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.



Wednesday, 27 April- 7pm
Friday, 29 April - 7pm
Saturday, 30 April - 7pm + CLOSING CEREMONY

4 works x 20 min + interval






Concept/choreography: Rebecca Jensen
Performers:  André Augustus , Matthew Adey, Michael McNab and Rebecca Jensen
Lighting Design: Matthew Adey
Sound: Michael Mcnab

Explorer is an expedition with an unknown destination. Rebecca Jensen becomes a tourist within and beyond her body. The theatre is the landscape. There is activity between simulation and disappearance; encounters between surfaces; and a blurring of the boundaries between multiple realities.  Explorer may be a new kind of wilderness. The strategy for its discovery? Don't stop dancing, ever.

REBECCA JENSEN is a Melbourne based choreographer and dancer, born in New Zealand (1988).  She studied at the Victorian College of the Arts. Rebecca has presented work at Next Wave Festival and Dance Massive with Sarah Aiken (OVERWORLD 2014); Melbourne Fringe Festival (POSE BAND 2015), Lucy Guerin Inc's Pieces for Small Spaces (Within An Inner 2011); MONAFOMA Festival club, Ponderosa Tanzland (Germany) and Dallas Texas Woman's University (Head Back 2012). She is a founding member of Deep Soulful Sweats Fantasy Light Yoga (Festival Of Live Art, Dark MOFO, Tiny Stadiums, Chunky Move, Next Wave Festival). Australia Council for the Arts Art Start grant and an Ian Potter Cultural Trust grant have enabled Rebecca to expand her practice in New York and Europe. She was a DanceWEB scholarship recipient. Notable appearences include work with Jo Lloyd, Sandra Parker, Natalie Abbott, Balletlab, Luke George, Shian Law, Sarah Aiken, Janine Proost, Brooke Stamp with Aphids, Ben Speth, Zoe Scoglio and Liz Dunn, Mårten Spångberg, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Kate Neal and Andras Fox.



Concept/choreography: James Batchelor
Performers: Morgan Hickinbotham and James Batchelor
Sound: Morgan Hickinbotham
Set Design: Anna Tweeddale
Dramaturge & Video Design: Zoe Scoglio

Inhabited Geometries reflects James Batchelor's interests in the confrontation between the body and external structures. James is engaged with the relationship between the inside and outside of the body, with its notions of outer exposure and inner solace. In his research for the work, James spent time on the streets of Melbourne, searching for comfort within the hard edges and crystalline forms of the city landscape. This resulting work, Inhabited Geometries, explores the slippery relationship between the roundness of the body and skin, against the stark geometry of the city. A connection between surfaces occurs: edges are softened, skin melts, inner and outer coincide.

JAMES BATCHELOR is an award winning Melbourne based choreographer with a performance practice in dance and visual arts. His projects examine the interactions between humans and the environment via a rigorous process of documentation and physical translation. Distinct physicality's and dynamic images are constructed from the careful analysis of specific sites and people. Batchelor's projects take him from densely populated urban environments to some of the most remote and inaccessible places in the world. METASYSTEMS documents the radical transformation of urban environments through the study of construction labourers working on sites in Australia, Asia and Europe. METASYSTEMS was originally commissioned for the inaugural Keir Choreographic Award and has since been presented in Canberra, Melbourne and Bangkok and currently touring in France, Italy and China. ISLAND (winner of the ACT Arts Award Dance 2014 and Green Room Award for Concept and Realisation 2014) is an installation documenting utopian experimentation in the world's most remote islands. An upcoming project will take James on a two-­‐month research voyage to Heard Island in the Southern Ocean. Batchelor's projects invest significant time in research and observation, using performance as a tool to inspire critical thought and reflection on the contemporary world.



Concept/choreography: Ghenoa Gela
Performers: Elle Evangelista, Melanie Palomares, Melinda Tyquin
Interactive and LX Designer: Toby Knyvett
Music Designer: Ania Reynolds

In Fragments of Malungoka - Women of the Sea, Sydney-based Ghenoa Gela explores her female ancestry in the Western Torres Strait. As a Mainland-born Torres Strait Islander woman, Ghenoa is questioning the role of Traditional Torres Strait Islander Dance when performed by non-Torres Strait dancers and viewed by non-Torres Strait Islander audiences. Ghenoa's work draws on the stories of her female relatives, and recollections of community life. Sharing her culture with an ensemble of women, Ghenoa integrates traditional influences with contemporary movement and technology. Fragments of Malungoka gives the audience permission to play with perspective in the theatre space, whilst momentarily viewing the world through the eyes of a performer caught between two cultures.

GHENOA GELA is a Sydney Independent performing artist and a proud Torres Strait Islander woman from Rockhampton. She has worked across several mediums such as Dance, Circus, Television and Stage. Some of her credits include: Force Majeure Nothing to Lose (Sydney Festival 2015, Melbourne Season 2015), Winds of Woerr (Melbourne Next Wave Festival 2014, Spirit Festival 2015), Dance Site Festival (2012/2015), Move it Mob Style TV Series - Deadly Vibe Australia
(ABC3, NITV 2011-2014), My Darling Patricia The Piper (Sydney Festival 2014, Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2015), Circus Oz From the Ground Up (National & International Tour 2012/2013), Shaun Parker Happy As Larry (National & International Tour 2011/2012). Ghenoa facilitates dance workshops in various styles from urban to remote communities and is very inspired by her family's stories and wants to increase awareness of her Torres Strait Islander culture through dance. Ghenoa's most recent adventure, saw her collaborating with Force Majeure's Danielle Micich, on Mura Buai - Everyone, Everyone (Performance Space Liveworks Festival 2015). She aspires to inspire.


PAEA LEACH - one and one and one

Concept/choreography: Paea Leach
Performers: Rhiannon Newton and Paea Leach
Poetry and Performance Poet: Candy Royalle
Lighting consultant: Bosco Shaw

Paea Leach's work is driven by the poetics of the body and the physicality of language. one and one and one is a trio for two dancers and one poet, in which the rhythms of poetry become a score activating the dancers' movements. Paea's choreography encourages the language of poetry to move through, between and within the body. Meaning becomes disrupted, opened up, challenged and changed. Paea looks to the dancing body as an ethical force, a way to regenerate thought and action against the demands placed on the body by contemporary society. Her work becomes 'an effort to speak to and for many bodies… Political, personal, dispersed: danced'.

PAEA LEACH has pursued and developed a choreographic practice and voice with a hybrid collection of makers and thinkers. The body as a site of research, the integration/interrogation of language in process and encountering the 'real' in performance are strong motivators. Recently she undertook a residency with Rhiannon Newton TRIP in Tasmania, co-created Beast #3 for Move Me improvisation festival (Perth, 2014) and was commissioned by Chunky Move's Next Move season – making 'the lines of birds' in collaboration with experimental musicians Madeleine Flynn and Tim Humphrey, her first site-specific dance-work (2014). She collaborated with Dr Jodie Mc Neilly (Phd Philosophy/choreography) on a solo work Babylon'for Dance Meets Music (Sydney and presented a solo as part of IOU Independent dance makers at UNSW – a meditation on performance, honesty and 'enoughness' following a huge injury (2013). As a young choreographer, she made multiple short experimental works through STRUT (Perth) and produced the SOLOS project with Dr Simmon Ellis and Shanon Bott (2004-2006). She was an Asialink recipient 2011 in Cambodia and has been harnessing writing-dancing with Jo Pollitt for six years. She has worked extensively (15 years) as a performer and collaborator in Australia and Europe, most recently touring extensively with EASTMAN/Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui (2010-2014, Belgium).


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