New creative leadership appointed to Chunky Move

Chunky Move is delighted to announce the appointment of Antony Hamilton and Kristy Ayre as joint CEOs of the company. The appointment follows a rigorous global recruitment process calling for proposals from teams or individuals with the creative vision and professional credentials to lead Victoria’s flagship contemporary dance company into a new phase of its history. Antony and Kristy are to be joined by Freya Waterson who will be responsible for the company’s national and international touring program.

Minister for the Creative Industries, Martin Foley stated, “Chunky Move is an incredible Victorian success story that plays a key role in Victoria, and Australia’s dance sector and this is an exciting new step for the company. Antony and Kristy have international reputations and will bring a wealth of experience to the role. I look forward to seeing their vision come to life.”

“I’m thrilled with the appointment of Antony and Kristy, and to have Freya’s expertise in the company,” said Chunky Move’s Chair, Leigh O’Neill. She continued, “This team draws on deep and internationally-respected experience in the Australian dance sector whilst bringing a confident and energetic vision for the future. Antony is without doubt one of Australia’s most exciting choreographers—his work is in national and international demand, and his unique approach to making dance fuses artistic disciplines and creates new possibilities for contemporary dance. Kristy brings the perspective of a dancer together with the strategic skills of a cultural leader and advocate for dance practice in Australia. Freya’s inclusion in the team brings a sophisticated understanding of the national and international landscape for touring and audience development. In applying for the role, the team put forward an exceptional vision for the future of contemporary dance, and we are excited to support them in bringing this to life.”

In a joint statement Antony and Kristy said “We feel enormously privileged to lead Chunky Move, and energised to steer the company into a bold new creative era. It’s especially significant for us to return as joint CEO’s to a company that has had such an impact on our professional careers. We are honoured to continue the company’s legacy, and look forward to working with Chunky Move’s staff, artists and Board to develop an adventurous and dynamic program.”

Antony and Kristy will outline their vision in the coming months however they said “Together, we feel propelled to cultivate the company’s reputation and champion a culture of generosity within the dance sector. We plan to deliver new opportunities for artists, and bring ambitious new performance works to audiences in Melbourne and around the world.”

In addition to the responsibilities of joint CEO, Antony will take up the role of Artistic Director and Kristy, Executive Director. Freya will join the company as Program and Touring Producer.

The search for a new leadership team commenced in September 2018 following the departures of Artistic Director Anouk Van Dijk and Executive Director Vanessa Pigrum. In thanking Anouk and Vanessa for their guidance over the past years Leigh O’Neill also paid tribute to the interim team—Sarah Greentree and Ann Tonks—who have expertly steered the company through an extraordinary few months which included a rigorous touring program, presentation of new works and the search for new leadership.

Antony and Kristy will start in February 2019 initially on a part time basis and then work full time for the company from April. Freya will start her part time role in January 2019.


Antony Hamilton’s multi-award winning performances involve a sophisticated melding of movement, sound and visual design. He has received numerous choreographic awards including the Helpmann Award for Best Ballet or Dance Work (Black Project 1&2), a New York Dance and Performing Arts Award “The Bessies” (MEETING) and five Green Room Awards (Keep Everything, MEETING and Black Project 1&2). Recent works include Forever & Ever (Sydney Dance Company 2018), Number of the Machine (2017) and Natural Orders (Dancemakers Toronto 2017). In 2014 Antony was guest dance curator at the National Gallery of Victoria.

Kristy Ayre began her career as a dancer and educator working with some of Australia’s most esteemed choreographers and companies. She has since, played a leadership role in the dance sector as a Director on the Board of Next Wave, Co-Chair of the Green Room Awards Association Dance Panel and as Executive Producer of Phillip Adams BalletLab and interdisciplinary art space, Temperance Hall. Kristy Co-Produced the 2015 National Dance Forum and was an Associate Producer for the 2012 and 2014 Next Wave Festivals.

Freya Waterson is an Independent Producer working across art-forms. She has held senior roles at Insite Arts, Melbourne Fringe and the UK’s largest documentary and factual forum, Sheffield Doc/Fest. She was an Associate Producer of MONA FOMA in 2011 and 12. Since 2015, Freya has focussed on supporting some of Australia’s most ambitious contemporary performance makers to create new work; helping drive projects from inception through to production and touring.

Photo by Gregory Lorenzutti