Jane Attenborough Dance UK Industry Awards 2010
Leading independent dance artist Gill Clarke MBE has been announced as the winner of the Jane Attenborough Dance UK Industry Awardat the Critics' Circle National Dance Awards at Sadler’s Wells on 24 January 2011.
The award was accepted by the choreographer Siobhan Davies on Gill’s behalf.
The Dance UK Industry Award honours an individual working in dance who has made an outstanding contribution to the art form and who, through their knowledge, skill and generosity, has had a significant effect on dance. The winner is chosen following an open nomination process, making the winner someone who is truly respected and admired by their colleagues.
Gill’s nominations for the award cited the importance of her impact as an advocate for independent dance artists. Also, her generosity, offering time and advice to support fellow artists, resulting in her being recognised as a major influence on the careers of many independent dance artists and choreographers.
Choreographer Rosemary Lee says:
No one has so selflessly, intelligently and creatively done more to support dance and practitioners in the last decade.
Gill Clarke said in her award acceptance letter:
I would like to accept the award on behalf of Independent Dance Artists – that powerful and under-acknowledged workforce that is made up of all those artists who work in the demanding freedom outside the relative security of institutions. These multi-talented artists are vital to the Dance ecology – they are the performers or choreographers of most of the contemporary work seen around the country, they act as bridge-builders, connecting a public of all ages to the rewards of engaging with dance, they teach and inspire the next generation of artists as well as established company members, and most importantly their investment and passion generates knowledge that will help us to keep re-defining Dance, ideas that will find their way into mainstream theatres such as this – and new choreographic forms in media and contexts that we cannot yet imagine.
Gill Clarke is educated in English and Social Sciences, and has spent her career as an independent dance artist; performer, teacher, movement researcher and more recently producer/curator. A founder member of the Siobhan Davies Dance Company, she has also performed and collaborated with many choreographers including Janet Smith, Rosemary Butcher and Rosemary Lee. Gill leads master classes and workshops internationally and was Head of Performance Studies at Laban (2000-2006) with whom she continues to be consultant. She was a joint NESTA fellow, served as a Trustee of Dance UK, has received a London Dance and Performance Award, and an MBE.
She is Co-director of Independent Dance, resident at Siobhan Davies Studios. She recently developed a new MA in Creative Practice, in partnership with Siobhan Davies Dance and Trinity Laban aimed at mid-career professional artists, and has been involved in research around dance training and education. She has been working with South Bank, Barbican and Serpentine Gallery on the involvement of dance performers in their visual arts programmes, and is directing a trans-disciplinary Lab of experts around ‘Movement and Meaning’ with PAL, an organisation that builds partnerships between artists to make new work. She is currently working with artist Lucy Skaer on a commission from Siobhan Davies Dance.
Susan Sentler, Senior Lecturer, Trinity Laban says:
'Gill Clarke does not specifically work for a ‘particular institution’ but for the all within dance, and has devoted herself relentlessly to enriching the art form in a multitude of modes and within all kinds of frameworks. Her openness and generosity to students, young artists, practitioners, professionals, institutions, and the general public is outstanding. The hunger and passion for the art form she generates is extraordinary. She is inspiring as an artist, and is absolutely phenomenal as a teacher, educator, and mentor.'
This year, the Jane Attenborough Dance UK Industry Award is sponsored by Gordon & Co, specialist Insurance Brokers to the entertainment industry. Dance UK has a long standing relationship with Gordon & Co, who provide low cost Public Liability Insurance to Dance UK members through the First Step insurance scheme.