015 they clinched the Max for the Best Cast, and in 2009, the Revelation Award for Hnuy Illa, a show created in partnership with Tanttaka Teatroa.
The Kukai team were the stars of the evening, but they were not the only Basque representation awarded in Valencia. The company Marie de Jongh won the Best Children´s or Family Show Award. Jokin Oregi, who was also nominated for the Best Stage Direction, directs the company created in 2008.
Finally, the actress Ainhoa Santamaria (Vitoria, 1980), won the Award for the Best Supporting Actress for the work La estupidez. The Navarrese director Alfredo Sanzol also took home the Award for Best Theatrical Authorship for La respiración, and the actor Ángel Ruiz was named the Best Leading actor for Miguel de Molina al desnudo.
This year the Max Awards for the performing arts, organized by SGAE, turned 20 The director Jon Maya wanted to remember those who stood up for our language after the Guernica bombing, as they have created the show Gernika-Guernica on its 80th aniversary.