2017 Australian Dance Awards recipients

The annual Australian Dance Awards recognise and honour professional Australian dance artists who have made an outstanding contribution to Australian dance. The Australian Dance Awards are produced by the Australian Dance Council—Ausdance National.

Presented by Ausdance Victoria, Harlequin Floors and Ausdance National the 2017 Australian Dance Awards were presented on Sunday 24 September at Arts Centre Melbourne.

Congratulations to the winners and all the shortlisted nominees! And the winners are....

Hall of Fame

Noel Tovey AM

Lifetime Achievement

Helen Herbertson

Services to Dance 

Jennifer Irwin

For a long and prolific career producing outstanding and inspired costumes that have been applauded both nationally and internationally.

Some of Jennifer's designs for Bangarra Dance Theatre

Services to Dance Education 

Kim Walker

For his impact on many generations young performers as Director of the Flying Fruit Fly Circus and Chief Executive Officer of NAISDA, and for his innovative leadership preparing our next generation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists.

Kim Walker, CEO NAISDA

Outstanding Achievement in Community Dance 

Liz Lea & collaborators for Great Sport!

For Liz Lea’s choreography, collaboration and direction of an outstanding project with Canberra Dance Theatre and the National Museum of Australia in a stunning performance involving the GOLD company, Dance for Parkinson’s ACT and KAGE.

Canberra Dance Theatre's The Golds performing Great Sport! at the National Museum of Australia. Image by Lorna Sim

Outstanding Achievement in Youth Dance 

Catapult Dance, The Flipside Project for In Search of the Lost Things

For an outstanding and creative collaboration led by Cadi McCarthy that produced a professional, captivating and dynamic work presented at Maitland Regional Art Gallery.

Catapult Dance's The Flipside Project In Search of the Lost Things. Choreographed by Cadi McCarthy and Marni Palomares. Image by Jessica Coughlin

Outstanding Achievement in Choreography  

Lucy Guerin for The Dark Chorus [Lucy Guerin Inc]

For a commanding and inspired new work that is innovative, engaging and challenging, with beautiful and complementary staging and costuming.

The Dark Chorus, Lucy Guerin Inc. Choreography by Lucy Guerin. Image by Gregory Lorenzutti

Outstanding Performance by a Company 

Bangarra Dance Theatre for OUR Land People Stories

For a wonderful double bill showcasing superb dancing, great artistry and engaging storytelling through some breathtaking choreography and gorgeous design.

Miyagan, from OUR Land People Stories, Bangarra Dance Theatre. Choreography by Beau Dean Riley Smith & Daniel Riley. Image by Vishal Pandey

Outstanding Achievement in Independent Dance  

Liesel Zink for The Stance

For this site-specific dance and sound work investigating the composition of bodies in protest and the history of public protest, activism and intervention. 

The Stance @ Liveworks by Liesel Zink. Image by Liesel Zink

Outstanding Performance by a Female Dancer  

Ako Kondo for Coppélia [The Australian Ballet]

For a world-class and captivating performance, and for her technical prowess and virtuosity, and her commanding presence.

Ako Kondo in The Australian Ballet's Coppelia. Image by Jeff Busby

Outstanding Performance by a Male Dancer  

Benjamin Hancock for The Dark Chorus  [Lucy Guerin Inc]

For his superlative technique, theatrical and captivating presence, his versatility and great athletic prowess.

Benjamin Hancock in The Dark Chorus, Lucy Guerin Inc. Image by Gregory Lorenzutti

Outstanding Achievement in Commercial Dance, Musicals or Physical Theatre 

Jack Chambers for Singin’ in the Rain  [TEG Dainty, Lunchbox Theatrical Productions, David Atkins Enterprises & Michael Cassel Group] 

For his superb musicality, charismatic presence and effortless mastery of elaborate tap routines, slapstick and vaudeville.

Jack Chambers in Singin' in the Rain. Image by Dylan Robinson (Courtesy The Daily Telegraph)

Outstanding Achievement in Dance on Film or New Media  

The Samaya Wives for The Knowledge Between Us 

For a visually beautiful and stylish portrayal of the connection between two people, beautifully combining cinematic and choreographic elements.

The Samaya Wives' The Knowledge Between Us Created and choreographed by Pippa and Tara Jade Samaya

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Great news—our fourth keynote speaker for National Dance Forum 2017 is ​Professor Kim Vincs

Kim will provide an exploration and scan of the creative technology intersection—from the beginnings of the digital age and beyond.

Kim VincsKim is Professor of Interactive Media, and Research Director within the Department of Film and Animation at Swinburne University of Technology. She is a leading creative arts researcher with 6 Australian Research Council grants, 35+ industry partnerships, and 20+ arts/science collaborations across fields including dance, motion capture, game development, robotics, haptics, app design, 3D stereoscopy, artificial intelligence, virtual reality, augmented reality, cognitive psychology, biomechanics, mathematics, architecture and exercise science. She has been a choreographer for over 20 years, has created 18 dance technology and digital artworks. Her industry partnerships include national and international companies such as Autodesk, Motion Analysis, Act3animation, Iloura, Alt.vfx, Arts Access Victoria, Victorian Opera and Australian Dance Theatre. She has commercial motion capture credits for several computer games, television commercials and film projects, including the Cannes Silver Lion winning Nocturnal Migration. She is currently developing a new centre for Transformative Media Technologies at Swinburne University of Technology with Professor Angela Ngdalianis.

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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Ausdance National Council President’s Report – September 2017

It is all systems go at Ausdance National in light of the upcoming Australian Dance Awards and National Dance Forum—which are only a handful of weeks away! The shortlisted nominees, and the LIfetime Achievement and Hall of Fame recipients have been announced already. The invited speakers and presenters for the 2017 NDF are shaping up to be exceptionally exciting, and the announcement of the final program will be out very soon. Please ensure you book your ADA tickets and register for the NDF as soon as possible as tickets to both events are selling fast!

The Ausdance National board is undertaking a recruitment search for a replacement Treasurer, with the assistance of some of the large national accounting firms. If you know of an individual with relevant accounting and financial skills that would be interesting in supporting the dance sector through involvement on the board, please invite them to contact me.

Ausdance National is pleased to announce that we will be an inaugural member of the Australian Alliance for Wellness in Entertainment (AAWE), an initiative of Entertainment Assist. AAWE is a proposed umbrella for a series of meetings among peak bodies, sector representatives and educators of Australia's live and recorded entertainment industry, convened to discuss the sector's high incidence of suicide, anxiety, depression and substance abuse. AAWE's purpose will be to develop a prevention-first framework for our industry. Ausdance National will represent the sector at the inaugural meeting of AAWE on 27 September in Melbourne directly after the National Dance Forum.

We look forward to seeing you all at either the Australian Dance Awards or the 2017 National Dance Forum or hopefully both!

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​Meeting the future head-on

Can you even remember life before the internet? Hang on, perhaps you weren’t alive.

The digital domain has transformed almost every facet of our lives—but for those of us in the arts, it’s been especially influential in the way we make and consume art. In many ways there have never been more ways to get your art out there, and the artistic possibilities of new technologies are seemingly endless…but life for dance in the digital domain is not without its challenges.

Cue Ausdance National’s National Dance Forum of 2017: Dance in the Digital Domain, September 25–26 at the Victoria College of the Arts. The NDF is the dance sector’s pre-eminent gathering of dance makers, producers, educators and artists. Every two years, for two packed days, people from all over Australia come together to discuss dance and its place within the larger cultural context. This year Ausdance National has come up with an absolute cracker of a program—two days packed with lively debate and engaging addresses from some key names in Australian arts.  

Wesley Enoch, renowned playwright and director of the Sydney Festival will be giving the keynote address examining dance in a broader cultural context within the Australian arts landscape. Expect feathers to be gently ruffled by one of the leading provocateurs of Australian arts! The erudite Professor David Throsby, arts economist, will lead a panel about digital distribution—essential knowledge for contemporary arts practitioners or presenters. On Day two choreographer, artist and filmmaker Sue Healey will present a keynote about hybrid arts practice while Shane Carroll leads a panel about incorporating the digital into dance education.

Whether you’re an artist, producer, teacher or all of the above, come prepared to be stimulated, challenged and inspired. National Dance Forum 2017 is all about meeting the future head-on and taking timely advantage of the possibilities offered up by this brave new world of ever-changing technology. Are you ready?

Tickets for the National Dance Forum are strictly limited. To purchase tickets head to National Dance Forum 2017.

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Noel Tovey AM inducted into the Australian Dance Awards Hall of Fame

Australia's first male ballet dancer of Indigenous heritage, Noel was inspired by a performance of Les Sylphides at the National Theatre in Melbourne. He took classes at the National Theatre Ballet School, studied ballet with Madame Borovansky, Drew Hardy, London Afro Cuban with Katherine Dunham, jazz with Matt Mattox, singing with Joan Arnold at the Melbourne Conservatorium and Rita Godfrey in London, and acting with Hayes Gordon.

In the 1960s, Noel lived in London where he was a principal dancer with Sadler's Wells Opera, and the same year made his West End debut with Stella Adler in a production of Oh Dad, Poor Dad. His career steadily gathered momentum. As an actor he shared the stage with Vera Lynn, Judy Garland and Steven Berkoff, while also teaching movement at Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.

Noel performing in Sunny Side Up

Noel’s work as a choreographer accelerated in 1966 when he was asked to choreograph Sandy Wilson's The Boyfriend, which toured Britain and Australia in 1968. Noel subsequently choreographed many musicals throughout the UK, and worked consistently in theatre in London. In 1969 he devised, directed and choreographed the drag revue, Birds of a Feather.

Around the same time Noel and his partner opened a gallery specialising in twentieth-century decorative art, which grew to become one of the top galleries in London by the 1980s.

After three decades in London, Noel returned to Australia in 1991 where he established a performing arts course at Eora Centre for Aboriginal Studies in Sydney. Around this time Noel directed several Indigenous plays including State of Shock, a play about violence and drinking problems in the Aboriginal community, The Aboriginal Protesters, and A Midsummer Night's Dream with an entirely Indigenous cast for the 2000 Sydney Olympic Arts Festival of The Dreaming.

Noel with Suzanne Kerchiss in The Boyfriend, 1698 Comedy Theatre

In 2001 The Noel Tovey Scholarship Foundation was formed in association with The Flying Fruit Fly Circus and since 2006 a Noel Tovey Achievement Award is given each year to a talented emerging artist doing outstanding work in one of the Community Arts and Cultural Development projects offered by Phunktional Ltd.

After publishing his autobiography Little Black Bastard in 2004, Noel wrote and performed his internationally acclaimed live theatre version of his story, directed by his lifelong friend, Robina Beard.

In 2014 Noel was the recipient of the Uncle Bob Maza Memorial Lifetime Achievement Award for Outstanding Contribution to Victorian Indigenous Theatre. In 2015  Noel was made a Member of the Order of Australia.

Noel can be proud of a brilliant and creative career spanning 60 years in Europe and Australia as an acclaimed dancer, actor, choreographer, singer, director, designer, author, activist and teacher. His resilience, artistry, passion and talents have been inspiring and influential for many generations of professional Indigenous and non-Indigenous dancers and artists. We applaud and recognise Noel’s stellar career!

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Helen Herbertson receives 2017 Australian Dance Award for Lifetime Achievement

Helen has been an inspirational figure in the world of Australian dance for over four decades. She has led a highly-regarded and multi-faceted career over that time as a performer, choreographer, artistic director, creative collaborator, independent producer, project manager, teacher, performance coach, arts adviser and academic.

Morphia Series by Helen Herbertson and Ben Cobham. This work was awarded Outstanding Achievement in Independent Dance in 2003 Photo: Rachelle Roberts

Helen showed exceptional leadership as artistic director of Danceworks, jointly with Beth Shelton from 1989 to 1991 and as sole director between 1992 and 1997.  She continued her strong advocacy for dance as deputy chair of the Dance Fund, Australia Council in 1998 and went on to nurture new dance and the growth and development of independent artists as artistic director of Dancehouse from 2001 to 2003. Since 2005 she has held an academic position at the Victorian College of the Arts, University of Melbourne, where she specialises in practice-led research with a focus on performance and choreography.   

Helen’s unwavering commitment to dance has resulted in her being awarded several major residencies and scholarships. They include the Australian Bicentennial Travel Scholarship in 1988, which took her to the American Dance Festival, a residency at the Cité international des arts in Paris in 1994, a residency in the Dance Department, University of Western Sydney in 1995, a fellowship from the Dance Board, Australia Council in 1997-1998, and an Asialink Residency in Singapore with Theatreworks in 2000.

As a much-lauded choreographer, Helen has made work for small intimate venues, large outdoor sites and traditional theatre settings. Her choreography has also featured in theatre and opera performances, while her work for touring programs has resulted in her choreography being presented in festivals and events around the world. She has been the recipient of multiple awards for her choreography, direction and her many distinguished achievements, including two Green Room Awards, the 2003 Australian Dance Award for Outstanding Achievement in Independent Dance, which she shared with Ben Cobham, and the 2007 Kenneth Myer Medallion.

(citation by Michelle Potter)

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National Dance Forum 2017: Dance in the Digital Domain


Tuesday 22 August 2017
For immediate release

Australia’s peak dance organisation, Ausdance National, 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 domain. The National Dance Forum is Australia’s key platform for dance artists, industry professionals and educators in providing rich opportunities to discuss, debate and collaborate with some of the most influential individuals and organisations in the country.

‘This year’s theme—dance in the digital domain—could not be more relevant’, says Ausdance National President, Professor Gene Moyle. ‘We live in an age where the opportunities to share, educate and promote dance have never been greater, but the challenge of how to take advantage of this reality can be significant for many in our community. The 2017 National Dance Forum will look at these questions in detail with a series of presentations, panels, workshops and installations that aim to stimulate and inspire action.’

Sessions will cover topics including collaboration, practice and research in creative technology; the challenges and opportunities of digital access, distribution and preservation; creative processes and designing creatively in a digital context; and dance education in the digital domain.

This year’s program includes keynotes 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 address National Dance Forum attendees.

‘Alongside a range of invited presenters, we’ve chosen these speakers for their unique and differing perspectives on Australian art making,’ explains Moyle. ‘This year’s program is a provocative yet essential one—certain to really ignite debate in the Australian dance community about our future in the digital landscape. For anyone involved in dance in Australia, the National Dance Forum has become a vital hub for connecting and exchanging ideas.’

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

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:

For interview, images or further information contact:
Varnya Bromilow
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.

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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