Nina Rajarani (2006)

Nina Rajarani won The Place Prize for Dance, sponsored by Bloomberg, in 2006 with a work that conveys the hurly burly of London life and modern commerce using classical Indian dance.

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. Nina has strong commitment to education work and runs successful schools in Harrow, Reading and Warwick.  

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. Of the winner, 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.