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Inside Spring 2013

In January, The Place was delighted to host the Critics’ Circle National Dance Awards in our theatre for the second successive year. I also had the personal pleasure of co-hosting the 2012 ceremony with Gary Avis, Ballet Master and Principal Character Artist with The Royal Ballet. The annual awards have become a well-established moment in the dance calendar when the dance sector takes a moment to celebrate the achievements of the past year and applaud the individuals behind them. In the previous year’s awards, Richard Alston Dance Company (RADC) was nominated as Outstanding Company in an international category where the company proved it could punch above its weight as the only small contemporary ensemble among a group of international ballet companies. This year we were thrilled that two dancers from RADC, Liam Riddick and Hannah Kidd, were nominated in the categories of Outstanding Male Performance (Modern) and Outstanding Female Performance (Modern) respectively. Although not winners on the day, their nominations were a really notable achievement, especially when you look at the outstanding quality of the other individual nominees in each category. Both Liam and Hannah are graduates from our School.

Photo: John Ross

Photo: The Place

Welcome to the first issue of Inside The Place for 2013 Each year one special award is given for which there is no list of nominees announced. The De Valois Award (named in memory of Dame Ninette de Valois, founder of The Royal Ballet) is an award that recognises outstanding achievement in dance. Its pedigree is evident in the list of past winners that includes such greats as Sir Peter Wright, Dame Monica Mason, Richard Alston, Val Bourne and Christopher Bruce. We were all thrilled that Founding Artistic Director of The Place, Robert Cohan CBE, received this prestigious honour. Presenting the award, Luke Jennings, dance critic of The Observer and Deputy Chairman of the Critics’ Circle, gave tribute to Cohan, describing him as “a founding father of British contemporary dance, an inspiration to countless dancers and choreographers and one of our true heroes.” Cohan was invited by Robin Howard in 1967 to leave his native New York to found a company and school in London. He founded London Contemporary Dance School and London Contemporary Dance Theatre, and led The Place as artistic director, teacher, choreographer and dancer for over two decades. He was previously a leading dancer and associate-director with the Martha Graham Dance Company in New York. He continues to serve on The Place Board of Governors.

Receiving the award, Cohan said “It is amazing to receive an award on a stage that I designed the size of ... you don’t have an award for achievement in dance without the help of everybody around you. Everybody you meet and work with helps you, feeds you, makes you what you are, and you try to live up to that.” His acceptance speech also included a wonderful anecdote about an early encounter with Ninette de Valois at a time when The Place was fighting for money to support its then fledgling company, and a subsequent, later encounter, where De Valois said to Cohan: “I know I know who you are, but who are you? How can I be expected to remember you when you keep changing your hair?” Also recognised in the 2012 National Dance Awards was LCDS alumnus and former Place Associate Artist Arthur Pita, winner of the Best Modern Choreography award for

The Metamorphosis, seen to great acclaim at the Royal Opera House’s Linbury Studio Theatre last year. It has just started a second run, and Arthur has kindly invited Bob Cohan to go and see it. We are all thrilled at these honours. Bob’s award in particular, is a reminder to us that whilst all of us at The Place are constantly looking ahead, seeking to promote and support where dance is going next, we should not forget our history and the huge debt we owe to those who have gone before.

Kenneth Olumuyiwa Tharp OBE Chief Executive

Winning and Losing The Place Prize for dance

competing against other companies to get your shows put on, for people to come and see your shows, for promoters to buy your shows rather than other people’s.” For two Place Prize “losers” who became big winners, securing regular Arts Council funding to form their own companies, the experience of competition was also creatively invigorating. According to Bawren Tavaziva, “The Place Prize really made things quicker, faster, and I’m really glad that I did it. I think I would have struggled a lot more [if I hadn’t entered]. I don’t think I would be where I am.”

The Finals of The Place Prize for dance, sponsored by Bloomberg, are upon us once more. By the end of April, one of Eva Recacha, h2dance, Riccardo Buscarini and Rick Nodine will have become the fifth winner of Europe’s biggest contemporary dance competition, and collected £25,000.

The winner’s £25,000 is – it goes without saying – a lot of money, with the potential to be career-changing. But this prize money forms less than 10% of the £1.4million that The Place Prize has invested in new dance since 2004. 90% of the budget has been spent on the “losers” – and that’s because (and again, it goes without saying) they are not losers at all. The most important part of The Place Prize is that it gets new work made. In a climate where funding for artists to make new work is increasingly scarce, and commissioners can be reluctant to take a risk on artists without established track records, The Place Prize presents a level playing field. Anyone can enter, and the entries are evaluated anonymously. After work is presented in The Place Prize, it belongs to the artist. They can – and do

– extend it into a longer work, or present it as part of a mixed bill or repertoire. Works first seen in The Place Prize have gone on to be performed at Sadler’s Wells, Southbank Centre and the Royal Opera House, in Dance Umbrella and British Dance Edition, in countries throughout Europe, in North and South America, in Asia, Africa and Australia. Making new works opens up opportunities for all the commissioned artists, and offers something different for audiences throughout the UK and around the world. This is The Place Prize’s most important legacy.

Hofesh Shechter said “A career needs good and meaningful opportunities to flourish, and The Place Prize was definitely that opportunity for me. The experience of taking part was crazy, exciting, exhausting, surreal, but most importantly energising and creatively inspiring.”

So why is The Place Prize a competition at all? Why subjectively choose a winner and leave everyone else with the stigma (even if it’s an illusion) of “losing”? Well, for the audience, it stimulates debate, interest, excitement. It’s fun to speculate about who might win, and to argue on behalf of your personal favourite. And for the artists? Journalist Lyndsey Winship interviewed some of The Place Prize “losers” in 2011. Pete Shenton of New Art Club told her that The Place Prize brings into the open the fact that competition is a normal part of an artist’s working life: “You have to put it out of your mind when you’re making work, but the truth is, it is competitive, you are

Photo: Benedict Johnson

Of course, one more winner means that there will be three more “losers” who don’t win the top prize, in addition to the 12 artists whose Place Prize commissioned work was not chosen for the Finals after the Semi-Final performances at The Place last September. Since The Place Prize was founded in 2004, a total of 92 new dance works have been commissioned, 87 of which have not won the competition. That’s a lot of losers.

The Place Prize for dance, sponsored by Bloomberg, Finals run from Wed 17 until Sat 27 April. A pre-show debate “Losers?!” on Mon 22 April looks in more depth at winning and losing in The Place Prize from the artists’ points of view. For full details, see

The online Campaign began in March and will run until May. It is based around a series of three short films which will demonstrate the range of work we have made happen over the last 12 months, featuring some of the young artists we have recently helped and speaking to some well-known names in the dance world about why the The Place and the Pioneering Fund are so important.

Photo: Francois Verbeek

Photo: Tom Medwell

Photo: Carolina Mendonça

We have raised funds in the past through special events and donations, but for the first time we are running an online campaign targeted at visitors to the Robin Howard Dance Theatre. With their support we hope to raise £5,000 to enable an emerging dance artist the chance to create a new piece of work in time for the 25th year of Resolution! in early 2014 or Spring Loaded 2014. The total cost of the commission will be nearer £10,000 and The Place is match funding whatever we raise through providing access to free studio space.

You can help us ensure the very best future for contemporary dance by making a gift to the Pioneering Fund online at For further information about the Fund please contact the Development Department at The Place on 020 7121 1051.

Photo: Benedict Johnson

In keeping with that spirit of adventure, we created the Pioneering Fund. The Fund helps us raise money to invest in groundbreaking initiatives and support those ideas which push contemporary dance into previously unexplored territory.

Supporters of the Pioneering Fund will be acknowledged in The Place’s annual report and will have the chance to see the work they helped to create.

Photo: Chris Nash

For well over forty years The Place has led the development of contemporary dance in the UK and we want to continue to provide the best possible conditions for new and exciting things to happen.

To take a look at the first film please visit Now more than ever we need the support of individuals who recognise The Place’s vital role in nurturing new talent and supporting pioneering activity. Whether you can give £25, £100 or £250, combined it will help us to continue to invest in young artists and their work at a time when support for them is under severe threat.

Photo: Stephen Berkeley

Pioneering Fund 2013

Photo: Rosanna Terracciano

Having been in the role for almost a year now, Trusts Fundraiser, Graziella Terracciano talks to Victoria Heath about what challenges she faces in the role she enjoys.

Tell us a little about what the role of Trusts Fundraiser involves? As the Trusts Fundraiser, I work as part of the Development team to raise income for the organisation. I focus specifically on opportunities available through trusts and foundations, so this entails doing a lot of research about the work being done across the organisation, identifying potential prospects, cultivating relationships and preparing targeted proposals for funders. Have you a background in fundraising? Prior to coming to The Place, I had been working in different capacities within the arts – including development and fundraising - in both the UK and in my native Canada. Although I’ve worked across many art forms, including the visual arts, opera and architecture, dance is my first love – with contemporary and flamenco dance at the top of the list. I produced experimental flamenco dance in Canada for several years.

After years of working in the arts, I decided to pursue an MA in Culture, Policy & Management at City University London: this brought me to London just under five years ago. Since completing my MA, I’ve had a chance to really experience first-hand what makes a cultural city like London tick. Were you aware of The Place before you moved to London? Though I admittedly hadn’t heard of The Place back home in Calgary, since working here I’ve come to learn how far The Place’s reach extends around the globe. For example, while watching a live feed of a rehearsal by EDge performance group, I realised that one of its members is Calgarian (my hometown). I was also amazed to learn not long after I started, that one person who played a significant part in planting a lifelong love in me for contemporary dance actually received her first training at London Contemporary Dance School.

EDge dancer Elena Kekkou and members of the company perform Silent Steps by Tim Rushton. Image by Ivar Sviestins

Graziella Terracciano Trusts Fundraiser

With all the talk about the struggling economy, what are some of the challenges of your job? It’s no secret that fundraisers in the arts have their work cut out for them right now, as the UK – like most of the world continues to push through financial hard times. Arts Council England has been forced to make cuts across the country over the past few years, with more cuts on their way. What this has meant for the arts in general is a greater focus on philanthropic income to help bridge the gap. This of course means that, while the demand on support through this avenue becomes more intense, so does the competition. As a big fan of dance and all that we do at here at The Place, I also personally struggle with the feeling of wishing I could do more. While I’ve been fortunate enough to see some success already, I’ve also (unsurprisingly) received some rejections. As a fundraiser, rejection - of course – comes with the territory, but it’s always a little hard to swallow, especially as I know this means a great project may not be able to go forward as a result.

Despite the economic challenges, what do you enjoy about the job? I really like having the chance to learn about the many activities taking place – or planned - across the organisation. I sometimes even get to be part of the early stages of the conversations, which feels a little like getting backstage access to an event. I find the diversity of the job stimulating as I get to interact with a lot of different people, exercise a lot of different skills and – believe it or not - I really enjoy persuasive writing. I know whenever I tell people what I do, the immediate response is, “that’s a tough job.” Though the job is extremely challenging sometimes, it make me feels like I’m contributing to The Place as a whole – and to dance - in one of the best ways I know how.

Peggy Hawkins Scholarship Fund

Thanks to the generosity of people who supported the Fund last year we succeeded in raising over £10,000 and have raised over £17,500 so far this academic year. As a result, we have been able to increase the number of recipients from four to six. The awards were recently presented at an evening reception on 12th March to second year students Eleni Papaioannou and Declan Whittaker, and third year students Hannah Anderson-Ricketts, Francis Johnson, Kit Brown and Poh Hian Chia. Upon receiving the award, Francis Johnson said: “The support from the Fund has

Rapunzel Photo: Bill Cooper

really been about supporting me through my studies and enabling me to see other peoples’ work…it keeps me loving what I love to do even more...dancing!” At the reception, over 80 guests were treated to seven performances by the students including an excerpt from Gypsy Mixture by Richard Alston and six pieces choreographed by the students especially for the event. Anthony explained to guests “We started the Scholarship in memory of my mother Peggy Hawkins, whose passion and joy was teaching children to dance. She would be as thrilled as I am to see that the funds we raised last year have enabled four very talented students to continue their training and this year we can help six more students.”

Centre for Advanced Training (CAT) When a young dancer enrols on the Centre for Advanced Training it is the beginning of a journey. The destination is unknown but the journey is always full of adventure and exploration. Graduates have pursued careers as diverse as medicine to lighting design, but many choose to further their passion in dance at vocational schools and progress into the profession.

If you would like further information about the Peggy Hawkins Scholarship Fund please contact Stephen Clarke, Director of Development at development@theplace. or to make a donation please visit

Dancing at The Place gives children the opportunity to engage with a range of dance artists. In February, Matthew Bourne, Artistic Director of New Adventures, attended a sharing of work his company made on students and led a Q&A session. In March students performed at Sadler’s Wells, in balletLORENT’s production Rapunzel adapted by poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy. Four current and former students have been selected for the National Youth Dance Company commencing this summer under the artistic direction of Jasmin Vardimon.

Photo: Tim Hawkins

Established last year by choreographer Anthony Van Laast and London Contemporary Dance School alumna Pernille Charrington, The Peggy Hawkins Scholarship Fund helps talented students studying at LCDS complete their studies and take advantage of new performance opportunities.

At any one time we have ex-students in conservatoires such as Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance and

P.A.R.T.S (Belgium). Oftentimes CAT graduates represent the voice of young dancers, acting as ambassadors for institutions such as London Contemporary Dance School and Youth Dance England. Post graduation, our alumni can be found working professionally with companies such as Tavaziva Dance, Protein Dance, Scottish Dance Theatre, Danish Dance Theatre and Rambert Dance Company. Wherever their journey leads, we hope that the skills and artistry they have acquired at The Place will serve them well and that dance will retain a special place in their hearts.

Alumni Profile

Alumni Network London Contemporary Dance School

You are a new member to the Alumni Network, what have you been doing since your graduation last year? For the past six months I was lucky enough to work with Danish Dance Theatre in Copenhagen as an apprentice with the company. This meant that I understudied repertoire by Itzik Gallili and Edhem Jesenkovic. I also performed in Love Songs, choreographed by Tim Rushton, touring the piece with the company across Denmark and Germany. In your third year of LCDS you were awarded a Peggy Hawkins Scholarship, how did this benefit you in your study? On a practical level, the scholarship helped to finance my apprenticeship fees, enabling me to have the unique experience of working in a professional environment, which (as a fresh graduate) can be difficult to come by. Additionally, I have benefited greatly from the generous mentoring of Anthony Van Laast and Pernille Charrington who have both been a wonderful support, sharing their pearls of wisdom and contributing some excellent survival tips for the tough world of dance.

Do you have any particular memories of studying at The Place you would like to share? I have many amazing memories of studying at The Place, but there aren’t any single moments that really stand out, but rather it was an overall, unforgettable experience. There is no denying how tough dance training is, both physically and emotionally, but there are so many opportunities to explore your artistry at The Place, to discuss, debate, create, perform, collaborate, make mistakes, learn from your mistakes, meet inspiring teachers and choreographers, and discover those that you find less inspiring. All of the sweat, blood, bruises and tears were worth it, for the fun I had, the friends I made and what I discovered about myself as a dancer and about the amazing work that exists in the dance world. I also experienced such a huge variety of techniques and workshops, from floor work to Alexander technique through to the work of Richard Alston, Hofesh Shechter, Jeremy Nelson and Ohad Naharin (Gaga technique) to name but a few. It was so exciting to be a part of such a supportive hub of ideas and creativity.

Photo: Hugo Glendinning

Photo: Alicia Clarke

Mari-Halina Colbert BA (Hons) Contemporary Dance (2012)

What top tips would you give to current students about training at LCDS? Make the most of having free class and daily training! And try not to miss class as much as you possibly can. Of course you need to take care of your body and rest where you need to rest, take time out and give yourself some space to be a ‘normal’ human being, but there is also so much to be had from taking class and watching class (if you’re injured). Also, try to stay open minded. You will be confronted with many ideas that you don’t necessarily agree, or find a relationship with, at the time. But I look back on those things now and I can see their value, and how they can inform my own work as a dancer/ performer/choreographer/teacher. Stay curious and ask lots of questions. There are some amazing and highly experienced minds floating about the building; take full advantage. Work super hard when you need to, make a piece at least once (even if you don’t consider yourself a choreographer) but above all have lots of fun, support your peers and enjoy being part of the next generation of contemporary dance!

‘All of the sweat, blood, bruises and tears were worth it, for the fun I had, the friends I made and what I discovered about myself as a dancer and about the amazing work that exists in the dance world.’ How do you hope to benefit from being part of the LCDS Alumni Network? By staying aware of the activities happening at The Place and in London, to keep in touch with people and to remain in the loop about the evolving dance scene in UK and across the world.

What’s On...

Unless otherwise indicated, all performances start at 8pm in The Place’s Robin Howard Dance Theatre and are priced £15 (£12 concessions).

Highlights from our forthcoming performance programme.



Wed 17 – Sat 27 The Place presents The Place Prize for dance, sponsored by Bloomberg The Finals

Wed 8 Richard Alston Dance Company The Devil in the Detail, Darknesse Visible, Lachrymae, Madcap Theatre Severn, Shrewsbury, 7.30pm £12.50 - £16.50 01743 281281

After a tremendous series of previews and Semi-Finals in autumn 2012, The Place is proud to welcome back the finalist choreographers for the concluding 10 nights of Place Prize Finals. Eva Recacha (Work Place artist), h2dance (winner of the SemiFinals’ audience votes), Riccardo Buscarini (LCDS alumnus) and Rick Nodine (LCDS academic) will compete for your £1,000 nightly audience prize and the overall £25,000 Place Prize. The winner will be announced on Sat 27 April. £17 - £25 Tue 23 & Wed 24 Richard Alston Dance Company The Devil in the Detail, Shimmer, Madcap Malvern Theatre, Malvern, 7.30pm £8 - £14 01684 892277

Madcap by Richard Alston Dance Company, Photo: Tony Nandi

Tue 30 April & 1 May Richard Alston Dance Company Buzzing Round the Hunisuccle, Unfinished Business, Madcap Oxford Playhouse, Oxford, 7.30pm £15 - £22 01865 305305

Sat 11 Spring Loaded Laila Diallo Hold Everything Dear An endearing look at migration and dislocation Mon 13 & Tue14 Richard Alston Dance Company Unfinished Business, Darknesse Visible, Lachrymae, The Devil in the Detail Cambridge Arts Theatre, Cambridge, 7.30pm £15 - £25 01223 503333 Wed 15 Spring Loaded Simone Riccio Nothing Moves If I Don’t Push It A circus solo performance coming to The Place after a big hit at the MIME festival Mon 20 LCDS presents: Exchanges BODHI Project, Salzburg Experimental Academy of Dance & Centre national de danse contemporaine. Pieces choreographed by Martin Nachbar, Trisha Brow and Julie Nioche £7 (£5 concessions)

Box Office: 020 7121 1100

Wed 22 LCDS presents: Exchanges Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse de Paris Pieces choreographed by Edmond Russo and Shlomi Tuiser, Itzik Galili and Hofesh Shechter. £7 (£5 concessions) Thu 23 LCDS presents: Exchanges Junior Ballet of the Conservatoire National Superieur de Musique et de Danse de Paris and EDge (double bill) Pieces choreographed by Cristiana Morganti and Hofesh Shechter £7 (£5 concessions) Dance and Drama Fri 31 Spring Loaded Cristian Duarte The Hot One Hundred Choreographers A solo tribute to choreographic influences Sat 24 LCDS presents: Exchange performance with Verve Piece choreographed by Frauke Requardt, James Wilton, Ben Wright and Angus Balbernie £7 (£5 concessions) Wed 29 May Richard Alston Dance Company Mixed repertoire of Cunningham dances for Dancing around Duchamp at The Barbican, 7pm £18 - £25 0845 120 7511



Fri 7 Spring Loaded Still House (Dan Canham) Ours was the Fen Country Reflections on rural memories fused in dance

5-12 LCDS Graduation Performances Graduating students from the BA (Hons) in Contemporary Dance and Postgraduate Advance Dance Studies students perform work by Theo Clinkard, Elisha Drennan, Itamar Serussi and Dam Van Huynh £7 (£5 concessions)

Tue 11 Spring Loaded Fearghus Oconchuir Cure A solo about overcoming challenges and what is needed to survive Sat 22 Spring Loaded Riccardo Buscarini’s The Plusies Friends Dance performance meets rock concert Mon 25 & Tue 26 LCDS In Performance: Postgraduate Choreography & Performance £3 Thur 27, Fri 28 & Sat 28 EDge Performing a selection of work from commissioned choreographers James Cousins, Helena Franzén, Tim Rushton, Hofesh Shechter; alongside work by two of the company’s members Mansoor Ali and Cesilie Kverneland. £7 (£5 concessions)

Sat 20 Something Happening For Kids, 10am – 5pm This special day of dance fun is dedicated to our younger audience (0-10 year olds). It is an opportunity for parents and children to delve into sensory activities, workshops and enjoy dance together. After the huge success of SHFK in the past two years, The Place is concocting a programme more varied and exciting than ever. Expect poetic robots, unusual ballerinas, digital dancers and much more. Price tbc

Cover image: Place Prize Riccardo Buscarini, Athletes Photo: Benedict Johnson

Compiled and edited by the Development Department at The Place. Registered charity number 250216

The Place 17 Duke’s Road London WC1H 9PY Development: 020 7121 1050

Inside The Place: Spring 2013  
Inside The Place: Spring 2013