News: Place Prize Finals 2008

Monday 15 September 2008

The Place Prize Finals are underway at the Place, with performances of all five finalists work nightly until 27 September (excluding Sunday 21st).

In contrast to previous years, this bill has a minimalist feel – with solos from Rachel Krische in Aletta Collins’ Lap Dancer and Simon Ellis in his piece Gertrud; two handers from Adam Linder, partnered by Lorena Randi in his Foie Gras and Petra Soor and Hannah Shepherd in Anna Williams’ Clearing and finally Dam Van Huynh is joined by Franklyn Lee and David Mack in his work *Collision*.

Each night a £1,000 prize is awarded to the audience’s favourite. We’ll post the results here as they come in:

Sat 27 Dam Van Huynh 33.8%

Fri 26 Dam Van Huynh

Thur 25 Dam Van Huynh 32.5%

Wed 24 Dam Van Huynh 48.7%

Tue 23 Dam Van Huynh 35.1%

Mon 22 Dam Van Huynh 36.4%

Sat 20 Dam Van Huynh 32.3%

Fri 19 Dam Van Huynh 53.1%

Thu 18 Dam Van Huynh 54%

Wed 17 Dam Van Huynh 36 %

We’re recognising a pattern of voting here…

The grand prize of £25,000 is decided by the judges and awarded on the final night, Saturday 27 September.

The judging panel includes Kenneth Kvarnström, choreographer; John Pawson, architect and designer; Lemn Sissay, poet; Kathleen Soriano, curator and gallery director and Jenny Waldman, events producer and consultant.

Tickets are priced from £12 and can be booked online at

More on the finalists from The Place:

Aletta Collins trained at London Contemporary Dance School and performed with the London Contemporary Dance Theatre. She has worked extensively as a freelance choreographer and director for dance companies, theatre, opera and film. Aletta was choreographer in Residence at The Place and was artistic director of her own company, Aletta Collins Dance.
Commission: Aletta has created Lap Dancer, a solo for dancer Rachel Krische, which is a dialogue between Rachel and her laptop. The piece features music by Peter Morris and Mieko Shimizu at Street Furniture.

Simon Ellis 40, is a New Zealand-born independent artist and choreographer, whose work has included site-specific investigations, screen dance, installation, webart and traditional theatre performances. Now based in London, He studied at the Victorian College of the Arts in Melbourne and has a practice-led PhD in choreography from Melbourne University. His projects focus on dance and performance that provokes and contextualizes human psychology with particular interest in the effects of human memory. Simon is also currently the practice-led research fellow at the University of Northampton.
Commission: Gertrud is an imagined conversation between choreographer Gertrud Bodenwieser (who died in 1959) and Simon Ellis, a solo performer. Simon challenges today’s culture of forgetting by bringing a personality from the past, voiced in Austrian and in English by two women who danced with Bodenwieser in the 1930s and 40s, to vivid life.

Adam Linder, 25, has danced with The Royal Ballet, Netherlands DanceTheatre, The Michael Clark Company and Bonachela Dance Company. In 2005 he created Over My Dead Body for The Lucent Theatre, Holland. In 2006, he set up, an online exhibition and archive of short film in collaboration with photographer Will Davidson. Their films have been broadcast on UK, Australian and Spanish Television. In 2008 he created The Perfect Score for The Place Theatre, London and presented an installation entitled I Put My Trust In You at The Palais De Tokyo, Paris.
Commission: Foie Gras is about what fuels the current climate of material, information and entertainment overload. This work observes a demise of sensuality within inter-personal interaction as a result of the immediacy of over consumption.

Dam Van Huynh, 28, was born in Vietnam and raised in California. He began his dance training at the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts and went on to graduate from the Boston Conservatory of Music and Dance. He has worked with Nevada Ballet, Merce Cunningham Dance Company, CeDeCe of Portugal, Richard Alston Dance Company and Phoenix Dance Theatre.
Commission: Collision consists of movement based choreography that examines the complexity of the torso by dividing and clearly defining the independent movement capability. The work is inspired by observations of people and their daily activity and how each individual approaches an event or a problem with their own unique physical interpretation.

Anna Williams, 39, graduated from London Contemporary Dance School and went on to perform with Ricochet Dance Company for nine years. She has worked with Random Dance, Russell Maliphant, Aletta Collins and New Art Club and continues to perform a solo show by Nik Haffner titled Unaccompanied and with Two Dancers, which she co-directs. Anna’s choreography includes collaborations with The Gate Theatre London, EDge and The Barbican.
Commission: In Clearing two women meet in a place to dance a duet. They pull, stab, grasp, push, flail and catch. And one of them keeps disappearing.

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