Do-Re-Me by Nicola Conibere, winner of The Bonnie Bird New Choreography Award 2015–17. Photo: Maria Falconer.


The Award:

The Bonnie Bird New Choreography Award is a biennial award of £10,000. It is open to applications from choreographers and artists working choreographically, who are based in the UK, and have been working professionally (excluding study) for more than five years. Please note that current MA/ PhD students or artists/companies with NPO status are not eligible to apply.

The award has been created to support a bespoke range of activities, identified by an artist that will support their overall creative development, rather than producing a completed new work. The ambition is to support a programme of individual research that can effect a step change in the artist's practice, with the potential to impact nationally.

In addition to the £10,000 bursary, the awardee will be supported via the BBCF board of Trustees and Advisors, together with external expertise of their choice. For example, this could include a critical friend, coach, facilitator, venue programmer, academic or creative producer, who over the course of the award inputs to the development of the research and offers a strategic perspective at relevant moments. One individual could provide support throughout the award or several could input during different phases of research. The nature of this support is decided by the awardee with the awarding panel and totals up to ten working days.

There is no prescribed format; each award includes an agreed programme of activities which may include:

The award period will be negotiated with the successful applicant but will generally last between 1-2 years.

The Awardee Receives:

The Awardee is required to:


The nature of support and who provides it will be agreed between the Awardee and the awarding panel. In the past a Creative Producer has provided dramaturgical support in the studio, brokerage of potential partnerships, as well as the support listed in the activities above.

Applicants may identify an individual or several people who they wish to work with, or they might seek guidance from the awarding panel regarding suitably experienced people best placed to support their research.

Please note this external support is not for administration, writing funding applications or artist management, which remain the responsibility of the Awardee.

Sharing of research:

Whilst there is no commitment for the Awardee to present a finished performance at an end-of-award sharing — the focus of the award is on supporting choreographic research in the form that is most useful to the selected artist and his/her project and/or practice. There is an expectation that the award period will result in a significant contribution to the Awardee's development as a choreographer, influencing their subsequent practice, and that evidence of this will be reflected in this "sharing". A clear sense of where the work is headed, and what the next steps will be is expected at the end of the award period, and may be worked out with the support of the external advisors. The requirement to present this "sharing" to an audience, therefore, with the opportunity for further feedback and discussion, will represent a key milestone in the Awardee's choreographic journey.

What We look for:

We welcome proposals from choreographers and artists working choreographically in any style or genre. This can, but need not necessarily include, artists working with an experimental or interdisciplinary approach to dance, choreography and performance. The overriding criteria is that we are seeking convincing, ambitious and clearly articulated ideas. We want to be surprised and excited and we will need to understand why what you are proposing to do is different from what you have done before.

When selecting the Award winner, members of the BBCF board take the following criteria into consideration:

How to Apply:

Applications for the New Choreography Award is currently closed. Click here to read an interview with our Chair Brendan Keaney on Run Riot about the New Choreography Award.

Alexander Whitley was announced as the recipient of the award for 2017-19.

The next call for applications will be in 2019.