Spreading the Wealth

panta rei dans lullaby

Video - Panta Rei Danseteater 'Lullaby'

Norwegian dance company Panta Rei Danseteater, late last year, conducted a little experiment whereby three dance makers created two pieces with the same name based on the same idea, featuring three male dancers and two musicians, to see what the outcome was.

June 2nd, 2016

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It would appear that the Place Prize is not the road to modest riches that some would imagine it to be.

Nina Rajarani, this years winner who walked off with £29,000 in prize money, will just about 'break even' after investing almost as much money in making her victorious piece 'QUICK'.

In an emailed response MS Rajarani told us;

"All choreographers commissioned to take part in the Place Prize competition were given £5000 to make their piece. I made my piece investing over £25000 as my ideas were more ambitious than my pocket.

I had the largest cast in the whole competition - 4 dancers and 4 musicians, as well as original music composed, a filmmaker engaged for the piece and of course all the other usuals such as costume, lighting design etc.

Therefore the prize money literally means I am able to break even on this project, so it is just as well that I won! Even if there were any leftovers, it would get reinvested into my company's work as I always end up making projects beyond my means."

When asked about the apparent lack of financial benefit to the winning dance maker, The Place communications office told Article19;

"[It's] up to the choreographers to contract with their individual dancers on how much they are prepared to spend. In Nina [Rajarani's] case, I know she was working with musicians that had travelled from India and they may account for some of the costs that she incurred"

Each choreographer that makes it to the performance stage of the event is given £5,000 by The Place to make their work but, evidently, they are not restricted from spending more. When asked if dance makers should be restricted to using the £5,000 to keep things fair the communications office told us;

"[We] don't think so, [we] don't think money has any effect, you don't neccesarily [have] to spend lots of money to make a good work, you can spend £5,000 and make a great work. Lucy Suggate who was a finalist, she came out of nowhere and made a great piece."

It should be noted that Lucy Suggate did not win one of the 10 audience votes, Nina Rajarani won four. Ms Suggate is Leeds based whilst Ms Rajarani is based in Middlesex, 15 miles from the competition venue.

The Place Prize returns in two years.

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