The inaugural Keir Choreographic Award has been awarded to Atlanta Eke. The People's Choice Award went to Sydney artist Jane McKernan, as selected by audience members at the grand final at Carriageworks.
Four of the eight commissioned artists—Sarah Aiken, Matthew Day, Atlanta Eke, Jane McKernan—competed for the inaugural award at Carriageworks in Sydney in July.
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 and Phillip Keir, The Keir Foundation Director and visionary behind the Award.
Earlier this year, Carriageworks, Dancehouse and the Keir Foundation partnered for the first time to present the Keir Choreographic Award, dedicated to commissioning new choreographic works and to bringing significant support and increased profiling to the contemporary dance sector, both nationally and internationally.
Among the many benefits, the Award includes a cash prize of $30,000 for first prize and $10,000 for an audience choice prize.
Out of the 77 entries, the eight artists commissioned of this inaugural edition were:
Sarah Aiken (VIC); James Batchelor (VIC); Tim Darbyshire (VIC); Matthew Day (VIC); Atlanta Eke (VIC); Shaun Gladwell (NSW); Jane McKernan (NSW); and Brooke Stamp (VIC). Read more about their work .
The biennial Keir Choreographic Award is assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts.