News: Lost Dog win The Place Prize

Monday 18 April 2011

Place prize winners 2011. From left to right: choreograpers Ben Duke & Raquel Meseguer, performers Anna Finkel & Chris Evans.

They won the audience awarded prize of £1,000 a time on nine evenings out of ten and on Saturday night Ben Duke & Raquel Meseguer also won the votes of the judging panel – and the main Place Prize of £25,000 for their It needs horses featuring a couple of down-at-heel circus performers played with panache by Anna Finkel and Chris Evans.

They beat Freddie Opoku-Addaie & Frauke Requardt who performed their *Fidelity Project* _(alongside a pop corn machine with impeccable timing) and won the audience prize of £1,000 on one evening; Riccardo Buscarini & Antonio de la Fe Guedes’ film noir inspired _Cameo and Eva Recacha’s Begin to Begin: a piece about dead ends – built around the nonsense rhyme Michael Finnegan.

Ben Duke & Raquel Meseguer who work together as Lost Dog, have been making their mark on the UK dance scene since winning a Bonnie Bird New Choreographers Award in 2005 and the Robin Howard Commission in 2007. Their work has been commissioned by Phoenix Dance Theatre, Scottish Dance Theatre. From Here to Maturity, Transitions Dance Company and Edge.This is the culmination of seven years’ work, developing our craft and working with amazing artists. It’s the best feeling!” they said on Saturday.

Eddie Nixon, Director of Theatre and Artist Development at The Place and Chair of The Place Prize judges, said: “_It Needs Horses is both funny and serious, accessible and challenging. Lost Dog have been making works of this calibre and intelligence for a few years now, and I hope that this prize will help them continue. I’m delighted for Ben and Raquel. _
“The judges have ultimately selected the work that has also proved to be the audience’s favourite in their nightly votes. Yet, just as It Needs Horses did not win over 50% of the overall audience vote, it was similarly extremely difficult for the judges to choose their winner. That’s a testament to the quality of all the finalists, and I’m sure that, as in previous years, all the works and artists will go on to further success.

“I want to thank all the artists involved for giving so much to the competition; the judges for bringing their experience and insight to out deliberations; our audience, who year-round support new dance and emerging artists at The Place; and Bloomberg, whose sponsorship of The Place Prize is model of philanthropy which enables artistic creation and risk.”

Lost Dog were the audience’s choice in the first round of the competition – which featured 16 works commissioned to compete in the semi finals. The other three were chosen by the first panel of judges – choreographers Shobana Jeyasingh and Janet Smith, writer Sanjoy Roy, Sadler’s Wells Artistic Director Alistair Spalding, Director of Dublin Dance Festival Laurie Uprichard, and Chair, Eddie Nixon.

Laurie Uprichard, and Eddie Nixon (Chair) were the only members of the first group to become part of the Finals judging panel – and the only ones from a dance background – alongside gallery director Hannah Barry, performance poet Zena Edwards, theatre director Rupert Goold and opera director Matthew Peacock.

Photo: from left to right: choreograpers Ben Duke & Raquel Meseguer, performers Anna Finkel & Chris Evans.
__“Our review of the Finals 2011”:/reviews_details.asp?C=The+Place+Prize+Finals&P=&V=The+Place
Our review of the Semi-Finals
“Our review of the Final night”:

More: ***_’What follows is not a review as such, but more a ‘wondering’ about that work, its humour and also the extent to which I think it succeeded and failed. It is also the work that I cared about the most as I was watching.’*_

Does the Place Prize need an overhaul? Sanjoy Roy, dance critic for the New Statesman & the Guardian thinks so… Guardian, 20 April 2011

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