This is a competition to find the best dance for the stage, and as such its judging encompasses elements including choreography, direction, ideas, staging and performance.
Each entry video is viewed by a minimum of seven commissioners, four of whom will be dance programmers and producers based outside the UK.
Forty shortlisted entrants are then invited to give a ten minute presentation in their chosen format to three of the commissioners plus the project manager explaining how they would develop their choreographic idea if selected. The presentation will be followed by a fifteen minute discussion.
Commissioners assess the quality of the proposed idea: the vision, imagination and creativity of approach as demonstrated in the video and at presentations by shortlisted artists.
Sixteen of the shortlisted entrants will be offered a commission of £5,000 along with three weeks (75 hours) studio space, a production day in the theatre and a contribution towards a lighting designer. Additional monies may be awarded to ideas that have higher production costs. This could include larger casts or a need for specific technical provision. These awards will be given at the discretion of the commissioners and will be awarded at the initial point of offering. The full amount of each commission will not exceed £7,000. There is a total of up to £20,000 that can be awarded as additional monies.
Commissioned artists are entitled to apply for other funding for the work. Those based outside London will be reimbursed for the cost of local rehearsal space equivalent to that provided for artists working in London at The Place. We will also cover the cost of travel from your base and accommodation costs for you and your collaborators to attend technical rehearsals and performances. Should the work be selected for the finals, accommodation will be provided for the run of performances at The Place.
All sixteen works are previewed at The Place in early September and the Semi-final performances take place at the end of September. A panel of judges attends the four semi-final performances and on each night of the semi-finals the audience votes on each piece.
One of the commissions is chosen as a finalist by receiving the highest average score in the audience vote. The remaining finalists are selected by the judges, who are a group of leading dance experts chaired by Eddie Nixon, Director of Theatre and Artist Development at The Place. The finalists are announced after the last Semi-final performance.
The pieces selected for the finals will have 10 performances the following year in April.
Finalists will be given rehearsal space and support for two weeks of re-rehearsal time. We understand and welcome how works naturally evolve over time and with repetition, and recognise that this will happen over the course of The Place Prize. It may also be necessary to replace performers. However, the work that was seen in the semi-finals should be the work seen in the finals, so no significant alterations should be made. Performers will receive a fee from The Place for the re-rehearsal period and the performances.
During the finals, nightly awards of £1,000 will go to the best work of the evening as voted for by the audience. A new panel of judges, again chaired by Eddie Nixon, will choose the overall winner and receive £25,000. The prize money is a reward for its winners, and not a grant tied to further production or creation. How it is used is entirely at the discretion of the winners.
The judges' deliberations after the Semi-Final and Finals performances are private.