The fourth winner of The Place Prize for dance sponsored by Bloomberg, announced on Sat 16 April 2011, was Ben Duke and Raquel Meseguer for their work It Needs Horses.
The winner was chosen after deliberation by a panel of judges which included gallery director Hannah Barry, performance poet and musician Zena Edwards, theatre director Rupert Goold, Streetwise Opera CEO Matthew Peacock and director of Dublin Dance Festival, Laurie Uprichard.
Ben Duke and Raquel Meseguer are co-founders of Lost Dog, and were the recipients of a Bonnie Bird New Choreographers Award in 2005 and the Robin Howard Foundation Commission in 2007. From the outset their work has been in demand, and has been toured by Phoenix Dance Theatre, From Here to Maturity, Transitions Dance Company, EDge and Scottish Dance Theatre. It Needs Horses is about the nature of live entertainment and features a memorably down-at-heel ringmaster, his glamorously bedraggled assistant and their increasingly extreme measures to draw the crowds. The duet was performed by Chris Evans and Anna Finkel, with lighting by Jackie Shemesh, costumes by Holly Waddington and sound design by Stephen Dobbie.
Eddie Nixon, Director of Theatre and Artist Development at The Place and Chair of The Place Prize judges, said: “It Needs Horses is both funny and serious, accessible and challenging. Lost Dog have been making works of this calibre and intelligence for a few years now, and I hope that this prize will help them continue. I'm delighted for Ben and Raquel."
The four finalists of The Place Prize in 2011 were Eva Recacha, Ben Duke & Raquel Meseguer, Riccardo Buscarini & Antonio de la Fe Guedes and Freddie Opoku-Addaie & Frauke Requardt. They were selected in September 2010 from 170 entries, and 16 commissioned works. It Needs Horses was the winner of the audience's vote for their favourite work; the remaining finalists were selected by a group of panellists that included choreographer Shobana Jeyasingh, dance journalist Sanjoy Roy, choreographer Janet Smith, Alistair Spalding from Sadler’s Wells and Laurie Uprichard from Dublin Dance Festival.