A shortlist has been announced for a major Edinburgh Festival Fringe awards, after hundreds of shows have been considered.

The categories for a number of different prizes have been announced for the Total Theatre Awards, after over 500 shows were assessed.

They focus on recognising innovative and artist led performances at the fringe.

Jo Crowley, producer of the Total Theatre Awards, said: “The thing that makes it different is partly about the process.

“Every two days we met for five hour meetings with the whole team and engaged in critical discussion around the work.

“After that we decided what deserved a second, third, fourth, viewing. The distinction is this critical process. Once we’ve shortlisted, a peer network of judges will go through the work category by category.”

The awards include ‘Shows by an Emerging Artist’, ‘Innovation, Experimentation & Playing with Form’, and for the first time the ‘Total Theatre and The Place Award for Dance’.

Shows including B-Orders by the Palestine Circus Company, 4×4 Ephemeral Architectures by Gandini Juggling, and Angry by The Pub Corner Poets have been recognised.

Eddie Nixon, Director Theatre & Artist Development at The Place said: “There are lots of great, bold dance shows in the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and thousands of people there to see them.

“There are shows that deserve to be talked about and in joining forces with Total Theatre to sponsor this new award The Place is hoping to fuel the conversation amongst the audience and the critics about what makes an unforgettable piece of dance performance.”

The awards have been running since 1997, but this year a number of changes have been made.

They include a partnership with Ukrainian artists, following the British Council’s new work with the country.

A number of artists have joined the judging panel from the Eastern European country.

Pablo Rossello, Director Arts Development, British Council Ukraine, said: “’The British Council is delighted to be supporting four talented theatre professionals to spend three weeks at the Edinburgh Festival.

“By taking part in the process of Total Theatre, they will immerse themselves in a dialogue around what innovation means in a UK context.

“It is a unique opportunity to support true cross-cultural dialogue, bring fresh new perspectives into the UK and develop stronger links between Britain and the Ukrainian theatre worlds, which we hope will result in increased touring activity in both countries.”

The awards recognise performers from a number of genres, ranging from clowns and circus performance, to live art and physical theatre.

Previous winners include performance artist Bryony Kimmings, who won in 2010.

The full shortlist can be seen here.

The shortlist for the Total Theatre Awards has been announced for this year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe. For more information, click here.