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First National Dance Forum 2017 speakers announced

We know the dance sector wants a chance to share, inspire, connect and to be inspired by the whole dance industry—that includes the broader ecology, from independents to majors. At NDF 2017 we'll hear inspiring talks from our National Dance Forum 2017 speakers.

Here are our first speakers for this year's forum.

Wesley Enoch

Wesley Enoch Wesley Enoch is the Director of the Sydney Festival. He has been a theatre director/writer for over 25 years specialising in Aboriginal Theatre. Wesley has been Artistic Director of Queensland Theatre Company 2010–15, Ilbijerri 2003–06 and Kooemba Jdarra 1994–97; Resident Director at Sydney Theatre Company 2000–01; Associate Artistic Director Company B Belvoir 2007–10, and he worked on the Opening Ceremony of the 2006 Commonwealth Games. Wesley has worked with all the large theatre companies, arts centres and festivals in Australia and won multiple awards. Wesley was a Trustee of the Sydney Opera House 2006–13 and is the Chair of the ATSI Strategy Panel for the Australia Council.

Sue Healey

Sue HealeySue Healey is a choreographer and filmmaker based in Sydney. Experimenting with form and perception, Healey creates dance for diverse spaces and contexts: theatres, galleries and the camera. Her work has toured to Asia, USA, UK and throughout Australia and New Zealand. Healey received a Creative Fellowship in 2014 from the Australia Council for Arts, and was made an Honorary Fellow of the Victorian College of the Arts, University of Melbourne 2015. Her films are widely acclaimed and have won awards including five Australian Dance Awards for Outstanding Achievement in Dance on Film/New Media and Independent Dance, winner Reeldance Australia and winner Il Coreografo Elettronico, Napolidanza, Italy. She has created ten major films with cinematographer Judd Overton, her key film collaborator. Her 2017 films include En Route for the new Wynscreen public art project at Wynyard train station and City as Portrait Gallery currently being exhibited at the Customshouse, Circular Quay. Sue is currently filming and creating On View: Asia, a major performance and film installation, produced by West Kowloon Cultural District Authority in Hong Kong and Taiwan in 2017/2019. She recently choreographed for the New Zealand Dance Company ‘Kiss the Sky’ season in Auckland June 2017. www.suehealey.com

The fourth National Dance Forum (NDF2017) will take place from 25–26 September 2017 at the Victorian College of the Arts in Melbourne, Victoria.

This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body.

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2017 Australian Dance Awards shortlist

Congratulations to the shortlisted nominees for one of the country’s most prestigious performing arts awards. The Australian Dance Awards recognise and honour outstanding achievement.

Dancer on stage floor leaning back with head tilted skyward and one arm reaching up.iD by Bangarra Dance Theatre. Choreographed by Stephen Page. Photography by Jeff Busby

Award for Services to Dance

  • Ben Cobham
  • Nicolette Fraillon AM
  • Jennifer Irwin
  • Philip Piggin

Award for Services to Dance Education

  • Sally Chance
  • Lesley Graham
  • Katrina Rank
  • Kim Walker

Outstanding Achievement in Community Dance

  • Country Arts SA – Dance Jungle Gym
  • Liz Lea, Canberra Dance Theatre & collaborators – Great Sport!
  • Sprung!! Integrated Theatre Inc. – Encounters
  • Tracks Dance Company – Landed

Outstanding Achievement in Youth Dance

  • Catapult Dance, The Flipside Project – In Search of the Lost Things
  • QL2 Dance – Connected
  • Slide Dance – Secrets
  • Tracks Dance Company – Milpirri (Kurdiji)

Outstanding Achievement in Choreography

  • Anouk van Dijk – Rule of Thirds (Chunky Move)
  • Lucy Guerin – The Dark Chorus (Lucy Guerin Inc)
  • Kyle Page & Amber Haines – Rainbow Vomit (Dancenorth)
  • Natalie Weir – We Who Are Left (Queensland Ballet)

Outstanding Performance by a Company

  • The Australian Ballet – Nijinsky
  • Bangarra Dance Theatre – OUR Land People Stories
  • Queensland Ballet – Strictly Gershwin
  • Sydney Dance Company – Untamed

Outstanding Achievement in Independent Dance

  • Australian Dance Artists – Seven Impossible Pieces for Four Dancers
  • Dance Makers Collective – DADS
  • Praxis – Dark Matter
  • Liesel Zink – The Stance

Outstanding Performance by a Female Dancer

  • Natalie Allen – Decadence Perth 2016 (STRUT Dance)
  • Amber Haines – Syncing Feeling (Dancenorth)
  • Ako Kondo – Coppélia (The Australian Ballet)
  • Clare Morehen – Lest We Forget (Queensland Ballet)

Outstanding Performance by a Male Dancer

  • Richard Causer – Black (Expressions Dance Company)
  • Benjamin Hancock – The Dark Chorus (Lucy Guerin Inc)
  • Kevin Jackson – Nijinsky (The Australian Ballet)
  • James Vu Anh Pham – Rule of Thirds (Chunky Move)

Outstanding Achievement in Commercial Dance or Musical Theatre

  • Sarah Boulter – Dance Academy (ABC TV)
  • Jack Chambers – Singin’ in the Rain (TEG Dainty, Lunchbox Theatrical Productions, David Atkins Enterprises & Michael Cassel Group)
  • Company 2 – Scotch & Soda
  • The Dream Dance Company – The Secret Society

Outstanding Achievement in Dance on Film

  • Juliet Burnett, Nicholas Robert Thayer & Gabrielle Adamidis – Letting Blood
  • Lucy Doherty – Mandala (One Dance Collective)
  • The Samaya Wives – The Knowledge Between Us
  • Sally Wicks & Dan Crestani – Empathy is the Devil (Sumi Productions)

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Call for expressions of interest—present at National Dance Forum 2017

2017 National Dance Forum

25–26 September, Victorian College of the Arts

Dance in the digital domainPhoto: Sydney Dance Company. Gideon Obarzanek’s L’Chaim! Photo by Wendell Teodoro.

NDF 2017 will address four key questions:

  • How do we approach or adapt artistic practice to take advantage of new digital technology, and use it to create meaning? Or is technology an art form in its own right?
  • How is work curated and created for digital distribution?
  • How can artists expand their reach to new and existing audiences?
  • What can we take from other industries that have successfully (or unsuccessfully) navigated digital disruption and/or developed an effective digital futures agenda?

Expressions of interest: 10-minute presentation

We welcome your proposal to make a 10-minute presentation about your work that directly addresses one or all of the four key questions. The program will be shaped by these questions, and we will choose presentations based on innovative practice, relevance to the topics, and by hearing about some of the challenges faced in creating work in a digital environment.

Expressions of interest: 3-minute pitch presentation

We invite practitioners who use digital technology in, or for, their work to demonstrate innovation and/or digital distribution strategies in a 3-minute pitch session.

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Ausdance President’s report – July 2017

The Ausdance National board has been very busy these past couple of months, in-between meeting for a second time in early June and planning for our next meeting on 23 July 2017. These regular meetings have enabled a range of initiatives to be implemented which have included:

  • working with the Australian Major Performing Arts Group (AMPAG) on a joint submission in addition to an individual Ausdance submission regarding VET Student Loans
  • clarifying and streamlining roles and responsibilities for our Ausdance National office team across administration and marketing areas
  • the establishment of Board Subcommittees with key board members being tasked with responsibility for actively supporting and driving identified priority areas
  • the launch of our fundraising campaign with the fabulous support of past life members Shane Colquhoun and Julie Dyson
  • the activation of the National Dance Forum advisory panel including initial curation and program scheduling
  • the ongoing planning and securement of sponsorship support for the Australian Dance Awards in collaboration with Ausdance VIC.

Read more…

ArtsPeak update—July 2017

Australia Council's National Service Organisation scan

The Australia Council has finally completed the desktop scan of national service organisations that analyses 111 arts organisations, covering all states and territories and artistic disciplines.
Of the analysed organisations:

  • 97% engage in member communication activities including newsletters, social media, and journals
  • 83% deliver capacity building activities
  • 43% engage in advocacy
  • 36% undertake research and evaluation

The research is of particular interest to Ausdance National, following its loss of Australia Council operational funding last year—we definitely fulfil all of the activities listed above! The Council notes that it won’t be undertaking any specific communications related to the scan, but sees it as one of the many resources available on its website.

Read more…

World Dance Alliance Asia Pacific—July 2017 update

The 2017 WDA Global Summit will be held in St John’s, Newfoundland, from 24–28 July, with a full program of performances, scholarly papers and workshops, including a Choreolab. The timetable is still being developed, but you can read the exciting program that includes several Australian presenters, among them Assoc. Professor Cheryl Stock AM, who has just stepped down as the WDA’s inaugural Secretary-General.

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National Advocates for Arts Education July 2017 update

The National Advocates for Arts Education (NAAE) met with several key groups and individuals in Canberra on 19 and 20 June.

Members of National Advocates for Arts Education outside Parliament House, CanberraMembers of National Advocates for Arts Education outside Parliament House, Canberra. L to R: John Saunders (Drama Australia), Richard Letts (The Music Trust), Derek Weeks (Australian Teachers of Media - ATOM), Tamara Winikoff (NAVA), Roger Dunscombe (ATOM), Julie Dyson (NAAE chair), Sue Fox (Ausdance).

We were especially encouraged by our meeting with officers from the Department of Communications and the Arts, Rebecca Rush, Mark Gordon and Stella Jones, and with officers from the Department of Education & Training, Cris Castro and Eleanor Newby. We were able to follow up on our previous submissions regarding the loss of VET FEE-HELP for arts courses (575 Kb PDF) and with further discussions about advancing the STEAM agenda.

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National performing arts healthcare body to host symposium tackling health and wellbeing challenges

The Australian Society for Performing Arts Healthcare (ASPAH) will be holding its symposium 'Don’t Tell Me to Rest!—The Reality of Performing Arts Healthcare' on 25 November 2017, in Kingscliff, NSW. ASPAH recognises that performing artists face unique pressures and health challenges in a healthcare system that is lacking support and education to address their needs.

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2017 Queen’s Birthday Honours for dance sector

Ausdance National congratulates the 2017 recipients and thanks you all for your significant contribution to Australia's dance sector.

AO—Officer in the General Division of the Order of Australia

  • Mr Stephen George PAGE (NSW) — For distinguished service to the performing arts and contemporary dance, through enriching Australia's cultural environment, and by presenting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander arts to the world.
  • Mr Michael Francis LYNCH AM (NSW) — For distinguished service to arts administration, to leadership of international cultural institutions and nationally recognised art organisations, and through contributions to Australian public life.

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Ausdance responds to review of the VET Student Loans Eligible Course List and Loan Caps Methodology

As per our previous submission in October 2016 regarding the exclusion of dance performance courses from the eligible course list for the VET Student Loans program, Ausdance would like to re-state its significant concern in light of the recent call for submissions regarding the review of the VET Student Loans Eligible Course List and Loan Caps methodology.

Read the full response: Download Ausdance National's letter to Senator the Hon. Simon Birmingham, Minister for Education and Training about the review of the VET Student Loans Eligible Course List and Loan Caps Methodology (80 Kp PDF)

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National Dance Forum 2017

The 2017 National Dance Forum (NDF2017) will bring together makers, producers and presenters to discuss and share knowledge on current digital practices and technological developments. The two-day forum will focus on strengthening the dance sector’s capacity within the digital domain. 

NDF2017 will take place at the Victorian College of the Arts in Melbourne, 25–26 September 2017 and will follow the Australian Dance Awards (Arts Centre Melbourne, 24 September 2017).

Dance artists, companies, presenters and researchers looking for ways to grow meaningful audience relationships and understand the issues around making art in a digital environment, need to attend. 

The NDF2017 program will be released in July. For further details, updates and to contribute, visit the NDF2017 page on the Ausdance National website. Follow NDF 2017 on Twitter, #natdanceforum, and Ausdance National Facebook.

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National forum to explore dance practice in the digital age

MEDIA RELEASE (90Kb PDF)

16 May 2017

The 2017 National Dance Forum will bring together makers, producers and presenters to discuss and share knowledge on current digital practices and technological developments. The two-day forum will focus on strengthening the dance sector’s capacity within the digital domain.

Led by the dance sector’s advocate for 40 years—Ausdance National—the fourth National Dance Forum (NDF2017) will take place at the Victorian College of the Arts in Melbourne, 25–26 September 2017 and will follow the Australian Dance Awards (Arts Centre Melbourne, 24 September 2017).

Dance artists, companies, presenters and researchers looking for ways to grow meaningful audience relationships and understand the issues around making art in a digital environment, need to attend.

Read more…

ArtsPeak sets new goals, welcomes new members

ArtsPeak’s new goal

Drafted at its planning session in Sydney on 15–16 March, the following new goal will be included as a discussion point in the next ArtsPeak meeting in September:

That the cultural, arts and creative industries are central to political thinking, economic priorities and civic life in Australia.

Addressing that goal, the intended outcomes are:

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National Advocates For Arts Education May 2017 update

by Julie Dyson, Chair

NAAE is coordinating the publication of a new edition of its highly successful More Than Words Can Say – a View of Literacy Through the Arts, last updated in 2003. This has meant re-engaging with the original authors and commissioning a new Foreword. We’re delighted to announce that this will be written by arts educator Professor Robyn Ewing AM of the University of Sydney, author of the influential research paper The Arts and Australian Education: Realising potential.

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Ausdance National Council President’s Report – May 2017

Following the Annual General Meeting on 19 March 2017, the new skills-based board members of the Ausdance National Council formally commenced in their new director roles. It has been great to connect as a group not only in better understanding the breadth of experience that each team member brings to the responsibility of leading Ausdance National, but how passionate everyone is about Ausdance and the dance sector in general! 

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World Dance Alliance May 2017 update

This year’s World Dance Alliance (WDA) Global Summit will be held in St John’s, Newfoundland from 23–28 July. Australian Cheryl Stock, AM has stepped down from the role of Secretary-General of WDA, having introduced new protocols, policies and procedures to the organisation and facilitating the re-forming of WDA Europe, which had not been active for some years. She also coordinated the wonderful 2014 Global Summit in Angers, France and edited the peer-reviewed papers, many presented by Australian scholars, choreographers and performers. These have been published by Ausdance, and provide (with the more recently published 2015 Dance and the Child International papers) a wonderful insight into dance processes across all genres.

Over 100 World Dance Alliance Global Summit 2012 participants on university entrance staircase holding country flags. 2012 WDA Global Summit, Taiwan. Photo: Julie Dyson.

Cheryl has been succeeded by Dr Anis Mohd Nor of Malaysia, also a distinguished scholar and long-time participant and organiser of WDA events. Anis will chair the Global Executive meeting in July, and I will join the meeting as the independent member elected in 2011. We’ll provide an update after the meeting about developments, particularly those that provide opportunities for young scholars and choreographers. 

In the meantime, the Global Education & Training network of WDA, co-chaired by Ralph Buck and Jeff Meiners, has been working with WDA and dance and the Child International (daCi) to prepare for the second joint world congress (the first was in Taiwan in 2012), in Adelaide next year (8–13 July). Panpapanpalya 2018 will focus on four interwoven themes: dance, gathering, generations, learning. These themes, summarised by the Aboriginal Kaurna word Panpapanpalya, honour Australia’s rich Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander dance practices, as well as indigenous dance cultures from around the world.

The new Panpapanpalya 2018 website has just been launched, and you are encouraged to submit proposals for papers and performances by the due dates. As an Ausdance member you will receive a discount for registration and other benefits.

I will be in Wellington later this month, and have arranged to meet with Anton Carter, CEO of Dance Aotearoa New Zealand (DANZ) for an update on his role as WDA Asia Pacific Vice-President (Pacific). Anton has fantastic dance networks across the Pacific and he will be working with WDA to promote the many and varied dance cultures that exist in the Pacific region. It will also be an opportunity to share news of Panpapanpalya 2018 with him—it would be wonderful to have Pacific dance cultures represented in big numbers next year!

Another wonderful opportunity available to Australian Ausdance members is the International Young Choreographer Program (ICYP), which offers fellowships to eight young artists: three from Taiwan, three from other Asia Pacific countries, and one each from WDA Europe and WDA Americas.

This year’s Australian young choreographer, Scott Ewen, has been selected to participate in ICYP in Taiwan, to be held in July this year. Scott also attended the WDA Choreolab as a a highly regarded choreographer last year in Seoul. 

Don’t forget the biannual publication, Asia Pacific Channels and the valuable archive of editions back to 1996. Channels has been designed and published by Ausdance National’s Rachael Jennings for many years, with co-editor Bilqis Hijjas (Malaysia), but it was first published by WDA founder Carl Wolz in 1994 with Ausdance National’s Hilary Trotter.

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Australian Dance Awards 2017

Australian Dance Awards 2017

  • When: Sunday 24 September
  • Where: Playhouse at Arts Centre Melbourne

The annual Australian Dance Awards recognise and honour professional Australian dance artists who have made an outstanding contribution to Australian dance. The event aims to publicly honour and reward those who have, through their achievements, raised the standards of dance in Australia; raise the profile and prestige of dance and acknowledge the depth and diversity of the dance profession in our society; and present a performance program representing excellence and diversity in the pinnacle of both innovative and established dance.

Visit the Australian Dance Awards website for past Australian Dance Awards recipients.

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Appointment of new Ausdance National board confirmed at March 2017 AGM

Following our Annual General Meeting on 19 March 2017, members of the new Ausdance National Council have commenced their roles. Their first meeting will take place in Canberra in April.

The new Council is made up of highly experienced and skilled individuals who will now take charge of your national peak body and continue its work into the future.

The new National Executive is:

  • Gene Moyle, National President
  • Shaun Comerford and Elizabeth More, National Vice Presidents
  • Marinda Burger, National Treasurer.

New National Council members are:

  • Jasmine Moseley (Ausdance Victoria) as the representative of the National Advisory Committee
  • Katarina Baykitch
  • Annette Carmichael
  • Jacqueline Simmonds

Read about the new Ausdance National Council members.

ausdance celebrating 40 years

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Congratulations to dance winners of 34th Annual Green Room Awards

The Green Room Awards were presented on 27 March 2017. For winners in other artforms, visit the Green Room Awards website.

Female Performer

Lilian Steiner, The Dark Chorus (Lucy Guerin Inc as part of Melbourne Festival)

Male Performer

Benjamin Hancock, The Dark Chorus (Lucy Guerin Inc as part of Melbourne Festival)

Ensemble Performance

CounterMove (Sydney Dance Company)
If_Was_ (Dancenorth)

Visual Design

Ben Cobham for Bluebottle (Set and Lighting Design) and James Sandri and Pete Brundle for PDA (Video System Design), Lucid (Chunky Move)

Music Composition and Sound Design

Duane Morrison, Mermermer (Jo Lloyd and Nicola Gunn for Next Move 9 presented by Chunky Move)

Outstanding Work by an Emerging Artist/Choreographer

Thomas ES Kelly, [MIS]CONCEIVE

Concept and Realisation

Lucid (Chunky Move)

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