2016 Keir Choreographic Award

Dancehouse, Carriageworks & The Keir Foundation present 2016 Keir Choreographic Award

Semi-Finals Performance Season & Dancehouse Public Program

This April, Dancehouse, Carriageworks and the Keir Foundation present the premieres of eight works by outstanding commissioned artists for the 2016 Keir Choreographic Award (KCA), Australia’s first major choreographic award.
Performing in two programs over five days (April 26-30) at Melbourne’s Dancehouse, the eight choreographers compete for the prestigious award and a $30,000 first-place cash prize, with four finalists to be announced on the final evening. The Semi-Finals Season is complemented by the Dancehouse Public Program, a celebration and interrogation of contemporary choreography, welcoming the vanguard of dance thinkers and practitioners, such as legendary American critic Deborah Jowitt, for a series of discussions.
Launched in 2014 and now in its second edition, KCA is a national biennial award dedicated to commissioning original Australian choreographic short works and promoting innovative, experimental and cross-art form practices across Australia and internationally. KCA celebrates the cream of Australian choreography and expands the debate around contemporary choreographic practice.
The eight commissioned artists hail from across Australia, and include 2014 KCA finalist Sarah Aiken; Canberra-born, award-winning choreographer and performer James Batchelor; emerging choreographer and recent DanceWEB scholarship recipient Chloe Chignell; Sydney-based choreographer and performer from the Torres Strait Islands, Ghenoa Gela; Berlin-based Australian choreographer and performer Martin Hansen; Alice Heyward, seen recently in Maria Hassabi’s Intermission (ACCA) and Xavier Le Roy’s Temporary Title (Carriageworks); New Zealander Rebecca Jensen, who presented at Next Wave 2014 and Dance Massive 2015; and Paea Leach who has performed and collaborated across Australia and Europe and was commissioned by Chunky Move’s Next Move 2014 season.

Sarah Aiken, James Batchelor, Chloe Chignell & Ghenoa Gela

Angela Conquet, Dancehouse Artistic Director/CEO, said, “Dancehouse is delighted to present the second iteration of the Keir Choreographic Award. Choreography is about framing the relationship our bodies have to politics, ethics, space and time and this award opens up a site for that interesting inter-connectedness. We’re excited to see how this diverse line-up of young talents will interrogate and challenge choreographic territories.  We’re also very proud to announce the rich public program, which brings to Melbourne some of the finest minds of dance thinking and making and aims to expand our understanding of choreography today.”
Martin Hansen, Alice Heyward, Rebecca Jensen & Paea Leach.

Special guest Deborah Jowitt (US), arguably the most world-renowned dance critic and author, joins the Dancehouse Public Program for two events: speaking ‘In Conversation’ with esteemed Australian critic Alison Croggon on ‘Writing Critically on Dance’, and leading a critical writing workshop, offering insights from her incredible six-decade career as a dance critic, choreographer and teacher. Prolific and revered, Jowitt has been the voice of NY dance criticism with regular columns in Village Voice (since 1967), New York Times and Arts Journal. Her writing has garnered numerous honours including a Bessie Award, an “Ernie” – an honour reserved for dance’s “unsung heroes” – a Guggenheim Fellowship, and honours from the American Dance Guild and the Congress of Research in Dance.
The 2016 KCA Jury consists of Brussels-based performance theorist and performance-maker Bojana Cvejić, Documenta 14 curator and independent art critic Pierre Bal-Blanc, US-based choreographer Sarah Michelson, Perth International Arts Festival Artistic Director Wendy Martin, Keir Foundation founder Phillip Keir, all of whom will also participate in the Dancehouse Public Program.
During the Closing Ceremony, the judges will announce four finalists. Their works will be presented by Carriageworks as part of the Sydney season from 5-7 May 2016.
The eight commissioned artists will compete for the accolade of the award including a cash prize of $30,000 for first prize and $10,000 for an audience choice prize that will be voted by Sydney audiences.
2016 Keir Choreographic Award
Semi-Finals Performance Season

Dancehouse, 150 Princes St. North Carlton, Melbourne
Program One
• 4 Works x 20 mins Tuesday 26, Thursday 28 April, 7pm  •  Saturday 30 April, 2pm
Program Two • 4 Works x 20 mins Wednesday 27, Friday 29 April, 7pm  •  Saturday 30 April + Closing Ceremony,7pm
Bookings & information: www.dancehouse.com.au
2016 Keir Choreographic Award
Public Program
Practice •  23 March – 1 May Adam Linder • Philipp Gehmacher • Chrysa Parkinson • Sarah Michelson   
Writing Workshop •  25 – 29 April, 1-5pm  Writing Critically on Dance • Led by Deborah Jowitt •  Limited Capacity
Lectures/Dialogue •  2-5 April, 7pm Chrysa Parkinson • Adrian Heathfield
Lectures/Performances 6 April, 7pm Philipp Gehmacher • walk + talk no. 19
Conversations •  26-30 April
The Body. Now  • Writing Critically on Dance – Deborah Jowitt with Alison Croggon
Social Choreography and self-performance – Bojana Cvejic in conversation with Jana Perkovic
Exhibiting Choreography – Sarah Michelson with Becky Hilton
Choreographing Exhibitions – Pierre Bal Blanc and Stephanie Rosenthal with Phillip Keir
More information and tickets on sale now via www.dancehouse.com.au