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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.

‘The NDF2017 will facilitate the exchange of ideas, strengthen industry collaboration, and focus on the application of technical skills and resources—a tangible expression of Ausdance's 40th year of supporting, educating and inspiring Australia’s dance sector’, says Associate Professor Gene Moyle, who was recently appointed National President of the Australian Dance Council—Ausdance. 

‘We are very grateful to the Australia Council for the Arts for their support, and thank in advance the Ausdance network, Australian dance companies and service organisations that will work together to create this essential sector gathering', says Gene.

The NDF2017 program will be developed in consultation with a curatorial panel, with keynotes given by Wesley Enoch, David Throsby and Sue Healey. Speakers from other organistions such as BlakDance, the Australian Major Performing Arts Group (AMPAG), the ABC, the Sydney Opera House, Carriageworks and Arts Front will be invited to participate. One section within the NDF program will focus on ‘the pitch’, with curated independent artists in 3-minute practitioner presentations focused on advocacting their work to new audiences.

Ausdance Victoria will produce the event alongside the Australian Dance Awards in September. ‘We look forward to coming together at the 2017 National Dance Forum, for artists and companies to explore and discuss technological innovations that help to build new audiences across Australia and beyond’, says Michelle Silby, Executive Director, Ausdance Victoria and Director, Ausdance NSW. 

‘Forums such as these are essential for keeping dance practice and business both current and valid, and are vital for ensuring the longevity of the dance ecology’, says Elizabeth Vilmanis, Brisbane Dance Artists Hub co-founder and moderator.

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, #natdanceforum, and Ausdance National Facebook.

Contact: Rachael Jennings, Communications & Publications Manager, Australian Dance Council—Ausdance Inc., Tel: +61 2 6182 0081, email

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

National Dance Forum 2017, 25-26 September, Melbourne. visit ausdance.org.au

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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:

  • A national cultural policy that integrates with other policy areas and across the jurisdictions.
  • Increased sustainability of cultural, artistic and creative practice.
  • Artspeak is recognised as an alliance of the cultural, arts and creative industry sectors. 

The planning session was facilitated by Fiona Winning and included a meeting with the Australia Council, a discussion on changes to the membership and development of short and long-term strategies.

New members join ArtsPeak

Our advocacy planning for the year is underway

We are: 

  • monitoring impact to sector of changes to 457 visas
  • scheduling a meeting with the Opposition
  • monitoring and responding to the arts allocations in Tuesday's budget.
  • supporting the journalists’ campaign against job cuts #fairgofairfax which will have a major impact on arts features, books and film reviews in Fairfax newspapers.

Changes to ArtsPeak executive and membership – thanks Tamara Winikoff!

by ArtsPeak convenor, Nicole Beyer

After 18 years as a driving force behind ArtsPeak, Tamara Winikoff Executive Director of NAVA, has stepped down as co-convenor. Together with Ausdance’s Julie Dyson until Julie 'retired' (refocused) in 2014, Tamara has lead multiple successful campaigns for ArtsPeak, not least of which was her role in the #freethearts campaign, which ultimately resulted in the axing of Catalyst. In the early days, Tamara and Julie lead several campaigns around changes to copyright and tax rulings, especially taxation ruling TR 2005/1 which recognised professional arts practice as a legitimate business. We thanked Tamara at an impromptu gathering on 16 March. Tamara will remain a part of the ArtsPeak membership and on the Interim Executive. 

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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.

The dance chapter has been revised by Sue Fox, Principal Education Officer (Dance & Drama) at the Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority (and an NAAE member), with support from the original author, Ralph Buck. We look forward to publishing the completed edition with all arts forms later this year.

In the meantime NAAE is in the process of setting up a meeting in June with the Ministry for the Arts in Canberra to explore the possibility of bringing together some of Australia’s leading STEAM advocates. We recognise that there is good work currently being done across Australia to have the Arts included in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) agenda, but we think it would be beneficial to come together to map some combined advocacy strategies.

Also on the NAAE’s radar is sharing information with the new Labor for the Arts group, which we note has indicated a strong interest in arts education. We have proposed a meeting to introduce the NAAE and its work, and to find out more about this group’s aspirations. The group was launched in March by Shadow Arts Minister Tony Burke, followed by a panel discussion with industry leaders discussing cultural diversity in the arts. You can learn more from their Facebook page. In the meantime, NAAE maintains its policy of advocating for arts education to all political parties and politicians in Canberra, and we look forward to further meetings in Canberra soon.

Finally, we congratulate NAAE member John Saunders, President of Drama Australia and Education Manager at Sydney Theatre Company for his new publication (with Prof. Ewing) The School Drama Book: Drama, Literature and Literacy in the Creative Classroom. John has also written a very interesting article, Drama in the Australian national curriculum – the role of advocacy, which documents the role of advocacy in the arts, and includes the influence of NAAE in the development of The Australian Curriculum: The Arts. John will also represent NAAE at a Labor for the Arts education and the arts forum to be held on Saturday 29 July at the Sydney Town Hall. 

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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! 

The new board met for the first time in Canberra last weekend, and it was an excellent opportunity for the team to be able to review and move forward with a range of initiatives that the Interim Executive outlined via their 2017 Strategic Plan; in addition to the identification of new approaches that will assist in working to fulfil our commitment to our members and the broader community, as the peak body for dance in Australia.

On behalf of my colleagues, I would like to extend our thanks to the Interim Executive—Shane Colquhoun, Henry Laska, Paul Summers, Peter Bayliss, in addition to Honorary Life Member Julie Dyson, for their extraordinary work during this transitional time, and for providing us with a strong platform on which to build.

Furthermore, thank you to all the Ausdance state office staff, executive directors/directors and board members who have been very helpful in supporting the strengthening of our connections with and across the network already, including exploring the best way forward to work together effectively to achieve our collective goals. Stay tuned for further updates!

We would also like to thank the Australia Council for providing the funding that enables the board to meet face-to-face on a number of occasions throughout 2017. With the diverse spread of board members located across the nation, the opportunity to meet in person is critical which, alongside regular teleconferences, will look to support our ability to move the Ausdance agenda forward in an efficient and effective way.

The planning for the Australian Dance Awards on Sunday 24 September 2017 is well under way, and we would like to acknowledge the significant work of Michelle Silby and her Ausdance Victoria team as the hosting partner, and our ongoing sponsors and supporters of the event. Given 2017 marks the 40th Anniversary year for Ausdance, these awards will be a significant milestone in marking this special occasion—please save the date!

On another note, it is Australian Dance Week this week and there have been a wonderful array of activities happening across the country. To keep up with what’s on in your local area, check out the News & Events information.

Happy Australian Dance Week!

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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 longlist

Services to Dance

  • Ben Cobham
  • Nicolette Fraillon
  • Jennifer Irwin
  • ValerieLawson
  • Susan Mayes
  • Philip Piggin

Service to Dance Education

  • Sally Chance
  • Lesley Graham
  • Katrina Rank
  • Joy & Dawn Ransley
  • Kim Walker

Outstanding Achievement in Community Dance

  • Mature Artists Dance Experience for  Moment to Moment
  • Sprung Integrated Dance Company for Encounters
  • The Dirt SA for Dance Jungle Gym
  • Liz Lea & collaborators for Great Sport!
  • Tracks Dance Company for Landed
  • Salamanca Arts Centre for Salamanca Moves Festival

Outstanding Achievement in Youth Dance

  • 2nd Toe Dance Collective for Alice Can Dance
  • Ann Roberts School of Dance for Miss Roberts Dream
  • Ballet Theatre of Queensland for Aladdin
  • Catapult Dance, The Flipside Project for Pushing Boundaries
  • Catapult Dance, The Flipside Project for In Search of the Lost Things
  • Co3 Youth Ensemble for Our City, Our Stories
  • DRILL for Destructive Feedback
  • DRILL for Trash This Place
  • Origins Dance Company for Fibonacci
  • QL2 Dance for Connected
  • Restless Dance Theatre & The Audreys for In The Balance
  • Slide Dance for Secrets
  • Stompin for Face Value: Convergence
  • Tracks Dance Company for Milpirri (Kurdiji)
  • Yellow Wheel for Quark

Outstanding Achievement in Choreography

  • Rafael Bonachela for Anima (Sydney Dance Company)
  • Brendan Bradshaw for Dracula (Melbourne City Ballet)
  • Kristina Chan for A Faint Existence (Force Majeure)
  • Craig Davidson for Ambiguous Content (West Australian Ballet)
  • Lucy Guerin for The Dark Chorus (Lucy Guerin Inc)
  • Lucas Jervies for Little Red Riding Hood (Queensland Ballet)
  • Stephanie Lake for Double Blind (Stephanie Lake Company)
  • Melanie Lane for Re-make (Chunky Move)
  • Jack Lister for Rational/Animal (Queensland Ballet)
  • Jo Lloyd for Mermermer (Chunky Move)
  • Larissa McGowan for Mortal Condition
  • Danielle Micich for Off The Record (Force Majeure)
  • Kyle Page & Amber Haines for Rainbow Vomit (Dancenorth)
  • Andre Santos for In Black (West Australian Ballet)
  • Garry Stewart for Objekt (Australian Dance Theatre)
  • Anouk van Dijk for Lucid (Chunky Move)
  • Anouk van Dijk for Rule of Thirds (Chunky Move)
  • Natalie Weir for We Who Are Left (Queensland Ballet)

Outstanding Performance by a Company

  • The Australian Ballet forNijinsky
  • Australian Dance Theatre for
  • Bangarra Dance Theatre forOur Land People Stories
  • Chunky Move for Re-Make
  • Chunky Move for Lucid
  • Co3 for re:Loaded
  • Dancenorth forRainbow Vomit
  • Dancenorth for If__Was__
  • Expressions Dance Company forBlack
  • Force Majeure forOff The Record
  • Lucy Guerin Inc for The Dark Chorus
  • Queensland Ballet for Strictly Gershwin
  • Queensland Ballet for A Midsummer Night’s dream
  • Sydney Dance Company for Untamed
  • West Australian Ballet for The Nutcracker

Outstanding Achievement in Independent Dance

  • Australian Dance Artists for Seven Impossible Pieces for Four Dancers
  • Australian Dance Party for Nervous
  • Laura Boynes for Dark Matter
  • Dance Makers Collective for Dads
  • Emma Fishwick for microLandscapes
  • Ghenoa Gela for Fragments of Malungoka-Women of the Sea
  • Lina Limosani for One’s Wicked Ways
  • Paul Malek for Boyz
  • Alice Dixon, Caroline Meaden & William McBride for Fallen O'er
  • Larissa McGowan for Mortal Condition
  • Pepa Molina for Bush Bailando
  • Liesel Zink for The Stance

Outstanding Performance by a Female Dancer

  • Natalie Allen for Decadance Perth 2016 (STRUT Dance)
  • Michelle Barnet for When Time Stops (Expressions Dance Company)
  • Juliet Burnett for Re-Make (Chunky Move)
  • Juliette Barton for Lux Tenebris (Sydney Dance Company)
  • Jana Castillo for Off The Record (Force Majeure)
  • Kristina Chan  for A Faint Existence (Force Majeure)
  • Janessa Dufty for Lux Tenebris (Sydney Dance Company)
  • Zoë Dunwoodie for Habitus (Australian Dance Theatre)
  • Amber Haines for Spectra (Dancenorth)
  • Amy Harris for Nijinsky (The Australian Ballet)
  • Sarah Hepburn for The Nutcracker  (West Australian Ballet)
  • Lina Kim for Cinderella (Queensland Ballet)
  • Ako Kondo for Coppélia (The Australian Ballet)
  • Stephanie Lake for The Dark Chorus (Lucy Guerin Inc)
  • Lauren Langlois for Lucid (Chunky Move)
  • Talitha Lee Maslin for The Cry (Co3)
  • Elise May for When Time Stops (Expressions Dance Company)
  • Larissa McGowan for Mortal Condition
  • Ashley McLellan for If___ was ___ (Dancenorth)
  • Pepa Molina for  Bush Bailando (Pepa Molina Dance Company)
  • Clare Morehen for Lest We Forget (Queensland Ballet)
  • Meg Parry for Romeo and Juliet (West Australian Ballet)
  • Yanela Pinera for Strictly Gershwin (Queensland Ballet)
  • Tara Jade Samaya for Rule of Thirds (Chunky Move)
  • Taree Sansbury for (Mis)conceive  (Thomas ES Kelly)
  • Jesse Scales for Untamed (Sydney Dance Company)
  • Lilian Steiner for The Dark Chorus (Lucy Guerin Inc)
  • Leanne Stojmenov for Nijinsky (The Australian Ballet)
  • Rachael Walsh for Strictly Gershwin (Queensland Ballet)
  • Brooke Widdison-Jacobs for Radio & Juliet (West Australian Ballet)

 Outstanding Performance by a Male Dancer

  • Joshua Arkey for La Choreografia (Danza Del Arte)
  • Vito Bernasconi for Lest We Forget - Tico Tico (Queensland Ballet)
  • Thomas Bradley for Mortal Condition (Larissa McGowan)
  • Richard Causerfor Black (Expressions Dance Company)
  • Benjamin Chapman for When Time Stops (Expressions Dance Company)
  • Richard Cilli for Lux Tenebris (Sydney Dance Company)
  • Nelson Earl for Lux Tenebris (Sydney Dance Company)
  • Chengwu Guo for Vitesse (The Australian Ballet)
  • Benjamin Hancock for The Dark Chorus (Lucy Guerin Inc)
  • Mitchell Harvey for The Cry (Co3)
  • Rudy Hawkes for Little Atlas (The Australian Ballet)
  • Alexander Idasak for The Nutcracker (Queensland Ballet)
  • Kevin Jackson for Nijinsky (The Australian Ballet)
  • Kris Kerr for Strictly Gershwin (Queensland Ballet)
  • Bernhard Knauer for Wildebeest (Sydney Dance Company)
  • Matthew Lehmann for The Nutcracker (West Australian Ballet)
  • Gakuro Matsui for The Nutcracker (West Australian Ballet)
  • James Vu Anh Pham for Rule of Thirds (Chunky Move)
  • Matte Roffe for Habitus (Australian Dance Theatre)
  • Andre Santos for The Nutcracker (West Australian Ballet)
  • Andre Santos for Romeo and Juliet  (Western Australian Ballet)
  • Russell Thorpe for re:Loaded 2016 (Co3)
  • Joel Woellner for A Midsummer Night's Dream (Queensland Ballet)
  • Shane Wuerthner for Strictly Gershwin (Queensland Ballet)
  • Jack Ziesing for Decadance Perth 2016 (STRUT Dance)

Outstanding Achievement in Dance on Film or New Media

  • Stephen< Agisilaou for New York City (Vertical Shadows Dance Company)
  • Richard James Allen for Spotlight (The Physical TV Company)
  • Juliet Burnett forLetting Blood
  • Lucy Doherty for Mandala (One Dance Collective)
  • Jonathan Homsey for Shujin
  • Tara & Pippa Samaya for The Samaya Wives
  • Sally Wicks & Dan Crestani for Empathy is the Devil (Sumi Productions)

Outstanding Achievement in Commercial Dance, Musicals or Physical Theatre

  • Marko Panzic for The Secret Society (The Dream Dance Company)
  • Jack Chambers for Singin’ in the Rain Stage Entertainment and Chichester Festival
  • Christopher Horsey for Swing on This
  • Company 2 for Scotch & Soda
  • Sarah Boutler for Dance Academy ABC TV

The Award for Lifetime Achievement 2017 will be announced mid August.

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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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Ausdance welcomes return of Catalyst funds to the Australia Council

Ausdance National and the Ausdance network welcome news today that the Arts Minister, Senator Mitch Fifield, has decided to return Catalyst funds to the Australia Council. 

The sudden removal of funds from the Australia Council, the loss of transparent peer reviewed decision-making processes and uncertainty about the role of Catalyst have caused enormous disruption and distress across the sector.

Ausdance National President-elect, Associate Professor Gene Moyle, said: ‘The Minister’s decision to return remaining Catalyst funds to the Australia Council is a very welcome step. The Minister is to be congratulated for acting on the strong messages he has received about the loss of highly-regarded dance companies and organisations, and has moved to address the ongoing concerns of the arts profession.

‘We now want to ensure that some funding balance will be returned to the small to medium dance sector in particular, so we welcome the Minister’s comment that “This will allow the Australia Council to continue to focus on supporting small to medium arts organisations.'

We look forward to working with the Minister and the Australia Council to ensure that this goal is realised.

Contact: Gene Moyle (0411 640 012) or Julie Dyson (041 2211 513)

Media release, 18 March 2017 (84 Kb PDF)

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Ausdance National President’s report March 2017

Members of the new Ausdance National Council will commence in their roles following the Annual General Meeting on 19 March 2017. Led by National President Gene Moyle, this is a group of highly experienced and skilled individuals who will now take charge of your national peak body and continue its work into the future. I thank the Australia Council for providing additional funding to allow the new council to meet face to face during 2017 as they consider the future of the organisation.

Last year, the interim executive developed a draft strategic plan with a vision that states that by 2020, Ausdance National will be:

  • reaffirmed as the leading national advocate for dance in Australia
  • the leader of a respected, integrated and sustainable Ausdance network supporting and promoting professional dance practice in Australia
  • financially sustainable and empowered in a new funding environment.

What should a peak service organisation look like in 2020? What priority services, programs and projects should it provide? How should it build and engage with its membership?

While we celebrate Ausdance’s 40th Anniversary this year and many significant achievements, Ausdance National also needs to consider these critical questions as the new council sets in place a viable plan for the future without core operational funding. The support and contribution of our members around the country will be an essential part of that conversation.

Ausdance National and the Ausdance state and territory organisations that make up the network will continue to make a significant contribution to dance across Australia and internationally. While acknowledging that the future is not without its challenges for Ausdance National in the short-medium term, I am also excited at this unique opportunity to build and secure the future of dance in Australia through the uniquely integrated services of Ausdance.

I take this opportunity to again acknowledge and thank our hard working staff—Rachael Jennings, our publications & communications manager and Leanne Craig, who co-ordinates the Australian Dance Awards selection process and assists with administration.

I look forward to reporting on Ausdance National’s 2016 activities and our plans for 2017 at the AGM—I hope some of you will be able to join us in Melbourne to meet some of the new council members and to join me in congratulating them and wishing them the very best.

Shane Colquhoun
Interim National President

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National Advocates for Arts Education report—March 2017

The National Advocates for Arts Education (NAAE) has had a very productive start to 2017, with the NAAE paper advocating for inclusion of the Arts in the STEM agenda being submitted to the Federal Government’s Inquiry into Innovation and Creativity: Workforce for the new economy. The paper was co-authored by John Saunders and Sandra Gattenhof (Drama Australia), with input from all other artform members of NAAE, including dance educators Jeff Meiners (SA) and Sue Fox (Qld).

While most people only refer to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) when discussing innovation and creativity, the Arts are considered in many countries to be an essential element of an innovative economy, hence the increasing advocacy for STEAM in Australia. We note with real concern that the arts were not included in the Federal Government’s original National Innovation & Science Agenda, nor do most submissions to the current inquiry mention the Arts.

However, strong submissions were made for a STEAM agenda by several prominent organisations, including the Australian Major Performing Arts Group (AMPAG), the National Association for the Visual Arts (NAVA), the Australian Copyright Council, and Arts Educators, Practitioners & Researchers Australia, as well as several universities.

NAAE wants to bring together all those advocates for STEAM and develop a new strategy for increasing the voice of the Arts in this country’s innovation agenda.

To keep up with current NAAE agendas and discussions about future activities, go to our NAAE Facebook page and join the conversation.

Julie Dyson – Chair

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World Dance Alliance update March 2017

This year’s WDA Global Summit will be held from 23–28 July in St John’s, Newfoundland, a beautiful Canadian city on the east coast. Titled ‘Dancing from the Grassroots’, there will be many exciting events—performances, a conference including Pecha Kucha presentations, panel discussions and papers, and of course a Choreolab and master classes. We hope many Australians have made submissions to participate and look forward to once again having great representation from Australia at all events. Registrations will be open shortly.

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 another Australian, Scott Ewen, has been selected 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. Congratulations Scott!

Ausdance members are automatically members of the WDA through Ausdance National’s partnership arrangement that includes publication of Asia Pacific Channels, access to choreographic fellowships, and discounted event attendance. Make sure you’re an Ausdance member before applying for any of these events.

2016 Choreolab participantsScott Ewen (front) with dancers and choreographers from the 2016 Choreolab at the WDA festival in Seoul. Choreolab convenor Jin-Wen Yu is kneeling, on the right. Photo: Suling Chou.

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Ausdance National AGM 2017

The 2017 Annual General Meeting for Ausdance National will be held on Sunday 19 March 2017 from 1.00 – 2.30 pm at Arts House in Melbourne.

The agenda, minutes, proxy form, membership information and biographies of the new eight-member national council are available below.

This is an important moment for the future of Ausdance National as your peak sector organisation. The AGM has been scheduled during Dance Massive in the hope that some of you may be able to attend to hear about current plans and the appointment of the new national council. I am delighted at the calibre of nominations received by the due date. As the number of nominations does not exceed the required positions, there is no need to hold an election.

If you are unable to attend the meeting, please consider providing a proxy on the form included below. Email your signed proxy form to Ausdance National by Friday 17 March 2017.

Please note that a performance of Lucy Guerin Inc’s Split is at Arts House commencing at 3.00 pm, so you may like to take advantage of that following the AGM. More information and tickets are available on the Dance Massive website.

I look forward to seeing some of you on Sunday 19 March 2017. Many thanks.

Shane Colquhoun
Interim National President

2017 AGM papers

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Nominate now for 2017 Australian Dance Awards!

Nominations close 28 February.

Were you excited or moved by a performance in 2016? Did a particular dancer deliver a stunning performance? Perhaps you saw some outstanding and innovative choreography? Now is the time to submit your nominations for the 2017 Awards, to be presented in Melbourne in November.

You can nominate a choreographer, a dancer, a company or a piece of choreography for an Australian Dance Award. 

You might like to look at the eligible works list if you need help remembering what your saw last year. This list is collated throughout the year and is intended as a reminder only. If you think a work is missing please email the nominations coordinator.

For an effective nomination in the most appropriate category, you should read the selection criteria first and be sure to provide a meaningful and concise comment about why you think a performance/performer is exceptional and worthy. 

Professional writers, teachers, designers etc. working extensively in the dance sector over many years may also be nominated for an award for services or education. Nominees for a Lifetime Achievement award must be prominent senior figures in the Australian dance community who have dedicated at least 40 years to the industry. 

Six dancers performing Sydney Dance Company's 'Frame of Mind'Sydney Dance Company's Frame of Mind, shortlisted for the 2016 Award for Outstanding Performance by a Company. Photo: Peter Greig

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Ausdance National President’s report

The single biggest challenge for Ausdance National in the coming months is the election of a new skills-based National Council at the March 2017 Annual General Meeting. The formal call for nominations has now opened and members have until 17 February 2017 to nominate yourself or a colleague to join the new Council. 

If you care about the future of dance in Australia, and of its peak professional body, then please take some time to consider whether you or any individuals you know have the skills and experience to contribute to the future of dance. Under recent changes to the Constitution, all members of Ausdance state and territory organisations, together with our national members, have the opportunity to nominate and vote for the new Council.

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Ausdance advocacy report

Ausdance National's dance sector advocacy update ​Ausdance National's new interim National Executive has formally appointed Ausdance National (volunteer) representatives to attend and speak for Ausdance at the following organisations and forums: ArtsPeak, National Advocates for Arts Education, World Dance Alliance and Tertiary Dance Council of Australia.

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ArtsPeak update

Ongoing work

As well as recovering from the ArtsPeak National Arts Election Debate six months ago, there has been ongoing work: following up with the Australia Council on the Service Organisations Scan (complete, to be released by the Australia Council in the first quarter of 2017); advocating for the arts courses that will be affected by the VET student loans proposal (ongoing); and continuing to voice the sector’s concerns about the impact of the 2015 budget changes. The Executive has also played a part in Arts Front, and is currently monitoring (with great interest) the new initiative for a Myer, Tim Fairfax Family and Keir Foundations cultural think tank.

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