The Place, London’s pioneering hub for contemporary dance training, creation and performance, is immensely proud and excited to announce actress, popstar, artist and activist Paloma Faith as its newest, as well as youngest, patron.
As patron of The Place, Paloma helps amplify the organisation’s voice, tell its story and support its community of artists, students, participants and dance enthusiasts. Paloma’s career journey, artistry and passion for social and environmental justice reflect a set of values that align with The Place’s. As a globally successful artist with a powerful message, Paloma brings deep insights of what it means to have a creative career in today’s world and finding ones’ unique artistic voice. This sits at the heart of The Place’s raison d’etre, its artist development activities and London Contemporary Dance School’s pedagogy aiming to develop the next generation of artists.
The multi-talented Paloma Faith is best known for her career in music, film and television, her theatrical image and her fearless outspokenness and activism. What is perhaps less known is her close affinity to dance and to The Place. After being kicked out of ballet training for not fitting the mould, Paloma became a member of The Place’s Youth Dance Company, then led by Wayne McGregor (also a patron of The Place), while also being taught dance in her inner city secondary school by Clare Connor, now Chief Executive of The Place. Growing up in a single parent household in a deprived area of London, her stellar career makes her a posterchild for the importance of access and open pathways towards becoming an artist. Her intrinsic connection to The Place marks her out as an innate patron to inspire the next generation of students and artists of the future.
While she did initially pursue a dance degree, Paloma Faith always had a keen interest in diversifying her skills and challenging the boundaries of what dance can be, seeking out collaboration, extraordinary experiences and lifelong learning to fuel and inspire the unique and flamboyant performer she has become, an artist with her very own individual language. Her enthusiasm for all art forms and desire to burst the segregation between practices to create new ways of communicating makes her an ideal role model for our student developing their own artistic voices.
True to her conviction, Paloma Faith asked to meet up with London Contemporary Dance School’s students first for an online introduction before accepting the patronage. In July,she generously gave them her time and shared her powerful story of creative curiosity, tenacity, resilience and sheer hard work. She told them about her discovery that in art the message is more important than the medium of expression, and how the ‘power of yes’, of embracing opportunities whenever they arise, has been the guiding principle in her outstanding career.