Commissioned critical reviews of KCA works in partnership with WITNESS

WITNESS is an initiative of writer, poet and critic Alison Croggon and director, playwright and theatre historian Robert Reid. It is a new curated site for critical discussion of the performing arts that will launch in March 2018 and aims to be a sustainable foundation for high quality, stimulating critical discussion that isn't subject to the whims of the media industry. WITNESS will critically review each of the 8 commissioned works and will run a live online critical forum for the KCA audiences to engage with.

Witness's inaugural First Nations Critical Intern will be working with the team.


Alison Croggon is an award winning fantasy novelist, poet and critic who lives in Melbourne, Australia. She is the author of several novels, including the acclaimed young adult fantasy quintet, The Books of Pellinor, several collections of poems and libretti written for composers Andree Greenwell, Michael Smetanin and Iain Grandage. Until 2012 she published reviews and critical texts on her blog, Theatre Notes, and in 2009 was named the Geraldine Pascall Critic of the Year. With Robert Reid, she is co-founder of  the curated critical website Witness, which launches in March 2018. More information on Alison Croggon can be found on her website.

Robert Reid is a playwright, director and academic. His award-winning plays have been produced by the Melbourne Theatre Company and his own independent companies. He is artistic director of the games-based performance company, Pop Up Playground, and his Platform Paper on theatre and digital marketing was published by Currency Press in 2011. He recently completed his PhD in Australian Theatre History.



SCRIBE is led by artist and curator, Leisa Shelton in collaboration with local artists/scribes, whom you will be seeing at Dancehouse all throughout the season. They will be inviting you, the audience, to engage in short intimate one-to-one encounters, to capture your feelings, impressions and experience of the works you have just seen, which they will then capture in writing. This is a poetic invitation unfolding subtle or invisible layers of how we engage, feel and resonate with dance.


Leisa Shelton is a performance artist and curator. Her practice foregrounds collaboration and advocacy for brave, contemporary transdisciplinary work. Leisa's current practice is focused on curatorship – initiating new frames for the presentation and development of performance, nationally and internationally. Leisa is co-curator of the Venice International Performance Art Week (VIPAW), International Facilitator of Asia Discovers Asia Meeting (ADAM), Artist Lab – Taipei and was head of Performance Making (animateuring) at the VCA 2008-2013 and Community and Social Practice, VCA 2014-17.

Leisa's recent live works include: Mapping Australian Media Art (2014–16) featured in Experimenta Recharge: 6th International Biennial of Media Art national touring program and SCRIBE – live writing toward the democratic document, commissioned for the 2016 Festival of Live Art and recommissioned for Spill Festival in the UK and as a city wide project for Dance Massive 2017.





The Keir Choreographic Award Dancehouse Public Program is presented by Dancehouse in partnership with Faculty of the VCA and MCM | University of Melbourne, Abbotsford Convent, Lucy Guerin Inc., BalletLab and Temperance Hall, City of Yarra, Critical Path, Goethe Institut Australia.

Dancehouse would like to warmly thank the Keir Foundation for making this public program possible.