Carriageworks and Dancehouse announce eight commissions for the 2022 Keir Choreographic Award (KCA) 17 Feb 2022

– The biennial Keir Choreographic Award (KCA), now in its fifth edition, is a premiere event for the Australian dance scene. It is an extraordinary fully paid opportunity for eight independent Australian artists to develop and share works with audiences and an esteemed jury of dance luminaries.

The Keir Foundation, Dancehouse, and Australia Council for the Arts, with presenting partner Carriageworks, today announced the eight artists and collectives who have been commissioned to make new works for the prestigious and reinvigorated Keir Choreographic Award (KCA).

In 2022, the KCA will unfold with all eight works presented across two weeks at both Dancehouse, Melbourne, and Carriageworks, Sydney. The full KCA program will also be recorded in-season and made available digitally On Demand Australia-wide on Sunday 3 July along with the announcement of the $50,000 jury prize and $10,000 audience choice award.

The 2022 artist selection represents an outstanding mix of early-career to established practitioners, from states and cities across Australia, with diverse perspectives and approaches to contemporary dance. The eight selected choreographers plan to explore politically and socially engaged themes – from contemporary masculinity and exotification to the Bhagavad Gita and the Anthropocene.

Presenting work in June are: Alan Schacher & WeiZen Ho (NSW); Alice Will Caroline (VIC); Jenni Large (TAS); Joshua Pether (WA); Lucky Lartey (NSW); Raghav Handa (NSW); Rebecca Jensen (VIC); Tra Mi Dinh (VIC).

Selection Process

The 8 KCA commissioned artists were selected from an Australia-wide call-out of 64 proposals. The commissioning was a two-step process including shortlisting by Daniel Riley, and previous KCA winners, Angela Goh and Melanie Lane, followed by final commissioning meeting of Daniel Riley and Lemi Ponifasio, with Angharad Wynne-Jones, Helen Herbertson, and Rosie Dennis.

The 2022 Keir Choreographic Award jury tasked with the responsibility of selecting the recipient of the Award will be announced in the months prior to the season.


About the artists

Alan Schacher and WeiZen Ho explore adaptive methods for simulating ghosting, psychic projection and dimensional energetic shifts — seeking tremulous bodily states and liminal thresholds.

ALAN SCHACHER is a performance and installation artist who delves into diasporic identity and spatial experience, performing in unison with everyday materials to evoke unlikely conjunctions. WEIZEN HO locates and coalesces relationships between body, voice, sound and site. In duet performance they reimagine cultural rituals, inheritances and lineages, rekindling them into dynamic imagery and embodied psycho-historical dialogues.


Alice Will Caroline are going through a global pandemic. Their collaboration is in a semi-permanent state of emergency. In this baffling collage they bicker, cackle, rage and embrace as they navigate a chaotic terrain.

ALICE WILL CAROLINE (Alice Dixon, Caroline Meaden, William McBride) have been working together in Melbourne since 2013 and have made 7 original works of dance and theatre, carving out a distinctive aesthetic and formal contribution to the local dance ecology. They blend forms and references to create highly local and specific Gesamtkunstwerks. They wilfully embrace and subvert ‘genre’ and slyly ‘perform performance’.


Atop a pedestal stands a domineering surreal-human sculpture. Movement and sound disrupt the hierarchy of the ICON in a proposition for a less self-centered future.

JENNI LARGE is a contemporary dance artist based on the lands of the palawa people in lutruwita/Tasmania. Her practice spans collaboration, performance, choreography, teaching and rehearsal directing. Grounded in her experiences and passion for working in regional settings, Jenni is driven by the personal and political potency of embodiment, locating the body as a site for transformation, play and connection.


Joshua Pether’s new work will investigate the concept of reality and the manifestation of ritual with five collaborators, playing within the context of a competition space.

JOSHUA PETHER is of Kalkadoon heritage but lives and works on Noongar country in Western Australia. He is an experimental performance artist, dancer and choreographer of movement, temporary ritual and imagined realities. His practice is influenced by his two cultural histories — indigeneity and disability. As a ritual practitioner he is interested in the hidden knowledge the body has that can unlock the past history of the self and all its manifestations.


Lucky Lartey’s work explores exotification and contemporary masculinity, delving deeply into collective CaLD experience beyond 80s multiculturalism.

LUCKY LARTEY is a Sydney-based dancer and choreographer, originally from Ghana, West Africa. Lucky’s current investigations include the exotification of non-Western bodies and subjectivities, the relationship between hip hop culture and African oral traditions, and environmental issues such as plastic consumption and waste.


Raghav Handa delves into the seduction of violence and power inspired by the Sanskrit verse of ‘Bhagavad Gita’ to ask the question: Does the end justify the means?

RAGHAV HANDA is trained in modern and Indigenous contemporary dance, and draws on the principles of Indian kathak to create multifaceted explorations of modern Australian identity. His works challenge cultural and contemporary norms by navigating the “preciousness” and complexities that surround traditional hierarchies — utilising his Indian heritage to create spaces for robust discussion and risk taking.


Through choreography and sound, Rebecca Jensen will look at delay and disembodiment. These themes bleed out into larger ideas of the Anthropocene, apathy and destruction.

REBECCA JENSEN creates performance for gallery spaces, theatres and site-specific contexts alongside teaching dance, and performing for others, notably dancing with choreographer Jo Lloyd since 2010. In 2012 she formed the ongoing participatory project Deep Soulful Sweats with Sarah Aiken, creating immersive theatre works and inclusive dance events. She is continually inspired by the equally speculative and practical forces of dance.


Tra Mi Dinh will investigate the notion of ‘endings’ and what it means for something to come to a close. This new work questions and ridicules the idea that some scenarios constitute a finale while others are ‘to be continued’.

TRA MI DINH is a dance artist and emerging choreographer interested in movement that is surprising, absurd, rhythmic and presentational. Her current choreographic curiosities lie at the ‘edge’ of things — blurring the lines between dichotomies such as the random and deliberate, significance and insignificance.



‘The last night of the 2020 KCA finals took place under the shadow of Covid-19 that closed theatres the very next night. There were many moments along the way, where these awards did not appear to be possible. So it is with great joy and relief that the announcement of the commissions of artists for the 2022 Keir Choreographic Award can be made. We are looking forward to a wonderful award.’

— Keir Choreographic Award Founder, Phillip Keir

‘Australian dance will be on show with this phenomenal line-up of new commissions from exciting new and established choreographic voices. These ideas are just the beginning of an exciting creation period for these artists culminating in seasons in both Sydney, Melbourne and online. I’m particularly thrilled to see artists from different forms, training, and practices all contributing to a vibrant KCA in 2022. I can’t wait to see what they’ll make.’

— Dancehouse CEO/ Artistic Director, Josh Wright

‘The Australia Council is delighted to once again partner with the Keir Foundation, Dancehouse and Carriageworks to support the Kier Choreographic Award. This important award supports new choreographic work in contemporary dance. We look forward to connecting Australians with the work of this wonderfully diverse and talented group of artists.’

— Australia Council Head of Industry and Development, Jade Lillie

‘Carriageworks is thrilled to present all eight artists for the first time, allowing Sydney audiences to see each work come to life. Supporting artists to experiment and develop new ideas is central to Carriageworks and we are pleased to once again be partnering with Dancehouse, the Australia Council for the Arts and the Keir Foundation to support ambitious choreographers develop and present new work in Sydney, Melbourne and online.’

— Carriageworks CEO, Blair French