Top Four Finalists announced for the 2016 Keir Choreographic Award

Martin Hansen photo by Gregory LorenzuttiThe Keir Foundation, Carriageworks and Dancehouse with the Australia Council have announced the top four finalists for the 2016 Keir Choreographic Award, following their premiere performances in Melbourne last week, that featured eight commissioned semi-­finalists.

“It is fantastic to see 8 new innovative works take to the stage,” said Phillip Keir, Founder Keir Choreographic Award. “The inventiveness of all the works stands without question and points to the health of contemporary dance in Australia. This created a very difficult task for the jury in deciding the 4 works that would progress to the next round at Carriageworks in Sydney.”

The four finalists are: Ghenoa Gela – a Sydney-­based choreographer and performer from Torres Strait Islands whose recent work includes MURA BUAI (Liveworks, Performance Space); Rebecca Jensen – a New Zealand artist now based in Melbourne, whose work was presented in Next Wave 2014 and Dance Massive 2015; Martin Hansen – an Australian choreographer and performer, now based in Berlin; and Sarah Aiken – Melbourne based 2014 Keir Choreographic Award finalist.

The prestigious 2016 Keir Choreographic Award jury deliberated over the top four artists following a high calibre of semi-finalist performances at Melbourne’s Dancehouse. The jury included: Bojana Cvejic (Belgrade) – performance theorist and performance maker based in Brussels; Pierre Bal-­Blanc – Documenta 14 curator and independent art critic based in Athens and Paris; Sarah Michelson – US based choreographer; Atlanta Eke – inaugural recipient of the Keir Choreographic Award in 2014; and Phillip Keir – Keir Foundation Founder.

The finalists will now participate in the Sydney season of finals performances presented by Carriageworks this week from 5 – 7 May 2016. The artists will compete for the accolade including a cash award of $30,000 for first place and $10,000 for an audience choice award that will be voted by Sydney audiences.

The second edition of Australia’s first major contemporary choreographic, the biennial Keir Choreographic Award is dedicated to the commissioning of new choreographic work and to promoting innovative, experimental and cross-­art form practice in contemporary dance.

The finals of the 2016 Keir Choreographic Award will take place at Carriageworks: 5 – 7 May. The recipient of the 2016 Keir Choreographic Award will be announced on Monday 9th May. For more information, visit: for details.

Image: Martin Hansen’s work if it’s all in my veins at the semifinals of the 2016 Keir Choreographic Award – photo by Gregory Lorenzutti