Keir Choreographic Award 2016
Artists. Alice Heyward, Chloe Chignell, Ghenoa Gela, James Batchelor, Martin Hansen, Paea Leach, Rebecca Jensen, Sarah Aiken
Organisations. Carriageworks, Dancehouse
This biennial Australian choreographic award was launched in 2014, it was formed through a partnership between Dancehouse, Melbourne; Carriageworks, Sydney and the Keir Foundation. It is dedicated to commissioning new short works and promoting innovation, experimentation and cross-artform practices in contemporary dance while providing significant support to the contemporary dance sector in Australia. The aim of the award is to increase the profile of, and cultivate new audiences for, contemporary dance both within Australia and internationally by commissioning and presenting new choreographic works in a competitive context, while also fostering debate around choreographic practice in Australia.
Choreography today invites a rethinking and reframing of relations between space, time, language, presence, aesthetics and ethics. The Keir Choreographic Award aims to capture the new choreographic territories evolving in the realm of movement art and performance that explore the very specific body-mind states artists have been increasingly concerned with throughout the last decade.
The Keir Choreographic Award welcomes choreographic ideas for works that reflect the interconnectivity between disciplines and challenge conventions about what the moving body is or can be in contemporary society. It hopes to foster new understandings of what choreography might become. Applications for the award are assessed by a panel and eight selected artists are commissioned to develop their work. Commissioned artists received a fee, a production budget and in-kind space proportionate to the scale of their project.
The commissioned works are presented in a four day season at Dancehouse, Melbourne. The jury then selects four of these works to go forward to the finals which are presented at Carriageworks, Sydney. A $30,000 cash prize is awarded to the winner selected by the jury, while $10,000 is awarded to the People’s Choice winner selected by the audience at Carriageworks.
The 2016 Keir Choreographic Award was won by Ghenoa Gela.
The finalists were: Ghenoa Gela (NSW), Rebecca Jensen (VIC), Martin Hansen (Berlin) and Sarah Aiken (VIC).
The eight commissioned artists in 2016 were: Sarah Aiken, James Batchelor, Chloe Chignell, Ghenoa Gela, Martin Hansen, Alice Heyward, Rebecca Jensen and Paea Leach.
The 2016 jury was: Bojana Cvejić (Belgrade) – performance theorist and performance maker based in Brussels, Pierre Bal-Blanc – documenta 14 curator and independent art critic based in Athens and Paris, Sarah Michelson – US based choreographer, Atlanta Eke – Australian choreographer and inaugural winner of the 2014 Keir Choreographic Award, and Phillip Keir – The Keir Foundation Director and founder of the Award.
In 2016 the Keir Foundation brought four dance specialists from Asia to Sydney and Melbourne to participate in public programs and to build networks between Australian contemporary dancers and their peers based in Asia. The four visiting dance specialists were: Dance Critic Daisuke Muto (Japan), Dance Producer Helly Minarti (Indonesia), Dance Producer and Writer Bilqas Hijjas (Malaysia) and Poet Kim Seung-Hee (Korea).
A series of public programs were held around the Choreographic Awards in 2016 at Dancehouse in Melbourne called The Body. Now
Talk by Sarah Michelson with Becky Hilton Exhibiting Choreography
Talk by Fionna Winning and Anitra Nelson with Angela Conquet The Money Issue
Talk by Pierre Bal Blanc with Hannah Mathews Choreographing Exhibitions
Masterclasses with Adam Linder and Philipp Gehmacher
Hotbeds with Chrysa Parkinson: Performers and Authorship Sarah Michelson: Choreographic Lab
Writing Critically on Dance with Deborah Jowitt (USA)
Conversation with Chrysa Parkinson Experimental Authorship, A Practice
Lecture & Conversation with Adrian Heathfield The Persistence of Performance
Lecture/Performance Walk & Talk No. 19 with Philipp Gehmacher
Ghost telephone was a month-long chain performace curated by Adrian Heathfield that was part of the 20th Biennale of Sydney: The future is already here – it’s just not evenly distributed at the Art Gallery of New South Wales. Keir Choreographic Awards Public Programs participants Chrysa Parkinson and Philipp Gehmacher were also participants in this Biennale project.