Alexander_Whitley, Celestial Motion II
Alexander Whitley, Celestial Motion II. Photo: Luca Biada
The Bonnies

The Bonnies are the portfolio of awards that the Bonnie Bird Choreography Fund offers. The Fund aims to recognise the work of artists and individuals in the choreographic arena from a very early point in their careers right through to the more mature years of their work. Our awards are constantly under review by the very active board and will shift and change in response to the needs of the industry.

The Awards

Bonnie Bird New Choreography Award
Bonnie Bird Choreographic Development Awards
Marion North Mentoring Awards
Bonnie Bird Lifetime Contribution to Choreography Award
Bonnie Bird Awards

Our current awards:

To mark the start of the new decade, the Trustees and Advisors of the Bonnie Bird Choreography Fund decided to enhance their awards – The Bonnies – in 2020. As in previous years, the principal purpose of the awards is to provide direct financial support to artists wishing to research and develop their practice. This year, the fund decided to acknowledge the imbalance in opportunities that are currently, and/or had previously been available to cis-female, trans, and non-binary artists. This is reflected in the New Choreography Award of £20,000, a significant increase from the previous £10,000 award, to support the artist or artists’ research activity over two years, whilst four new Choreographic Development Awards were open to all applicants.

What we look for

We welcome proposals from 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 seek convincing, ambitious, and clearly articulated ideas. We want to be surprised, excited and will need to understand why what you are proposing to do is different from what you have done before.

When selecting the award winner, we take the following criteria into consideration:

  • The quality of the proposal and a demonstrable commitment to choreographic development and research
  • A clear desire for challenging and rigorous debate and an eagerness to share and disseminate the findings of the research
  • Artistic track record and clear evidence of managing choreographic investigation and research activity through to fruition
  • The strategic importance and contribution of the research both to the artists’ own current and future practice and to the dance sector and field of choreography in the UK

The call for applications to the New Choreography Award and the Choreographic Development Awards is now closed.

Nominations for the Lifetime Contribution to Choreography Award are also now closed.

The award recipients for The Bonnies 2020 are:

Lifetime Contribution to Choreography Award
Sue MacLennan

Bonnie Bird New Choreography Award
J Neve Harrington

Choreographic Development Awards
Julie Cunningham
Roberta Jean
Grace Nicol
Charlotte Spencer

Our previous awards:
  • The Marion North Mentoring Awards, which supported artists at an early point in their career who could benefit from having a more structured dialogue with a maker who has been creating over a longer period of time or from a very different perspective
  • The Bonnie Bird Awards which are flexible awards offered in response to ideas that come to our attention, designed to be responsive and one–off