Screensaver Series by Janine Harrington
Screensaver Series by J Neve Harrington, New Choreography Awardee 2020. Performers: Iris Chan, Elisa Vassena, Steph Mcmann, J Neve Harrington, Vanessa Abreu, Louise Tanoto. Photo: Roswitha Chesher

Bonnie Bird New Choreography Award

The Award

For 2020, the New Choreography Award is only open to artists who identify as cis-female, trans, and non-binary. They should be 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 programme of activities, as identified by the successful artist. Funding is provided to support their overall creative development, rather than the production of a completed new work. The ambition is to underwrite a programme of individual research that can affect a step change in the artist’s practice, with the potential to impact on, and beyond, the dance sector.

In addition to the £20,000 bursary, the awardee will be supported by the BBCF board of Trustees and Advisors, together with any 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 in consultation with the awarding panel.

There is no prescribed format; the award is for a custom programme of activities which may include:

  • Working in a studio/environment with dancers, collaborators, colleagues, etc.
  • Supporting the artist to: deepen relationship to existing concerns; explore new ideas, practices and collaborations; or challenge preconceived ways of working choreographically
  • Supporting the artist to develop strategies for the development and growth of their work – these might involve exploring partnerships, potential contexts and audiences for their work
  • Supporting the artist to work towards a presentation of their research in a format of their choice to an audience during the period of the award, with a view to leveraging further support
  • Fostering a culture of dialogue and learning between award winners, Trustees, Advisors, and those concerned with the development of the Trust
  • Considering the local, national, and international context of the work

The award period will be negotiated with the successful applicant but should be completed within two years of the announcement of the award.

The Awardee Receives
  • £20,000 payable in instalments against agreed milestones, with the final payment being made on the receipt or delivery of the final project presentation
  • Access to the experience and expertise of the BBCF’s voluntary board of Trustees and Advisors during the award period
The Awardee is required to
  • Submit two progress reports to the BBCF board
  • Present a sharing of research to an audience at the end of the award period
  • Provide documentation and marketing materials (images/video) for BBCF’s promotional use
External support

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.

How to Apply

The application process for the New Choreography Award is in two stages.

Stage 1: Expression of Interest

Applicants are invited to send a one-page document of who they are and headlines of their area of artistic investigation. Visual material such as a video of up to 3 minutes in length, or an image slideshow can be included.

Please send your expression of interest to

Deadline for Stage 1: Wednesday 30th October 2019, 5pm

Stage 2: Application

From the initial call for expressions of interest, up to six artists will be invited to make a full application on their proposal of an artistic investigation. We appreciate and acknowledge the amount of work that artists spend on making applications, and are therefore creating a shortlist earlier on in the application process. The artists invited to apply at Stage 2 will be remunerated for their time, and will be informed of the outcome by Friday 8th November 2019.

The Stage 2 application will take place in December 2019/early January 2020.

Any enquiries can be sent to: