Choreographer In Residence

In 2020, Chunky Move established a major new multi-year opportunity for an established choreographer or artist collective in partnership with the Tanja Liedtke Foundation. The Choreographer In Residence initiative is a singular opportunity for choreographic artists in Australia and extends Chunky Move’s commitment to supporting established independent choreographers to develop their careers.

The program is neither a fellowship nor a direct commissioning opportunity, rather it is intended to create a structure that balances creative flexibility with clear outcomes across the residency period. The Choreographer In Residence is encouraged to work with Chunky Move as part of an integrated expansion of their own practice.

Choreographer in Residence

2021/2022 recipient Joel Bray

The Choreographer In Residence receives: a stipend of $40,000 per year, for two years, a dedicated production budget to enable the realisation of a new work, regular access to Chunky Move’s studios and office, and extensive opportunities for structured and informal professional and practice development.

Joel Bray CIR 2020 Media Release

The Choreographer In Residence is selected via an open Expression of Interest and Interview process assessed by panel comprising senior Chunky Move staff and industry peers.

Photo by Pippa Samaya

“It was dancing with Chunky Move which brought me back to Australia. So I am so thrilled to be coming onboard as choreographer-in-residence; it feels like coming home” said Joel Bray. “I received the news whilst walking through the city and did a little spontaneous dance on the footpath, because this incredible opportunity is such a vote of faith in me and my practice, and a genuine investment in Blackfella work of scale. My heartfelt thanks to both Chunky Move and the Tanja Liedtke Foundation.” – Joel Bray 2021/2022 CIR

Photo by Pippa Samaya

Joel Bray is a proud Wiradjuri man who trained at NAISDA and WAAPA before pursuing a career in Europe and Israel with Jean-Claude Gallotta, Company CeDeCe, Kolben Dance, Machol Shalem Dance House, Yoram Karmi’s FRESCO Dance Company, Niv Sheinfeld & Oren Laor and Roy Assaf. He returned to Australia to work with Chunky Move under Anouk van Dijk.

Joel’s choreographic practice springs from his Wiradjuri cultural heritage. His works are intimate encounters in unorthodox spaces, in which audience-members are invited in as co-storytellers to explore the experiences of fair-skinned Aboriginal people, and the experiences of contemporary gay men in an increasingly digital and isolated world. His body becomes the intersection site of those songlines – Indigenous heritage, skin-colour and queer sexuality.

Since returning to Melbourne, Joel has created numerous critically acclaimed solo works, including Biladurang (winner of three Melbourne Fringe Awards); Dharawungara, (commissioned by Chunky Move) and Daddy (commissioned by the Yirramboi Festival, Arts House and Liveworks). Joel’s works have toured extensively across Australia.

Joel was the 2019 National Library of Australia Creative Arts Fellow, and is continuing this Burbang research into Wiradjuri ceremony through a series of Australia Council Signature Works grants. In 2020, he was commissioned to create a new work as part of Sydney Dance Company’s New Breed.

Read more about Joel’s work here

Photo by Daniel Boud