Press Story12 Jul 2022
London’s centre for dance training, creation and performance, The Place, is delighted to announce that Farooq Chaudhry OBE, dance producer and co-founder of Akram Khan Company, is its newest patron.
An alumnus of London Contemporary Dance School, Farooq Chaudhry has led an illustrious career working across dance, arts and culture. In the eighties and nineties Farooq danced professionally and internationally, winning achievement awards for his performance work. Once he retired from dancing in 1999, Farooq developed his skills as a producer, an area he has worked successfully in for many years. As well as co-founding Akram Khan Company in 2000 (where continues to hold the post of producing director) and working as a producer in East Asia, Farooq was the creative producer at the English National Ballet from 2013-2017, working alongside artistic director Tamara Rojo.
Testament to his influence and success in the dance industry, in 2014 Farooq was awarded an honorary doctorate from De Montfort University for his services to dance. In early 2019 Farooq was awarded an OBE for his services to dance and dance production. As a cultural entrepreneur, Farooq sits on the advisory board of leading global organisations and think tanks including Tate and Global Future, an independent think tank campaigning for Britain to be a vibrant and open nation that reaches out to the world. Chaudhry is a regular guest speaker in cultural entrepreneurship including the Advanced Cultural Leadership Programme at Hong Kong University and the London Business School.
In his new post of patron at The Place, Farooq will focus on collaborations across the global community, utilising the strong connections with organisations in East Asia that he has built through working across funding, education and artist development. The work he has and continues to do in creating cross-cultural connections through dance are very much aligned with The Place’s core organisational messages including envisioning a world with more dance.
I am delighted to be joining The Place as patron. Studying at London Contemporary Dance School marked the beginning of discovering who I am through dance. It gave me an identity and a voice that set me in motion both on and off the stage. The Place has a tremendous legacy and is going through a phase of exciting reinvention that I find inspiring and visionary. I look forward to getting to know staff and students, and bedding myself into this brilliant organisation which played a huge role in giving me a sense of a purpose and a North star.
As an alumnus of London Contemporary Dance School, Farooq has a long standing and personal affinity with The Place. Farooq is a huge and generous champion of our sector, of underrepresented dance artists and of course, dance producing. He was instrumental in the making of the internationally recognised Akram Khan Company, and we can’t wait to collaborate with him as patron of The Place.
Clare Connor Chief Executive of The Place