Learn about how we work with professional artists
There are many ways for professional artists to engage with The Place and our audiences. Through our Artist Development, Theatre Programming or Producing and Touring teams, artists can present work on our stage, take part in a residency or receive producing support. Learn more about our approach to artist support and opportunities to work with us:
We offer financial and practical support to dance makers to develop their work with our Artist Development team. We support artists to build both a creative team and partnerships to further support their creative projects.
Working alongside artists, we foster long-term creative and collaborative relationships, helping artists to take creative risks, innovate their form and achieve their full potential.
The Artist Development team is responsible for commissioning artists, as well as planning and delivering of a range of projects that artists can take part in throughout the year. Visit Projects to learn more.
We recognise that professional development needs of all artists are different. Alongside these projects we also offer advice sessions or free space for artists that we have an existing relationship with.
How do I start a relationship with The Place?
Artists can respond to open call outs, listed in Artists' Opportunites. Here we list all our open call outs for our projects, including our annual projects and programmes.
Although call outs may have specified criteria to meet, we are interested in receiving ideas across a range of themes including: social and racial injustice, care and wellbeing, ecological sustainability, as well as new ideas that we may not yet have explored yet. We like to hear how these themes might resonate with you and your work. We particularly like to see work that has considered integration with accessibility and diversity. As well as indoor work, we are interested in receiving ideas for outdoor and family work.
We aim to build long term, collaborative relationships that might span several projects with artists who have successful open call out applications.
How can I get my work commissioned by The Place?
Artists may receive commissions through one of our open call outs, or by submitting their proposals directly to the Artist Development team. The Artist Development department and guest panelists from different departments at The Place meet once a month to discuss and review commission proposals.
If artists have an existing relationship with the Artist Development team, we are open to discussing ideas for commissioning ahead of the Research and Development phase of production.
If artists do not have an existing relationship with the Artist Development team, we invite artists to submit proposals at the Research and Development stage.
We do not usually commission artists who are based outside the UK.
What should I include in my commission proposal?
In order to help us better understand your project and whether or not The Place is suited to support it, please answer the below prompts in your proposal. We ask all artists and organisations the same questions:
- What is your choreographic idea?
- What research have you done to date? How are you building on this?
- Are you currently working with any other partner organisations, and if so, what does this support looks like?
- What is the timeline / key dates for this project? Are you entering your next stage of R&D with a view to tour or something else?
- When thinking of your audience, who do you want this work to reach?
- Is there anything particularly interesting or innovative in your approach to working with audiences?
- Beyond money and space, what are the other kinds of support you are looking for from The Place?
- What mediums will this work be presented in? (full length theatre show, short film series, interactive performance etc.)
- How are you considering access within your work?
- Please include video footage and images.
Please respond to all the prompts in a single document, show pack, video or voice note to the best of your ability, responding to whichever stage of the development process the project is currently in.
What does being commissioned by The Place mean?
Commission funding amounts range depending on the project, specified in open call outs. Amounts tend to range from £1,200 and £5,000.
We recognise that this will not cover the cost of creating a work, so we expect you to bring other partners and funding to the project in order to make it happen. Commissions often include in-kind support such as free studio space and strategic producing support from members of our team.
If you are commissioned, we would like to discuss hosting the London premiere of the work in our theatre. However, performance slots are not guaranteed as part of a commission. This process is managed by the Theatre Programming team.
Projects that are also produced by us are managed by the Producing and Touring team and its in-house producers. These projects are not entirely funded by The Place, but additional funding and partnership building is managed by the producer.
Our Theatre Development team works with external partners, individual artists, producers or other organisations to collaborate on the programme of performances presented in our theatre, drawing on their diverse range of skills, backgrounds and influences.
You can discover our current programme on our What's On page.
How is the theatre programme structured?
We divide our year into three seasons:
- Spring: Jan-Apr
- Summer: May-Jul
- Autumn: Sep-Dec
Within these seasons we present festivals which may have a particular focus (ie. A Festival of Korean Dance, hosted annually).
What are The Place’s values when programming?
We always think about our audiences when deciding our theatre programme. Lots of different people enjoy coming to watch dance at The Place for many different reasons. We are interested in reaching people who are watching dance for the first time as well as those that are already regular audience members.
This means our programme is shaped to appeal to lots of different dance interests, including performances for family audiences or performed by young people. Our programme explores different dance forms and some complex social or political ideas.
For this reason, the programme includes a broad range of dance from London, the UK, Europe and further afield. We are committed to representing a range of lived experiences through our work and ensuring that our work is widely accessible.
How can my work be performed in the theatre?
Most of our programme comes from artists and companies who we have met through our Artist Development projects or by seeing their work live. We rarely programme works which we haven’t seen, unless it is a premiere through a commissioned project.
There are different ways a production might be chosen to be performed in the theatre, such as:
- A work has been supported by us through an Artist Development project or received a commission. The work may then go through further stages of development before it is programmed in the theatre.
- An artist is being supported by our Producing and Touring team and their work is shown in the theatre as a premiere or part of their tour.
- An artist applies through an open call, listed in Artists' Opportunities.
- A festival is curated by a partner organisation or artist who programmes the work.
- We are introduced to a work through our relationships with partner organisations, such as European touring network Aerowaves.
- Artists we have presented before or who are familiar to our audiences might be invited to perform at The Place as part of an existing tour.
- A work that our Theatre Programming team have seen live is invited to the theatre.
- We regularly host performances of works created by our students from London Contemporary Dance School.
We are always interested in programming work by artists and companies new to us and welcome invitations to see new work live.
How do we decide what is performed in the theatre?
We consider three main things: Quality, Context and Logistics:
We recognise that quality is subjective. To minimise the impact of taste, experience and bias, we evaluate work by considering:
- The idea and approach to exploring it
- The physical investigation
- The originality of the approach
- The production values
- The choices made in collaboration with other artists and artforms
- The rigour, urgency, and clarity of how it all comes together
We often work collaboratively both with external partnerships, panelists or co-curators to help with this reflection and offer other perspectives.
We look for dance performance that is contemporary, that has an ambition to look at ideas, movement, the body and identity in a way which is relevant to the world we are all sharing now, rather than a particular form or style.
We consider whether we have the right circumstances to bring the audience and the art together, including:
- The physical space
- The framework it's presented in
- The audience
- The wider social or cultural contexts at the time
Sometimes a framework can enrich the conversation with the audience. For example, a festival or another work in a double bill might provide the right context for the piece.
We also need to consider how our programme can give a platform to different voices and lived experiences, perspectives, different performance styles and ideas, and different artist experience levels. When considering a piece we look at who the artist is and if we get a sense of their perspective.
Ultimately, we need to believe we can find an audience for anything we choose to present, that we are able to connect the art with its audience. This doesn’t always mean it is always easy. It’s our job to put on things our audience isn’t familiar with, but no one wants an empty theatre!
Alongside quality and context, the logistics of bringing a performance to our theatre is an important factor.
When possible, we work in open dialogue with companies to find the best solution for the work with the least amount of compromise.
This could involve discussion around:
- Travel and accommodation needs
- Technical needs
- Access needs
- Marketing approaches
- Agreements with other venues or partners
Producing and Touring
We produce both small and mid-scale dance productions that tour to local, national and international spaces, as well as digital platforms, through our Producing and Touring team.
We enjoy meeting audiences in the spaces they love to experience dance: from village halls to regional theatres, schools to outdoor festivals.
We work closely with artists to support their projects from the initial idea all the way to its realisation and post-production evaluation. We put artist development at the core of our practice, using our expertise and networks to best support the artists to develop.
We offer different support depending on the needs of the project, seeking to augment and bolster existing producing support. The Place has a commitment to building strong relationships, mental and physical wellbeing, clear communication and passionate engagement with artists’ work.
How does The Place select projects to produce?
We often build relationships with artists through our Audience Development projects. As we learn more about artists’ ideas, we consider whether we can develop their capacity to reach audiences by supporting their work through our producing team.
We want to work with artists whose practice we have strong faith in, and who are excited to work together with us on a joint endeavour over an extended period of time. We enjoy co-producing projects with a range of partners across the performing arts sector and beyond.
We are interested in ideas across a range of themes including: social and racial injustice, care and wellbeing, ecological sustainability, as well as new ideas that we may not yet have explored yet. We like to hear how these themes might resonate with you and your work. We are committed to representing a range of lived experiences through our work and to ensuring that our work is widely accessible.
Sometimes we will produce tours for shows that we weren’t the original producers of.
We do not usually produce work with artists who are based outside of the UK.
Where does The Place’s produced work happen?
We produce projects in all kinds of places, including our in-house theatre in London.
We produce small-scale and mid-scale tour in all sorts of spaces from theatres and rural spaces to outdoor events & family festivals. Our productions tour nationally and internationally. We have presented work at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2015, 2017, 2019 and 2022.
We often work in educational settings, touring shows and workshops to schools, Colleges and Universities. We also share work across digital platforms.
We work across the UK with a close network of venues and are always looking for collaborating with new partners.
Get In Touch
If you would like to speak to anyone about how we work with artists, or are interested in working with us, please get in touch.
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In the meantime feel free to browse our website to find out more about what's on or how to get involved in more dance from The Place