As part of its 50th anniversary, The Place explores some of the BIG questions surrounding our artform and the Place's programme.

One topic is 'what are contemporary ideas?', what does 'contemporary' mean in arts and culture and the wider context as well.

To celebrate The Place's 50th anniversary this year, the dancehouse is exploring some big questions crucial to our essence. This season, The Place focuses its attention to what it means to be ‘contemporary’.  Is it a label? Is it definable? Or is it something else altogether?

Bonnie Greer and Eddie Nixon in Conversation

To start this season, The Place Artistic Director Eddie Nixon sat down with American-British novelist, critic, broadcaster, political activist and Patron of The Place, Bonnie Greer, for a lively discussion about the usefulness of art, reading Othello in Brixton and the space where ideas and transmission collide.

"Technically on one level, we can’t know what is contemporaray, because you can’t know your own time. But practically, there’s something to be said about ‘contemporary experiences.’ I was really lucky to go to New York in 1978, during the beginning of the whole East Village art scene and I got to see Merce Cunningham dance, I got to see Trisha Brown dance, Wuppertal Dance Theatre, Urban Bush Women, Robert Wilson … so I’m this kid in the audience and I remember looking at Pina Bausch, and it said something to me that I could use at that moment in my life. Only a great artist can do that. If you’re able to receive something and you can use it, that’s contemporaneous, of the time, of the moment – that’s what it all means."

Follow the link to read the full conversation: theplace.org.uk

'What are Contemporary Ideas?'

Commissioned Video: In this video The Place is taking a look at the history of Contemporary Dance glossing over 5 decades of contemporary influences and asking what that might mean for its future. This video can only begin to scratch the surface of history and knowledge and is not intended to replace academic research but, instead, to spark debate! Watch the full video below.

Want to follow the topic? Keep an eye on this section: theplace.org.uk.

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