The Keir Choreographic Award is Australia's first major choreographic award presented by the Keir Foundation, Carriageworks and Dancehouse with the Australia Council. The Keir Choreographic Award is dedicated to the commissioning of new choreographic work and promoting innovative, experimental and cross-art form practice in contemporary dance.



Tuesday, 26 April- 7pm
Thursday, 28 April - 7pm
Saturday, 30 April - 2pm

4 works x 20 min + interval






Concept/choreography: Chloe Chignell
Performers: Ellen Davies, Bhenji Ra and Chloe Chignell
Sound: Corin Ileto

In Deep Shine, Chloe Chignell looks to locate choreography on the surface of the body, where shine resides. In a world where everything is made to be seen, where glossy surfaces and high definition images form our landscape, Chloe positions shininess as a condition of contemporary society. Invading all spaces and intensifying superficiality, Deep Shine elevates the spectacle of shine and surface.  With Deep Shine, Chloe presents a protest for the spectacle, and questions through an upheaval of glitter and gloss the kinds of empathy and affect possible between shiny bodies. 

CHLOE CHIGNELL is a dance artist based in Melbourne. She has recently undertaken the DanceWEB scholarship program at ImPulsTanz in Vienna. Chloe received an Ian Potter Travel Grant and Art Start in 2015, enabling her to extend her choreographic practice through international travel and studio research. As a performer, Chloe has worked for 'The Planet', performed at ImPulsTanz and Indigo Dance Festival at PAF. She has recently worked with Atlanta Eke on Miss Universal, presented by Chunky Move and Gertrude Contemporary. She also performed in Aphids' Forever Now at MONA. Chloe has been working for James Batchelor for a number of years performing in Melbourne, Sydney and Canberra. In 2014, she choreographed POST PHASE: The Summit is Blue presented in Melbourne's Fringe Festival and at The Canberra Theatre. Chloe co-curates Dance Speaks, a performance lecture program. She was a part of the Writers workshop for Dance Massive 2015, and was the VCA Professional Pathways intern at Dancehouse throughout 2014-15.



Concept/choreography: Martin Hansen
Performers: Hellen Sky, Maxine Palmerson, Michelle Ferris
Lighting Design: Amelia Lever-Davidson
Videography: Cobie Orger
Costume Design: Shian Law

Berlin-based Martin Hansen's work if it's all in my veins questions constructions of time and history, focusing on the spectacle of the theatre. Here, Martin looks to the Accelerationist Manifesto, which suggests that the process of capitalism should be accelerated to reach its inevitable demise. if its all in my veins is choreography at the intersection of time, the body and performance history, questioning linear progression and inviting new possibilities. Martin's work is ultimately open-ended. He interrogates how we can envision our dance's future if we proclaim it is no longer possible to think through 'a' future? Would dance history be over? Where do we direct our fiery optimism? What other histories might it give way to? Be optimistic.

MARTIN HANSEN is a 2014 graduate of the Hochschulübergreifendes Zentrum Tanz Berlin. In collaboration with Ania Nowak, he was the HOUSEMATE RESEARCH artist at Dancehouse, Melbourne in 2014 and premiered A Queer Kind of Evidence at Tanztage 2015. Martin presented Monumental at Tanznacht 2014, PACT Zollverein, Semper Oper Dresden and Ballhaus Ost. With Kareth Schaffer, Martin developed and performed in Other Dreams, an artistic tour of Gropiustadt, B-Tours Berlin 2015. Martin has performed with Tino Sehgal, Sebastian Mathias, Christoph Winkler, Jeremy Wade, Sebastian Blasius, Ligia Lewis, Laurie Young, among  others. He was named 'Dancer of the Year' by Tanz Magazin in 2012, was a danceWEB scholar in 2013 and was the Origin Foundation Scholarship winner in 2014. In 2015, Martin received the Einstiegs Forderrung from the Berliner Senate and Art Start funding from the Australia Council for the Arts. Before moving to Germany, Martin toured internationally with Chunky Move, Not Yet Its Difficult and Hydra Poesis.



Concept/choreography: Sarah Aiken
Performers: Claire Leske, Emily Robinson, Daniel Arnott and Sarah Aiken
Sound: Daniel Arnott
Lighting Design: Amelia Lever-Davidson

Sarah Aiken's work absorbs and extends space. In Sarah Aiken (Tools for Personal Expansion), Sarah's choreography transgresses the limits of her body to consider the politics and possibilities of space, reworking the self through social, digital and physical means. In this work, Sarah examines the ways in which our physicality, including digital, conditions the manners in which we project ourselves and act upon the world. Whether large or small, the body's relationship to space is both personal and political. Sarah uses people, devices, technology and matter, as well as movement, to extend her reach to contract, expand and multiply personal power. 

SARAH AIKEN is a Melbourne based performer, choreographer and teacher originally from Bellingen, NSW. Sarah pursues an ongoing interest in how and what we value, utilising dichotomies and clashes, aiming to create poignancy through absurdity. Through solo and collaborative practice, her work investigates the roles of audience, performer, subject and object. Performance credits include work by Maria Hassabi, Natalie Abbott, Jo Lloyd, Shian Law, Carlee Mellow, James Welsby, Brooke Stamp and Aphids, Deanne Butterworth/Linda Tegg, Ben Speth and Eliza Dyball. Sarah's choreographic work includes SET (Dancehouse Housemate Residency 2015) Three Short Dances (Keir Choreographic Award, Dancehouse, Carriageworks 2014), Les Plateaux de la Briqueterie. Paris, 2015, Artshouse 10th Anniversary 2015), Set (Lucy Guerin Inc. Piece's for Small Spaces, 2013, EDC Solo Festival of Dance 2014) Jurassic Arc (Dancehouse, Melbourne Fringe 2012, K77, Berlin 2012),) as well as a range of collaborative and interdisciplinary projects across music, live art, film, photography and visual arts. Together with Rebecca Jensen, Sarah has created OVERWORLD (Next Wave Festival 2014, Dance Massive 2015), Deep Soulful Sweats; a participatory, yogic, disco (Next Wave Festival/Speakeasy 2014, FOLA 2014, Dark MOFO 2014, Chunky Move (ongoing) and Upacara/Ritual (Dark MOFO 2015).



Concept/choreography: Alice Heyward
Performer: Alice Heyward
Illustrator: Ilya Milstein
Composer: Gregor Kompar
Set and Lighting Design: Matthew Adey

Alice Heyward locates her choreography at the nexus of language and movement. Before The Fact is a piece that has arisen 'from page to stage', taking its cues from imagined dance notation drawings by Melbourne illustrator Ilya Milstein. Alice's work represents choreography performed in the future tense, -a future perfect – involving dances which re-enact Ilya's fictitious notations. Inverting the relationship between the work and its trace, Alice re-frames history, creating an archive of fragmentary movements, from a dance which is mercurial and forever unfinished. With costumes by Sarah CrowEST and songwriting by Gregor Kompar, Alice's work expands the boundaries of choreography, delving into visual, aural and textual forms.

ALICE HEYWARD is a dancer, choreographer and writer. She graduated from the Victorian College of the Arts with a Bachelor of Dance in 2013. Alice has performed in Europe and Australia in works choreographed by Xavier Le Roy & Scarlet Yu, Alexandra Pirici, Mia Lawrence, Maria Hassabi, Simone Forti, Trisha Brown, Stefan Dreher, Hana Erdman, Becky Hilton, Geoffrey Watson, Timothy Walsh and Chloe Chignell, among others, at Centre Pompidou (Paris), The Venice Biennale (College Danza) '15, Carriageworks (Sydney), Berlin Art Week '15, Meinblau Gallery (Berlin), Index Gallery (Stockholm), 'Think Big’ festival (Munich), 'DANCE 2015’ festival (Munich), Australian Centre for Contemporary Art (Melb), ‘Le Mouvement – Performing the City’ (Biel), Pieces for Small Spaces at Lucy Guerin Inc. (Melb) and more. Alice’s choreographies have been presented at Dancehouse (Keir Choreographic Award 2016), Murray White Room (Melb), ada studio (Berlin), Sketch Gallery (London), and Melbourne Recital Centre. In 2016, Alice was commissioned to create ‘Before The Fact’ for 2016 Keir Choreographic Award, and was selected for the danceWEB Scholarship Programme 2016 in the frame of ImPulsTanz–Vienna International Dance Festival. She has been supported by the Australia Council for the Arts with an Artstart grant (2014), and by the Ian Potter Cultural Trust (2015) to expand her practice internationally. She received the 2014 VCA Graduate Mentorship Scholarship to produce ‘Now Is Not The Place’ at Murray White Room in February 2016, with Sandra Parker’s mentorship. Her writing has appeared in a range of publications.


This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body. The KCA semi- finals season is supported by the City of Yarra. Venue partners:  Arts House, Chunky Move and Lucy Guerin Inc.


Credit Image: Atlanta Eke, winner of the inaugural 2014 Award photographed by Gregory Lorenzutti