17 Sep 2015
Immediate release: 17/09/2015
The list of influential people was announced last night at the Evening Standard’s Progress1000 event on Wednesday 16 September at the Crossrail Station in Canary Wharf. Following a 25-year career as a dancer, Kenneth Olumuyiwa Tharp has been Chief Executive of leading dance organisation, The Place since 2007, and was made an OBE in recognition of his services to dance in 2003.
Inspirational colleagues from across the dance sector have been named among the Evening Standard’s annual list of ‘The 1000 most influential Londoners 2015’.
This year’s list includes:
· Tamara Rojo, Lead principal dancer and artistic director, English National Ballet
· Wayne McGregor, Artistic director, Random Dance
· Kevin O’Hare, Artistic director, Royal Ballet
· Alistair Spalding, Artistic director and chief executive, Sadler’s Wells
· Natalia Osipova, Principal dancer, The Royal Ballet
· Christopher Wheeldon, Choreographer
· Hofesh Shechter, Choreographer
· Aaron Sillis, Dancer, choreographer
· Akram Khan, Choreographer
· Jonathan Goddard, Performer and choreographer
· Kenneth Olumuyiwa Tharp, Chief executive, The Place
· Carlos Acosta, Principal guest artist, Royal Ballet ventures.
· Isaac Hernandez, Lead principal dancer, English National Ballet
Kenneth Tharp Chief Executive of The Place says;
“It is an honour to be included in this list of influential Londoners. Arts and culture make a huge contribution both to the life of the capital and across the UK; 8 out of 10 people citing heritage and culture as the main reason for their visit and the creative talent housed in the capital is what helps make London a world leader and one of the most exciting places to live”
The creative industries as a whole generate £76.9 billion per year to the UK economy. This massive contribution and equates to £8.8m per hour, or £146,000 every single minute. It is vital that government retains its investment in these sectors, for although we are resilient and creative, we have reached a tipping point where after having already absorbed several years of cuts, further reductions to public funding will quickly unpick years of investment.
We cannot afford to lose our leading place in the world market as a centre of creative and cultural excellence. ”
For full details on who made this year’s list on the Evening Standard www.standard.co.uk/news/the1000
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For more information or to arrange an interview please contact: Sorcha Hunter, Press and Media Manager, The Place
Notes for editors:
1. About The Place
The Place is a creative powerhouse for dance development that has been leading the way in dance training, creation and performance for over forty five years. It is one of Europe’s most exciting, innovative dance spaces, where artists from all over the world come to push creative boundaries, to experiment and to perform outstanding new work for audiences who expect to be surprised, inspired and delighted. The Place is home to London Contemporary Dance School, Richard Alston Dance Company, a 280 seat theatre, an extensive range of classes, courses and participatory opportunities for adults and young people and professional development programmes for artists.
2. About Kenneth Olumuyiwa Tharp, OBE, Chief Executive of The Place.
As Chief Executive of The Place since 2007, Kenneth has responsibility for overall leadership, strategy and management of the organisation, as well as lead responsibility for relationships with key funders, including Arts Council England. He also acts as the public face of the organisation, as a spokesperson and ambassador for The Place’s work.
Kenneth trained at The Place’s London Contemporary Dance School. His 25-year performing career included London Contemporary Dance Theatre (1981-1994) and Arc Dance Company (1994-2005). He has worked extensively as a choreographer, teacher and director, including at The Royal Ballet School and National Youth Dance Company. He was Dancer in Residence at Queens’ College Cambridge from 1998-2006 and was Visiting Professor at the University of Lincoln (2009-2012).
He was co-director of Artyfartyarts, a multi-disciplinary arts group and has choreographed over 45 dances. He served on the Board of the Royal Opera House from 2002–2010.
He is a Patron of Akademi and sits on the Cultural Learning Alliance Steering Group. He was a finalist in the inaugural Black British Business Awards (2014), is named in six successive Powerlists of Britain’s most influential people of African and African Caribbean heritage, and appears in Who's Who. In 2003 he was made an OBE in recognition of his services to dance.
Kenneth taught for the twelfth successive year on the Royal Ballet Summer School at White Lodge (Lower School), Richmond in 2015. Kenneth was the BBC Young Dancer 2015 Category Finalist Judge across all categories in the inaugural year of the competition.