The Board of Governors is made up of a broad range of people from a variety of disciplines and industries. As well as bringing their shared expertise to support The Place’s vision, they are committed to ensuring the growth and future of the organisation.
Michael 'Mikey J' Asante was born in East London and is a renowned producer, composer, singer, dancer and DJ, whose 20-year career history is firmly etched in the UK urban music industry. He is Co-Founder and Co-Artistic Director of Boy Blue, founded in 2001 with Kenrick ‘H2O’ Sandy. After landing a publishing deal, Asante retired as a dancer to focus on creating longer pieces of music - taking hip-hop - and Boy Blues sonics - into a composer space. As a music producer, Mikey boasts a diverse catalogue within his discography; creating music for films Street Dance 3D and All Stars, enjoying session work and production for major label artists including Delilah, Raleigh Ritchie, Estelle, George The Poet and Kano. In 2019 Mikey’s work included composing the music for Tree, a Kwame Kwei-Armah and Idris Elba creation and a collaboration with Brian Eno for the soundtrack on Netflix’s Top Boy. Outside of the studio, Asante mentors and delivers master classes in directing, choreography and music and is a Professor of Electronic Music at Guildhall School of Music from where he was awarded an Honorary Fellowship (HonFGS) in 2018.
Eva Sarma has over 15 years’ experience in corporate finance and private equity with PwC, Merrill Lynch and 3i. In 2019, she joined Level 20, a not-for-profit organisation with the aim of improving gender diversity in the private equity industry, as Chief Operating Officer and Company Secretary responsible for finance, operations, legal, risk and compliance. Eva brings nearly a decade of experience as a Non-Executive Director, most recently serving on the Board of Mayborn, owner of the global baby brand tommee tippee®. She holds a Masters in Engineering from the University of Cambridge.
Clare Connor, Chief Executive of The Place says about the appointments,
“In the risk-taking spirit of The Place we have collectively taken the decision to ‘lean in’ and proceed with these thrilling appointments. Eva and Mikey J are two inspiring individuals who boast a wealth of skills and knowledge combined with an absolute passion for cutting edge contemporary dance. Eva with her impressive education and impactful commercial and financial experience combined with her advocacy for gender diversity, and Mikey J with his intimate knowledge and commitment to dance education and music production, matched by his profile as an extraordinary artistic voice and collaborator across artforms and sectors. I cannot think of two more exciting people to join at such a vital time. Eva and Mikey J’s contribution will undoubtedly be pivotal in shaping the The Place over the next 6 months to secure a vibrant future for the next 50 years! “
Eva Sarma says, "I am delighted to be joining the Board of The Place and I look forward to using my finance and commercial Board experience to support a fantastic leadership team as it navigates through these extraordinary times. The Place's mission resonates as much now as ever before and I believe this organisation has a significant role to play as the world of contemporary dance adapts to this new reality"
Michael 'Mikey J' Asante says, "I am excited to join the board, and embarking on this new journey. I hope I can serve also as a solid representative of the wider dance community in my role, building on new and exciting ways to engage our students, staff, working practices and our audiences. I intend to work with all the same vigour and intensity that I apply in my career, and the same level of compassion, passion and authenticity."