The Place's founding artistic director Robert Cohan CBE received the De Valois Award for Outstanding Achievement at the 2012 Critics' Circle National Dance Awards, presented at The Place today (28 January 2013).
Robert Cohan, who was invited by Robin Howard in 1967 to leave his native New York to found a company and school in London, received his award from Luke Jennings, dance critic of The Observer, who described Cohan as "a founding father of British contemporary dance, an inspiration to countless dancers and choreographers and one of our true heroes".
The De Valois Award is the premier award in National Dance Awards, presented each year by the Critics' Circle for outstanding achievement during a lifetime in dance. Previous recipients include Richard Alston, Val Bourne, Christopher Bruce and Monica Mason.
Robert Cohan founded London Contemporary Dance School and London Contemporary Dance Theatre, and led The Place as a director, teacher, choreographer and dancer for over two decades. He was previously a dancer and co-director with the Martha Graham Company in New York. He continues to serve of The Place's Board of Governors.
Receiving the award, Cohan said "It is amazing to receive an award on a stage that I designed the size of ... you don't have an award for achievement in dance without the help of everybody around you. Everybody you meet and work with, helps you, feeds you, makes you what you are, and you try to live up to that."
Also recognised in the 2012 National Dance Awards was LCDS alumnus and former Place Associate Artist Arthur Pita, winner of Best Modern Choreography for The Metamorphosis, seen at the Royal Opera House's Linbury Studion last year.
- Robert Cohan Another Place
Darshan Singh Bhuller's 2004 documentary about the life and work of Robert Cohan
- The Guardian's 'Step by Step' guide to the work of Robert Cohan
- full list of 2012 National Dance Award winners