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National Dance Forum 2017: Dance in the Digital Domain

MEDIA RELEASE (84Kb PDF)

Tuesday 22 August 2017
For immediate release

Australia’s peak dance organisation, Ausdance, will host a two-day forum next month bringing together dance makers, producers and presenters for a highly topical forum focusing on the future of dance within the digital sphere. The National Dance Forum is Australia’s key platform for dance artists, providing rich opportunities to discuss, debate and collaborate with some of the most influential artists in the country.

‘This year’s theme—dance in the digital domain—could not be more relevant’, says Ausdance President, Professor Gene Moyle. ‘We live in an age where the opportunities to get one’s work out there have never been greater, but the challenge of how to take advantage of this new reality is significant. The 2017 National Dance Forum will look at these questions in detail with a series of sessions and workshops that will stimulate and inspire.’

Sessions will cover topics including collaborations in creative technology; the challenges and opportunities of digital distribution; honing the five-minute pitch; and dance education in the digital domain.

This year’s program includes addresses from three vital voices in Australian arts. Wesley Enoch, playwright, provocateur and director of the Sydney Festival, will give the keynote address examining dance in a broader cultural context within the Australian arts landscape. Professor David Throsby AO, distinguished academic and renowned arts economist and Sue Healey, acclaimed choreographer, filmmaker and installation artist will also speak.

‘We’ve chosen these speakers for their unique and differing perspectives on Australian art making,’ explains Moyle. ‘This year’s program is a provocative one—certain to really ignite debate in the Australian dance community about our future in this new media landscape. For anyone involved in dance practice in Australia, the Forum has become a vital hub for connecting and exchanging ideas.’

For further details, visit the NDF 2017 page on the Ausdance National website. Follow NDF 2017 on Twitter @natdanceforum, and Ausdance National Facebook.

Tickets can be purchased here: tix.yt/natdanceforum2017

For interview, images or further information contact:
Varnya Bromilow
Publicist
E: [email protected]
P: 0434-692-307

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Professor David Throsby AO to speak at National Dance Forum 2017

We are thrilled to announce our third key speaker for National Dance Forum 2017—David Throsby, Distinguished Professor of Economics at Macquarie University.

David ThrosbyDavid Throsby, Distinguished Professor of Economics at Macquarie University in Sydney.

David is internationally recognised for his research and writing on the economics of art and culture. 

His current research interests include the economic circumstances of creative artists, culture in sustainable economic development, heritage economics, the creative industries, and the relationships between economic and cultural policy. 

His recent books include Economics and Culture (2001) and The Economics of Cultural Policy (2010), both published by Cambridge University Press.

In 2004 he was involved in an international research project on dancers’ transition, and published a short monograph Dance in Australia: A Profile.

About the National Dance Forum 2017

  • Dates: 25–26 September 2017 
  • Venue: Victorian College of the Arts in Melbourne, Victoria.

The 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.

Register for the 2017 National Dance Forum.

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World Dance Alliance August 2017 update

‘Dancing from the Grassroots’ was the title of the World Dance Alliance Global Summit, held last month at the Memorial University, St John’s, Newfoundland.

Professor Beverley Diamond, professor of ethnomusicology at Memorial University, delivered a fascinating keynote address on the first day, 'Time and the body: Where music and dance meet – sometimes'. The opening was also graced with a wonderful welcome by Eastern Owl, 'a unique group of women who blend the styles of First Nations drum music and contemporary folk to create their innovative sound'.

Australians attending the 2017 WDA Global SummitAustralians attending the WDA Global Summit: Julie Dyson, Anja Ali-Haapala, John Utans (with his performers from HK Academy of Performing Arts), Sonia York-Pryce, Lucinda Coleman and Ellen Avery (WAAPA), and Rosemary Bennett.

Australia was well represented in various presentations, including two by Sonia York-Pryce about ageism and the mature dancer. Sonia’s film, featuring ageing dancers, was shown as part of a panel entitled The Digital Concert moderated by Zihao Li, who also presented a fascinating paper called 'Guangchangwu: A Study in Sustainable Community Dance Practices in Public Spaces'. He demonstrated that age was no barrier to the use of technology by the elderly in China, and warned that we must all be prepared to acknowledge its incredible value to those in our communities who want to dance.

Anja Ali-Haapala presented her early research into Australian ballet audiences in the 1940s–1960s; Rosemary Bennett presented a paper on sustaining creativity and imagination through music and dance in the home and primary school environments, and Lucinda Coleman presented 'Remnants of Us: Collective Dance Making as Multi-Art Form Praxis'. Cheryl Stock was, unfortunately, a late withdrawal due to illness, but several New Zealanders, including Barbara Snook and Sarah Knox, presented their research through papers and workshops.

Also featured were Choreolabs, a health series panel, dance education studies, and papers and performances from a range of diverse cultures and artists. The ‘grassroots’ theme was extremely well represented by speakers, workshop leaders and choreographers, making this a fascinating and challenging WDA Global Summit.

The full program can be found here. Our thanks go to the organisers, especially Mary Jane Warner, president of WDA Americas, and Linda Caldwell and Ann Kipling Brown for their curation of scholarly papers, and to the wonderful team of volunteers.

The Global Summit also hosted the WDA AGM led by Secretary General Anis Mohd Nor, and network meetings for Creation & Presentation, Research & Documentation and Education & Training. Reports from these meetings will be available shortly. Julie Dyson, Ausdance National's WDA representative, was re-elected to the Global Executive.

Four performers onstage singing and playing percussive instruments.Eastern Owl performers at the opening of the WDA Gobal Summit in St John’s, Newfoundland. Photos: Julie Dyson

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Ausdance National President’s update August 2017

Over the last four weeks since the last update, the Ausdance National Board and office team have been focused on the two key events for the year on the Ausdance calendar – the Australian Dance Awards and National Dance Forum (NDF). Working closely with the Ausdance Victoria team on both, these events are shaping up to be a wonderful way in which to recognise the significant contributions so many make to our vibrant dance community, explore and advance the digital agenda for our sector, and celebrate Ausdance’s 40-year contribution to dance in Australia.

Alongside the existing Advisory Panel members, the NDF is being curated by Helen Simondson who is the current Acting Head of Public and Education Programs at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI). Ably supported by Shane Carroll from the Advisory Panel, the program is currently being finalised with a range of exciting presenters and panel members joining the keynote speakers – Wesley Enoch, Distinguished Professor David Throsby AO, and Sue Healey.

I would also like to share that we have had a recent change to Board Membership with Marinda Burger stepping down on 12 July 2017. Due to a change in personal circumstances, Marinda was no longer able to commit to Ausdance National in her role as Treasurer; however, she has been very generously working closely with the Board in her transition out of this role, in addition to the identification of an on appropriate replacement. On behalf of the Board, we would like to extend our sincere thanks to the great deal of hands-on work and significant contributions that Marinda made in such a short time that were so central to assisting Ausdance National effectively transition to the new skills-based board structure. We wish Marinda all the best with her continued endeavours and know that she will still be a passionate Ausdance National supporter from afar!

Please ensure you book your Australian Dance Awards tickets and register for the National Dance Forum as soon as possible so you don’t miss out on these two wonderful opportunities to both celebrate and advance the Australian Dance Sector in Ausdance’s 40th Anniversary Year.

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Nail that 3-minute pitch closed workshop

We invite practitioners to submit an expression of interest to participate in a skills-based closed workshop. Facilitated by a panel of experts, this session will provide you with practical tools and develop your pitching skills.

This is a closed workshop session, open to practitioners who may or may not be using digital technology in their practice. The session is limited to 12 participants.

Please complete the EOI form, attach your proposal and a brief CV, and email to Ausdance National by Friday 15 September 2017.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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 late August. 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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