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2023 Telstra Emerging Choreographer: Meet the nominees
Now in its third year, the Telstra Emerging Choreographer award is supporting the future of Australian choreographers and breathing new life into the dance sector. Meet the three finalists for the coveted $10,000 prize that encourages the next generation of artists.
10 Nov 2023
Azzam Mohamed, also known as Shazam, is a dancer, performer, MC, and educator. Originally from Sudan, and now based in Sydney, his dance practice merges street, club, and traditional dances from his native region and neighbouring countries.
Azzam is active in the dance battles realm, recently winning the House dance category championship at Melbourne's City Sessions 2022. He also shares his expertise through workshops in Dance Freestyle, Hip Hop, and Afro House, teaching at prestigious institutions like Dubbo Ballet Academy, Australia Dance Festival, and PATH ACME Academy in Singapore.
In the realm of dance-making, Azzam is relatively new but undeniably active, retaining a vibrant presence just as much as in the street dance scene. His introduction to choreography arrived through Two Crews, an imaginative collaboration melding his Riddim Nation crew with Paris' Lady Rocks, directed by Nick Power.
Azzam's creative spark led him to contribute to Out of Iso, a series of short dance works curated by Nick Power, produced by Intimate Spectacle, and supported by the City of Sydney.
Azzam's performance credits include dancing with his crew Riddim Nation in Nick Power's Two Crews, and his choreographic work in The Risk of Hyperbole led by Jack Prest and commissioned by Phoenix Gallery premiered at Phoenix Central Park in 2021. Azzam most recently captivated audiences in Dirty Feet's Out of The Studio annual program, collaborating with Jack Prest and presented at Sydney Dance Company.
Yuiko Masukawa is a Japanese choreographer and dancer based in Naarm, Melbourne, working with the classical form in contemporary contexts.
Yuiko studied in Japan, America and Canada before relocating to Australia and graduating from the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA) and launching a professional career as a dancer and choreographer.
A principal artist with Melbourne City Ballet between 2013 to 2019, Yuiko toured across Australia, New Zealand and Japan performing principal roles for more than 15 seasons. As a choreographer with Melbourne City Ballet, she created works for each contemporary season as well as more than 10 full-length ballets for Melbourne City Youth Ballet.
Yuiko's major works have flowed from her love of ballet and contemporary performance and include, Running Machine, an international, interdisciplinary collaborative work between Japan and Australia presented at Arts House for BLEED festival and why we are, who we are in collaboration with T.Shriraam.
In 2023, Yuiko presented the first development of her work Yugen at The Australian Ballet as a part of Frame Festival. In the same year, Yuiko was nominated for outstanding achievement in youth dance for her artistic directorship of Melbourne City Youth Ballet and a Green Room Award for Running Machine.
Yuiko is also a passionate ballet teacher and has been teaching ballet at The Australian Ballet, Lucy Guerin Inc, The National Ballet School, Victorian College of Arts, Victorian College of the Arts Secondary School, Transit Dance and has ongoing connections with companies and festivals in Japan, including Kinosaki Arts Centre and Tokyo Ballet.
Glory is a descendant of Indjalandji-Dhidhanu and Alyewarre Aboriginal people, from North West Queensland and the Northern Territory.
Glory graduated from National Aboriginal and Islander Skills Association (NAISDA Dance College), joining Bangarra Dance Theatre in 2016 under the Russell Page Graduate Program, performing and traveling with them until February 2023.
The experiences that have made the biggest impact on Glory’s artistic practice are attending cultural residencies with NAISDA to Saibai Island and Mao Island in the Torres Strait, and Elcho Island in North East Arnhem Land. Glory also worked with Bangarra, returning shows back to country to Yirrkala, East Arnhem Land, Marree, South Australia and Thursday Island in the Torres Strait.
In February of 2023, Glory made her choreographic debut with Keeping Grounded for Bangarra’s production Dance Clan. Glory has most recently joined Karul Projects on tour with their show, Silence and Performing Lines production of Hide the Dog.