The work of The Place is endorsed and supported by our patrons - leading figures from dance, the arts, education and philanthropy whose backing helps us to continue and extend our work developing new dance and dance artists.
Bonnie Greer OBE has lived in the UK since 1986 and became a citizen in 1997. Her plays, books and novels are concerned with the lives of minorities within majority cultures, particularly those of women. She has been Arts Council playwright in residence at the Soho Theatre, and at the Black Theatre Co-operative. She was awarded the Verity Bargate Award for Best Play by the Soho Theatre Company. She has had over a dozen plays produced over BBC Radio; one short film for BBC 2, and co-produced and wrote and presented the documentary on Black art in the West: Reflecting Skin (2004) for the BBC. She is the author of two novels: Hanging by Her Teeth (1994) and Entropy (2009). In October 2009, her memoir/ music history Obama Music was published. Her biography Langston Hughes: the Value Of Contradiction was published by Arcadia in Spring 2011. In 2005 she was appointed to the British Museum's Board of Trustees for a period of four years. In 2008 she was reappointed as a Trustee for a second period and on 26 March 2009 she was promoted to Deputy Chairman. She was appointed OBE in the 2010 Birthday Honours for contribution to the arts.
Tony Hall CBE (Lord Hall of Birkenhead) is Director General of the BBC, a post he took up in April 2013. He was previously Chief Executive of the Royal Opera House for 12 years, and is widely credited with building that organisation into a global centre of excellence for opera and ballet, and a beacon of creativity and best practice within the arts sector. In addition to his leadership of the Royal Opera House, Hall was appointed Chair of the Cultural Olympiad board in July 2009 with responsibility for delivering a series of cultural events in the run up to the London 2012 Games. He has served as a non-executive director of Channel 4 Television, a Trustee of the British Council, chair of Stratford East Theatre, an Honorary Visiting Fellow of Journalism at City University, a member of the Regeneration Through Heritage Steering Group, a board member for Race for Opportunity, former non-executive director of HM Customs and Excise, and was a member of the Council for Brunel University. In 2007, he conducted a media review for the Ministry of Defence on the HMS Cornwall affair. Until 2001, Tony Hall was Chief Executive BBC News and launched Radio 5 Live, Britain's first 24-hour News and Sport Radio channel, BBC News 24, BBC News Online and BBC Parliament. He built the BBC news gathering network to be a world beater. Tony is the author of King Coal (1981) - a history of the Miners Union, and Nuclear Power (1984). He became a Commander of the British Empire (CBE) in 2005 and was ennobled in 2010 as Lord Hall of Birkenhead.
Dr Haruhisa Handa is Chairman of the International Foundation for Arts and Culture, Honorary Chairman of the International Golf Association for the Blind, and Vice-Chairman of the International Shinto Foundation (a United Nations authorized NGO). Backed by the Cambodian government, Mr Handa handles the construction and management of a 24-hour service free emergency hospital in Cambodia. He is a management consultant and owns and manages thirteen Japanese and international corporations. As an artist he is involved in a wide range of activities, including opera, drama and dance. His many years of involvement in the arts-world and corporate philanthropy have led to the award of an honorary Doctor's Degree in Literature from Edith Cowan University (Western Australia).
Anthony Van Laast CBE trained at London Contemporary Dance School, later joining the internationally acclaimed London Contemporary Dance Theatre. He has gone on to become one of the world's leading commercial choreographers. Some of the productions he has worked on include: Andrew Lloyd Webber's Song and Dance; Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat; Jesus Christ Superstar; Whistle Down the Wind and Bombay Dreams; Stephen Sondheim's Into the Woods and A Little Night Music; Leonard Bernstein's Candide; the Broadway and West End productions of Sister Act and both the film and the theatre productions of Abba's Mamma Mia! In 1999 he was awarded the MBE for services to Dance.
Wayne McGregor CBE is a multi award-winning British choreographer, renowned for his physically testing choreography and ground-breaking collaborations across dance, film, music, visual art, technology and science. He is the Artistic Director of Wayne McGregor | Random Dance, Resident Company at Sadler's Wells Theatre in London and Resident Choreographer of The Royal Ballet (appointed 2006). In January 2011, McGregor was awarded a CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire). From 2008-2010 McGregor was appointed the government's first Youth Dance Champion. In 2004 McGregor was a Research Fellow at the Experimental Psychology department of Cambridge University.
John Pemberton's career has been in the computer software industry, where, in over twenty five years, he built a worldwide company with clients in more than 150 countries. He took the company public in year 2000 and retired. Since then he has concentrated on a range of activities, including farming red deer and cattle on his farm in the New Forest, researching the medieval history and archaeology of the farm, and involvement with groups in the area encouraging transition away from fossil fuels and towards local production and consumption. He is passionate about the preservation of the New Forest and has become a board member of the New Forest National Park.
Simon Russell (Lord Russell of Liverpool), as a nephew of Robin Howard, had the privilege of growing up with The Place as an ever-present and normal part of family life. He first visited the Place in 1969 and has been a fan and supporter ever since. He spent over 30 years as an international headhunter. A hereditary peer, he entered the Lords on the crossbenches in 1982, leaving after the 1999 House of Lords Act, returning in 2014 as one of the 90 elected hereditary peers. He is a Deputy Speaker and is the crossbench representative on the human rights organisation, the Council of Europe. He is an active member of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Arts & Heritage and is a trustee of the Foundling Museum. He is a Governor of the UK’s oldest children’s charity, Coram and is a Patron of the Cavell Nurses’ Trust.