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INAUGURAL KEIR CHOREOGRAPHIC AWARD COMMISSIONED ARTISTS

July 1, 2014

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SARAH AIKEN

Sarah’s recent work has dealt with representation, exploring metaphor at its most obvious and often at its most absurd. Her piece will be a development of this ongoing research, navigating the body and objects in relation to the myriad of actual and socially constructed meanings that exist. The Body interacts with objects, costume and abstract and representational movement. By considering how we value and revalue the inanimate, the work brings attention to how we read the animate body.

Sarah Aiken is a Melbourne based dance artist originally from Bellingen, NSW. Aiken graduate from VCA with a Bachelor of Dance in 2009. Since graduation she has pursued a wide range of experiences to develop her practice as a dancer, teacher and maker, drawing inspiration from choreographic and somatic practices, travel, conceptual and visual arts. Sarah has performed in a wide variety of shows including Natalie Abbott’s PHYSICAL FRACTALS (DanceMassive 2013 ) and Jo Lloyd’s 24hr NOISE (2013) and work by Shian Law, Carlee Mellow, James Welsby, Brooke Stamp and Aphids, Deanne Butterworth/Linda Tegg & Ben Speth. Aiken is a recipient of Australia Council for the Arts, ArtStart, and Ian Potter Cultural Trust Fund. Choreographic work includes Set (Lucy Guerin Inc. Piece’s for Small Spaces, 2013), Now Something Really Final (K77, Berlin 2012), JurassicArc (Dancehouse, Melbourne Fringe 2012) and DanceMusic (Dancehouse, 2010), as well as a range of collaborative and interdisciplinary projects across music, film, fashion and visual arts.

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JAMES BATCHELOR

James’ piece is a hybrid dance and visual arts performance, aiming to determine how movement and structural design can evolve and develop simultaneously as a live performance piece. The process will investigate how the body inhabits its environment and responds to physical boundaries of space. The audience will witness a dialogue between movement and structure as the performers and the visual artist respond to the dynamic process as it unfolds.

James Batchelor is a performer, choreographer and installation artist from Canberra now based in Melbourne. His choreographic practice hybridises performance and visual arts, working site specifically to create dynamic and multisensory environments. He has developed and presented works in Australia, France, United Kingdom and Thailand and has been supported through grants from Arts ACT, Arts Victoria, Australia Council and City of Melbourne. He is the 2014 Dancehouse Housemate and is currently devising a new series of work called Island combining dance with architecture. As a performer he has worked with choreographers such as Sue Healey (Inevitable Scenarios, Sydney Opera House and Arts House), Antony Hamilton (Black Project 2, Dance Massive) and Stephanie Lake (Aorta, Chunky Move). He completed a Bachelor of Dance at the Victorian College of the Arts in 2012. He was the recipient of the VCA Graduate Mentor Scholarship, Joy Nicholls Scholarship, Dr Phillip Law Travel Scholarship, Lionel Gell Scholarship and the Friends of VCA Award. He has also been awarded Canberra Young Citizen of the Year for Arts.

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TIM DARBYSHIRE

Tim’s piece will examine grey areas between thought, representation, dialogue and emotional manipulation of the audience. His artistic team will work closely with texts from poetic, academic and theatrical realms and will experiment with dialogue techniques used in cinema and theatre such as spoken word, subtitles, voice-overs and dubbing. These explorations around text will coincide with visual and choreographic languages drawn from the sport of fencing, exercise classes such as yoga or pilates, body languages and recognisable facial expressions which have been developed through theatre and cinema.

Tim Darbyshire graduated from Dance at Queensland University of Technology (2003). His education has continued through programs including DanceWEB (Scholarship recipient in 2006 and 2009), Formation d’artiste Chorégraphique at Centre National de Danse Contemporaine (France 2006-2007) and Victoria University’s Solo Residency program (2008). In Europe he has worked for choreographers including Vera Mantero, Emmanuelle Huyhn, Nuno Bizarro, Shelley Senter, Meg Stuart, David Wampach, Marianne Baillot, Antonio Julio, Christine de Schmedt and Eszter Salamon. Since 2009, Darbyshire has developed his projects through several residencies including the Dancehouse Housemate program. In 2012 he presented More or Less Concrete at Arts House in Melbourne, a project that he remounted for Dance Massive and has since attracted international interest for further presentations. He recently undertook an Asialink Residency in China and is currently collaborating as a performer on Matthew Day’s MASS (working title) and developing his new work Stampede the Stampede, which will premiere in Dance Massive 2015. Later in 2014 he will undertake opportunities in Europe including an IETM residency program and an exchange project between Australian and Finnish choreographers.

 

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MATTHEW DAY

Matthew and team will work on a solo interpretation of the Rite of Spring where all the different elements and intensities of the score are mapped onto his body to imagine a kind of schizo-body, one that is capable of becoming many things at any one moment in time. Using Stravinsky’s score and the few remaining fragments of Nijinsky’s choreography, the research will focus on the tension between discontinuity and fragmentation on one hand, and the forces of repetition and continuity embedded in this work on the other.

Matthew Day is interested in the potential of choreography to imagine unorthodox relationships and propose new ways of being human. Utilising a minimalist approach Day often works with duration and repetition, approaching the body as a site of infinite potential and choreography as a field of energetic intensity and exchange. Day’s work is invested in the proliferate potential of choreography to contribute unique forms of knowledge to cultural discourse and enable affective experiences. He draws heavily from the visual arts, in particular painting and cinema that challenge traditional notions of image, object and body. Raised in Sydney, Matthew was a teenage ballroom dancing champion. He went on to study Dance and Performance Studies at the University of Western Sydney and at the Victorian College of the Arts, before collaborating with students at the School for New Dance Development, NL. Day has been artist in residence, and presented his work extensively in Australia and Europe. He is currently based in Melbourne.

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ATLANTA EKE

Atlanta’s piece aims to operate as an allegory of how to be ‘present’. To be in the ‘here and now’, is often to be corrupted by traditions from the past and strategies aiming at success in the future. The work will explore the 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. It will do this through exploring the tension between a performance and the documentation of a performance, by making them one in the same.

Atlanta Eke is an Australian dancer and choreographer. Since 2006, Eke has presented her experimental work throughout Australia and Europe in a variety of formats. She has worked with artists such as Xavier Le Roy, Ros Warby, Lucy Guerin, and Deborah Hay among others. In 2010, Eke received the DANCEWEB scholarship at ImPulsTanz Festival Vienna. She performed for Sidney Leoni in Undertones at Tamz in August Berlin and Mårten Spångberg’s Page 74, ImPulsTanz Festival Vienna. In 2011, she was a Melbourne Next Wave Kickstart Program recipient and was commissioned by Lucy Guerin Inc to produce a new work for Pieces For Small Spaces. In 2012, the artist was the 2012 Dancehouse Research Housemate resident with Swedish artist Emma Kim Hagdalh and was an Australia Council for the Arts 2012 ArtStart Grant recipient. Atlanta Eke has recently been nominated for a Green Room Award for her performance in her work MONSTER BODY that has been presented at the 2012 SEXES Festival Performance Space Sydney, 2013 Dance Massive Festival Melbourne, MONA FOMA Festival Hobart, 2013 MDT Stockholm, 2013 BACKFLIP Feminism and Humour in Contemporary Art, Margaret Lawrence Gallery and the Fierce Festival in Birmingham.

 

 

SHAUN GLADWELL

Shaun’s piece is directly informed by his experience as the Australian War Memorial official war artist in Afghanistan in 2009. The piece will analyse and meditate on the gestures of soldiers operating under pressure within the field and in training. The piece will also subtly incorporate forms of ‘Attan’ dance found in Afghanistan and specifically the Warziro and Khattak (in which performers dance with their weapon). The work will paradoxically attempt to articulate the ineffability of war and associated trauma through movement.

Shaun Gladwell is a contemporary artist working within a wide range of mediums. Key concerns of all Gladwell’s activity is the way human beings critically and creatively respond to their immediate environments. Gladwell’s artwork critically engages emerging languages of movement such as skateboarding, BMX riding, break dancing and parkour. An ongoing concern of Shaun’s practice is to consider these activities and others (soldiering) as forms of dance. Shaun Gladwell critically analyses and celebrates the body in a wide range of media such as performance, video installation, film (for cinema), painting, sculpture, printmaking and photography. Most of his artworks are generated from a direct involvement and ongoing personal relationship to urban movement and he often performs in his own work. Recently, Shaun Gladwell has collaborated with Zambian, Belgian choreographer, Lindy Nsingo. He also developed a live piece with Branch Nebula titled Paradise City in 2007. Gladwell has exhibited extensively throughout Australia, Europe, Asia and the Americas. His work has been included in many internal survey exhibitions.

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JANE McKERNAN

Jane’s piece is an exploration of the concept of unison. It will have an emphasis on ‘liveness’ and the live transferal of choreographic information between four dancers. It will work with the notion of a ‘group body’ but with a sense of agency for the individual dancers. It will seek to destabilise the established understanding of unison in dance, and instead focus on making an agreement.

Jane McKernan is a choreographer, performer and member of The Fondue Set. Recent projects include a research residency through Critical Path based on ideas of group movement; a Dance4 residency in Nottingham, UK; One Thing Follows Another, a collaboration with sound artist Gail Priest;  Opening and Closing Ceremony, a site specific dance solo presented by Performance Space; and a collaboration with US choreographer Miguel Gutierrez and The Fondue Set presented at Carriageworks. McKernan was the 2011 Robert Helpmann scholar, and spent six months in Europe working with Kate McIntosh, Antje Pfundtner and Wendy Houstoun. She also too part in the Matchpoint Asia Pacific exchange, and presented her work at HAU, Berlin. Jane edited the first edition of the Critical Dialogues journal.

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BROOKE STAMP

Brooke’s piece examines the legacy of modern dance in current live performance practice. It will act as a ‘conceptual re-embodiment’ of the important transition guided by prominent early modern dance pioneers such as Isadora Duncan and Martha Graham. This work will dissect her innate instinct to move forward and ‘tear away’, as they did, from the burden of information embedded in her body and practice, which is paradoxically bound by these womensʼ legacy.

Brooke Stamp maintains a rigorous practice as a performer, choreographer and teacher, while continuing the development of her own solo practice and interdisciplinary collaborations throughout Australia and overseas. She has been collaborating with Phillip Adams BalletLab since its inception and most recently presented her inaugural commission project for the company, And All Things Return to Nature. She has also performed with Gideon Obarzanek for Chunky Move, Shelley Lasica, Rebecca Hilton and visual artists Lane Cormick and Agatha Gothe-Snape. Her solo work includes Orbit Score for Yoko for Lucy Guerinʼs Pieces for Small Spaces (2009); Venus Devotional 2010 at the MCG as part of the 2010 Next Wave Festival; Metaverse Makeover, curated by Thea Baumann for the LʼOreal Melbourne Fashion Festivalʼs 2011 cultural program; and Unified Field for fifteen VCA students (2011). In 2005, Stamp was awarded a Professional Skills and Development Award from the Australia Council for the Arts, and lived in New York from 2005 to 2007. In 2010, Brooke spent two months in residency at the Performing Arts Forum in France, supported by Besen Family Foundation. With Luke George, Stamp curates dance discourse event “First Run” at Lucy Guerin Inc.

THE JURY OF THE INAUGURAL KEIR CHREOGRAPHIC AWARD

Entries for the Award closed in February with an overwhelmingly high calibre of entries from all over Australia.The international and national line-up of judges includes a range of voices from the artistic community, from visual art through to dance from Australia and around the world including:

Mårten Spångberg, the acclaimed ‘bad boy’ of contemporary dance pushing the boundaries of the art form in polite society;
Matthew Lyons, curator at experimental cultural hub The Kitchen in New York;
Josephine Ridge Creative Director of Melbourne Festival and one of Australia’s most experienced arts identities;
Becky Hilton a leading Australian choreographer, director and teacher for festivals and companies nationally and internationally;
Phillip Keir, The Keir Foundation Director and founder of the Award.

These artists will perform at Dancehouse Melbourne 3 – 6 July & 10 – 13 July, where four chosen works will then be selected to progress on to the finals at Carriageworks.

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

KEIR CHOREOGRAPHIC AWARD
17 – 19 JUL 2014, 8PM
CARRIAGEWORKS

Book tickets $35