News: Rafael Bonachela Wins £25,000 Place Prize For Dance

Monday 27 September 2004

At an awards ceremony on Saturday Rafael Bonachela received the inaugural £25,000 Place Prize for new choreography, sponsored by Bloomberg, at The Place in London.

The Place Prize, the largest dance competition in Europe, funded twenty choreographers to make new work with full production, technical and rehearsal facilities and has distributed £100,000 in cash awards to winning choreographers, including the top award of £25,000. The competition will be held every other year, and is open to choreographers working in Britain in any contemporary style.

The winner was chosen by a panel of judges from five finalists: Rafael Bonachela, Rosemary Butcher, Tom Roden & Pete Shenton, Hofesh Shechter and Bawren Tavaziva. Rafael Bonachela went forward to the finals as the most popular choreographer of the original twenty, voted for by the semi-finals’ audiences, the remaining four pieces were selected by the judges. The Finalists programme was shown over 10 nights. Each night the audience voted for their favourite piece and the winner was awarded £1,000. Bonachela won on five occasions – with Hofesh Shechter taking the prize on the other five nights.

Read a longer report of the final night

The panel of judges comprises Iwona Blazwick, Director of Whitechapel Art Gallery; Guy Cools, Artistic Director, Fondation Jean-Pierre Perrault, Montreal; Keith Khan, Chief Executive of Rich Mix; David R White, independent arts producer and Consulting Producer-at-Large, Dance Theatre Workshop, New York; and Jan Younghusband, Commissioning Editor, Arts and Performance, Channel 4; chaired by John Ashford, Theatre Director at The Place.

Rafael Bonachela was born in Barcelona and danced with Rambert Dance Company between 1992 and summer 2004. After creating several works for the company he was appointed as Associate Choreographer in April 2003. He will be creating a new work for Rambert in 2005. Rafael has also worked extensively with Kylie Minogue and choreographed the award-winning Fever world tour. His winning work, entitled E2 7SD, is a fast-paced duet performed by Lee Clayden and Antonia Grove to a sound sculpture created by Oswaldo Macia.

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