Nina Rajarani wins £25,000 Place Prize for Dance, sponsored by Bloomberg,
with a work that conveys the hurly burly of London life and modern commerce using classical Indian Dance.
The Place is delighted to announce that Nina Rajarani has won The Place Prize for Dance 2006. The £25,000 Prize, initiated in 2004 and sponsored by Bloomberg, is Europe’s most prestigious award for choreography.
Nina Rajarani, from London, was presented with a cheque for £25,000 by 2004 Place Prize winner Rafael Bonachela. She also received a specially commissioned bowl designed by contemporary glassmakers Bi-Me.
Rajarani was one of 20 choreographers commissioned to make an original 15 minute work for the competition. These works were viewed by audiences and the panel of judges who produced a list of five finalists from which Nina’s work, entitled QUICK!, was selected as the overall Prize winner.
The panel of judges included Brian Eno and Chris Ofili. The judges said,
“This work of unstoppable energy places Bharatanatyam firmly in the world of London business. A dance work with something new to say about how the world is today, it is a clear winner of The Place Prize 2006.”
Uniquely amongst major arts prizes, the audiences at semi final and final performances at The Place had the chance to vote for an audience favourite. The choreographer of the favourite piece each night of the final performances received £1,000. Rajarani won this accolade four times during the ten performances of the finals. The audience vote was also one by fellow finalists Jonathan Lunn (on three occasions) Freddie Opoku Addaie (on two occasions) and Luca Silvestrini (on one occasion). The fifth finalist was Lucy Suggate.
The biennial Place Prize was created by The Place in 2004. The Place is the UK’s premier centre for contemporary dance, uniting training, creation and performance in one unique building. Over 500 dance works are made in Britain every year, which are not always particularly visible to the general public. By creating 20 new works, all with a life-span beyond the prize itself, The Place Prize aims to bring new choreographic talent in the UK the recognition it deserves.
The judging panel for The Place Prize 2006 was chaired by John Ashford, Theatre Director of The Place, and comprised Robyn Archer, performance artist and festival director; Guy Cools, dance dramaturg and producer; Brian Eno, musician, producer, artist and author; Rose Fenton, independent arts producer and co-founder of LIFT; and Chris Ofili, artist.
In Rajarani’s Prize-winning piece QUICK!, four male dancers and four musicians in business dress convey the hurly burly of London life and modern commerce using the classical Indian dance form Bharatanatyam.
Nina Rajarani – background
36 year-old Nina Rajarani is one of the UK’s most accomplished Bharatanatyam artists, who combines touring with her company Srishti with teaching classical Indian dance in Southern England. She has toured across the UK, Europe, India, Singapore, Malaysia and Australia. Her company Srishti is regularly funded by Arts Council England and international organisations including the British Council. Nina has strong commitment to education work and runs successful schools in Harrow, Reading and Warwick.