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Congratulations Sir Robert Cohan

Robert Cohan CBE, the Founding Artistic Director of The Place, was awarded a knighthood for Services to Choreography & Dance in the Queen’s birthday honours list.

This award is a wonderful acknowledgment of Sir Robert's prolific contribution to dance as a choreographer, an utterly brilliant teacher and a shrewd strategist. Together with founder and visionary Robin Howard, Sir Robert led the Contemporary Dance Trust's artistic ambition and consequently redrew the map for British Dance. 

Born in New York in 1925, Robert Cohan trained at the Martha Graham School and joined the Martha Graham Dance Company in 1946. He left in 1957 to start his own small group of dancers and started his long career as a choreographer.

In 1967, at the invitation of Robin Howard, he became the first Artistic Director of the Contemporary Dance Trust in London and as such was the founder Artistic Director of The Place, London Contemporary Dance School and London Contemporary Dance Theatre, (LCDT) which he directed for the next 20 years.

Robert Cohan’s influence on the development of modern dance in Britain has been considerable, laying the groundwork for the many other British companies that have grown up in the last twenty years. In 1988 Robert Cohan was awarded an honorary CBE in recognition of his outstanding contribution to dance in the United Kingdom. At 94, Cohan is still choreographing, his latest work ‘Communion’ had its London premiere last month at the Royal Opera House.

“Robert Cohan’s was the power, the knowledge, the skill, the sheer persistence and the dedication that found how contemporary dance might be made to flourish in a new land.” Clement Crisp

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