Stories + essays

Dance people share personal and inspirational experiences

Meet Ausdance National board member Jacqueline Simmonds

Ausdance National has a dedicated new National Council made up of highly experienced and skilled individuals who have taken charge of your national peak body and are continuing its work. Hear from the National board member Jacqueline Simmonds about how she got started in dance and why she believes a national dance advocacy organisation is important for Australian dance.

Meet Ausdance National President Gene Moyle

Ausdance National has a new National Council made up of highly experienced and skilled individuals who have taken charge of your national peak body and are continuing its work.

Hear from the National President on how she got started in dance, and why she believes a national dance advocacy organisation is important for Australian dance.

Meet Ausdance National Vice President Elizabeth More

Ausdance National has a new National Council made up of highly experienced and skilled individuals who have taken charge of your national peak body and are continuing its work. Hear from the National Vice President on how she got started in dance, and why she believes a national dance advocacy organisation is important for Australian dance.

Meet Ausdance board member Annette Carmichael

Ausdance National has a dedicated new National Council made up of highly experienced and skilled individuals who have taken charge of your national peak body and are continuing its work.

Board member Annette Carmichael lives in the creative enclave that is Denmark, a small town on the Great Southern coast of WA. From her vibrant home, she works as a dance artist and creative producer.

Annette shares how she got started in dance and why she believes a national dance advocacy organisation is important for Australian dance.

Creating Pathways keynote speech by Raymond Blanco

What is contemporary Indigenous dance? When did this term become associated with our culture, our dance? Or is it Indigenous Contemporary? Have we an Historical Dance Culture or are we living a Dance Culture History? Do we make now from then or is it from then now? For some of us exposure to contemporary Indigenous dance came from television. If we were really lucky we had a group of dancers come to our town and teach and perform at our schools, and for the unlucky our only exposure came from Bangarra.

Creating Pathways—a collective vision and direction for the future of Indigenous dance

Lydia Miller discusses ongoing vision of successive generations of Indigenous artists. The cultural renaissance in Indigenous arts and culture began in the 1980s with the emergence of a critical mass of young, vibrant Indigenous artists who took to the stages and the galleries with the electric energy that is synonymous with Indigenous artists. Dance, theatre, music and visual arts emerged onto the national arts landscape with the edginess, candour, vibrancy and challenge of these young Indigenous minds, bodies, and spirits.

Documenting the influence of travel on my artistic practice

Gabrielle Nankivell, the inaugural recipient of the Ausdance Keith Bain Choreographic Travel Fellowship, shares her travel story, research notes and workbook from Vienna, Munich, Barcelona and Berlin, where old and new influences shape her practice.

The subject of travel and professional development, and the value this experience offers artistic practice, arises regularly in the dance arena. As artists we seek these experiences because we are hoping to find something other than what we know or perhaps even something that makes us finally feel at home – either way, we are seeking something to ignite our imaginations and to deepen our knowledge and empathy. We hope to meet people, build new relationships and share practice. We imagine it will generate energy and feed our motivation. We take to the road to connect with others and to connect with our selves. To paraphrase the sentiment of many a wanderlust quote, travel opens the mind and makes the heart grow... We know and the philanthropists know. Travel and international exchange is a good thing.

Dance research and the International Association for Dance Medicine and Science Conference 2016

The International Association for Dance Medicine and Science (IADMS) 26th Annual Conference was held in Hong Kong on October 20–23 2016. A group of Australian academics, clinicians, dancers and students were thrilled to be able to travel to Hong Kong to present our work to the dance research community.  Australia should be proud to be at the forefront of this field, and a presentation on bibliometric analysis of dance publications identified Australia as one of the top countries in the world for quality and collaborative dance research!

Patrick (Lucky) Lartey receives Keith Bain Choreographic Travel Fellowship

Patrick (Lucky) Lartey is a Sydney-based dancer and choreographer, originally from Ghana, West Africa. In September this year he was awarded the Keith Bain Choreographic Travel Fellowship, which provides financial assistance for an emerging choreographer to travel internationally with the sole purpose of developing and extending their choreographic practice.

Unrooted and rerouted ‘otherness’ in an international nexus

Nerida Matthaei, Australian dancer, choreographer and artistic director of Phluxus2 Dance Collective shares her experience of the World Dance Alliance Korea Choreolab and conference. Nerida received the Chin Lin Award for the best young scholar for her Pecha Kucha presentation at the World Dance Alliance Asia Pacific conference in Korea.

Safe Dance: what does it mean and what’s changed over the past 20 years

The words ‘safe dance’ mean many different things to different parts of the dance community. It could be safe dance practice recommendations for teachers and studio owners, safe physical dance environments, injury prevention and safe return to dance practices, supporting the mental and physical development of dance students, the list goes on.

But how far have we come in preventing and managing injuries in Australia’s professional dancers? And are our dance practices safe?

Evoking poetics of memory through performing site

Memory, time and metaphor are central triggers for artists in exploring and shaping their creative work. This paper examines the place of artists as ‘memory-keepers’, and ‘memory-makers’, in particular through engagement with the time-based art of site-specific performance. Naik Naik (Ascent) was a multi-site performance project in the historic setting of Melaka, Malaysia, and is partially recaptured through the presence and voices of its collaborating artists. Distilled from moments recalled, this paper seeks to uncover the poetics of memory to emerge from the project; one steeped in metaphor rather than narrative. It elicits some of the complex and interdependent layers of experience revealed by the artists in Naik Naik; cultural, ancestral, historical, personal, instinctual and embodied memories connected to sound, smell, touch, sensation and light, in a spatiotemporal context for which site is the catalyst. The liminal nature of memory at the heart of Naik Naik, provides a shared experience of past and present and future, performatively interwoven.

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