In May this year The Australian Ballet announced a new initiativededicated to nurturing talented, emerging choreographers – and not just dance makers working in ballet, but all genres of dance.

Supported by Telstra – The Australian Ballet’s Principal Partner for 37 Years – the Telstra Emerging Choreographer (TEC) award offers a cash prize of $10,000 and the opportunity to enter TAB’s 2022 Bodytorque program.

Feras Shaheen

Western Sydney dancer and choreographer Feras Shaheen, aged 28, has been announced as the winner of the inaugural TEC award. He was chosen from the four finalists – Shaheen, Mathilda Ballantyne, Aimee Schollum and Geoffrey Watson – who were named in November, each of whom were given $2,500 to create a four to six minute work responding to the theme, the Joy of Dance.

Shaheen will use the $10,000 prize to develop his choreographic practice. He will also work with TAB’s artistic team and dancers on his piece LODAand enter it into the 2022 Bodytorque program.

Born in Dubai to Palestinian parents, Shaheen moved to Sydney at the age...