News: Judging begins for £100,000 place prize

Monday 6 September 2004

The first round in the search to find Britain’s most talented dance stars of the future, The Place Prize, sponsored by Bloomberg, begins this Wednesday 8 September at The Place Theatre. The winner will be announced at the Final Night on Saturday 25 September.

Twenty shortlisted choreographers have been chosen to compete for The Place Prize, with total prize money of £100,000. From Wednesday 8 to Saturday 11 September, each of the twenty works will be performed at The Place Theatre. The judges will see all performances – and the audience on each evening will be able to join them in voting for the five finalists, by using specially programmed instant ‘armchair’ voting, which will be compiled over the four evenings.

Most of the semi-final performances are now sold out, but there are a few seats available. The programme is:

Wed 8 Sep: Jean Abreu, Marie Gabrielle Rotie, Tharan Revfem, Marie-Louise Flexen, and Bawren Tavaziva

Thu 9 Sep: Tom Roden & Pete Shenton, Angela Woodhouse, Rosemary Butcher, Celia Grannum, and Sean Tuan John.

Fri 10 Sep: Carmen Vilches, Henrietta Hale & Rachel Lopez de la Nieta, Henry Montes, Liz Lea, and Robin Dingemans

Sat 11 Sep: Rafael Bonachela, Sarah Dowling, Hofesh Shechter, Mayuri Boonham & Subathra Subramaniam, and Martin Lawrance

The five selected finalists will then present their work each night for ten nights from Wednesday 15 September to Saturday 25 September, when the winner will be announced, with a top prize of £25,000.

Competitors are currently rehearsing their competition works at The Place, with the support of a full array of professionals including theatre technicians, lighting designers, costume designers, and individual mentors to support and guide them through the process of preparing their works for the stage.

The judges are:

John Ashford, Theatre Director, The Place;
Iwona Blazwick, Director, Whitechapel Art Gallery;
Guy Cools, Artistic Director, Fondation Jean-Pierre Perreault, Montreal;
Keith Khan, Chief Executive, Rich Mix;
David White, Consulting Producer, Dance Theater Workshop, New York;
Jan Younghusband, Editor, Music and Performance, Channel 4.

Extracts from the competitors’ video dance diaries can be viewed online at:

John Ashford talks to Debra Craine about The Place Prize, __

“We wanted to attempt to provide a profile for contemporary dance and for choreography which is equivalent to the Turner Prize for art, and the Man Booker Prize for literature.”

Times, 10 Sep.04

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