Keir Choreographic Award 2020: Program


Carriageworks is proud to partner with Dancehouse, the Australia Council for the Arts and the Keir Foundation to present new works from the four finalists vying for the Keir Choreographic Award.

Established in 2014 and now in its fourth iteration, the Keir Choreographic Award has assumed a significant place in the Australian landscape to become the major award for new work in Australian choreography. Offering eight artists the opportunity to create and present a fully funded new work, the Keir Choreographic Award also makes accessible a multi-faceted public program in Melbourne and Sydney.

The eight artists selected this year represented a mix of early career to established practitioners, from states and cities across Australia. Each had developed and presented a new work a week ago at Dancehouse in Melbourne. The four finalists presenting their work here at Carriageworks were selected by jury members Serge Laurent, Mette Edvardsen, Takao Kawaguchi and Claudia La Rocco, all whom we thank for their contribution to the program.

We thank the artists and their collaborators for the investment that they have made into bringing this program to life. Our thanks to Phillip Keir – the founder of the Keir Choreographic Award – and the Keir Foundation, to Australia Council for the Arts for their support, and to our partner Dancehouse. Carriageworks is able to present the Keir Choreographic Award through the ongoing support of the NSW Government through Create NSW.

Blair French
Chief Executive Officer, Carriageworks



Performance starts 8pm.
Running time 110mins, includes 20 min interval.
Lockout period applies.

Warning: This performance includes nudity, haze, strobe lighting, strong language and a low and high decibel soundtrack. 

Please note the audience is invited to vote for the Audience Choice Award after the performance.


Keir Choreographic Award 2020 Finalists

The Farm, Hold Me Closer Tony Danza
Angela Goh, Sky Blue Mythic
Alison Currie and David Cross, Delimit
Amrita Hepi, Rinse


The Farm, Hold me closer Tony Danza

Concept: The Farm (Kate Harman, Michael Smith and Gavin Webber)
Performers: Kate Harman and Michael Smith
Music: Anna Whitaker
Design: Vilma Mattila
Lighting Design: Govin Ruben

Once we hear something, it can’t be unheard and once we say something it can’t be unsaid. Hold me closer Tony Danza is an investigation into how we form meaning and a provocation that perhaps our understanding of the world is intrinsically flawed. The light-hearted reference to a commonly misheard song lyric contains a deeper proposition about how we accumulate information and the damage we can do with our opinions and a lack of empathy or connectedness. The Farm questions the randomness of the things we find important, how we form meaning and the whole idea of certainty itself. They speak about the world by embodying their experience within it, where the act of performing reflects a desire to be an involved and evolved participant on our planet.


Angela Goh, Sky Blue Mythic

Choreographer / Performer: Angela Goh
Composer: Corin Ileto
Lighting Design: Govin Ruben

Curtains open. There is no dance being performed on the stage. The dance that is not being performed is a ballet, Giselle. The backdrop is medieval and the elements are supernatural. It’s Act 2, and you know that someone died at the end of Act 1. Time is an arrow that has been shot off stage, out of frame. You go out-of-render, looking for it, but it’s nowhere to be found. Damn. But then! Duration has no direction. Good. We will orient ourselves here. Sky Blue Mythic imagines dance as a non-human entity, existing on timescales longer than our cultural narratives, in spaces beyond the locality of the body, and forms unknowable to human-centric sensing. In a quest to move away from anthropocentrism, Sky Blue Mythic allows dance to alienate itself from human expression, in turn requiring the body to become an interface rather than a vehicle. By imagining a history of dance that is not humancentric, Sky Blue Mythic encounters possible worlds beyond our own reflection. This work confronts the notion that we do not exist in a vacuum but are staring into a void.


Alison Currie and David Cross, Delimit

Co-directors: Alison Currie and David Cross
Performer: Cazna Brass
Lighting Design: Govin Ruben
Costume Design and Fabrication: Ellie Boekman

Delimit examines the relationship between menial, process-driven labour and dance. Playing with ideas of staging and set making, the work seeks to interrogate how the making of an art installation offers a frame in which to understand dance and its assorted modalities in different ways. The collaboration between visual artist David Cross and choreographer Alison Currie has been developed through a long-term appreciation of each other’s practice and a realisation that despite their work appearing very different, their conceptual interests are closely linked. Delimit slips between functional and abstract, exploring live action as an unstable liminal space between labour and performance.


Amrita Hepi, Rinse

Choreographer and Performer: Amrita Hepi
Dramaturg: Mish Grigor
Costume Designer: Aleisa Jalbert
Sound: Daniel Jenatsch
Lighting Design: Govin Ruben

What is it about the beginning that remains intoxicating? The persistent lust for the initial thrill of a romance, scene, cannon, theory, relationship, meal, country — the opening lines. This work explores the romance of beginnings and what happens when the inertia takes over. Rinse questions whether being on the brink of extinction, or endings, has intensified the seduction of the past. The fraught idolisation of the singular narrative under the grip of hegemony. Through recreating an entropic origin myth on stage, Rinse travels from end to end, positioning personal narratives in relation to dance, art, feminism, cannons, the void, desires, popular culture and colonial history. An intimate solo based on a dynamic improvisational score, Rinse is a continuation of Hepi’s fascination with hybridity under empire and contemporary dance’s preoccupation with the neutral body.


Acknowledgement of Country

Carriageworks acknowledges the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation as the traditional owners of this land. We pay our respects to the Ancestors, Elders and emerging generations.


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