It falls to us all at one time or another, to bust a better than average move, usually in relative privacy, and then to wonder at the injustice of a universe that neither recognises nor subsidises our rhythmic genius. This March, as host of the 2018 Keir Choreographic Award and Public Program, Carriageworks will be offering kitchen-dancers a chance to up their game, as well as showcasing the work of choreographers who are at the forefront of contemporary physical performance in Australia.
From 15–17, four of Australia's best choreographers will be vying for the Keir Choreographic Award, a $30,000 prize recognising innovation and experimentation in movement-based art. There are currently eight artists in the running, all heavy hitters, half of whom will be culled during a semi-final in Melbourne — Amrita Hepi, Melanie Lane, Bhenji Ra, Nana Bilus, Luke George, Lillian Steiner, Prue Lang and Branch Nebula. The chosen four will present their 20-minute performances at Carriageworks over three nights, before the prize is announced by the jury.
For a week or so either side of the competition, the Keir Public Program will offer a series of discussions, workshops and seminars to help emerging artists and enthusiastic movers reconceptualise their approach to physical performance and expression.
A number of international artists will be in this mix, with US choreographer and improviser Ishmael Houston-Jones running a workshop entitled Black Dance, and Hungarian choreographer and performer Eszter Salamon leading a choreographic lab at Critical Path, a centre for dance development.
None of this is to suggest your weekend dabbing sessions need to change in the slightest. But for those of you who harbour dreams of performing for a non-cat audience, this is a great opportunity to expand your repertoire and see the pros in full flight.