Located in the heart of London, The Place is the UK's premier centre for contemporary dance.
The Place unites dance training, creation and performance in our purpose-built centre, which houses some of the best studios in the city. For forty years, we have been a vibrant hub of dance activity, a centre of creative and technical excellence and a magnet for aspiring dancers, talented professionals and cutting-edge choreographers from all over the world.
The organisation includes a school for full-time vocational dance training, the country’s busiest dance theatre, an internationally acclaimed touring company, an extensive range of participatory programmes for adults and young people and ongoing support and professional development for artists.
London Contemporary Dance School is our world-class conservatoire, offering vocational training to the highest technical and artistic standards in its undergraduate, taught postgraduate and research programmes, and at a pre-vocational level through our Centre for Advanced Training. The School supports the training of approximately 190 students each year, drawn from all over the world, while the Centre for Advanced Training works with 70 young people drawn from the south of England aged 10-18. The School is a founding affiliate of the Conservatoire for Dance and Drama, through which its programmes are funded by HEFCE, and its degrees are validated by the University of Kent. A pioneer of the concept of Centres for Advanced Training, The Place now benefits from the emerging network of CATs throughout England.
Our theatre – the Robin Howard Dance Theatre – presents over 200 performances a year, including the new year platform season Resolution!, and Spring Loaded, a season of works by independent UK artists supported by The Place. The theatre also has a strong reputation for its international programming, is a key venue annually for Dance Umbrella and is a part of the European Dancehouse Network. The Place Prize, sponsored by Bloomberg, is the UK’s richest and most prestigious choreography competition – “the Turner Prize of dance” – and embodies the principle of open access leading to excellence which runs through all our work.
The Place has an outstanding track record as a seed bed for developing new choreographic talent, having nurtured and supported many of the UK’s most outstanding choreographers long before they became well-known successes. Our theatre programme helps to identify and develop this talent, and new initiatives like Work Place provide a structure through which artists can successfully develop their own careers.
Richard Alston Dance Company is a shining example of the dance work we support and create. From its home at The Place, the company tours the UK and worldwide, bringing distinctive dance of the highest quality to both existing and new audiences.
The Place gives the widest possible opportunities for everyone to participate in dance, training professionals and enthusiasts of all ages, from 5 upwards. We offer access and support not only to the exceptionally talented, but equally to those who simply love to dance.
Our activity reaches beyond our building. We play a significant role in our local community, with specially devised projects for local people, including those who are disadvantaged or may feel excluded, and we have pioneered radical new approaches to the teaching of dance in primary schools.
Senior members of staff at The Place are national leaders in their fields. The richness of our knowledge and experience and the diversity of our work as an organisation place us in a key position to be a national voice for dance.
The Place’s influence extends across the globe. We have strong relationships with artists, teachers and producers from many countries, and regularly receive visitors from all over the world who come to The Place to share in our expertise and knowledge.
The Place has a vital role to play in dance development in the UK. It is uniquely placed to enhance the sector’s ability to support independent dance artists. We provide the space and conditions they need to take the creative risks that keep the art form alive, and help them attain greater profile and integration within the UK and European dance communities.
The Place is led by Thomas Lynch (Chair) and Kenneth Olumuyiwa Tharp (Chief Executive). Our plans for the future build upon our history of achievement, underpinned by our flexible business model that draws on a range of public and private funding sources and self-generated income, enabling us to continually adapt our activity to meet the changing needs of the dance sector at all levels.
The Place currently employs 95 full and part-time staff – dancers, teachers, producers and administrators – and works with nearly 300 casual staff. Our annual turnover is in excess of £6.5million. The Place’s building, which incorporates 11 dance studios together with our theatre, is fully accessible to disabled people, and The Place has a firm commitment to equal opportunities for staff, students, artists and users of our building and services.
We are committed to developing new and enhanced ways of engaging participants and audiences whilst continuing to focus strongly on building a sustainable future for dance as the UK’s leading supporter of dance artists. Through all of our work we are committed to transforming and enriching lives through dance, to shaping where dance is going next.