MadeBy: The launch of Australian composition-to-choreography competition

Alice Topp.
Alice Topp.

Entries have opened for a world-first composition and choreography initiative, MadeBy, developed by OneMusic Australia and the Australian arm of the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD). 

MadeBy highlights the business of music and dance, artistic currency and interconnectivity. It provides a $15,000 prize pool to Australian music composers and choreographers to create collaborative ‘works’ and integrate the two cultural sectors which are under immense pressure post-COVID.

MADEBY composition and choreography competition.

In a staggered competition, first Australian composers are offered the opportunity to submit an original composition with the winning piece featured in a second competition for aspiring choreographers within the RAD Membership, who will create an original dance work in response to the music. Along with cash prizes, each winner will then be given support to collaborate on a new work together. 

In a bid to nurture the careers of emerging artists and educate musicians and dancers on the creative process, OneMusic and the RAD have engaged professional artists in both fields who will mentor the winning artists throughout their collaboration. 

Rebecca Taylor, national director of the RAD, said, “Music and dance are interwoven and supporting artforms. MadeBy is an opportunity for two organisations who underpin those artforms to come together and lead by example, in a collaboration which strengthens those links. So much more than a competition, it is a chance to see Australians celebrated for their authenticity and innovation and to provide transparency and insight into the creative processes of both musicians and dancers. It will nurture through mentorship and provide a platform to illuminate every step of the process. I am excited to see this project unfold.”

Alice Topp.
Alice Topp.

Catherine Giuliano, director of OneMusic, added, “MadeBy is two grass roots organisations coming together to build awareness of one another and provide opportunities for their struggling arts and cultural creators. It’s a unique opportunity for us to educate the dance community on the value of music. It’s also a great opportunity for us to better understand about the music dance schools use and remunerate the right creators.”

Starting 24 February, through APRA AMCOS, emerging Australian composers were invited to submit an original composition. The winning composition becomes the catalyst for stage two of the competition, on 17 May, when, through RAD, aspiring choreographers will be invited to submit a video of an original work in response to the winning musical composition. In September, the winning composer will be paid to write and record an entirely new commissioned work in collaboration with the winning choreographer and supported by mentors from each field. Then, in 2022, the artists’ combined work will debut. 

Cat Hope. Photo by Karl Ockelford.
Cat Hope. Photo by Karl Ockelford.

Mentors are Cat Hope, an Australian composer and performer; and Alice Topp, a celebrated Australian choreographer and former ballerina with The Australian Ballet. The judges for the composition are Hope and Topp, composer James Ledger, RAD Dance Accompanist and Music Services Administrator Grant Kennedy, and RAD Artistic Director Gerard Charles. For choreography, the judges are Hope, Topp, Charles and former Artistic Director of The Australian Ballet David McAllister AM, along with the winning composer. 

For more information on MadeBy and OneMusic, visit au.royalacademyofdance.org/madeby and www.apraamcos.com.au/madeby.

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