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foreword I’m delighted to say that this has been a really exciting and productive year at The Place. The distinguished dance artist Kenneth Tharp took on the newly created role of Chief Executive, and has begun the process of creating the future of The Place as a joined-up organisation, capable of reaping the benefits of synergy between its wide range of activities in education, training, creation, performance and participation. A new, five-year Business Plan setting out this journey has been approved by Arts Council England. The completion of our new studios, made possible by generous donations from core funders, foundations and private donors, has dramatically increased our capacity for this work. Our Patron, HRH The Duke of York, opened the studios and watched wonderful performances by our students, professional artists and younger dancers. Other public highlights of the year included the fantastically buzzy Place Prize, sponsored by Bloomberg, and Richard Alston’s triumphant 60th birthday season at Sadler’s Wells. Behind the scenes, Veronica Lewis, Director of our School and Joint Principal of the Conservatoire of Dance and Drama, has played a crucial leadership role. Through her efforts, we have achieved a better than expected resolution to the problems created by the Government’s withdrawal of funding for students taking a second degree at an equivalent level. Without her creativity and negotiating skill, The Place and other Conservatoire academies would have been much harder hit. Finally, there were some departures from the Board of Governors: Sir David Melville, Mike Rappolt and Janet Smith. I thank them for the contribution they made, and especially to Mike who served as Chair of the Audit Committee for five years. In their place we welcomed six new Governors: Andrèa Adcock, Stephen Browning, Douglas Campbell, Andrew Missingham, David Nightingale and Catherine Quinn. We have a first rate team of staff and Governors in place to face the challenges and opportunities of the coming year, and to realise our ambitious plans for the future, including our year-long celebration of The Place’s 40th birthday, beginning in September 2009. We are wholly committed to helping The Place continue to be the citadel of contemporary dance in the UK, just as our great founder, Robin Howard, intended us to be.

Sir Tim Lankester Chair, The Place December 2008

maintaining and promoting excellence • fostering creativity and innovation • nurturing and supporting talent • increasing visibility and profile • championing diversity and participation • encouraging stability and sustainability

introduction After nearly four decades of pioneering the development of contemporary dance in the UK, The Place has earned an international reputation as a centre of artistic excellence. Many of our staff and alumni have garnered enormous respect as leaders in their fields. At the same time, The Place retains a spirit of adventure, unafraid to challenge tradition, promoting a sense of progressive enquiry and innovation. This spirit, fed by the artists with whom we engage, allows us to remain a constantly evolving organisation, adapting to meet the changing needs of dance in the 21st century. In this, my first full year as Chief Executive, it has been a source of constant inspiration to see our building constantly buzzing with dance activity and creative energy. Opening our two new dance studios has created over 7,000 extra studio hours each year for our work. In addition, the successful capital appeal has given us a firm foundation from which to build our donor base and increase revenue income in future years. Indeed, we are in a position of strength, with increased financial stability and long-term agreements in place with key funding partners. Alongside such important strengthening of our resources, the other thing that makes The Place so very special is the people who inhabit its spaces. I am extremely proud of the enormously talented, and dedicated staff who work here. Of equal importance has been the arrival of our new Chair, Sir Tim Lankester, and our reinvigorated Board of Governors, which has an increasingly important role in supporting and enhancing our work. A landmark in the coming year is our 40th anniversary in September 2009. Throughout the year following this anniversary we will celebrate the huge heritage of contemporary dance in the UK, of which The Place has played a central part. We will also use this marker as a springboard to set our course for the next 40 years. Indeed, we look to the future with energy and passion. We will inevitably face challenges ahead, not least an increasingly uncertain economic climate, but we will meet those challenges most effectively if our focus is clear and our vision is strong. Our aim is to create the best possible conditions for creativity, learning and innovation; to make The Place an inclusive and fertile environment where the newest and most exciting things in dance are most likely to happen. All of our activities continue to reaffirm our commitment to excellence, to widening engagement and participation and to creating the best environment for nurturing the development of tomorrow’s dance artists and dance pioneers. Above all, The Place will continue its commitment to transforming and enriching lives through dance.

Kenneth Olumuyiwa Tharp OBE Chief Executive, The Place

a centre of excellence The Place is the UK’s premier centre for contemporary dance. We have been a vibrant hub of dance activity for 40 years: a magnet for aspiring dancers, talented professionals and cutting-edge choreographers from all over the world. They are drawn to our school, providing full-time degree and postgraduate-level vocational dance training, to the country’s busiest dance theatre, to share in the work of our internationally acclaimed touring company, to take part in our extensive range of dance classes and courses for adults and young people, and to benefit from our support and professional development opportunities for artists. They are drawn because, first and foremost, The Place is a centre of excellence. A belief in the rigours and benefits of excellence is at the heart of everything we do. It is the common thread uniting our diverse portfolio of work: from performing on the world’s grandest stages, to dancing in schools and community centres; from infants taking their first dance steps to senior citizens dancing well beyond retirement age; from our work within our London home to work taking place in our local community in Camden, throughout the UK and around the world. It is through maintaining and promoting excellence that The Place is able to achieve its other objectives: fostering creativity and innovation, nurturing and supporting talent, championing diversity and participation, encouraging sustainability and stability, and increasing the visibility and profile of our work, and of dance. Our future is set out in ‘A Future Place’, a new five-year strategic business plan for the organisation, completed in July 2008. The plan charts a course for our continuing development, and how we will make the most of key external developments including the regeneration of King’s Cross, the London 2012 Olympics, and new Government policy on dance education. We are well-equipped and eager to create and take advantage of new opportunities for dance in the coming years.

A student of The Place’s Centre for Advanced Training in class


a new building alive with dance In 2008 The Place completed the latest of several extensions to the building off the Euston Road where we’ve lived and worked for forty years. The two new studios we built are the final part of the plan conceived a decade earlier to redevelop our premises. This latest, £1.2m development was achieved on budget and ahead of schedule in May 2008, with successful fundraising accounting for 85% of the project budget. Our building now includes 11 state-of-the-art dance studios, all but one specifically designed and purpose built for contemporary dance. It houses a 300-seat theatre which is unrivalled in London as an intimate venue for watching dance. There are offices for around 60 staff (about half of our total workforce), a café and a bar, studios for sound and video recording and editing, and a body-conditioning suite. There’s a costumemaking department and wardrobe stores, a box office, meeting rooms and a library. Around 300 dancers a day get changed in our changing rooms and warm-up on our stretching zones. We’re home to 180 students in full-time training, 75 young dancers in prevocational training, around 50 members of our youth dance companies and ten professional dancers in Richard Alston Dance Company. Thousands of hours of studio time each year are given free-of-charge to professional dance artists whose work we wish to support. The result is a building that, for over 14 hours each day, and 363 days each year, is alive with dance.

1st year BA students of London Contemporary Dance School in class


doing what only The Place can do To coincide with the opening of St Pancras International station – just over the road from The Place – in November 2007, our specially-commissioned dance film featuring local school children imagining how the regeneration of the King’s Cross area would affect their lives was shown in a giant projection on the outside of our building. Inside, in our theatre and many other spaces during the course of a single weekend, we presented over 30 separate performances by artists and students from PARTS, Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker’s dance centre in Brussels, which is now less than two hours away from The Place via Eurostar. These and many other of The Place’s projects are things that only we can do, through the combination of our funding and resources, the breadth and depth of expertise within our organisation, our extensive links throughout the dance industry nationally and internationally, and the imagination and creativity we bring to our work. No other organisation commissions twenty original dance works to be premiered in just four days, as we do biennially for The Place Prize, sponsored by Bloomberg. This competition provides a new focus for the creative endeavour of the UK’s dance-makers, and has given new impetus to the careers of dozens of dance-makers from Rosemary Butcher and Jonathan Lunn to Bawren Tavaziva and Hofesh Shechter. Joining that list in 2008 was a new name to many people, as Adam Linder won the £25,000 top prize for what is only his third ever choreographic work. Equally innovative is our approach to dance for young people, from developing a multi-sensory approach to cross-curricular learning through dance in local primary schools, to pioneering the Centres for Advanced Training and developing a national talent-spotting initiative, transforming access to high-level training for talented school-aged dancers throughout the country. Our knowledge and advice was a key component Top: Local children

in Tony Hall’s Government-commissioned review of dance provision for

performing in NWOne,

young people, published in March 2008, which has led to an additional

a dance film about the regeneration of King’s Cross Bottom: Adam Linder with Lorena Randi in Foie Gras, winner of The Place Prize 2008, sponsored by Bloomberg

£5.5m being invested in pilot programmes to get more young people dancing.


celebrating the success of our artists As The Place supports and nurtures the careers of artists at all stages of their lives in dance, we share in and celebrate their successes. Among those we celebrate in 2008 are... ...Jonathan Goddard of Richard Alston Dance Company, who became the first ever contemporary dancer to win the Dancing Times Award for Best Male Dancer at the National Dance Awards. Jonathan was also nominated for the Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in Dance. Alongside working with Richard Alston Dance Company, Jonathan taught members of our Centre for Advanced Training (CAT), including... ...Jamie Higgins, Katherine Szkolar, Alisdair Stewart and Natalie Trewinnard, who as teenagers in 2004 were part of the first pilot CAT scheme. This year they graduated from London Contemporary Dance School to become the first former CAT students to complete vocational training. Alisdair and Natalie have now begun postgraduate apprenticeships with, respectively, Hofesh Shechter Company and Scottish Dance Theatre, following in the footsteps of… ...Hannah Kidd, Maria Hayday and Solene Weinachter, who have become the latest in a long line to progress from apprentice to full company member of Richard Alston Dance Company, Diversions and Scottish Dance Theatre. London Contemporary Dance School graduates have enviable employment records in the competitive world of dance, and our alumni form the majority of many of our leading companies, including those of Jonathan Lunn, Henri Oguike, Hofesh Shechter... ...and our artistic director Richard Alston, himself a former student, who this year celebrated 40 years as a choreographer (and his Clockwise from top left:

sixtieth birthday) by unveiling three new works for his company at Sadler’s

Jonathan Goddard in Richard

Wells, and gaining some of the best reviews of his illustrious career.

Alston’s Shimmer; Alisdair

Alastair Macaulay, in his review for The New York Times, called him ‘the

Stewart and Natalie Trewinnard in Drift by 2nd year BA student James Wilton; Maria Hayday performing with Diversions, the dance company of Wales, in Stephen Petronio’s Strange Attractors; Siobhan Davies and dancers in Richard Alston’s first ever choreographic work Transit (1968)

finest choreographer the British modern-dance scene has ever known’.


developing the future of dance Over the past two years The Place raised over £1million from charitable trusts, statutory bodies and individual donors towards the cost of building its two new studios. The success of this capital appeal clearly demonstrated the crucial role that fundraising will play in the future of The Place. Alongside the new studios, we were able to build our donor base and increase our fundraising capacity. We are now in the process of establishing a fundraising programme to raise the philanthropic income we need to realise our future plans. Some of our key projects include: Establishing a Pioneering Fund to enable us to commission new dance works each year and support innovative activity across all areas of The Place. Strengthening our Fund for Excellence which supports students of the London Contemporary Dance School and younger dancers struggling financially with the cost of their training. We are determined that financial circumstance should not be an obstacle to talented students fulfilling their potential. The Fund relies entirely on voluntary contributions and provides our students with crucial financial support at the time they most need it. We are developing exciting projects which will advance dance teaching in schools, assist artists in their professional practice and improve our performance facilities. The Place’s forthcoming 40th anniversary also represents a unique opportunity to engage with our stakeholders in celebrating our past and articulating our vision for the future. If you would like to find out more information about the work of The Place’s Development team and our fundraising ambitions, please A dancer from The Place’s Centre for Advanced Training in the end of year performance at the Robin Howard Dance Theatre

contact Stephen Clarke, Director of Development on 020 7121 1051.


results 2007/08

Contemporary Dance Trust Limited Income








School fees and education











Other earned income





Donations and sponsorship


Total income

13 Expenditure School and education





Theatre productions



Facility maintenance







Fundraising costs



Total expenditure





Total funds at 1 April



Total funds at 31 March



Dance company

Governance Total charity expenditure

Yearly surplus/(deficit)

A full set of annual accounts is available on request from The Place, and at

Rachel Krische in Aletta Collins’s Lap Dancer, commissioned for The Place

The Place is governed by Contemporary Dance Trust

Prize 2008, sponsored by

Registered Charities Act 1960 250216


Company limited by guarantee, registered in England 883094


The Place’s work is only made possible

Capital Appeal Supporters

by the effort and commitment of its

Principal Benefactors: Conservatoire for

staff and the generous charitable

Dance & Drama, Garfield Weston Foundation, The Monument Trust


Board of Governors Sir Tim Lankester (Chair) Andrèa Adcock

contributions of its supporters.

Studio Benefactors: Arts Council England,

Marian Bell CBE

We are enormously grateful to:

Higher Education Funding Council for England

Stephen Browning

Studio Donors: 29th May 1961 Charitable Trust,

Douglas Campbell

Trusts and Foundations

Clore Duffield Foundation, Fidelity UK Foundation, Kirby Laing Foundation, Linklaters LLP, Matthew

Robert Cohan CBE

The Craignish Trust

Pritzker, Trusthouse Charitable Foundation

Susan Debenham

Jack Petchey Foundation

Studio Patrons: Rosalie Berwin, Robert Gavron

Janet Eager MBE

The Leverhulme Trust

Charitable Trust, Joan Ritchie

Paul Hobson

Lunn Prothero Fund

Reaching for the Stars Patrons: Nicholas Berwin, Rafael Bonachela, Matthew Bourne, Robert Cohan

Andrew Missingham

Mercer’s Company

CBE, Gillian Lynne CBE, Wayne McGregor, Nina

David Nightingale

Moose Foundation

Rajarani, Lady Valerie Solti

Catherine Quinn

Paul Hamlyn Foundation

Mega Stars: Mr & Mrs de Koster, Sebastian Elias,

Hopal Romans

Robin Howard Foundation

David Gill, John Lewis Partnership, Louise & David Kaye, Veronica Lewis, Bob Lockyer in memory of

John Stewart

South Square Trust

John Drummond

Jane Sweet (Vice-chair)

Thistle Trust

Super Stars: Marian Bell & Richard Adkin, Imogen

Richard Worts (Treasurer)

Bland, Jessica Bland, Josie Bland, Peter M.

Corporate Supporters

Boenisch, Saffery Champness, Guy Dawson, Draught Associates, The Fox Family, Nigel Hinds,

Chief Executive Kenneth Olumuyiwa Tharp OBE

Bloomberg LP

Hollick Family Charitable Trust, Robert Israel for

Derwent Valley Holdings Plc

Gordon & Co, Richard Johnston, Tim Lankester,

Central Services

Deutsche Bank AG

Jonathan Lunn, Graham Marchant, Jane & Bill

Director of Administration and Finance David Burnie

Nicholas, Mala & Mike Rappolt, Richard Worts, Shining Stars: The Almond Family, Yaa Appiah-

Special thanks go to:

Badu, John Boyd QC, Centre for Advanced Training

John Pemberton

Students, Stephen Clarke, Dance Books, John &

Estate of John Drummond

Hope Dale, George Dub, Janet Eager, George Alfred Eddy, Lois Stewart Eddy, Evening Class Participants, Fanshawe, Eileen Gorrod, Anne Gray, Vanessa Gray,

Director of Communications Tim Wood Director of Development Stephen Clarke Learning and Access Director Chris Thomson

The Place’s activities are also funded

Kate Harrison, Hitchin Thespians, Paul Hobson,

by regular grant income from:

Byron Lang, London Contemporary Dance School

London Contemporary Dance School

Arts Council England

Students, Price & Myers, Rhian Jeffery, Ruth & Tony

Director Veronica Lewis MBE

Higher Education Funding Council of

Jeffs, Alix Lawley, Tim & Theresa Lloyd, Terry Norris, Tim Pickrell, Sarah & Simon Reilly, Rennie &

Assistant Director Kirsty Alexander

England through the Conservatoire

Partners, Mary Reynolds, Tim & Samantha Scott

Head of Learning & Teaching Dr Nick Dickson

for Dance and Drama

Wood, Janet Smith, Viva Smith, James Snell, Ernest

Head of Postgraduate Studies Dr Mary Evelyn

T Stewart, Jr., Andrew Summers, The Sussman

Head of Student Support Services Simon O’Shea

London Borough of Camden Department for Children, Schools and Families

Family, Nigel Talamo, Kenneth Tharp, The Place Young Dancers, Korinna Thielen, Christopher Thomson, Iris Tomlinson, Shaun Webb, Colin Wills,

Recreational and Prevocational Dance

Carolyn Woolridge, Oliver Worts, Sarah Worts,

Director Vanessa Gray

Jade Yung Rising Stars: Anderson Norton Design, Tom Ball, Mary Clarke, Colman Getty, Benjamin Ambrose

Richard Alston Dance Company

Colson, Brian Fender, Christian Flackett, Jan

Artistic Director Richard Alston CBE

Hartmann, Cennydd John, Hannah Kidd, Fergus

Administrative Director Chris May

Low, David Melville, Joe Moran, Colin Nears, Hugh & Birgit O’Brien, Jane Pritchard, Jane & Graham Reddish, Romax, Hofesh Shechter, Hilary Smith,

Theatre and Artist Development

James Wilton, Patricia Woodall

Director John Ashford CBE

Stars: Mike Bevitt, G L Buckingham, Gerald Burnett,

Administrative Director Emma Southworth

Andy Edwards, Philip Healy, Brent Hemus, Jenny

Associate Director Eddie Nixon

Henry, House of Flowers, Jeremy Hunt, Yuko Ijichi, Michael Irwin, Mr Pat Jolly, Madeleine Moran, Kate Owen, June Plymen, Cecil Rowe, Lenny Ryan, Brian Salter, Martin Wink, Tom Worts, Toby Worts


Youth Think Tank We convened the first meeting of our Youth Think Tank in April 2008, actively seeking new ideas and opinions from the young people who dance at The Place. We asked them to bring with them an object which reminded them of The Place – these are some of the things that they brought... ‘...‘hundreds and thousands’ cake decorations – they’re creative and fun. They also represent the diversity of The Place and all the many different types of dance one can study here.’ ‘...a piece of paper with clean lines, like the building. When the paper is empty, it is waiting to be filled with writing in the way that the studios of The Place wait to be filled by dancing.’ ‘...the afro comb that I use to take out the kink and knots of my hair. The Place reaches out to all sorts of people, it introduces them to dance, and through the training, helps take all the knots out.’

In 2007/8 44,497 people attended the 206 professional and student performances produced or presented by The Place • 31,250 adults and young people attended our dance classes • 1,260 dancers auditioned for 90 places at London Contemporary Dance School • 185 schools, colleges and youth groups across the country took part in our workshops, training, outreach and educational work • 650,000 visits were recorded to The Place’s website • 7,000 new studio hours each year were created for our work

2009 In 2009, The Place celebrates its 40th birthday with a special programme of events beginning in September. But throughout the year and beyond, and with continued support, we will continue through all of our work – training, performance, creation and participation – to serve and promote dance, and transform and enrich lives.

The information contained in this brochure is also available in large print, or can be downloaded from Photography Hugo Glendinning Dennis Gilbert Benedict Johnson Chris Nash Roy Campbell-Moore Pari Naderi Joe Smith Design Print Newgate Concise

The Place is the UK’s premier centre for contemporary dance, uniting training, creation and performance in one unique building. Working with dancers from age 5 upwards, The Place brings new talent into the dance profession and guides artists through their careers. The Place’s activities, unmatched in their quality and range, include London Contemporary Dance School, Richard Alston Dance Company and the Robin Howard Dance Theatre, together with pioneering education, outreach and professional development projects. The Place 17 Duke’s Road London WC1H 9PY 020 7121 1000

The Place Report 2008  

a look at the past 12 months at the UK's premier centre for contemporary dance

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