The Keir Foundation, Carriageworks and Dancehouse have announced that Melanie Lane is the recipient of the 2018 Keir Choreographic Award, Australia’s first major choreographic award, supported by the Australia Council for the Arts.
Her work, Personal Effigies featuring Lane and Chris Clark with music by Chris Clark and costume design by Paula Levis, is described as a synthesis of constructed bodies for a singular body, drawing from avatars, puppets, dolls and effigies.
The Audience Choice Award went to Amrita Hepi for her work, A Caltex Spectrum – performed by Jahra Rager, Tyrone Robinson and Sarah Vai, with set design by Alice Joel, music by Daniel Von Jenatsch and Sarah Scott. The work asked, is it possible to transcend class through movement, or do society’s inscriptions remain firmly imprinted on the body?
Eight artists were selected by a high-profile international jury to take part in the biennial competition, dedicated to the commissioning, presentation, promotion and dissemination of new Australian choreography. The selected artists were: Nana Biluš Abaffy, Luke George, Amrita Hepi, Melanie Lane, Prue Lang, Bhenji Ra, Lillian Steiner, and Branch Nebula (Lee Wilson and Mirabelle Wouters).
Launched in 2014, the Keir Choreographic Award looks to identify and illuminate experimental choreographic practices occurring in the Australian context today. For the third edition of the Award, the eight finalists presented new work at Melbourne’s Dancehouse from 6 – 10 March 2018, with four commissioned artists (Amrita Hepi, Melanie Lane, Nana Biluš Abaffy, Luke George) participating in the Carriageworks season from 15 – 17 March 2018 to compete for the accolade of the $30,000 Award and the $10,000 Audience Choice Award.
“I am delighted to see how the award has developed over the last 6 years,” said Keir Choreographic Award Founder Phillip Keir. “The range and depth of the applicants has truly made the deliberations of the jury more difficult than ever this time around. Congratulations to the final eight commissioned artists and to Melanie Lane and Amrita Hepi, this year’s recipients, chosen by a highly esteemed jury of international choreographers.”
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 on-going involvement with the dance community both nationally and internationally. For more information, visit: www.keirfoundation.org for details.
Image: Melanie Lane, Personal Effigies – photo by Zan Wimberley