RPS Drummond Lockyer Fund for Dance

As long as there has been music, there has been dance. The Royal Philharmonic Society is proud to help composers and choreographers bring exciting new works to the UK stage, through the RPS Drummond Lockyer Fund for Dance.

Applications for the RPS Drummond Lockyer Fund for Dance are now closed, but information about how to apply remains here for reference.

Recognising the challenge and expense of staging dance with live music, we hope the fund will enable practitioners to activate plans that may not otherwise have been possible, making a difference to their progress and profile.

It began life in 2007 as the RPS Drummond Fund in memory of the writer, broadcaster and lifelong dance aficionado Sir John Drummond CBE. In the years since, it has supported a range of collaborations between composers and choreographers, as detailed here. It was set up by John’s long term partner Bob Lockyer OBE, himself a major force in British dance for decades. Sadly Bob died in 2022 and you can read our tribute to him here. In recognition of all Bob himself did, and his relationship with John, the fund now bears a new name: the RPS Drummond Lockyer Fund for Dance.

A generous gift from Bob’s Will has also replenished the fund so that we can continue supporting composers and choreographers for some years to come.

If you would like to apply, the following information will tell you everything you need to know. As there’s a lot to read, you may prefer to download the fund guidelines PDF at the bottom of the page which entails everything detailed on this page. To apply, you should use the online application form linked at the bottom of this page

What can you apply for?

We are pleased to announce two funding streams this year: ‘Performance’ and ‘R&D’ – a model we expect to continue in future. Applications are now open and will close at 11am on Tuesday 9 April 2024.

In your application you will be asked to provide key information, answer some questions about your initiative (which you can supply in written or simply filmed format), and complete our budget template in which you will need to state how much money you are ideally seeking from the RPS and what element(s) of the initiative the funding – if successful – would go towards.

Performance

The ‘Performance’ stream is similar to what has been offered previously, and will offer funds to a project expected to reach the UK stage within two years of our grant being confirmed, by May 2026 at the latest. Planning may not yet have begun, but is likely already underway to some extent. Essentially:

  • the composer and choreographer must already be committed to the project.
  • the project should involve new music being written for new dance, culminating in performance with dancers and live music-making.
  • some idea of firm or pencilled performance dates and venues should be presented in the application. At the least, you should be able to tell us about provisional conversations held with one or more promoters/venues/festivals and your expectations arising from these.

It is unlikely that we will support a project that culminates in just one performance. We are keen to ensure that funded works endure in some regard, so expect applicants to express how they may achieve this, either through a number of performances, by a commitment to adding the work to their repertory, and/or through creative digital capture which may be used to market the work, interest future promoters, or so it may be seen online for posterity.

Grants from this fund are usually for composers and choreographers who have not collaborated before. If the composer and choreographer have worked together before, the application must compellingly express how this project will break new creative ground for them that is significantly different from what they have achieved together before.

Performances should involve at least one live musician (instrumentalists, singers or someone operating musical electronics) though we will always be inclined to support projects that look set to involve an ensemble of live musicians.

This year we expect to offer a total of £20,000 in grants from the ‘Performance’ stream. While this could go to one entity outright, we expect it will go to 2 or 3, with grants in the region of £5,000 to £10,000 each. It is likely that such grants will not cover your project costs outright so in your application you should tell us about other funds secured or that you are hoping to raise to fulfil your aims.

Those who receive a ‘Performance’ grant will be expected around the premiere and future performances, as well as online and in the work’s score, to acknowledge the support of the RPS Drummond Lockyer Fund for Dance. A set of guidelines for such acknowledgement will be presented to recipients with our grant offer. As with all beneficiaries of RPS charitable funds, we might at some stage in the project’s development ask you to account your progress to us, or to our RPS Members and other supporters, in a written or simply filmed format.

You cannot apply for the ‘Performance’ stream at the same time you are applying for the ‘R&D’ stream.

Research & Development

The ‘Research & Development’ (R&D) stream is new. It is for a choreographer and composer who have never brought work to the stage together before, to devote some time to exploring potential collaboration and plant the seeds of a project they might subsequently bring to the UK stage together with live musicians.

Your R&D activity should take place between May 2024 and December 2024. In early 2025, we will invite you to attend a Zoom meeting with select RPS staff and expert members of the Drummond Lockyer Fund advisory group to tell us about your progress, what you have learned from your R&D time, and what you hope to do next as a result. As this is a new funding stream, we will be so pleased to learn from you what has made it worthwhile. It may be that our advisors will be able to give you some tips and recommendations on next steps you can take for the project to advance. Following this, if you so wish and are ready to do so, you will be welcome to submit the next steps of the collaboration for the ‘Performance’ funding stream, which opens again in January 2025, or in a future year. In such instances, your application would be reviewed equally with all other applications made at that time.

This year we expect to offer a total of £15,000 in grants from the ‘R&D’ stream, and expect this to be several grants in the region of £3,000 to £5,000 each. This may not cover your R&D costs outright so in your application you should tell us about other funds secured or that you are hoping to raise to fulfil your aims.

Those who receive a ‘R&D’ grant will be expected to acknowledge the support this year of the RPS Drummond Lockyer Fund for Dance online, and provide further acknowledgement around the premiere and future performances if the collaboration proceeds to the stage. A set of guidelines for such acknowledgement will be presented to recipients with our grant offer.

You cannot apply for the ‘R&D’ stream at the same time you are applying for the ‘Performance’ stream.

Who can apply?

Applications submitted for either stream must have a confirmed choreographer and composer. In keeping with all those the RPS supports, the composer may be an established or early-career artist but must have some proven acumen for writing music of character and distinction for live instruments / singers / musical electronics.

The choreographer should likewise be able to account their experience of bringing dance to the stage. The application itself can be submitted by either of them, or equally by a dance company or producer (including venues and festivals) with proven experience staging dance, who has confirmed the choreographer and composers’ involvement, and will play a central role in the collaboration.

How should the grant be used?

In your application, you will be asked to supply a simple income and expenditure budget (using our template) for the overall performance project or R&D project.

For ‘Performance’, your budget is likely to include such items as planning time and sessions, rehearsals, performances, composer’s commission fees, choreographer’s fees, dancers and musicians costs, profile and promotion costs, and other resources you might need, such as to document your progress and outcomes.

For ‘R&D’, your budget is likely to include such items as some money to remunerate the choreographer and composer for their time, and any other dancers and musicians you may wish to involve at this stage, as well as venue and equipment hire and other resources you might need, such as to document your progress.

Within your budget, you should specify how much you are ideally seeking from the RPS Drummond Lockyer Fund’s to support these, and provide a picture of where you have already secured or hope to find the remaining funds.

How to apply

We aim to keep applications straightforward, and these should be submitted via the application form
at the end of this webpage.

There are three sections to the application form:

APPLICANTS

In this section, you will be asked to input some simple information, telling us who is the Principal Contact for the application and their contact details. You should name the choreographer and composer involved, and dance company or producer where applicable, providing links to websites where we can read more about their respective achievements to date.

    Also we will ask you to provide, where possible, links that showcase the choreographer and composer’s recent work. For the composer, this should ideally be a link to a recording of a recent work, with some short written details of what the work was, and you will be asked to upload a PDF of its score. For the choreographer, this should ideally be a link to footage of a recent dance work you have choreographed, with some short written details of what the work was. If for exceptional reasons you cannot provide such things, you can account your reasons in this section of the form.

    PROJECT

    For this, you can choose whether to provide what’s required in written or simply filmed format.

    In this section, we would like:

    • A short overview of your plans:
      • For ‘R&D’ you should give us a good impression of what you would like to do with your R&D time, what it might involve, when and where it might take place, and anyone beyond the composer and choreographer you might plan to involve. If you already have ideas for what the R&D might lead to performance-wise, let us know this too.
      • For ‘Performance’, you should tell us about your project, what you hope to achieve with it, what live musicians you expect it to involve, details of firm or provisional conversations with promoters/venues/festivals, what performances you have in mind and the current status of these, and other ways you plan to ensure the work may endure in some regard.
    • Short separate first-person accounts from both the composer and choreographer articulating your personal aspirations and objectives for the project, and what you hope to achieve artistically by newly collaborating with each other in this way.
    • Any other information that may be salient to your proposal.

    If you choose to supply this in written format, all the above should be uploaded within one PDF up to but not exceeding 2 x A4 pages.

    If you choose to supply this in filmed format, you should provide a link to one short film in which all the above is addressed, that does not exceed 6 minutes in duration. We anticipate this will mostly entail the lead protagonists talking to camera. This need not be high-quality and we welcome it being filmed on smartphones. This should be submitted as a link to YouTube, Vimeo or equivalent platforms, and the footage should remain visible there till at least May 2023. You may send a link to footage that is ‘unlisted’ but please ensure to include any passwords with your link, if applicable, in the application form.

    BUDGET

    All applicants must complete our simple budget template (which you can download here) then upload this in our application form. We hope the template is clear and self-explanatory. Please refer to the section above entitled ‘How should the grant be used?’ for more detail on what we ask you to provide here.

    On completion of your online form, you will be invited to take a moment to answer some standard inclusivity monitoring questions. Doing this is so helpful to us all collectively in classical music. We are committed to working with colleagues sector-wide to ensure we are representing excellence, creativity and innovation in music-making within a diverse, multicultural society. Thank you for playing your part in this.

    The closing date for applications is 11am on Tuesday 9 April 2024. Applications are considered by an advisory group comprising experts in the dance and contemporary music professions, and their decision is final. Please note, as we are currently understaffed, the advisory group will meet a little later than expected in May to review all applications and we hope to notify applicants of outcomes by early June.

    If you would like any guidance in making an application, or to establish if your plans are eligible for consideration, you may contact the RPS team by email at admin@philharmonicsociety.uk or phone on 020 7287 0019.

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