Press release 14/05/2012
Commissioned artists to compete for The Place Prize for dance announced
- 16 new dance works commissioned from over 200 entries
- The Place Prize for dance, sponsored by Bloomberg, is the UK’s most prestigious dance award, returning for its 5th edition
- The commissions will premiere during The Place Prize Semi-finals in September 2012
- By the end of summer 2012, The Place Prize for dance will have enabled the creation of 92 pieces of new choreography, with an investment of over £1.2million in British dance
The 16 entrants competing for The Place Prize for dance, sponsored by Bloomberg, have been awarded a total commission fund of £100,000. The recipient artists will also benefit from free production time and support from The Place Prize team to create the dance pieces over the summer.
The 16 commissions were chosen from over 200 entries, the highest number for the Prize to date. The works encompass a wide range of contemporary styles, mixing group pieces with solos, duos and trios, and reflecting the diversity of today’s British contemporary dance scene.
Commissioned artists include:
- Former Place Prize Finalists (2011) Riccardo Buscarini and Eva Recacha, and Place Prize Semi-finalists Ben Ash (2006), Ben Wright (2006; 2008), and Darren Ellis (2010).
- Jonathan Goddard, the first contemporary dancer to win the Critics’ Circle National Dance Award for Best Male Dancer in 2008, and fellow Rambert dancer Gemma Nixon.
- Mamoru Iriguchi, a self-taught performance maker who originally trained as a zoologist, and then as a theatre designer. Iriguchi’s work was first seen on The Place’s stage during Resolution! 2011.
- Neil Paris, who has worked extensively with Fabulous Beast Dance Theatre, and who has recently choreographed the critically acclaimed Agnes and Walter: A little love story for SMITH dancetheatre, which premiered at Edinburgh Festival in 2011.
The 16 works will be premiered in a series of public performances in London at The Place during the Semi-finals, in September 2012. Three competitors will then be selected by a panel of dance experts, and one by audience vote, to compete in the Finals, in April 2013, for £35,000 in prize money.
The full list of commissioned artists is:
Hanna Gillgren and Heidi Rustgaard (h2dance)
Jonathan Goddard and Gemma Nixon (Goddard Nixon)
The Place Prize is open to all UK-based choreographers working in contemporary dance. The shortlisted commissions have been selected by a dance panel chaired by Eddie Nixon, Director of Theatre and Artist Development at The Place.
The Place Prize, sponsored by Bloomberg, is the biggest single source of commissions for new short works in British dance. By the end of this 5th edition, it will have enabled the creation of 92 original pieces of choreography, most of which have remained in the artists’ repertoire, and have been toured in theatres and festivals nationally and internationally. The Place Prize has already invested over £1m in new British dance, and has brought leading artists, including Rafael Bonachela, Hofesh Shechter, Adam Linder and Ben Duke & Raquel Mesenguer (Lost Dog), among others, to international attention.
Preview performances: Thu 6 to Thu 13 September 2012
Semi-final performances: Sat 15 to Sat 22 September 2012
Finals: Spring 2013
Tickets will be available from The Place’s Box Office in June;
020 7121 1100 / www.theplace.org.uk
For further information:
TW: @theplacelondon; #placeprize
The Place Prize for dance
The Place Prize for dance, sponsored by Bloomberg, is the leading competition for UK-based choreographers. Uniquely, it is a competition for commissioned works, and participating choreographers are given funds, free studio time and technical support to create their work. The competition was launched in 2004 and runs biennially. Previous winners include Rafael Bonachela (2004), Nina Rajarani (2006), Adam Linder (2008) and Ben Duke and Raquel Meseguer (2011). For full details on The Place Prize, see www.theplaceprize.com
For over forty years, The Place has engaged with audiences and participants, championed the best ideas, and created inspiring conditions for artists and enthusiasts to realise their potential. The Place combines London Contemporary Dance School, Richard Alston Dance Company and the Robin Howard Dance Theatre, together with pioneering learning, teaching, outreach, recreation and professional development projects. Our approaches to participation, education, creation and performance inform each other, respond to today’s world, and embrace risks. Our goals for the future build on the achievements of our history: to transform and enrich lives, to continue to shape where dance is going next. The Place Prize for dance is sponsored by Bloomberg LP. www.theplace.org.uk
Bloomberg, the global business and financial information and news leader, gives influential decision makers a critical edge by connecting them to a dynamic network of information, people and ideas. The company’s strength—delivering data, news and analytics through innovative technology, quickly and accurately—is at the core of the Bloomberg Professional service, which provides real time financial information to more than 300,000 subscribers globally.
Through the philanthropy programme, Bloomberg help charities and non-profit organisations around the world with education and literacy programmes, health and medical research, social work, arts and culture, public parks and the environment.
Work Place artist Tony Adigun is the Artistic Director of Avant Garde Dance. As a dancer Tony has worked with artists such as Whitney Houston, Usher, Ashanti, as well as many leading UK artists. He was recently awarded the Marion North Mentoring Award to be mentored by Akram Khan.
Ben Ash is co-director of Dog Kennel Hill Project with Rachel Lopez de La Nieta and Henrietta Hale. He has been working in the field of dance, movement and performance since 1995, working across a broad spectrum of aesthetics and working practices. Ben Ash was commissioned for The Place Prize in 2006, for a piece co-choreographed with Rachel Lopez de La Nieta.
A Place Prize Finalist in 2011, together with Antonio de la Fe Guedes, Italian choreographer Riccardo Buscarini is currently collaborating with knitwear designer Brooke Roberts, with whom he was Creative in Residence at The Hospital Club, London.
Seke Chimutengwende works in both improvisation and choreography, in large and small scale works and in cross-art performances as a dancer, maker and teacher.
Darren Ellis is currently an Associate Artist at Danceeast, and is the director of Darren Ellis Dance, established in 2007, through which he has developed a series of works that have toured nationally.
Founded in 2009 as a choreographic collaboration between fellow Rambert dancers Jonathan Goddard and Gemma Nixon, the company has been performing nationally and internationally, including gigs at Royal Opera House, Royal Court, The Victoria & Albert Museum, and The Place.
Hanna Gillgren and Heidi Rustgaard, the Artistic Directors of h2dance, have been working together since 2000, producing provocative performances addressing political and gender issues with humour and emotion.
Mamoru Iriguchi is a zoologist, a theatre designer and a multimedia performance maker. His work is informed by his knowledge in designing spaces for performance and an interest in 2D and 3D. Iriguchi’s work explores issues of gender, sexuality, symbiosis and parasitism, fairytales and evolution theories.
French born choreographer Nina Kov was Associate Artist at Dance Digital in 2010-11, with the artists’ collective Hellicar & Lewis. Kov’s primary interest is to explore the possibilities of expression of the unconscious in dance within live digital performances. Nina Kov performed her latest work Divide by Zero at The Place during Resolution! 2012.
Joe Moran is a choreographer, dancer and Artistic Director of Dance Art Foundation. He creates dance performances, film and installations for public spaces, and his work is informed by the analysis of choreography as a practice reflecting on embodiment, perception of time, and structural intervention.
After completing a degree in Biology, Rick studied Contact Improvisation and began a performing career. In 2001, Rick became a member of staff at London Contemporary Dance School where he teaches Composition and Improvisation. For the past 12 years he has collaborated with many dancers, actors and musicians to create improvised performance.
Neil Paris is the Artistic Director of SMITH dancetheatre. He works as a maker, performer and teacher, and was a former member of Fabulous Beast Dance Theatre, with whom he toured internationally, earning three Olivier Awards nominations.
Work Place artist Eva Recacha was a Place Prize Finalist in 2011. Her choreographic practice is focused on exploring ways of relating movement and text, creating works that are poetic and humorous, juxtaposing both media to create a sense of misplacement.
A Work Place artist, Moreno Solinas was a performer with Bonachela Dance Company, DV8 Physical Theatre, Stan Won’t Dance, and Earthfall before starting to make his own work with BLOOM! Collective, founded in 2007.
Robbie Synge was previously a physiologist before pursuing a career in dance, film and animation. He has worked as a dance artist across the UK, and he is working as associate artist with Frank McConnell and plan B dance company in Ross-shire.
Ben Wright is an independent choreographer and director working in contemporary dance, opera and theatre at national and international level. He is the Artistic Director of bgroup company, which he founded in 2008. He was commissioned for The Place Prize in 2006 and 2008.