2018 International Dance Day message

International Dance Day is celebrated on the 29 April every year. Find out more about the day on the International Theatre Institutes's website.

This year the International Theatre Institute has selected five message authors to write a message—one from each of the five UNESCO Regions: Africa, the Americas, Arab Countries, Asia Pacific and Europe. 


International Dance Day 2018 Message by Salia SANOU, Burkina Faso

Arab countries

International Dance Day 2018 Message by Georgette GEBARA, Lebanon

Asia Pacific

International Dance Day 2018 Message by Willy TSAO, Hong Kong, China


International Dance Day 2018 Message by Ohad NAHARIN, Israel

The Americas

International Dance Day 2018 Message by Marianela BOAN, Cuba

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Ausdance National Council President’s update – March 2018

It’s been a very busy start to 2018 with quite a number of changes happening at Ausdance National!

Firstly, we ended our 40th year with a fabulous acknowledgment of the important work that Ausdance National undertakes, through critical funding support from the Australia Council for the Arts to assist in supporting the advancement of dance sector priorities. We are very grateful for the opportunity to appoint a new Executive Director to lead a refocused Ausdance National as a future enabler for the sector. We are currently in the final stages of the recruitment process, which has drawn strong applicants from across Australia and Internationally. The Board looks forward to completing this process very soon and actively supporting the incumbent in transitioning into the role.

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Arts educators call for a visionary approach to arts education and creative work

Media release 27 February 2018

In meetings in Canberra yesterday with advisers from all political parties and senior staff from the federal education and arts departments, the National Advocates for Arts Education called for a rethinking of all political parties’ commitment to various key aspects of arts education, and made specific recommendations.

A delegation of members of the NAAE asserted yesterday that arts skills are at least as important as literacy and numeracy and should be prioritised alongside STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths).

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Dancenorth winners of a prestigious 2017 Sidney Myer Performing Arts Award

Five Dancenorth dancers walk out of the sea through rough waves.Photo: Amber Haines

North Queensland based and nationally renowned dance company Dancenorth have been awarded the 2017 Sidney Myer Group Award

The winners of the prestigious 2017 Sidney Myer Performing Arts Awards were announced by Carrillo Gantner AO, Chair of the Sidney Myer Fund at the Brisbane Powerhouse as part of the Australian Performing Arts Market on Wednesday 21 February 2018.

Three of Australia’s leading arts practitioners have been announced as the winners – Kate Mulvany playwright and actor has been won the Individual Award ($60,000), Nicole Beyer, Executive Director, Theatre Network Australia has won the Facilitator’s Prize ($25,000) and Dancenorth has won the Group Award ($90,000).

Now in its 34th year, the Sidney Myer Performing Arts Awards are one of the richest and most coveted Awards in the performing arts in Australia.

For each recipient this Award is an acknowledgement of their rich artistic achievements.

‘We are truly ecstatic to be named recipients of the 2017 Sidney Myer Performing Arts Group Award. Dancenorth is the coming together of incredible minds generously collaborating to create contemporary dance that challenges convention and inspires a reimagining of the world. The extraordinary generosity of the Sidney Myer Fund and the Trustees enables us to continue pushing the boundaries, creating bold new work in Townsville, North Queensland before touring around Australia and across the globe’, says Artistic Director Kyle Page.

The Trustees of the Sidney Myer Foundation believe that real achievement should be recognised and rewarded. To date they have awarded well over $3.5 million.

Announced annually, the national awards are determined by a Judging Committee chaired by Carrillo Gantner AO (Chair of the Sidney Myer Fund) and this year they included: Brian Ritchie (Curator, MOFO, TAS); Christie Anthoney (Director, Festivals South Australia, SA); David Berthold (Artistic Director, Brisbane Festival QLD); and Terri-anne White (CEO, UWA Publishing, WA).

The Judging Committee recognises past achievements but also gives consideration to the potential of an individual or group to continue their contribution to Australian society through the performing arts.

For all media enquiries

Georgia Bollard 0450454434
[email protected]

The Sidney Myer Performing Arts Awards were established in 1984 by the Trustees of the Sidney Myer Fund, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the death of Sidney Myer, a passionate advocate and great friend to the arts.

Media interviews

Interviews with Kyle Page available upon request.

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Australian Dance Awards 2018

The 2018 Australian Dance Awards ceremony will be held Friday 10 August at the Brisbane Powerhouse.

The annual Australian Dance Awards recognise and honour professional Australian dance artists who have made an outstanding contribution to Australian dance.

The Awards:

  • acknowledge the depth and diversity of the dance profession in our society.
  • reward those whose achievements raise the standards, profile and prestige of dance in Australia.
  • present a performance program representing the excellence and diversity of both innovative and established dance in Australia.

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Big Dance 2018

Date: 29 April 2018

2018 sees Australia take the leading role for this global event, with Ausdance NSW and Victoria presenting the 2018 Big Dance.

You will have the opportunity to learn the Big Dance—choreographed by Frances Rings and Craig Bary—and perform it at one of many Big Dance events in Australia.

Ausdance Victoria and NSW will host events in Sydney, Melbourne, regional Victoria and New South Wales. They will support events in every state and territory. 

Visit the Big Dance website for information about the workshops and event.

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Adelaide Dance Festival

When: 8 – 21 July 2018
Where: Adelaide, South Australia

The Adelaide Dance Festival will be the first Adelaide festival dedicated to celebrating the art of dance, showcasing South Australian, national and international dance to Adelaide audiences.

Established by Australian Dance Theatre's artistic director and internationally-renowned choreographer Garry Stewart, the 2018 Adelaide Dance Festival will include performances, workshops, installations, talks and masterclasses with both free and ticketed events.

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Lucette Aldous made Companion of the Order of Australia (AC)

Congratulations to Lucette Aldous who has been made Companion of the Order of Australia (AC) in the Australia Day 2018 Honours List.

Lucette has been recognised with the nation’s highest honour for her eminent service to the performing arts, particularly to ballet, as a principal artist at the national and international level, to dance education, and as a mentor and role model for young performers.

Lucette received the 2009 Lifetime Achievement Award at the Australian Dance Awards.

Lucette AldousPhoto: Barry Moreland

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Australia Council Arts Project funding to support crucial dance sector priorities

Ausdance National has received $64,860 from the Australia Council’s Arts Projects program to support the position of a new executive director who, in 2018, will work towards achieving outcomes that support identified sector priorities.

Under the leadership of a senior arts professional, and supported by a skills-based board, Ausdance National will advance prioritised national agendas across education, research, health, employment, and sector development.

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Ausdance National Council President’s Report – December 2017

As the end of the year draws closer, it has provided the opportunity to reflect on what a year 2017 has been for Ausdance National.

Firstly, we turned 40! It is incredible and humbling to reflect upon Ausdance National’s achievements over the past 40 years, including the huge number of people that have made significant contributions to supporting, advancing, promoting and celebrating the dance sector. While there were a number of key events and activities that assisted in celebrating this important milestone, a detailed outline of all these achievements can be found on the Ausdance National website.

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Dance in Proximity: World Dance Alliance Asia Pacific Conference & AGM

Taipei National University of the Arts, 10–11 November 2017

There were some special moments at the Dance in Proximity conference, hosted in Taiwan by the Taipei National University of the Arts in November, and organised by a wonderful team of artists, choreographers and teachers, led by Yunyu Wang.

dancer spinningMunguntsetseg Munkhbadrakh demonstrating traditional Mongolian dance movements during the Cross-cultural Dance Education session. Photo Julie Dyson

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Fatigue identified as major contributor to injury in Australia’s professional dancers

The Safe Dance Report IV: Investigating injuries in Australia’s professional dancers, published today on the Ausdance National website, examines the Australian context and occurrence of injury in professional dancers and makes recommendations to support sustainable, healthy, and productive dancing careers.

A collaboration between The University of Sydney and Ausdance National, Safe Dance IV is the fourth in a series of Safe Dance research projects. It continues the important work started by Ausdance National almost 30 years ago.

The survey of 195 Australian professional dancers found 97% experienced at least one significant injury in their dance career, compared with 89% in 1999. And 73% of dancers reported experiencing a dance-related injury in the past 12 months.

Author and lead researcher Amy Jo Vassallo, a PhD candidate at the Faculty of Health Sciences at The University of Sydney, said the consequences of these injuries can be quite substantial and include missed performance opportunities and income, ongoing pain and disability, and expensive treatment including surgery. Serious injuries can even lead to early retirement from dance careers and lifelong disability.

‘The proportion of dancers reporting fatigue as a contributing factor to their injury has increased from 26% in 1990 and 33% in 1999 to 48% in 2017’ she said.

‘However, compared with previous Safe Dance survey results, fewer dancers reported poor technique or environment as a contributor to their injury. This demonstrates the benefits of education, policies and interventions regarding safe dancing practice for dancers and teachers at all stages of a dance career, including early teaching and pre-professional training’.

Ausdance National President, Professor Gene Moyle, said the Safe Dance Report IV continues an important lineage for the Australian dance community. Hearing the words “safe dance practice” being so much a part of our language and approach within the dance sector today is a testament to the impact and contribution of the collective Safe Dance reports within our industry.

Recommendations have outlined that access to dance-educated or dance-specialised healthcare services is essential; addressing the cultural aspects of injury reporting is critical; and that a better acknowledgement of the psychological and psychosocial aspects of injury is required.

Key findings

Survey respondents’ employment as a dance performer was most commonly with a dance company (66%) or as an independent dance artist (38%).

Injuries remain common in professional dance, with 73% of professional dancers reporting experiencing an injury in the past 12 months. The most common site of injury was the ankle (26%), followed by the knee (11%) and hip (10%).

The most common injury type was a strain (25%), followed by chronic inflammation (19%) and a sprain (18%).

There was one accidental or traumatic injury for every two overuse or gradual injuries. The most common responses regarding the self-reported contributor to injury were fatigue (48%), followed by new or difficult choreography (39%) and ignoring early warning signs (31%).

Despite 62% of respondents reporting belief that there is still stigma associated with sustaining injuries as a professional dancer, 75% of dancers did say they would seek professional opinion if they suspected an injury. However, only 50% stated they would tell someone within their dance employment and 49% said they would also take their own preventative steps to manage their injury.

Despite seeing a clinician for treatment of their injury, 40% of dancers whose injury was currently unresolved were unsure if their injury would resolve in the foreseeable future. This indicates that many dancers need to be provided with improved and realistic expectations of their injury, capacity to dance during their injury and likely return to full dance ability.

For interview contact:

Amy Vassallo | PhD Candidate
Faculty of Health Sciences
The University of Sydney
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 02 9351 9010 and 02 9351 9108

Ausdance National Council – Ausdance Inc.
Email: [email protected]
Phone: +61 7 3138 3616

Download Safe Dance Report IV media release

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Ausdance National Council President’s update – Nov 2017

While it only feels like yesterday that the 2017 Australian Dance Award winners were announced, nominations for the 2018 ADAs have opened! You can find information on selection criteria, an eligible works list, and a link to the nominations page at Australian Dance Awards 2018. The awards ceremony will be produced by partner Ausdance QLD and held in Brisbane in August 2018. Stay tuned for the confirmed dates and further information on this important ‘night of nights’ for the Australian Dance community.

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ArtsPeak update—November 2017

After much consultation and discussion, the ArtsPeak Executive Committee has sent the following letter to all members. The committee will monitor any developments at national political level to ensure that there is still a voice, when, for example, a Federal election is called. The letter reads as follows:

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Dancer–makers: apply for Tasdance Makers Company

Expressions of interest are sought from contemporary dancer–makers for Tasdance professional ensemble 2018–20.

Tasdance has embarked on a daring new approach to the nature of the professional contemporary dance ensemble to become the Tasdance Makers Company.

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