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2018 Keir Choreographic Award announces 8 selected artists

2018 Keir Choreographic Award artist
Lilian Steinr in a Lucy Guerin Residency in 2017. Photo courtesy of Carriageworks.

The Keir Foundation, Carriageworks and Dancehouse have announced the eight artists who have been selected for the 2018 Keir Choreographic Award, Australia’s first major choreographic award, supported by the Australia Council for the Arts.

Dancehouse and Carriageworks for Keir Choreographic Award

Four of the selected artists for the 2018 Keir Choreographic Award. Collage courtesy of Dancehouse.

The artists were selected by a high-profile international jury to take part in the biennial competition, dedicated to the commissioning, presentation, promotion and dissemination of new Australian choreography. The selected artists are: Amrita Hepi, Melanie Lane, Bhenji Ra, Nana Bilus, Luke George, Lilian Steiner, Prue Lang and Branch Nebula (Lee Wilson and Mirabelle Wouters).

Launched in 2014, the Keir Choreographic Award looks to identify and illuminate experimental choreographic practices occurring in the Australian context today. For the third edition of the award, the eight finalists will present their new work at Melbourne’s Dancehouse on March 6–10, 2018, with four chosen to go on to a season at Carriageworks in Sydney on March 15–17, 2018, to compete for the accolade of the $30,000 award and the $10,000 Audience Choice Award.

Keir Choreographic Award Founder Phillip Keir says, “I am delighted to see how the award has developed over the last six years. The range and depth of the applicants has truly made the deliberations of the jury more difficult than ever this time around. Congratulations to the final eight commissioned artists.”

Carriageworks Director Lisa Havilah adds, “Carriageworks congratulates the eight artists selected for the 2018 award and is proud to support them in making new choreographic work. Supporting artists to create new work lies at the heart of the Carriageworks program, and the Keir Choreographic Award is central to our programming in this area.”

Dancehouse and Carriageworks for Keir Choreographic Award

Four of the selected artists for the 2018 Keir Choreographic Award. Collage courtesy of Dancehouse.

Dancehouse Artistic Director Angela Conquet says, “I am particularly happy to see such a diverse selection of emerging and more senior artists who all have such unique interests and aesthetics. I’m looking forward to seeing the final works from this exciting group next March!”

The 2018 Keir Choreographic Award jury, responsible for selecting the eight finalists, is comprised of: Anna Cy Chan, the head of dance at the Performing Arts of the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority in Hong Kong; local dance icon Lucy Guerin; U.S. choreographer, author, performer and curator Ishmael Houston-Jones; Hungarian choreographer, dancer and performer Eszter Salamon; Christophe Slagmuylder, artistic director of international arts festival Kunstenfestivaldesarts in Brussels; and acclaimed Brussels-based American choreographer and dancer Meg Stuart.

Jury member Lucy Guerin comments on the selection process, “Such a stimulating conversation with the KCA jury, and the winners are an intriguing combination of artists with compelling and urgent ideas. I am truly excited about what they will make and how it will shape their own creative practice and that of their fellow dance-makers. This feels like the future. Can’t wait!”

The entry requirements for the award call for professional artists with an established practice to enter by submitting a five-minute video pitch for a choreographic idea of 20 minutes in duration. The Keir Choreographic Award jury assesses the initial video applications, and the eight short-listed works are provided with commissioning funds to realise their idea.

Each of the eight new works created for the 2018 Keir Choreographic Award will be presented at Dancehouse, where the jury will then select four works to be presented at Carriageworks. The jury will deliberate for a second time, having viewed the final works in a new space. The recipient of the 2018 Keir Choreographic Award will be announced along with the Audience Choice Award on the closing night of the Carriageworks season on March 17, 2018.

The Keir Choreographic Award was presented to Melbourne-based artist Atlanta Eke in 2014, and to Sydney-based Torres Strait Islander choreographer and performer Ghenoa Gela in 2016.




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