Antony Hamilton has been announced as the new Artistic Director of Melbourne’s Chunky Move dance company. He has also been appointed joint CEO alongside Kristy Ayre, who has also been named Executive Director. They succeed departing AD Anouk van Dijk and Executive Director Vanessa Pigrum, starting in February on a part-time basis before working full time for the company from April.
“We feel enormously privileged to lead Chunky Move, and energised to steer the company into a bold new creative era,” said Hamilton and Ayre in a joint statement. “It’s especially significant for us to return as joint CEOs 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.”
“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,” they added.
“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,” said Chunky Move’s Chair, Leigh O’Neill.
Hamilton is an acclaimed choreographer celebrated for his melding of movement, sound and visual design. He has collaborated with Chunky Move as both performer and choreographer, the latter seeing him create two works for the Next Move program, 2008’s I like This with co-director Byron Perry and 2012’s Keep Everything. He was the recipient of a Helpmann Award for Best Choreography in a Dance or Physical Theatre Work in 2013 for Black Project 1 & 2. Other accolades include five Green Room Awards along with one from The New York Dance and Performance Awards, The Bessies for 2015’s Meeting. Hamilton’s most recent work for Sydney Dance Company, Forever and Ever, was critically acclaimed when it premiered in October this year.
Ayre has served as Director on the Board of Next Wave, Co-Chair of the Green Room Awards Association Dance Panel and Executive Producer of the Phillip Adams BalletLab. She co-produced the 2015 National Dance Forum and was an Associate Producer for the 2012 and 2014 Next Wave Festivals. As a dancer, Ayre has collaborated and performed with Chunky Move for more than a decade.