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Carriageworks announces public program for 2020 Keir Choreographic Award 

Photo courtesy of Adam Linder and Hannah Hoffman, Los Angeles.
Photo courtesy of Adam Linder and Hannah Hoffman, Los Angeles.

Carriageworks, Australia Council for the Arts and the Keir Foundation have announced details of the 2020 Keir Choreographic Award (KCA) public program, led by an array of national and international KCA jury members, panelists, guests and industry leaders. The public program will run concurrently with the performance season in Sydney, from 9 – 14 March, and will include panel discussions, workshops and free morning classes.   

The KCA program aims to connect leading international practitioners and theorists on the jury for the award with Australian artists and audiences, providing a vital context for related and relevant discourse, reflection and debate. Carriageworks have invited choreographer and dancer Brooke Stamp and artist Sarah Rodigari to be Guest Curators for the public program in Sydney.

“The Keir Choreographic Award Public Program aims to create opportunities for Sydney-based artists and audiences to gain access and insight into the international scope of discourse presented by the jurors,” Stamp said. “We’re interested to create proximity to physical practice and critical discourse, and explore embodied knowledges, global pedagogical lineages and changing curatorial relationships with dance and choreography.”

“Our interest is to develop and support opportunities for a particularly ‘Sydney’-based ecology of dancers and non-dancers, queer and First Nations artists, writers, thinkers and performance-makers through a series of workshops, panel discussions, lectures and morning classes,” Rodigari added.

The Keir Choreographic Award is a national biennial award dedicated to commissioning original works and promoting innovative, experimental and cross-artform practices in contemporary dance. The eight artists and collectives selected for the 2020 Keir Choreographic Award are: Alison Currie and David Cross, Angela Goh, Riana Head-Toussaint, Amrita Hepi, Jo Lloyd, Zachary Lopez, Lewis Major, and The Farm. 

The eight commissioned works will be presented at Dancehouse, Melbourne, from 3 – 7 March. Four of the works will be selected by jury to be performed at Carriageworks, from 12 – 14 March. The jury will announce the recipient of the $50,000 Keir Choreographic Award and the $10,000 Audience Award on 14 March.

The public program will include performances, panel discussions and workshops with KCA jury members and industry-leaders such as acclaimed Brussels-based choreographer Mette Edvardsen. Many of Edvardsen’s recent works have been developed using language as material, looking into the relationship between writing and speaking, between language and voice.  The workshop, Choreography as Writing, will explore choreographic and writing practice, drawing from her recent catalogue of works. 

Penelope Sleeps, Edvardsen’s opera with composer and performer Matteo Fargion, will have its Australian premiere at Carriageworks. Edvardsen’s latest work deconstructs the myth of the Odyssey by reconsidering the long years separating Penelope from the return of Ulysses. Here, opera is a departure point, stripped of its traditional narrative devices and grand gestures. Dangling on a border somewhere between opera and dreams, Penelope Sleeps makes and unmakes the configurations expected between women, others and the world. Sydney-based choreographer and performer Lizzie Thompson will host an in-conversation with Edvardsen to launch  the publication of Time has fallen asleep in the afternoon sunshine, a book on reading, writing, memory and forgetting in a library of living books. 

Other workshops and events include Touch of the Other, led by Tokyo-based choreographer and dancer Takao Kawaguchi; discussions on curatorial practices for dance and museums; a writing workshop held by Claudia La Rocco, critic and reporter for The New York Times from 2001-2015, and currently editorial director of Open Space, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art’s live and online commissioning platform; First Nations Dance: A conversation, exploring contemporary dance in Australia through a First Nations conversation.

Carriageworks has partnered with ReadyMade Works Inc., a not-for-profit organisation that provides programming and studio space support for the independent dance community in Sydney, to present a series of free morning classes held each day at Carriageworks. In an effort to galvanise the dance community through direct practice and conversation with practitioners, five dance artists, Shelley Lasica, Jane McKernan, Rhiannon Newton, Lee Serle and Vicki Van Hout, have been invited to lead a morning class.

For more information, visit carriageworks.com.au/events/keir-choreographic-award-2020-public-program

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