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Keir Choreographic Award

The biennial Keir Choreographic Award (KCA) was a premiere event for the Australian dance scene dedicated to the commissioning, presentation, and promotion of new Australian choreography.

The fifth Keir Choreographic Award (KCA) was held from 23 June – 2 July 2022 in Melbourne, Sydney and online.

An innovative commissioning partnership between Dancehouse, The Keir Foundation and Creative Australia, with presenting partner Carriageworks, the KCA was a prestigious biennial program showcasing new, choreographic short works by Australian artists. 

The full KCA program was recorded in-season and made available digitally On Demand Australia-wide on Sunday 3 July in line with the presentation of the KCA prizes: a $50,000 cash prize awarded by the KCA Jury, and a $10,000 peoples choice award.

Watch the full Keir Choreographic Award Semi-Finals 2016—2022

What is the Keir Choreographic Award?

Choreographic Art in the 21st Century is an increasingly expanded and international field, incorporating a multiplicity of practices and production modes, and a diversity of aesthetic, philosophical and social perspectives. A visionary public-private partnership between the Keir Foundation and Creative Australia Council, KCA was launched in 2014 as Australia’s only cash award for choreography. The Award looked to identify and illuminate the most urgent and experimental choreographic practices occurring in the Australian context.

The KCA was a prominent and significant commissioning and presentation context for independent Australian choreography, contributing a total of 40 new choreographic works since the KCA’s inception. An incredible legacy and partnership which has influenced the scale and vibrancy of Australian dance over a decade.

2022 Keir Choreographic Award

2022 Jury
Daniel Riley (Wiradjuri/Australia)
Eko Supriyanto (Indonesia)
Laurie Uprichard (Ireland)
Lemi Ponifasio (Aotearoa/New Zealand)
Nanako Nakajima (Japan)

2022 Awards
Award Winner: Tra Mi Dinh (VIC)
Peoples Choice Award Winner: Jenni Large (TAS)

2022 Works and Artists
Evaporative Body / Multiplying Body – Alan Schacher & WeiZen Ho (NSW)
What’s Actually HappeningAlice Will Caroline (VIC)
Wet Hard – Jenni Large (TAS)
As Below, So Above – Joshua Pether (WA)
Exoticism – Lucky Lartey (NSW)
Follies of God – Raghav Handa (NSW)
Slip – Rebecca Jensen (VIC)
The ___
– Tra Mi Dinh (VIC)

2020 Keir Choreographic Award

2020 Jury
Claudia L Rocco (USA)
Mette Edvardsen (NO)
Serge Laurent (FR)
Takao Kawaguchi (JP)

2020 Awards
Award Winner: Angela Goh
Peoples Choice Award Winner: Amrita Hepi

2020 Works and Artists
DelimitAlison Currie (SA) & David Cross (VIC)
Sky Blue Mythic – Angela Goh (NSW)
– Amrita Hepi (VIC)
Lien – Lewis Major (SA)
Peril – Zachary Lopez (NSW)
That’s Her Name – Jo Lloyd (VIC)
Hold Me Closer Tony Danza – The Farm (QLD)
Very Excellent Disabled Dancing – Riana Head-Toussaint (NSW)

2018 Keir Choreographic Award

2018 Jury
Anna Cy Chan (HK)
Lucy Guerin (AUS)
Ishmael Houston Jones (USA)
Eszter Salamon (BE/FR)
Christophe Slagmuylder (BE)
Meg Stuart (GE/BE)

2018 Awards
Award Winner: Melanie Lane
Peoples Choice Award Winner: Amrita Hepi

2018 Works and Artists
Yoni – Prue Lang (VIC)
The Wetness – Bhenji Ra (NSW)
Stop-Go – Branch Nebula (NSW)
Post Reality Vision – Nana Biluš Abaffy (NSW)
A Caltex Spectrum – Amrita Hepi (NSW)
Memoir for Rivers and the Dictator – Lilian Steiner (VIC)
Public Actions – Luke George (VIC)
Personal Effigies – Melanie Lane (VIC)

2016 Keir Choreographic Award

2016 Jury
Bojana Cvejić (BE)
Pierre Bal-Blanc (FR)
Sarah Michelson (USA)
Wendy Martin (AU)
Phillip Keir (AU)
Atlanta Eke (AU)

2016 Awards
Award Winner: Ghenoa Gela
Peoples Choice Award Winner: Ghenoa Gela

2016 Works and Artists
Deep Shine – Chloe Chignell (VIC)
If It’s All in My Veins – Martin Hansen (VIC)
Tools For Personal Expansion – Sarah Aiken (VIC)
Before the Fact – Alice Heyward (VIC)
Explorer – Rebecca Jensen (VIC)
Inhabited Geometries – James Batchelor (VIC)
Fragments of Malungoka – Ghenoa Gela (NSW)
one and one and one – Paea Leach (NSW)

2014 Keir Choreographic Award

2014 Jury
Mårten Spångberg (SE)
Matthew Lyons (USA)
Josephine Ridge (AUS)
Becky Hilton (AUS)
Phillip Keir (AUS)

2014 Awards
Award Winner: Atlanta Eke

2014 Works and Artists
Three short dances – Sarah Aiken (VIC)
Escape to the Infinite – James Batchelor (VIC)
Entitled TITLE – Tim Darbyshire (VIC)
Rites – Matthew Day (VIC)
Body of work – Atlanta Eke (VIC)
Dead Flag Blues – Shaun Gladwell (NSW)
Mass movement – Jane McKernan (NSW)
TEARAWAY Part One: The Crater of Motor Power – Brooke Stamp (VIC).

The Dancehouse KCA Delegates Program

For both the 2020 and 2018 editions, Dancehouse invited international colleagues — presenters, producers and sister organisations — to attend the Keir Choreographic Award (KCA) and seed relationships with local artists and organisations. They included: 

Riitta Arniokoski (GER/AUS); Laurie Uprichard (USA); Nimmy Raphael (IN); Jim Handley (UK); Nicole Mion (CA); Bernard Baumgarten(LU); Matthew Lyons (USA); Marie-Andree Goujon (CA); Daniel Favier (FR); Brian Rogers (USA); Helly Minarti (ID); Claudia Morgana (ES); Michael Caldwell (CA); Pascale Joubert (CA) and Karen Kitchen (USA).

Roberto Cassarotto (IT), Karen Cheung (CHN), Daniel Favier (FR), Stephane Labbe (CA), Mojca Jug (SL), Ritsuko Mizuno (JP), Jaychandra Palahzy (IN), Paul Russ (UK), Laurie Uprichard (USA)

Keir Choreographic Award Partners

Established and governed by independent dance artists in Melbourne over three decades ago, Dancehouse is Australia’s only presenting and producing house dedicated solely to the year-round presentation of contemporary dance. Dancehouse represents a diversity of visions, practices, and generations committed to the expression, development and celebration of dance artists, and the artform itself. Dancehouse plays an integral role in the growth, sustainability, and exposure of a vibrant Australian independent dance sector in all its languages and forms. dancehouse.com.au


Carriageworks is the largest and most significant contemporary multi-arts centre of its kind in Australia. The Carriageworks Artistic Program provides significant support to Australian and international artists through commissioning and presenting contemporary work. Reflecting the diverse communities of urban Sydney, the Artistic Program is ambitious and inclusive. carriageworks.com.au

Established by Phillip Keir and Sarah Benjamin the Foundation’s purpose is to foster innovation and excellence in the arts, particularly among new and emerging practitioners. The Keir Foundation has previously worked in commissioning dance projects and this choreographic award emerged from an ongoing involvement with the dance community both nationally and internationally. keirfoundation.org

Creative Australia is the Australian Government’s principal arts investment and advisory body. Creative Australia were founded as the Australia Council for the Arts in 1968 and established by the Australia Council Act 1975. In 2023 they welcomed the Australian Government’s National Cultural Policy – Revive, the centrepiece of which was the establishment of Creative Australia; an expanded and modernised Australia Council and a transformational step in the evolution of the organisation. creative.gov.au

The Keir Choreographic Award is a partnership between Dancehouse, The Keir Foundation and Creative Australia, with presenting partner Carriageworks.

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