A PERFORMER from a Newport-based ballet company has been shortlisted for a prestigious Welsh theatre award.

In a ceremony at Aberystwyth Arts Centre yesterday (Thursday, January 14) Daisuke Miura of Ballet Cymru, Rogerstone, was shortlisted for Best Male Dance Artist for his work with the production Tir.

The Wales Theatre Awards recognise excellence in theatre, dance and opera created and presented in Wales between December 2014 and November 2015 and nominations come from critics across Wales.

Mr Mike Smith, director of Wales Theatre Awards, stated Mr Miura’s performances in Tir “captured the imagination” of critics with his “combination of artistry and athleticism.”

He said: “The ballet company has grown in leaps and bounds over recent years and this dancer has proved on many occasions that he has that glorious ability to combine physical, skill, energy and undoubted athleticism with and eye for the artistry of the choreography.”

Ballet Cymru’s Tir combines dance with the songs of renowned Welsh singer/ songwriter Cerys Matthews, who has performed live on stage with the company at venues in Newport, London and Caernarfon.

The “possibilities” of working with “accomplished musician” Cerys Matthews was also noted as a reason for Mr Miura 's nomination.

Mr Smith said: “What stands out not only from the shortlists but reading through all of the nominations is the massive impact smaller companies, venues, new writers and new talent have made in 2015.”

In response to judges comments that some parts of Wales do not receive critical attention the deserve, Mr Smith added that the Wales Theatre Awards "will work with even more venues and art forms in 2016 to support reviewing which is essential for the health of the arts.”

This year, the competition received nominations from 34 critics, totalling 593 individual nominations which comprised of 334 performers, creative staff and shows in English and Welsh.

The winners will be announced at an awards show on Saturday, January 30 at the Sherman Cymru, Cardiff