The Marion North Mentoring Awards were established to provide bespoke one to one advice and support for choreographers in the early stages of their careers. The mentoring scheme aims to help choreographers overcome artistic challenges and problems by giving them the opportunity to gain invaluable advice and support from an experienced choreographer or dance artist.
Four awards of up to £1000 are made biennially to four choreographers working in any style, but who have been resident in the UK for at least twelve months and who have received no regular or substantial funding.
Over the past 10 years the BBCF has worked with national and regional dance organisation partners for the mentoring awards. The partner organisation matches the fee offered by the BBCF and also provides in-kind support to the mentee as appropriate. The partner organisation also nominates the mentees. The partner organisation for 2017-18 is Akademi, who nominated Archita Kumar and Katie Ryan who will be mentored by Jose Agudo and Seeta Patel respectively. A second partner organisation and two more awardees will be announced in 2018.
The mentor is available to the choreographer on a pre-arranged basis for an approximate period of one year for a minimum of 3 meetings. The scheme will provide a forum for exchange and artistic debate, to help new choreographers overcome problems of a practical nature, often faced in the early stages of their careers.
"Rosemary [Butcher] is particularly good at turning things on their head which can be both thrilling and terrifying but however one experiences it, it is challenging and this is fundamental at this time in one's creative life. Through Rosemary's mentoring I have been made to re-look at the actual choreography that I have just made as well as re-look at myself as an artist."
– Bim Malcomson, Winner, Marion North Mentoring Scheme 2002