Nina Rajarani wins Place Prize 2006 with 'QUICK!'

October 14, 2006

Following the final performance of The Place Prize for Dance, Europe's largest choreographic competition, at The Place in London on Saturday 30 September 2006, Robyn Archer announced that the winner of the top prize is Nina Rajarani. The Prize, initiated in 2004 and sponsored by Bloomberg, is Europe's most prestigious award for choreography. Nina Rajarani, from London, was presented with a cheque for £25,000 by 2004 Place Prize winner Rafael Bonachela. She also received a specially commissioned bowl designed by contemporary glassmakers Bi-Me.

An initial entry of 204 choreographers was narrowed down to a shortlist of 40 choreographers of which 20 were selected and commissioned to take part in this prestigious competition. Rajarani was one of 20 choreographers commissioned to make an original 15 minute work for the competition.

These works were viewed by audiences and the panel of distinguished judges from across different fields in the arts who produced a list of five finalists from which Nina's work, entitled QUICK!, was selected as the overall Prize winner. It will tour in Spring 2007.

This energetic, entertaining work was described by the panel of judges as, "This work of unstoppable energy places Bharatanatyam firmly in the world of London business. A dance work with something new to say about how the world is today, it is a clear winner of The Place Prize 2006."

"Winning the Place Prize is an unbelievable dream come true for me," says Nina. "Apart from the obvious personal achievement, I feel overwhelmed with the honour that I have been able to play a part in bringing Indian classical dance to this prime position in the mainstream. I have always strived to maintain the authenticity of classical Bharatanatyam whilst being fresh, creative and contemporary in the approach to its presentation. This award has proved to me that the struggle and the wait for recognition of this ambition was well worth it, and that unadulterated Bharatanatyam truly has a place in the here and the now."

Nina Rajarani, runs her own company Srishti. In Rajarani's Prize-winning piece QUICK! four male dancers and four musicians in business suits convey the hurly burly of modern life in London using the classical Indian dance form Bharatanatyam.

Concept, Choreography and Artistic Direction: Nina Rajarani
Music Composition: Y Yadavan
Lighting Design: Ben Pacey
Film: Satu Tuomisto
Costume Design: Nina Rajarani
Dancers: Ash Mukherjee, Shane Shambhu, BK Shafeekudeen, PN Vikas
Musicians (Live): Vocals - Y Yadavan, Percussion - Pirashanna Tevarajah, Flute - KJ Vijay, Violin - Kumar Raghunathan
Musicians (Recorded): Vocals - Y Yadavan, Percussion - Pirashanna Tevarajah, Bass Guitar - Stuart Walton