News: Work Place - nurturing choreographers

Friday 11 February 2011

The Place is launching a new programme for professional choreographers, which will support up to 12 artists at different stages of their career. Work Place aims to nurture some of the most talented artists in the current generation of UK dance professionals, enabling them to thrive in a network of fully-skilled independent dance practitioners.

The scheme has been created in response to direct feedback from independent artists, and in line with Arts Council England’s 2009 study *Dance Mapping: a window on dance*, Work Place has been designed to address chronic issues affecting the industry – a lack of teaching, entrepreneurial and management skills and a generally under-developed professional artistic network.

It will build on The Place’s existing programmes and its partnerships and networks with other UK dance organisations across the UK – including DanceEast, Dance Umbrella, DanceXchange and Sadler’s Wells – to ensure a joined-up, national delivery of the industry’s best resources and opportunities. Places on the scheme will be by invitation only. Invitees w ill usually have taken part in another of The Place’s professional development programmes, like Resolution! or Choreodrome.

Leading the project, The Place will be investing over £500,000 of its resources in Work Place over three years. A key part of the scheme is the provision of a platform for the creation and performance of new works. Alongside that, educational and entrepreneurial training, nurturing the artists’ all-round professional development will be available. Each artist will follow a bespoke programme, complementing core activities of artistic research and creative production, with a series of training initiatives. Residencies at local, national and international level, coaching opportunities from industry experts addressing managerial and financial needs, and developmental teaching contracts working with The Place’s pre-vocational training programme (Centre for Advanced Training) and vocational training (London Contemporary Dance School), will all be part of the programme. Artists also have the opportunity to be mentored by choreographer Richard Alston, Artistic Director of The Place and to work with the dancers of his company.

Wayne McGregor, choreographer in residence with the Royal Ballet and in demand with numerous companies around the world, was supported by The Place at the beginning of his choreographic career – and is now a Patron of The Place. He says: “The creation of a growing, interconnected and self-sustainable community of independent dancers is a much-needed condition for the future of the UK’s dance industry. Work Place is a significant addition to the development provision for dance at a vital moment, ensuring that artists continue to get the support they need in the changing, difficult times that lie ahead.\”
**Further announcements about the scheme will be made In April./strong>

Photo:: Catherine Ashmore

  • Richard Alston Dance Company Overdrive*

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