Kenneth Tharp

Former Chief Executive, The Place


Kenneth Tharp is Chief Executive of The Place, the UK’s premier centre for contemporary dance.

Kenneth trained at the London Contemporary Dance School, and his 25-year performing career included London Contemporary Dance Theatre (1981-1994) Kim Brandstrup’s Arc Dance Company (1994-2005) and the Nigel Charnock Company. He has also worked extensively as a choreographer, director and teacher, including at The Royal Ballet School and Millennium Performing Arts and was co-director of Artyfartyarts, a multi disciplinary arts group. He served on the Board of the Royal Opera House from 2002–2010 and was Visiting Professor at the University of Lincoln from 2009-2012.

In 2013 he joined the Cultural Learning Alliance Steering Group. He has been named in five successive Powerlists of Britain’s 100 most influential black people,(2010-2014) and in 2003 he was made an OBE in recognition of his services to dance. He appears in Who’s Who.

As Chief Executive of The Place since 2007, Kenneth has responsibility for the overall leadership, strategy and management of The Place, developing cohesion and synergy between the organisation’s different activities. He has lead responsibility for relationships with key funders, including Arts Council England. He also acts as the public face of the organisation, as a spokesperson and ambassador for the full range of The Place’s work.

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