Australia’s next generation of dance creators to take centre stage

SDC_Fiona Jopp, Kristina Chan, Daniel Riley and Bernhard Knauer. Photo Peter Greig editorialWith generous support from the Balnaves Foundation, Sydney Dance Company and Carriageworks have announced four up and coming Australian choreographers commissioned to create new works as part of their acclaimed New Breed initiative – a major three-year program created to support the next generation of Australian dance-makers.

Daniel Riley, Kristina Chan, Bernhard Knauer and Fiona Jopp will be given the invaluable opportunity of a lifetime – to create work on Australia’s leading contemporary dance company, for presentation at Carriageworks in December this year.

“Australia is lucky to be blessed with an extremely rich talent base of young dance creators,” said Sydney Dance Company Artistic Director Rafael Bonachela. “Yet in order for them to grow in their careers and reach their full potential, they need the opportunity to practice – the chance to take their ideas and put them on the stage in front of an audience. New Breed is about giving some of these talented young artists the best possible opportunity to experiment.”

Daniel Riley is an Indigenous dancer/choreographer whose bloodline runs through the Wiradjuri clan of Western NSW. Daniel made his choreographic debut in 2010 with a work commissioned by Stephen Page for Bangarra Dance Theatre titled Riley, and since this time has made additional works with Bangarra/Stephen Page, QL2 Dance, Queensland University of Technology, Third Row Dance Company, UK, Louisville Ballet, USA, and Canberra Dance Development Centre 2015.

Hong Kong born dancer/choreographer Kristina Chan choreographed her first work, Kingdom Mourning, for Adelaide College of the Arts in 2012. Since then she has created works for NAISDA, the Solo Festival of Dance Brisbane, Spring Dance Festival and iOU Dance. She is currently developing A Faint Existence, a full-length solo dance work produced by Force Majeure.

Bernhard Knauer was born in Dresden, Germany and attended the Palucca School before completing his dance training at The Royal Conservatory in The Hague. In Europe he danced with the ballet of Theater Görlitz, State Theatre of Tyrol, Dutch National Ballet and Zhukov Dance Theatre, before joining Sydney Dance Company in 2010. This is his first work in the role of choreographer.

Fiona Jopp was born on the Gold Coast and began her training at The Gold Coast City Ballet. At the age of 15 she travelled to Europe, where she studied at the Palucca School in Dresden and the Royal Conservatory in The Hague. As a dancer, Fiona has worked extensively in Australia and internationally across many disciplines. Fiona first danced with Sydney Dance Company in 2010, and has been a full-time member of the ensemble since 2013. This is Fiona’s first professional foray into choreography.

In addition, independent designers Matt Marshall and Aleisa Jelbart, and musician/composers Nick Thayer, James Brown, Jürgen Knauer, Toby Merz and Alicia Merz, have also been offered commissions to work with one or more of the choreographers and contribute to the creation of the works.

New Breed 2015 takes place at Carriageworks from 8 – 13 December. For more information, visit: or for details.

Image: Fiona Jopp, Kristina Chan, Daniel Riley and Bernhard Knauer – photo Peter Greig