Professionals & Artist Development

Shape It Lab (Creating for early years)

The Place are seeking dance artists to join Shape It Lab on Wed 29 and Thu 30 Apr 2020 

The two day lab for UK based artists focuses on questions that makers could consider when presenting dance to young audiences. The lab will involve conversations with industry experts, interactions with groups of families testing and questioning key areas of interest, and reflecting and exploring your ideas and others.

The lab is part of Shape It, a project which aims to broaden the audience for contemporary dance in Europe. We will do this by inviting early career dance makers in Europe to consider how an existing performance can be reconsidered for an audience of young people. Through development labs, residencies and touring, we will support artists to re-imagine the audience for their work. Together, through the partnerships we build, the conversations we have, and the audiences we meet, we seek to model a new approach to developing dance for young people. 

Shape It is delivered by a partnership of The Place (UK), Annantalo (Finland), Comune di Bassano del Grappa (Italy) and Tanec Praha (Czech Republic) and funded by Creative Europe. 

Shape It Lab

  • Two days of talks, discussions and activities for a European artist and selected ten UK based artists, focused on introducing questions that makers could consider when presenting dance to young audiences. 
  • Insight into creating work for preschool ages by industry experts 
  • ​Interactions with groups of families testing and questioning key areas of interest 
  • Reflection and exploration of ideas 
  • Dramaturgy practical session 
  • 1-2-1 feedback on your ideas 
  • Lunch  
  • Ticket to early years performance at Unicorn Theatre 


Shape It Lab is for artists who:  

  • Have been creating performance work in a professional setting for a minimum of 3 years (occasionally less experienced artists are included)  
  • Are based in the UK  
  • Have an idea for research or a piece that would be aimed at family audiences with children aged 3+ (this can be new work or an adaptation of an existing one)  
  • Are working with any kind of performance with movement at the core  
  • Will be ready to share some of their ideas with us at the end of the residency  
  • Can demonstrate how the residency will benefit them as an artist  
  • Are ambitious to challenge themselves, their collaborators and us  

In this project we cannot support:  

  • Undergraduates  
  • Those based outside the UK  
  • Artists with less than 3 years experience of making work 
  • Artists with a track record of making work for young audiences 


How do we select participants?  
From the applications we’ll invite a small number of artists for an informal conversation with us before we are able to offer out the place in the Lab. 
This selection is carried out by a team of producers who work at The Place. We are looking for all kinds of new ideas from many different areas of dance and choreography. 

Deadline to apply for Shape It Lab: Sun 1 Mar 2020 at midnight.  

If you are interested in being part of the Shape It Lab click HERE to complete a short form.

For a PDF version of the form please download the document at the bottom of this webpage. Please note that this version is for reference only - submissions will only be accepted via the link above.

This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This communication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

Co-funded by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union