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Dance Architect choreographic award open to young applicants

Dancers Jayden Hicks, Lachlan Hall, Damian Merridith and Adrien Tucker. Photo by Paul Malek.

Young dance artists with an interest in choreography are being given the chance to take part in an exciting new competition. Dance Architect, which launches for the first time in 2016, is a youth choreographic award which culminates in a fully-funded performance season for two lucky choreographers.

Devised by Paul Malek and Chris Curran, the competition invites contemporary dance choreographers aged 15 to 25 to present short works as part of the Dance Architect showcase in October. A jury of “industry leaders” will then choose 10 works to perform at the Dance Architect final. From there, two choreographers will be awarded the chance to develop and stage a season in a three-day performance at Footscray Arts Centre in 2017.

“One of the biggest challenges a choreographer faces is being able to test their process, from conception through to end result,” says Curran. “Then… when putting on your own show, [you have to be] a producer, a marketer, a lighting designer, a fund raiser, a costume designer, an administrative assistant. To pretty much wear every hat becomes quite the juggling act and can become defeating when the project requires you to focus on the work itself.”

Paul Malek and Chris Curran. Photo by Malek.

Paul Malek and Chris Curran. Photo by Malek.

The two Dance Architect winners will be guided through the process of developing their initial concepts into a finished dance work of 15 to 30 minutes.

“We really want to focus this as a creative development opportunity,” Curran explains. “Our focus is creating a platform for creators to prosper and practice their choreographic processes and vision. This is important, as the more young dance makers make work, the better their art form and craft will grow.”

The competition will be split into two sections, one for 15-18-year-olds, and one for 19-25-year-olds. Applications are now open and close on July 30th. Choreographers are encouraged to read the Frequently Asked Questions on the Dance Architect website.

So what will the judging panel be looking for? “Creativity, artistry and individuality,” says Curran. “Strong concept or intention behind their work and strong focus on challenging the norm.”

For more information, head to http://www.dancearchitect.com.

By Rain Francis of Dance Informa.

Photo (top): Dancers Jayden Hicks, Lachlan Hall, Damian Merridith and Adrien Tucker. Photo by Paul Malek.

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