PROGRAM 1 - JULY 3 to 6
Matthew Day, Jane McKernan, Tim Darbyshire, Brooke Stamp

3 July - 8pm
4 July - 8pm
5 July - 8pm
6 July - 5pm

*Please note - latecomers will notbe admitted

PROGRAM 2 - JULY 10 to 13
Shaun Gladwell, Atlanta Eke, James Batchelor, Sarah Aiken

10 July - 8pm
11 July - 8pm
12 July - 8pm
13 July - 5pm & CLOSING CEREMONY with the 4 finalists announced*

*Please note - latecomers will not be admitted

* The Dancehouse seasons include all 8 commissioned works. During the Melbourne seasons, the jury will select four of the commissioned works to be presented at Carriageworks in Sydney for the finals. The winner will receive a $30,000 prize, with a further $10,000 prize in the hands of the voting audience.


Earlier this year, Carriageworks, Dancehouse and the Keir Foundation have partnered for the first time to present the Keir Choreographic Award, the first Australian prize dedicated to commissioning new choreographic works and to bringing significant support and increased profiling to the contemporary dance sector, both nationally and internationally. Among the many benefits, the Award includes a cash prize of $30,000 for first prize and $10,000 for an audience choice prize.

Out of the 77 entries, the international and national judges - Mårten Spångberg (Sweden), Matthew Lyons (USA),  Josephine Ridge (Australia), Becky Hilton (Australia) and Phillip Keir (Australia) - selected eight artists to make and present a short work.




The eight finalists commissioned of this inaugural edition are:
Sarah Aiken (VIC); James Batchelor (VIC); Tim Darbyshire (VIC); Matthew Day (VIC); Atlanta Eke (VIC); Shaun Gladwell (NSW); Jane McKernan (NSW); and Brooke Stamp (VIC).


#1 - JULY 3 to 6

Tim Darbyshire and his collaborators will work closely with texts from poetic, academic and theatrical realms, experimenting with dialogue techniques used in cinema and theatre including voice-overs, dubbing and the presence of text in film.

Matthew Day's work will incorporate the emotionally heightened score of Stravinsky's Rite of Spring along with the remaining pieces of Nijinsky's choreography into this piece. Day's light and sound team will work alongside one another to illuminate the emotional variances in the score and map these onto Day's body, highlighting fragmentary and repetitive nature of the piece.

Jane McKernan will have a focus on the live transferral of choreographed information between four dancers. Analysing the reactions of a 'group body', McKernan's work will work with the notion of individual agency alongside the concept of unison. Jane has recently worked in collaboration with US choreographer Miguel Gutierrez and The Fondue set, presented at Carriageworks.

Brooke Stamp will examine the legacy of modern dance in current live performance practice. A long time collaborator with Phillip Adams BalletLab, Stamp has consistently grown her practice to incorporate interdisciplinary elements into each of her projects. For the Award, Stamp will investigate the burden of information embedded in her body and her practice, which is bound to the legacy of such dance pioneers as Isadora Duncan and Martha Graham.


#2- JULY 10 to 13

Sarah Aiken - Developed as part of ongoing research, Aiken’s piece will navigate the body and surrounding objects in relation to the social constructs that operate between them including costume and representational movement.

James Batchelor - Combining dance and visual arts in his performance, Batchelor will investigate how movement and structural design can evolve and develop simultaneously as a live, active performance piece. The audience will become an intimate part of this piece and will be witness to a dialogue between the performers and the visual artist responding the to dynamics of the performance as it unfolds.

Atlanta Eke - With an already impressive body of work behind her (MONSTER BODY – presented at various festivals SEXES, Dance Massive, MONA FOMA) Eke’s work for this award will look into paradox of how the 'present’ is a point of transition from the past to the future, as well as a place for the permanent rewriting of both past and future. Exploring the notion of the ageing body throughout time, Eke’s work will emulate her distinctive style and focus on the tensions that can be explored through performance.

Shaun Gladwell - Gladwell’s piece is directly informed by his experience as the Australian War Memorial official war artist in Afghanistan in 2009. A contemporary artist working in a wide range of mediums, Gladwell’s choreographic work will analyse and meditate on the gestures of soldiers operating under pressure within the field of training.




Also, book now for the Carriageworks season!

16 - 19 July

Learn more

This project is presented by Dancehouse, the Keir Foundation and Carriageworks and has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body.

Image credt: The Promised Land, Christina Simons for Jill Orr.