Welcome to Dancehouse,
Dancehouse is the centre for independent dance in Melbourne. Through its programs of residencies, performance, training and research, Dancehouse is a space for developing challenging, invigorating, and socially engaged moving art. Dancehouse is a genuine tool for the dance-maker, a catalyst for developing new audiences and a facilitator of meaningful alliances and mobility schemes, in Australia and internationally.
The very idea of a competitive award for choreography courts interest, excitement, debate, and of course… controversy. What is it for? What will it do? And particularly, what exactly will it award? But such is the provocative power of any new idea like this unusual and unexpected Keir Choreographic Award. And so, after two sold-out seasons in Melbourne and the finals to kick off at Carriageworks, we reflect upon this initiative.
For Dancehouse, the KCA was intended as a provocation: a provocation for choreographic artists to generate new work, in a new context, for new eyes; a provocation for audiences, especially the first timers, to taste some short dance works and ponder, compare, discuss etc.; a provocation for the community to reflect upon existing rules, conditions and modes of production, framed by the explicit question "What is new choreography?"
From the 8 commissioned works recently presented at Dancehouse, we can reflect on the diverse state of choreography in Australia today. Let us also highlight the subjective and temporal nature of the judging of any award. The 2014 KCA jury rewards a particular kind of work, which naturally doesn't rule out, or rule on, the quality of the many different kinds of work produced and presented in Australia today.
It is our hope that the KCA will provide a bi-annual platform for the development of experimental Australian choreographers, for the expansion of our understanding of what choreography can and could be and for bringing this art form into the consciousness of contemporary Australians. What better provocation could there be?
-- Angela Conquet