Ausdance announces new constitution and interim executive leadership

As a member of the Australian dance sector, I wanted to let you know of some changes to Ausdance National in recent weeks.

In September 2016 the Ausdance National Council agreed to significant changes to the Constitution—moving away from a network-led board to a new skills-based governance structure and extending the membership to engage more directly with a range of stakeholders. We are opening up membership at a national level to engage directly with individuals through the state and territory offices.

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NAISDA celebrates 40 years with Circle of Cultures 14–24 Nov 2016

Celebrating NAISDA’s extraordinary contribution to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander contemporary choreography and dance, this season reflects NAISDA’s history and makes a statement of intention for the future.

NAISDA and Carriageworks present Circle of Cultures 15–24 November 2016 40th Anniversary poster. Image: Wayne Nicol and Malcolm Cole. Permission has been granted from family members to reproduce this image.

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International Dance Educators Workshop 17–18 Nov 2016

The International Dance Educators Workshop (IDEW) is an invaluable opportunity for teachers and practitioners to network, exchange ideas and learn new approaches in a practical, informal and engaging environment.

This year the workshops are designed to cater not only to dance educators but also to dance practitioners and health practitioners who are interested in understanding and connecting movement in day-to-day practice.

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Register to audition for NAISDA 2017

NAISDA Dance College is inviting young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people from around Australia to register their interest to audition for NAISDA’s 2017 intake.

For 40 years, NAISDA has been training the next generation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander performers. Many of NAISDA’s alumni go on to enjoy successful careers in the performing arts industry including dance artists at Bangarra Dance Theatre, as well as roles in the independent dance and theatre industries.

This year’s auditions will be held from Monday 12 December to 15 December 2016 and are open to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander aspiring artists aged between 16 and 26.

NAISDA Dance College encourages anyone who is inspired by culture, dance and the arts to come and experience NAISDA and see if this is for you.

Registrations for auditions close 1 November 2016.

If you would like to audition for NAISDA, please email Michelle Wollaston or phone 1800 117 116.

“Whether you’re into hip-hop, ballet, drama or even musical theatre, we want to hear from you,” said Chair of NAISDA Dance College, Sean Gordon.

“Training at NAISDA is an opportunity to learn from some of the best Indigenous and Non Indigenous teachers and choreographers from around Australia and the world, challenge yourself and expand your skills to prepare for a professional career in the arts.

“NAISDA’s cultural residency program is unique in Australia and gives you the opportunity to travel the country and learn from our cultural tutors in remote communities and at NAISDA.

“NAISDA also travels both domestically and internationally to perform in front of audiences and learn from a diverse range of communities and cultures,” Mr Gordon added.

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Sydney Dance Company’s Untamed 18–29 Oct

Sydney Dance Company’s Untamed is a match made in heaven, on earth, and somewhere in between. A Sydney exclusive double bill of vivid colour and wild physicality featuring the world premiere of Anima by Rafael Bonachela and Australian choreographic prodigy Gabrielle Nankivell’s smash hit Wildebeest.

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Chunky Move collaboration Anti Gravity at Asia TOPA

Opening in March 2017 as part of Asia TOPAANTI GRAVITY is a collaboration between Chunky Move's artistic director Anouk van Dijk and Singaporean visual artist Ho Tzu Nyen, which explores the role of clouds as ethereal influences that disturb or heighten human existence.

In ANTI GRAVITY, gravity-bound bodies encounter the ephemeral, ever-changing cloud. Performers transform from heavenly figures to terrestrial warriors. Uniting the refined, highly physical choreography of Anouk van Dijk and the meticulous aesthetic of installation artist Ho Tzu Nyen, ANTI GRAVITY is an immersive performance, an evocative world inhabited by six extraordinary dancers in various depths of control and abandon.

Where: Merlyn Theatre, Malthouse Theatre
When: 17–26 March 2017
Ticket prices: Adult $45/ Concession $40 / Senior $40/ Youth $30/ 3 Show Package $38.25

For more information and bookings, visit Malthouse Theatre.

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Shaun Parker & Company seeks executive producer

Shaun Parker & Company is one of Australia’s most far-reaching dance companies, having toured extensively internationally to 18 countries across Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and the United States. Based in Sydney, the Company has delivered a range of award-winning dance theatre productions, outdoor festival works and transformative dance education programs. Shaun Parker & Company has secured funding until the end of 2020, having been awarded multi-year funding from Arts NSW and four-year funding from the Australia Council. Shaun Parker & Company is renowned for its powerful, humanist, dance theatre productions, which have touched audiences across the globe, transcending borders and demographics.

Position overview

The Executive Producer drives the strategic management of the company and oversees delivery of its artistic programs. Reporting directly to the Board of Directors and working closely with the Artistic Director, the Executive Producer supports the Company’s artistic vision with strong management and producing skills to generate and implement the company’s repertoire of world-class work at a national and international level.

For position description, visit Shaun Parker Company.

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2016 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.

Presented by Ausdance and Harlequin Floors, the 2016 Australian Dance Awards were held at The State Theatre Centre of Western Australia, Perth, Sunday 18 September at 6.30 pm as part of the MoveMe Festival 2016. 

Ausdance thanks presenting partner Harlequin Floors; Gaynor-Minden, Equity, AON Risk Services; and other partners. Ausdance is assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body.  

The Australian Dance Awards are produced by the Australian Dance Council—Ausdance.

Outstanding Performance by a Company

Bangarra Dance Theatre's Lore for an uplifting, intense and beautiful double bill, incorporating myriad choreographic styles performed by an ensemble of versatile and superb dancers. 

Outstanding performance by a company: Bangarra Dance Theatre for Lore

Outstanding Performance by a Male Dancer

David Mack in Sydney Dance Company's Frame of Mind for a mesmerising and sensational performance, demonstrating exceptional technique and clarity of line, along with extraordinary focus, strength and fluidity.

David Mack performing in Frame of Mind

Outstanding Performance by a Female Dancer

Elma Kris in Bangarra Dance Theatre's Lore for her charismatic and stand-out performance in a pivotal role that showed great wisdom, skill and ability to connect with an audience through her commanding and magnificent storytelling.

Elma Kris performing in Lore

Outstanding Achievement in Independent Dance

​​​​Sue Healey for On View: Live Portraits—a sophisticated, perceptive and ingenious work that was entertaining, beautiful and powerful, with stunning, innovative choreography and photography throughout.

Performers in On View: Live Portraits

Services to Dance

Roy David Page (composer, performer, Nunukul Munaldjali man) for his many talents across multiple genres and art forms, and particularly for his prolific production of memorable and exceptional compositions for Bangarra Dance Theatre.

Services to dance

Outstanding Achievement in Commercial Dance, Musicals or Physical Theatre

Circa Contemporary Circus for Il Ritorno—a compelling and dramatic story presented via circus, acrobatics, opera and physical theatre with astounding vision, technique, design and music.

Circa performing Il Ritorno 

Outstanding Achievement in Youth Dance 

Force Majeure & Powerhouse Youth Theatre (PYT) for Jump First, Ask Later—a brilliant and life-altering collaboration creating an urban choreographic portrait of the culturally diverse streets of Western Sydney as experienced by the young performers.

Powerhouse Youth Theatre & Force Majeure performing Jump First, Ask Later

Outstanding Achievement in Dance on Film or New Media

Meryl Tankard for Michelle’s Story—an intimate and uplifting film about Meryl Tankard’s long-time friend and colleague Michelle Ryan—a testament to a dancer’s transformative ability to gather strength through her art. 

Performers in Michelle's Story dancing in front of white salt dunes

Outstanding Achievement in Choreography

Lucy Guerin for Motion Picture (Lucy Guerin Inc.)—an innovative, sophisticated and surprising work inspired by the film noir aesthetic and meticulously crafted by a visionary choreographer.

Performer in Motion Picture

Services to Dance Education  

Dr Joan Pope OAM (teacher, Dalcroze Eurhythmics educator & researcher, community activist)—for more than 50 years of inspired and passionate leadership, for her commitment to education through dance and music and for a lasting impact on generations of young artists and communities.

Joan Pope teaching a movement class to primary school students

Outstanding Achievement in Community Dance

Dancenorth for Twilight—Cheryl Stock’s spectacular, multi-site, intergenerational and culturally diverse dance and music journey from dusk to dark in a meaningful and memorable anniversary celebration of Dancenorth and Townsville. 

Performers in Twilight dance beside the ocean

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NAAE archives donated to the National Library of Australia

In an important development for arts education research in Australia, the National Advocates for Arts Education (NAAE) has negotiated with the National Library of Australia (NLA) to accept its archival material. After almost a year of cataloguing and sorting, the NAAE archive is now safely rehoused at the NLA from its original home in the Ausdance National library.

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Terri Charlesworth receives 2016 Australian Dance Award for Lifetime Achievement

Terri Charlesworth’s initiative, dedication, generosity and passion have greatly influenced generations of Western Australian dancers. As well as being a dazzling performer, Terri has had outstanding success as a teacher and leader in dance education and training. 

Born in Perth, she began her early ballet training in Melbourne with acclaimed dancers such as Kira and Serge Bousloff and Xenia Borovansky. She joined West Australian Ballet for its inaugural 1953 season and was later appointed Assistant Artistic Director.

Terri Charlesworth teaching balletPhoto: Darren Clark

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2016 Election wrap—what’s next?

Remember 2 July? What a day for the arts in Australian democracy. Over the previous 12 months, the Arts sector had engaged with the Senate through the inquiry into the ‘Impact of the 2014 and 2015 Commonwealth Budget decisions on the Arts’. The strong recommendations from that process set a tone for the election campaign. Arts became an issue for parties; the ALP, Greens, and Xenophon Team released policy positions and the Arts Party claim that between 40-50,000 Australians gave them their first preferences. An election debate, focused solely on the arts, allowed the sector to explore key issues with the major parties. 

Here we are, now four weeks later, and we’re still waiting for the full results of the Federal Election. We know the Liberal-National Coalition will form government, and who the Arts Minister (Senator Mitch Fifield from Victoria) and Shadow (former Minister Tony Burke from NSW) are, but we still wait for the full results of the Senate count. 

So, what happens now?

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Have you done the Safe Dance IV survey?

Ausdance National has a long history of researching dancer health and well-being, and Safe Dance IV is the latest in a series that looks at how professional dancers manage injuries and sustain their careers. Safe Dance IV is a little different to I, II and III, as it is being conducted online by PhD student Amy-Jo Vassalo under the auspices of the University of Sydney. 

What do we hope to learn from Safe Dance IV? For starters, the survey will update the authoritative findings from the previous surveys that helped to improve the management of injuries. One of those findings was the importance of the warm-up, especially a warm-up with a cardiovascular component for rehearsals. 

And the definition of a professional dancer is probably wider than for the previous surveys as the range and style of professional practice has expanded, so the potentially wider data pool may bring in new information. 

In the past few months, information about the survey has been widely circulated through our e-news and on Facebook. Ausdance staff have sent hundreds of emails to dance companies and individual dancers requesting them to share and take the survey. Hard copies have been printed and sent to The Australian Ballet, the West Australian Ballet, and the Queensland Ballet. Don’t be shy about sharing it further! 

But we still need more responses to create the size of data pool Safe Dance IV deserves, to allow for the authoritative findings that can help to sustain careers. If you are a professional dancer—and the very first question is a filter question to help answer this—please do the survey. It will take a little time but it is completely worth doing to help sustain your career. 

Read more about Safe Dance IV.

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daCi and WDA announce World Dance Congress for 2018

How can dance help in transforming society? This and many more questions will be a focus in 2018 at one of the world’s largest gatherings of dance educators and young artists in Adelaide, Australia. 

During the week of 11–15 July 2016, delegates from daCi (dance and the Child international) and WDA (World Dance Alliance Education and Training Network) met in Adelaide, Australia to collaborate in planning for a joint congress to be held from 8–13 July 2018. How to connect with UNESCO and initiate global advocacy informed our planning. 

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The 2016 Australian Dance Awards – Perth!

Presented by Harlequin Floors and Ausdance as part of the MoveMe Festival 2016. 

Australian Dance Awards 2016 Ochre Contemporary Dance Company performing outdoors

Perth is ready to host the 2016 Australian Dance Awards straight after the MoveMe Dance Festival—put Sunday 18 September at The State Theatre Centre of Western Australia in your diary! Tickets on sale at Ticketek

This night-of-nights for professional dance sees twelve Awards including the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award, Outstanding Performance by a Company, and Outstanding Performances by Female and Male dancers. 

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Big Dance Australia 2016 update

Big Dance is a biennial festival of people dancing led by the Mayor of London in partnership with People Dancing and the Big Dance Hubs, a network of leading dance organisations across the UK.

Big Dance Week ran from 2 to 10 July 2016 and Ausdance Queensland and Tracks Dance in Darwin hosted Big Dance events.

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Australian Dance Awards 2016 shortlist

Congratulations to the shortlisted nominees. 

Presented by Ausdance and Harlequin Floors, the 2016 Australian Dance Awards will be held at The State Theatre Centre of Western Australia, Perth, Sunday 18 September at 6.30 pm as part of the MoveMe Festival 2016.

Get your tickets from Ticketek.

2016 Shortlist Australian Dance AwardsOchre Contemporary Dance Company performing at the 2014 Sculpture by the Sea at Cottesloe beach, WA. Photo: Dana Weeks Photography.

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