Keir Choreographic Award

Recently landed: New and unsettled, Keir Choreographic Award Gracia's written response for Fjord Review

In the end, it is not a numbers game, but a willingness to negotiate uncharted waters, pushing the absolute limits of what constitutes dance. “This award is about bringing a little more attention to this art form which, quietly but firmly, organises our bodies in space and our minds in our bodies, and to its makers who relentlessly craft those journeys,” explains Angela Conquet, the artistic director at Dancehouse. All eight works, seen during their two-week season at Dancehouse, question the very definition of dance, of the body in orchestrated movement, and in turn ask: what is choreography? Some do so gently, some do so aggressively, some quietly, and some with a triumphantly tuneless trumpet blast (Brooke Stamp’s TEARAWAY—Part One: The Crater of Motor Power), but all seem in accord that it begins in the body. Brooke Stamp, choreographer and performer in Program One, illustrates this through both her performance and her words, “I think that a lot of people in this award are thinking about choreography as being grounded in the body but moving beyond that and into objects, visual art and sonic spaces.” The stage for her work dotted with props, some called upon and made animate, and all the while the legacy of Isadora Duncan and Martha Graham keenly felt. Stamp’s beautiful and brief dance with her projected shadow on a suspended cloth depicting through line the figure of a dancer is perfectly balanced by the trumpet’s brashness.

Jill Orr's The Promised Land, courtesy of Jill Orr and Dancehouse

Jill Orr's The Promised Land, courtesy of Jill Orr and Dancehouse