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New Associate Artists announced at international dance institution The Place

2 Mar 2018

The Place announces new Associate Artists on its Work Place Development Programme.

International dance institution The Place, announces today that it will be working with Amy Bell, Claire Cunningham and Vicki Igbokwe through its 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 Avant Garde Dance, 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 a 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.’


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Biographies for new Work Place artists

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.

The Place is committed to supporting artists at all career stages to deliver brilliant dance performances and fuel the dance ecosystem. From 2018, it embarks on a new trajectory which will allow it to work with more artists than ever before and bring dance to a much wider range of audiences, both across the UK and beyond. There is an innovative, bold focus on producing and supporting work by many different independent artists, with the aim of increasing the number of high quality, small and mid-scale dance productions suitable for touring, particularly in rural areas. Working with key partners The Place will aim to get more people involved in watching and taking part in dance all around the UK, as well as at their home in London. Partnerships include working with Jacksons Lane, Artist For Artists, Rambert and Grad-Lab Development Project supported by The Point on the 29th edition of Resolution festival, Roundhouse for CircusFest 2018, Rural Touring Dance Initiative taking dance to village halls, Surf The Wave a dance showcase initiative led by Pavilion Dance South West, Stomping Ground outdoor co-commission’s for 2018/19 with Greenwich and Docklands International Festival (GDIF) and DanceEast.

The artists The Place is commissioning or producing in 2018-2022 so far include;

• Ben Duke’s Lost Dog Juliet and Romeo: A guide to a long life and happy marriage (Feb-Mar 2018 at Battersea Arts Centre & The Place)
• Robert Clark MASS
• Richard Alston creating a new piece for New York Theatre Ballet (Apr 2018 in New York)
• Alexandrina Hemsley and Seke Chimutengwende – Black Holes (Jun 2018)
• Richard Alston - premiere of a new commission for Edinburgh Festival Theatre (Sep 2018)
• James Wilton - The Storm (Nov 2018)
• Vicki Igbokwe’s Uchenna Dance – Hansel and Gretel family Christmas show (Dec 2018)
• Seke Chimutengwende – for SHIFT
• Vera Tussing Both Two
• Encounter/Jennifer Malarkey Island 2018

Theatre Programme highlights in addition to above

• Camden Schools Dance Festival (13-14 Mar)
• Tuned IN youth music and dance festival (4-7 Apr)
• CircusFest 2018 with Roundhouse (17-18 Apr)
• Korean Dance Week (May)
• Splayed Festival (curated by Amy Bell in Jun )
• Live Vibe (Jun and Dec)
• African Dance and Hip-hop festival (Oct ) 2018 Touring
• Avant Garde Dance, Tony Adigun’s Fagin’s Twist (autumn 2018)
• Rural Touring Dance Initiative (spring and autumn 2018): Protein May Contain Food Curious Seed Chalk About, bgroup Point of Echoes, The Hiccup Project May-We-Go-Round, Just Us Dance Theatre’s It’s Between UsJames Wilton Dance’s Last Man Standing, Keira Martin Here Comes Trouble, Spilt Milk Dance The Little Love Cabaret, Lost Dog Paradise Lost, Joan Clevillé Dance Plan B for Utopia
• Uchenna Dance’s Hansel & Gretel (autumn 2018)
• Richard Alston Dance Company (autumn 2018)

Other Artist Development Projects

• Resolution – partner organisations for 2018; Jacksons Lane, Artist For Artists, Rambert and Grad-Lab Development Project supported by The Point.
• Choreodrome - research and development programme for UK-based dance makers (summer 2018)
• Surf The Wave - partner in the national project for showcasing dance led by Pavilion Dance South West (PDSW).
• Stomping Ground - outdoor co-commission for 2018/19 The Place, and Greenwich and Docklands International Festival (GDIF) and DanceEast.

London Contemporary Dance School Commissions
• Athina Vahla
• Ben Wright
• Julie Cunningham
• Philippe Blanchard
• Rachel Young
• Rick Nodine
• Sasha Roubicek
• Simon Vincenzi
• Tamsin Fitzgerald
• Theo Clinkard
• Vicki Igbokwe
• Xin Xin Song

Centre for Advanced Training Commissions
• Alleyne Dance
• Michael Clark Company

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