Blogs

8 March 2018
Author: Alice

New Associate Artist's on our Work Place programme

We will be working with Amy Bell, Claire Cunningham and Vicki Igbokwe through our Work Place artist development scheme.

Work Place, the associate artist programme at The Place, provides a creative home for the UK’s most talented dance makers. Work Place gives artists space to create, room to reflect, platforms for performance and time for questioning. It is a bespoke programme, tailored to each choreographer’s individual needs, and aims to build long lasting relationships between choreographers, creatives and organisations that nurture sustainable artistic growth.

Founded in 2011, the Work Place scheme supports 11 choreographers at different career points to develop new ideas, make those ideas a reality, and then find opportunities for presentation, touring and developing new audiences. The current associate artists are; Tony Adigun, Amy Bell, James Cousins, Claire Cunningham, Ben Duke, Vicki Igbokwe, Rosemary Lee, Frauke Requardt, Luca Silvestrini, Moreno Solinas, and Igor Urzelai.

In the last year, the Work Place programme enabled the creation of 9 new productions and supported 11 research projects to develop ideas for performance. The Place co-produced Frauke Requardt’s collaboration with David Rosenberg, DeadClub, which was selected as one of the best dance shows of 2017 by The Guardian; supported Rosemary Lee, Tony Adigun, James Cousins and Luca Silvestrini to present their work at the Edinburgh Fringe; toured Tony Adigun’s Fagin’s Twist to China; and co-produced the premieres of Frauke Requardt’s Mothers and Igor and Moreno’s Andante.

Audiences will be able to watch performances that have been supported by the Work Place programme across 2018; Juliet & Romeo: A guide to a long life and happy marriage by Ben Duke’s Lost Dog (co-commissioned by The Place and Battersea Arts Centre), with performances at both venues from 14 February to 3 March. The Forecast, a new solo by Amy Bell exploring the shifting nature of gender, in The Place’s theatre on the 6-7 March. Bell will then curate Splayed, a three day festival challenging ideas of femininity 6-9 June. Vicki Igbokwe is creating her first family show with Uchenna Dance, the R&D stages include a live feedback work in progress performance on 23 March called Shape It, before it premieres in December at The Place.

Eddie Nixon, Director of Theatre & Artist Development at The Place said, ‘I’m thrilled that we will be working with Amy, Claire and Vicki to support the development of their ideas. Each artist has a very distinctive voice. Amy is an intelligent, rigorous maker who has provocative, compelling things to say about gender and identity. Vicki has a dynamic, energetic movement language which mashes up house, contemporary and African dance styles and Claire has long impressed us with her smart, delicate, generous work.’

‘I’m delighted to become a Work Place Artist’ said Amy Bell. ‘This creative context is hopefully ripe to extend the scope of my work and to continue to deepen and grow my practice. It seems an organic next step after some already fruitful collaborations with The Place and I look forward to working more closely with them and the cohort of associate artists through this scheme.’

Claire Cunningham, said ‘I’m delighted and honoured to become a Work Place artist, for the space, time and opportunities this will allow me to develop with The Place and the community of artists, students, producers and audiences I see interconnected there.  I’m excited by the possibilities for rich conversations and shared spaces. This opportunity is offered at point in my career where, as a maker, I recognise my practice has shifted and my modes of research and learning have changed.’

Vicki Igbokwe said, ‘becoming an associate artist at The Place has come at a pivotal moment in my career. I am moving into a phase of further growth, expanding my team and leading Uchenna Dance into its next five years of development. Doing this with the support of The Place brings an extended network as I navigate the future realising my ideas as they become bigger and bolder.’

Amy Bell is a dance artist whose work embraces performing, making, teaching, writing, dramaturgy and curation. Her theatre solo The Forecast takes an ironic look at identity in flux and her installation piece TOMBO(Y)LA investigates unruly gender embodiments. Amy’s performance work comprises theatrical, installation and site-sensitive projects for a range of artists in the UK and Italy, including Tino Sehgal, Lea Anderson, Maresa von Stockert, Alessandro Sciarroni and Chiara Frigo. She has curated experimental events for Rambert and Yorkshire Dance and will present Splayed, a festival of disruptive femininities at The Place in June 2018.

Claire Cunningham is a performing artist and choreographer based in Glasgow, Scotland and a current Factory Artist with Tanzhaus Düsseldorf, Germany. One of the UK’s most acclaimed and internationally renowned self-identifying disabled artists, Cunningham’s work is often rooted in the study and use/misuse of her crutches and the exploration of the potential of her own specific physicality with a conscious rejection of traditional dance techniques (developed for normative bodies). This runs alongside a deep interest in the lived experience of disability and its implications not only as a choreographer but also in terms of societal notions of knowledge, value, connection and interdependence.

Vicki Igbokwe is a Creative Director, Choreographer and Founder of Uchenna Dance, a Dance Company, based in London, UK. Her work focuses on empowerment, entertainment and education through the creation of dance theatre shows, coaching, dance based empowerment workshops, public speaking, and teaching in further and higher education. Career highlights include a five-year sponsorship deal with Nike, work as a Mass Movement Choreographer for the London 2012, Sochi 2014 and Glasgow 2014 Olympic, Paralympic & Commonwealth Games and The Baku 2017 Islamic Solidarity Games. Vicki is also a trustee for One Dance UK, the UK body for dance. 

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