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Staff and alumni honoured at The Bonnies 2020

Wed 26 Feb 2020

Janine Harrington and Julie Cunningham receive accolades at the Bonnie Bird Choreography Fund’s prestigious biennial awards

Trinity Laban Alum Janine Harrington and Dance Lecturer Julie Cunningham were among the winners of The Bonnie Bird Choreography Fund’s Bonnies 2020.

Choreographer, performer and writerJanine Harrington received the New Choreography Award, which will support a bespoke programme of activities for creative development.

In celebration of the new decade, the fund has doubled the award from £10,000 to £20,000 with the ambition to support individual research that can affect a step change in the winning artist’s practice, with potential to impact nationally.

Janine graduated with a BA (Hons) in Dance Theatre in 2006. Her work draws on research into game structures, play, access, neurodiversity and the poetics of movement practices. Her kaleidoscopic piece Screensaver Series, which premiered at Dance Umbrella 2018, foregrounds these interests.

On winning, Janine comments –

“I am part of a community of artists evolving choreographic thinking and expanding notions of what dance is, can be, where and for whom. There are many of us working tenaciously and with resilience, exploring and sharing different ways of being in the world through our art form. A multiplicity of voices and actions feels urgent in our times. I feel humbled to have been acknowledged in this moment and thank the Bonnie Bird Choreography Fund for their support and trust in me to continue to develop my work and make its impact felt further.” 

Choreographer Julie Cunningham, who teaches on our dance programmes,received one of four new Choreographic Development Awards.The £2,000 prize, awarded in honour of Marion North (Principal and Chief Executive of Laban from 1973-2004), will enable Julie to engage in a non-binary practice alongside musician and artist JD Samson, working on ways that sound and music can be embedded in choreographic development and performance.

Julie launched Julie Cunningham & Company in 2017 at the Barbican, which became associate company of Rambert in 2018. The same year Julie became a New Wave Associate of Sadlers Wells, and associate artist of Dance East.

The Bonnie Bird Choreography Fund is dedicated to supporting artists' current practice and research, supporting the development of new choreography. Since its inception in 1985, the Fund has given over 150 awards to artists in the UK and across the world. The awards are named in honour of founder Bonnie Bird, a member of Martha Graham’s original company and subsequently a pioneer in dance teaching.

The awardees were announced at an awards ceremony on 13 February 2020 at Phoenix Dance Theatre, Leeds.

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Image credit Coralie Datta