Dancing for Life - The Place is 50

Published: 19 July 2019
Reporter: Vera Liber

This autumn will mark 50 years since The Place was founded by Robin Howard and Robert Cohan in 1969.

The Place is involved in the entire lifecycle of dance from early education, primary school and family activities to professional training at LCDS to postgraduate programmes, professional classes, adult dance classes and over-60s classes.

Over the next two years, The Place is investing £700,000 to expand its producing and touring within the UK and internationally to become a producing house for a large and diverse pool of independent artists, this year working on new productions from artists including Requardt and Rosenberg, Avant Garde Dance, Lost Dog and Sivan Rubenstein and commissioning the development of 36 other new performances.

Spring 2020 will see the second of a three-year partnership with the Korean Cultural Centre and Korean Arts Management Service for the Festival of Korean Dance in London and the development of partnerships with the Merce Cunningham Trust in USA, Beijing Dance Academy in China and School of the Arts in Singapore to create new opportunities for research, knowledge exchange, student progression and international artist networks.

The Richard Alston Dance Company will embark on its Final Edition tour across the UK and overseas, including an At Home season at The Place with special guest Siobhan Davies, founding member of the London Contemporary Dance Theatre. The final RADC performances will be at Sadler’s Wells on 7 and 8 March 2020.

The venue's investment in touring will then focus on supporting independent artists to bring their work to national and international audiences in small, mid-scale and outdoor venues as well as continuing its partnership in the Rural Touring Dance Initiative.

Clare Connor, Chief Executive, said, “The Place is a landmark institution that has led innovation in contemporary dance in the UK and internationally for five decades. Its illustrious alumni and staff team have irrefutably shaped the world of contemporary dance as we know it today. The Place sees no barriers to dance and its ultra-special, incubatory environment is designed to power imagination through dance like no other in the world. The love for dance and artistic expression so dutifully gifted by our founders Robin Howard and Sir Robert Cohan has endured over this time and we are truly energised in the pursuit of our global vision to engage more people with dance over the next 50 years.”

Eddie Nixon, Artistic Director, added, “over The Place’s 50-year history, we have supported the journey of many of the UK’s greatest contemporary choreographers. The next decade will see us make a new, era-defining commitment to connect the breadth of creativity in today’s independent dance makers to more people and places than ever before.”