Dedicated to dance
since 1910.

Buy Latest Issue

Clare Connor becomes chief executive of The Place

Posted on May 16, 2017

Clare Connor

The Place has announced that Clare Connor will be its new chief executive. Currently leading the strategic business development of London’s Southbank Centre, she succeeds Kenneth Olumuyiwa Tharp, who stepped down in 2016.

It’s a return for Connor, who trained at London Contemporary Dance School, based at The Place. She performed with Phoenix Dance Company, then worked as an artist and teacher in further and higher education and in collaboratively produced performing arts programmes for the University of East London. She co-founded the national network Future Arts Centres. From 2005 to 2014, she was director of Stratford Circus Arts Centre, where she led the redevelopment of the organisation to create a new charitable body to run it in 2012.

In 2014, she joined Southbank Centre, leading large-scale capital fundraising programmes, including Let the Light In, supporting the refurbishment of the Queen Elizabeth Hall, Purcell Room and Hayward Gallery.

Clare Connor said: “At the heart of The Place I believe that the student, artist and audience experience is the foremost consideration. The opportunity to drive the next era of growth and innovation for dance at The Place is genuinely exciting and I am especially thrilled to lead the organisation into its 50th anniversary year and beyond.”

Thomas Lynch, The Place’s chairman, said: “Throughout the recruitment process it was obvious that Clare had an in-depth understanding of The Place and her passion for the organisation shone through. She has an exemplary track record and I am sure that the combination of her experience, both in the arts and in higher education, her incredible vision and her unique range of skills will bring a positive new dynamism to take The Place forward.”

For more information, visit


Picture: Clare Connor. Photograph: Evroy Deer

Zoë was born in Edinburgh, and saw her first dance performances at the Festival there. She is the dance critic of The Independent, and has also written for The Independent on Sunday, The Scotsman and Dancing Times. In 2002, she received her doctorate from the University of York for a thesis on “Nationhood and epic romance: Ariosto, Sidney, Spenser”. She is the author of The Royal Ballet: 75 Years and The Ballet Lover’s Companion.

Connect with Dancing Times: