Keir Choreographic Award 2022 Program and Jury Announced

Keir Choreographic Award

23 June – 2 July

The Keir Foundation, Dancehouse, and Australia Council for the Arts, with presenting partner Carriageworks, today announced the program and jury for the fifth edition of the Keir Choreographic Award (KCA). The award is a premiere event for the Australian dance scene presenting newly commissioned works by eight independent Australian artists and collectives. For the first time, Carriageworks and Dancehouse will each host all eight works over a two-week season from 23 June – 2 July, featuring two presentations of four works each in a rotating program.

The esteemed jury of international dance leaders tasked with selecting the recipient of the 2022 Keir Choreographic Award and awarding the $50,000 jury prize on Sunday 3 July at Carriageworks include Daniel Riley (Wiradjuri/Australia), Artistic Director of Australian Dance Theatre, Eko Supriyanto (Indonesia)choreographer and independent dance artist, Laurie Uprichard (Ireland), international dance presenter and curator, Lemi Ponifasio (Aotearoa/New Zealand), internationally acclaimed artist and collaborator, and Nanako Nakajima (Japan)dance dramaturg, academic and researcher. 

Keir Choreographic Award Founder Phillip Keir said: “I am proud to see how the KCA has grown to become the largest generator of new choreographic works in Australia and a catalyst for international exchange and recognition. The 2022 international jury tasked with the responsibility of selecting the winner of the Award represents a wealth of diverse knowledge and experiences and I look forward to seeing the dialogue and discourse that is generated from their involvement in this years’ KCA.”

Carriageworks CEO Blair French said: “The KCA is an incredible showcase of new work by some of the most innovative choreographers in Australia, and we are excited to be able to present all eight works at Carriageworks for the first time. Supporting artists to experiment and create new work is one of our key focuses, and we look forward to welcoming the choreographers, dancers and judges to the precinct next month.”

The commissioned artists were selected from an Australia-wide call-out of 64 proposals and include an outstanding mix of early-career to established practitioners from states and cities across Australia. 

KCA artists Joshua Pether, Lucky Lartey, Raghav Handa and Rebecca Jensen will perform their newly commissioned works at Carriageworks (23 – 25 June) and at Dancehouse (30 June – 2 July):  

·  Joshua Pether (WA) is an experimental performance artist, dancer and choreographer of Kalkadoon heritage but lives and works on Noongar Country in Western Australia. Pether’s work As Above, So Below is a 20-minute ritual that exists as a portal to personal histories and deliverance.

·  Lucky Lartey (NSW) is a Sydney-based dancer and choreographer, originally from Ghana, West Africa. Lartey’s work Exoticism is an exploration of exotification and contemporary masculinity which delves deeply into the collective lived experience of people with diverse backgrounds.

·  Raghav Handa (NSW) is trained in modern and Indigenous contemporary dance and draws on the principles of Indian Kathak to create multifaceted, engaging explorations of modern Australian identity. Handa’s work Follies of God will use Sanskrit verses from the Bhagavad Gita to explore the seduction of violence and how language can be weaponised to inspire or subjugate.

·  Rebecca Jensen (VIC) is a Melbourne-based, New Zealand born dancer, choreographer and teacher. Jensen’s work Slip entangles choreography and sound, considering the effects of delay and disembodiment as the present gives way to an anticipated future.

KCA artists Alan Schacher and WeiZen Ho, Alice Will Caroline, Jenni Large and Tra Mi Dinh, will perform their newly commissioned works at Dancehouse (23 – 25 Juneand at Carriageworks (30 June – 2 July):  

·  Alice Will Caroline (VIC) (Alice Dixon, William McBride, Caroline Meaden) have been working together in Melbourne since 2013 and have made and performed seven original works of dance and theatre. Their collaborative work What’s Actually Happening explores a semi-permanent state of emergency. In this baffling collage they bicker, cackle, rage and embrace as they navigate a chaotic terrain.

·  Tra Mi Dinh (VIC) is a dance artist and emerging choreographer interested in movement that is surprising, absurd, rhythmic and presentational. The artist’s work The ___ features two dancers oscillating through shifting scenes that challenge the finality of “endings” and what it means for something to come to a close.

·  Alan Schacher and WeiZen Ho (NSW) are interdisciplinary performing artists. Their duet performance work Evaporative Body / Multiplying Body is an exploration of tremulous bodily states, liminal thresholds and shimmering auras which asks “What will happen if the things we are pretending to do actually manifest?”

·  Jenni Large (TAS) is a contemporary dance artist, performer, choreographer, teacher and rehearsal director working across Australia. Large’s work Wet Hard features two women balancing atop 8-inch heels as they smear across an other-worldly landscape in a melting and solidifying display of strength and focus. 

Dancehouse CEO and Artistic Director Josh Wright said: “With the international perspectives and dialogues offered by this remarkable jury of emblematic dance figures from across the Asia Pacific, I am excited to see the fifth Keir Choreographic Award unfold in both Melbourne and Sydney. It has been extraordinary to see the Award grow to be the largest generator of new choreographic works in Australia and all the opportunities for international touring and cross-cultural exchange that continue to be generated. I look forward to seeing these compelling new works in June and to watch their future lives unfold across borders.”

Australia Council CEO Adrian Collette said: “The Australia Council is delighted to be part of this important partnership that supports new choreographic work in contemporary dance. We look forward to connecting this wonderfully diverse and talented group of artists with both audiences and the invaluable experience offered by this exciting jury.”

Tickets for the 2022 Keir Choreographic Award are on sale from today for both Carriageworks’ and Dancehouse’s seasons. The full KCA program will also be recorded and made available digitally On Demand Australia-wide on Sunday 3 July along with the announcement of the $50,000 jury prize and $10,000 audience choice award.

The Keir Choreographic Award is a partnership between Dancehouse, The Keir Foundation and the Australia Council for the Arts, with presenting partner Carriageworks.

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