From September 2019 to July 2020, we will be celebrating 50 years of The Place, nodding at our history of innovation in dance whilst facing forward to our future with our brand-new look.
Our founder Robin Howard said “we are risk takers. If we play it safe, we are untrue to ourselves” in 1985 (Financial Times) and those words still resonate with our ethos and throughout our programmes today. But with the many major changes in leadership and programming over the years, we felt it was time to explore what being ‘true to ourselves’ meant to us in 2019.
Our 50th anniversary felt like an ideal opportunity to look at ourselves and what we represent, where we’ve come from and where we are now. We needed to re-discover our vision and mission, to find out why do we do what we do. From student’s education, evening classes, artists development through to facilities and finance; we explored ‘why’ our jobs were important. Through workshops and input from every department and all staff across the building, perhaps unsurprisingly, we all found agreement in the simple belief that more dance is good for the world. From this, came our vision: ‘a world with more dance’.
As we carried along our journey toward our mission, we explored the ‘how’. How do we do it and what methodology and principles lie behind our efforts regardless of task? Somehow, with the abounding opinions from all our staff, we did it, we made it our mission to collectively, ‘power imagination through dance’.
With a re-defined sense of self, and ahead of launching our anniversary year, we realised our old look didn’t quite keep up anymore with all that positive energy and confidence. We wanted something to visually reflect what The Place is today. So, with the help of a brand agency we started to translate our extensive research into a sparkling new look and developed the brand you are seeing today. It is based on a sense of confidence, creativity, empowerment, expertise and collaboration.
‘The Place’ is a tricky name for an organisation and we are well aware of it – nevertheless we decided to remain The Place, boldly, confidently and steadfast for our audiences and dance community, who value the expertise and competence they associate with The Place. Our new logo puts the emphasis on the definite article and makes a self-assured feature of it, but the 90-degree rotation also creates a sense of movement. While the new type makes quite an authoritative statement about our decades of experience and know-how, we use it playfully, because apart from being a recognised voice in the dance sector for 50 years now, what defines us more than anything is creativity, imagination and an inquisitive curiosity for new ideas.
Dance is a visual art from and comes to life through striking imagery, so the window treatment of our new logo allows us to express ourselves and let our creativity literally shine through. A new set of bold colours, headlined by a striking hot pink as our new main colour, means we can still express every mood and every context while remaining unmistakeably ourselves.
This year of introspection, repositioning, questioning, speaking to our audiences and students has reinforced to us how truly unique our offering is. We are creating opportunities for a large amount of people to join or feed into our artform and equally to take away from those experiences whatever they want. This can be a career as a professional dancer, a theatre experience, a first dance class, a space for experimentation, a way to connect with others and more. At The Place, we embrace the whole life cycle of dance, welcoming and including artists at every stage of their career, new work at every stage of development, and people who love to dance or watch dance, of all walks, ages and abilities. We believe that dance is for everyone and that dance is for life.
We are excited to enter a new decade of powering imagination through dance with a refreshed look that reflects our invigorated energy and passion for dance, creativity and new ideas and we look forward to welcoming in the future of contemporary dance looking our very best.