Alan Brissenden (b1932), who has been commenting on Australian and international dance since 1950, currently writes and reviews for The Australian, Dance Australia, The Adelaide Review and Radio Adelaide and edits Brolga: An Australian journal about dance, the scholarly journal of the Australian Dance Council (Ausdance). His publications include Shakespeare and the Dance (1981), the Oxford World’s Classics edition of As You Like It (1993), Australia Dances: Creating Australian Dance 1945 –1965 (2010, co-author) and numerous contributions to scholarly journals, essay anthologies and reference books, including The International Encyclopedia of Dance (1998) and The Oxford Companion to Shakespeare (2001). An Honorary Visiting Research Fellow of the University of Adelaide, in 1996 Alan Brissenden was made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for services to the Arts.
This issue—the final one to be edited by Alan Brissenden—encompasses a wide geographic range and varied discussions of different kinds of people and different styles of dance. All articles in Brolga 37 have been peer reviewed.
This significant issue of Brolga publishes eight papers from a conference held at the University of Otago in June 2010. The focus of the conference was discussion around interdisciplinary perspectives on dance that strive to both understand historical developments and to anticipate new directions of dance scholarship and performance.
The relationship of dance with society and with other art forms within a society is a fertile ground for exploration, and each of the essays in this issue of Brolga considers such relationships in some way.
This edition of Brolga includes some history of Pavlova in Australia, an article about the youth dance work that happens in Canberra with Quantum Leap and some perspectives from independent contemporary dance makers.
In her editorial to the very first Brolga, Michelle Potter announced that the aim of the new journal was "to provide a space for the publication of current research, critical thinking, and creative activities to, and impinging on, dance in a cultural context in Australia and elsewhere." This aim is fulfilled in all respects in this issue.
In this issue you can read about the genesis and development of the World Dance Alliance – Asia Pacific, a thriving dance program at a South Australian high school, Cheryl Stock's ambitious cooperative choreographhic project at QUT called Accented Body, and issues around the sustainability of collaborative dance ventures.
This issue of Brolga well illustrates the richness of our dance history and the diversity of people who have contributed to it. Jill Sykes pays tribute to Graeme Murphy and the Sydney Dance Company, Mark Carroll continues his research into the Ballet Russes in Australia, and three Ballet Russes dancers share some personal memories of de Basil's ballets. Other articles are by leading dance writers, Lee Christofis and Garry Lester.
Dr Alan Brissenden was thrilled to be honoured at the 2013 Australian Dance Awards with his induction into the Hall of Fame. Here is his acceptance speech.