Press Story

30 Jun 2022
Image of Bob Lockyer. Bob looks into the camera with his arms folded. He is wearing a pink shirt with a black cardigan over the top.

“Everyone at The Place is sad to hear of the passing of one of dance's devoted pioneers Bob Lockyer who has worked alongside us many times over many years,” says The Place’s Artistic Director Eddie Nixon. Bob was an extraordinary champion of both UK contemporary dance and screendance, and inspired swathes of artists and choreographers across the world during his lifelong, illustrious career.

He began his career at the BBC, where he started as a fledgling employee in the post room but soon went on to assist Margaret Dale, BBC Director of Dance, a role Bob would go on to succeed. During his tenure as Director of Dance Bob spent many years building on Dale’s fantastic work to further transform and experiment with the way dance was televised and screened. It’s safe to say that he made our art form very accessible to so many people.

Among many of his highlights at the BBC, Bob created Dance for Camera, a series of over 50 unique films which he commissioned for the BBC in collaboration with Arts Council England. This ground-breaking series engendered new ways of capturing dance on film and represented at epochal moment for UK screendance.

Bob Lockyer’s passion for dance on screen(s) created invaluable opportunities for a generation of screendance artists in the UK. His Dance for the Camera series changed the dance film landscape in this country, also helped to bring about Dance On Screen, The Place’s annual dance film festival which ran from 1995-2006. I met him while working on Dance on Screen, and I will deeply miss Bob’s boundless, generous energy, always ready to debate what is next for this hard-to-define but compelling form of film.

Gitta Wigro, Lecturer of MA Screendance at The Place

As well as being a pioneer of UK screendance, Bob was a trusted collaborator of Robert Cohan, and in 1980s made numerous works for the London Contemporary Dance Theatre including Cell, Waterless Method of Swimming, Nympheas and Stabat Mater. Committed to developing the next generation of dance companies, over the years Bob generously dedicated his time to companies including Lost Dog Dance. In 2021, Bob was awarded an OBE for his outstanding commitment to music and dance in the New Year Honours List; an award testament to his lifelong ingenuity and indefatigable passion for dance, our great art form.

Bob Lockyer leaves a remarkable legacy behind him – one that changed the course of screendance and carved new narratives for dance more broadly in the UK. For those who ever got to work or know him, he was an inspiration to us all and shined so brightly. From everyone at The Place, thank you for everything, Bob.