News

Senate Inquiry into Arts budget confirmed—add your letter by 17 July!

At the beginning of June, Ausdance joined ArtsPeak (the confederation of national peak arts organisations) in calling for a Senate Inquiry into the 2015 Budget funding cuts to the Australia Council and the rechanneling of those funds into a new funding program called National Programme for Excellence in the Arts.

Now a reality, the Senate Inquiry into the 2015 & 2014 budget cuts to the arts is calling for submissions from artists and arts organisations.

If you're an artist, and you can write down how the funding changes have affected you, you should write a letter and submit it to the Inquiry.

We urge you to add your submission by the 17 July closing date. Check out the 'how to make a submission to the Senate Inquiry toolkit' from ArtsPeak member National Association of Visual Arts (NAVA).

You can read examples of the submissions already made.

Submission deadline: 17 July 2015.

In case you missed it...

Here's what Ausdance has been saying about the recent changes to the Australia Council's funding and its impact on artists and the arts ecology.

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Apply now for the Ausdance Peggy van Praagh Choreographic Fellowship

The Ausdance Peggy van Praagh Choreographic Fellowship of $10,000 will be awarded to a mid-career artist, 35 years or over with at least 10 years’ professional experience working as a choreographer.

We invite eligible choreographers who can demonstrate the value of the fellowship to their own choreographic development, practice or career to submit an expression of interest.

Key information

Applications close 3 August 2015
Fellowship amount: $10,000
For mid-career choreographers (35 years and over)
Purpose: supporting choreographic development that advances the profession
Eligibility criteria and application guidelines: Ausdance Peggy van Praagh Choreographic Fellowship.

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News from the World Dance Alliance Asia Pacific

Our friends at the World Dance Alliance Asia–Pacific bring us the first edition their newsletter for 2015—Asia–Pacific Channels. For past editions, visit Asia–Pacific Channels.

This edition includes many moving and wonderful messages honouring the memory of Maggi Phillips.

These messages speak for themselves about her extraordinary qualities and her far-reaching positive influence in so many ways and in many countries across the world.
—Cheryl Stock

Asia–Pacific ChannelsChannels also outlines many exciting projects from the Education & Training Network, the Support & Development Network, the Creation & Presentation Network, and the Research & Documentation Network. Ralph Buck reports from the World Alliance for Arts Education conference with a summary of the WAAE Strategic Planning discussion and five new education projects. And Chapters across the region have contributed updates and photographs summarising their extensive and diverse dance activities.

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Watch videos of National Dance Forum 2015 panel discussions

National Dance Forum 2015 (19–21 March) addressed the inherent concerns and realities affecting current professional practice in Australia. It was framed by three specific lines of focus:

  • Transforming the form: changing structures and their effects
  • The subtleties and nuances of innovation.
  • Discourse: How is dance written about, spoken about and communicated?

A partnership between the Australia Council for the Arts and Ausdance National, the NDF is a biennial gathering for the Australian professional contemporary dance sector. It fosters the artistic development of dance in Australia by providing a platform for discussion between Australian choreographers, dancers, independent artists, artistic directors, educators, researchers and dance producers.

Keynote #2 Jerril Rechter interviewed by Fiona Winning

Date: 20 March 2015

Contemporary dance happens here: deploying dance in regional settings

Date: 20 March 2015
Chair: Annette Carmichael.
Speakers: Jacob Boehme, Lesley Graham, Britt Guy, Julian Louis

This panel features dynamic and diverse representation from some of Australia’s leading voices within the regional arts sector. They will engage you in a debate on notions of excellence, community engagement and being objectified as ‘regional'.

The academic artist: oxymoron or creative synergy?

Date: 20 March 2015
Chair: Cheryl Stock
Speakers: Shaun McLeod, Julie-Anne Long, Jo Pollitt

There are ongoing tensions between academics who employ artistic practice as part of their skills set versus artists who enter the academy through a higher degree or taking up a university job opportunity. This panel will address both the pitfalls and opportunities when academic research interacts with creative practice. How one area supports and engages the other is a multifaceted and complex endeavour.

Dance Massive artists panel

Date: 20 March 2015
Chair: Emily Sexton
Speakers: Martin del Amo, Anouk van Dijk, Clare Watson, Zaimon Vilmanis, Katrina Lazaroff

Dance Massive Artists Panel A panel of diverse artists all presenting a varied spectrum of completed and, in-progress works as part of Dance Massive 2015, this discussion will invite conversation regarding current trends in Australian choreographic practice and the significance of presenting work within a Festival context.

Dance criticism, writing and discourse

Date: 20 March 2015
Chair: Ashley Dyer
Speakers: Matthew Day, Jordan Beth Vincent, Jana Perkovic, Vicki van Hout

'The perfect dance critic does not exist.' Miguel Gutierrez.
The role of the critic is no longer merely about helping an audience discriminate between 'better' and 'worse'. This panel discussion unpacks the changing value of discourse and critical writing. It engages thoughtful artists and dance writers who ask the sometimes fraught questions: What is the role of the critic? For who or what are they writing? Can anyone be a critic? What role can writing and discourse play in influencing the development of dance practice? And how does it affect dance as a form?

Crossing borders: International collaboration

Date: 20 March 2015
Chair: Jeff Khan
Speakers: Tim Darbyshire, Thomas E. S. Kelly, Pirjetta Mulari (Dance Info Finland), Paul Selwyn Norton, Ade Suharto

This discussion explores Australia-international exchange from the perspective of artists, curators, and organisations. What are the benefits of international exchange and how can it develop artists' practices? What are some best-case examples of genuine exchange between practitioners from diverse backgrounds and perspectives? Where, how and why do artists want to be working in this context?

From black box to white box

Date: 20 March 2015
Chair: Hannah Mathews
Speakers: Phillip Adams, Atlanta Eke, Alison Currie, Latai Taumoepeau

This panel seeks to map out the historical lineage and contemporary concerns of creating and presenting choreographic works within gallery spaces. By reflecting on past examples and considering the current trend towards using the white cube as a context for dance, the session will address the interests and concerns of choreographers who cross dance with visual arts practice.

Integrated practice

Date: 21 March 2015
Chair: Andrew Morrish
Speakers: Michelle Ryan, Kate Sulan, Janice Florence, Philip Channells

Some of Australia’s leading dance practitioners, who work in dance and physical performance with or alongside artists with disability, discuss process, performance, access, aesthetics and disability politics.

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2015 Australian Dance Awards headed for Adelaide

In 2015 the Australian Dance Awards are bound for Adelaide for the very first time. The Awards celebrate the achievements of Australian dance companies and dancers in a night-of-nights event combining performances and Award presentations, and will feature past winners and notable guests hosted by well-known Adelaide identity Jane Doyle.

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New book: Dance Education Around the World

Dance Education Around the World

Perspectives on Dance, Young People and Change

Edited by Charlotte Svendler Nielsen and Stephanie Burridge
Foreword by Sir Ken Robinson.

Dance has the power to change the lives of young people. It is a force in shaping identity, affirming culture and exploring heritage in an increasingly borderless world. Creative and empowering pedagogies are driving curriculum development worldwide where the movement of peoples and cultures generates new challenges and possibilities for dance education in multiple contexts.

Dance has the power to change the lives of young people. It is a force in shaping identity, affirming culture and exploring heritage in an increasingly borderless world. Creative and empowering pedagogies are driving curriculum development worldwide where the movement of peoples and cultures generates new challenges and possibilities for dance education in multiple contexts . 

Reflection, evaluation, analysis and documentation are key to the evolving ecology of dance education and research involving individuals, communities and nations. Dance Education Around the World: Perspectives on Dance, Young People and Change provides a great resource for dance educators, practitioners and researchers, and pushes for the furtherance of dance education around the world.

In Dance Education Around the World: Perspectives on Dance, Young People and Change, writers across the globe come together to reflect, comment on and share their expertise and experiences.

The settings are drawn from a spectrum of countries with contributions from Europe, the Americas, the Middle East, Asia, the Pacific and Africa giving insights and fresh perspectives into contrasting ideas, philosophies and approaches to dance education from Egypt to Ghana, Brazil to Finland, Jamaica to the Netherlands, the UK, USA, Australia, New Zealand and more.

Read more…

2015 Queens Birthday Honours for dance

We congratulate members of the Australian dance community who received Honours in the recent Queens Birthday honours list.

Stanton Welch received an AM for significant service to the performing arts as a ballet dancer, mentor, choreographer and artistic director.

Mrs Janice Ethel Conroy (Qld) and Mrs Diana Cecile de Vos-Beck (WA) (former member of WA Ballet) both received an OAM for service to the performing arts through dance. Mrs Margaret Jean East (Tas) received an OAM for service to the performing arts through dance administration roles.

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Ausdance National President Brian Lucas responds to Australia Council funding cuts

Dear Ausdance members,

I am writing to you as the President of Ausdance National, in response to the recent funding cuts to the Australia Council, and the rechanneling of those funds into a new funding mechanism entitled the National Programme for Excellence in the Arts.

I am clearly aware of the substantial levels of anger, confusion, disillusionment and anxiety which currently exist throughout the Arts sector as a result of these cuts and the flow on changes to Australia Council funding processes.

As an independent artist who works in and across many aspects of the Australian Arts ecology, I personally share the anxieties and anger that are a result of seeing the future of our practices, our livelihoods and the continued survival of our fragile economy threatened and undermined.

Like many other organisations in the sector, Ausdance National has devoted substantial time, energy and resources to the development of an Expression of Interest for the Australia Council's new 6 year funding program, and as with many others we now find ourselves in a limbo of unforeseen changes which include the scrapping of that program altogether.

During the past fortnight, responses to these cuts have been varied. It has been incredibly positive to read or hear a number of responses from industry leaders such as Wesley Enoch and Fiona Winning, and to participate in the National dance action across the country on Friday 22nd of May.

As the peak service organisation for the professional dance sector in Australia, I definitely see it as Ausdance's responsibility to work to provide leadership and support during this crisis.

Ausdance National continues to engage its Australia-wide network to ensure the dance community remains informed of and up-to-date with developments in what is shaping up to be one of the most challenging periods in our recent Arts history. These changes will impact across all areas of the dance sector, and it is vital that Ausdance National works to ensure no voices from within the dance sector are excluded from the discussion and debate.

Also, Ausdance National takes its role as the chief advocate for dance at a Federal Government level seriously. We must ensure the concerns and questions of the dance sector are communicated to (and heard by) our Federal Arts Minister, and that they feed effectively into both the current debate and into the ongoing development of policies and procedures. This will be particularly important as the details of the new National Programme for Excellence in the Arts are finalised and released. Now more than ever, the message that dance is and must remain a vital part of the Australian landscape—culturally, socially, educationally and economically—must be heard loud and clear.

These are challenging times, and the obstacles we face are substantial and dauntingly real. It is my hope Ausdance National and the dance sector as a whole can rise to these challenges, and we can work with our State and Territory networks to achieve more positive and effective outcomes for the dance sector.

The Australian dance community has not experienced such a volatile and difficult situation in many years. I want you each to know that Ausdance is here with you in solidarity and support.

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Honorary life members add their voices in support of the Australia Council

3 June 2015

Senator The Hon. George Brandis QC
Attorney-General and Minister for the Arts
PO Box 6100
Senate, Parliament House
CANBERRA  ACT  2600


Dear Senator Brandis,

We, the undersigned honorary life members of the Australian Dance Council – Ausdance, write to add our voices to the many letters and statements made in support of the Australia Council. The Australian arts profession has fought hard over many years for the independence and peer review principles embedded in the Australia Council’s charter, and we are now concerned that a commitment to excellence through the peer review process will be compromised as further cuts and conditions are imposed on the smaller organisations by a reduced Australia Council. This decision has the potential to dismantle much of the Australian dance ecology and dissipate the constantly growing audience it has developed over the last decade.

After extensive consultation, the Australia Council had adopted a very welcome six-year funding program to which the smaller companies could apply. While their audiences are, by definition, smaller than those of MPA companies, their innovative impact is disproportionately influential, nationally and internationally. Their creativity often stems from the need to make the most of scarce resources in order to present cutting edge work – the research and development so necessary in arts development. This very factor makes a huge contribution to the wider dance network, especially that of the larger companies whose own output is dependent on the experimentation of younger choreographers.

Our history makes this very clear, yet these smaller companies are now facing enormous dislocation because the Australia Council will now be deprived of much of its decision-making and funding of these companies. We also note the threat to substantial employment opportunities offered by the smaller companies. We highlight their need for stability and sustainability in order for them to function at the level of excellence and accountability required by current funding guidelines and by their peers as part of the peer assessment process.

As Ausdance honorary life members, we remind the Minister that the Ausdance network was formed in 1977 by some of Australia’s leading dance directors, choreographers, educators and advocates who had a vision for a more productive, united and prominent dance voice in the Australian arts ecology. Founders included Dame Peggy van Praagh DBE, then artistic director of The Australian Ballet, Keith Bain OAM, then Movement Director at NIDA, and prominent dance choreographers and educators Professor Shirley McKechnie AO and Emeritus Professor Warren Lett.

Supported by Australia Council funding, Ausdance National has flourished since as a leading voice for dance and the arts generally, as has the Ausdance network, funded by state and territory arts ministries. The Ausdance network offers an integrated service of international, national and state/territory activities for the dance profession that includes companies, tertiary courses, individual artists and teachers. Furthermore, Ausdance works closely with educators, researchers, university lecturers and advocates through the (unfunded) National Advocates for Arts Education and the Tertiary Dance Council of Australia.

In order to give the dance profession a credible and respected voice at the highest levels, Ausdance National has provided advice to the federal departments of Education and the Arts, the Australia Council, the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA), the National Library of Australia, the Australian Institute of Sport, The Australian Ballet School, NAISDA, the Vocational Education & Training authority, dance company education programs, touring networks, and international organisations such as the World Dance Alliance, the World Alliance for Arts Education, Dance UK and Dance USA.

Ausdance initiatives have been central to improving the health, education, employment opportunities, career transitions, research, teaching standards, dialogue and sector communication across all forms of dance in Australia. It has been especially influential in promoting dialogue between the larger MPA companies, the small to medium companies, independent artists and the tertiary sector. Excellence and innovation across this whole ecology have propelled Australian dance to international recognition.

We cannot emphasise strongly enough that the decision to transfer funds from the Australia Council to a largely unknown program is causing extreme disruption right across the arts sector, and we are particularly concerned about the depth of uncertainty being felt by the professional dance sector. We therefore request that funding be immediately restored to the Australia Council to enable some level of certainty for companies, artists and service organisations, including Ausdance. We think the Council’s loss of funds is unjustified and that the consequences across the arts sector may be irretrievable without an immediate reversal of this decision.

We look forward to your positive response to our concerns.

Yours sincerely,

Ausdance Honorary Life Members:

Associate Professor Ralph Buck
Lee Christofis
Hilary Trotter Chuck 
Shane Colquhoun
Valda Craig
Julie Dyson AM
Annie Greig
Emeritus Professor Warren Lett
Professor Shirley McKechnie AO
Sandra Macarthur-Onslow
Professor Cheryl Stock AM
Professor Susan Street AO

Download this statement. 

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ArtsPeak calls for Senate Inquiry

Ausdance joins other members of ArtsPeak (the confederation of national peak arts organisations) in calling for a Senate Inquiry into the recent federal Budget announcement that $104.8m over 4 years will be stripped from the appropriation of the Australia Council for the Arts to establish a National Programme for Excellence in the Arts (NPEA) under the control of the Arts Minister.

ArtsPeak aims to ensure that Australians can continue to enjoy diverse rich cultural experiences at all levels. Until the outcome of a Senate Inquiry, we call on Senator Brandis to restore all the funding cut from the Australia Council and its programs, and repeal his decision to establish the NPEA.

Read the full media release: ArtsPeak Calls for Senate Inquiry

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Restless Dance Theatre’s ‘Naturally’

Two men stand side-by-side looking straight at us. Both dressed casually in striped t-shirts, the taller holds a large cut-out heart shape outlined with studded lit incandescent light bulbs Performers: Andrew Pandos and Jesse Rochow. Photo: Shane Reid
  • What: Restless dance company announces the new a double bill Naturally, which includes Touched and What’s a Nice Girl Like You Doing in a Place Like This?.
  • When: 13—21 November 2015
  • Where: Odeon Theatre in Norwood

Touched is a new piece by the dancers of the Youth Ensemble working with Artistic Director Michelle Ryan. It will develop the themes so successfully explored last year in In The Balance.

What’s a Nice Girl Like You Doing in a Place Like This? is the first major work by the new Restless Senior Ensemble. The Senior Ensemble was founded in 2012 and its members have all been in past Youth Ensemble productions. What’s a Nice Girl Like You Doing in a Place Like This? had a creative development in late 2014 that was directed by Emma Stokes who was mentored by Michelle Ryan.

Performers: Andrew Pandos and Jesse RochowPhoto: Shane Reid

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2016 Centre International des Récolle artist-in-residence program

Apply for the 2016 program of foreign artists’ residencies at the Centre International des Récollets in Paris.

The residencies are for established writers and artists in the fields of visual and performing arts who have already achieved international recognition. Applicants are selected by a consultative committee, on the basis of the project that they wish to develop in Paris during their residence. This project should be carried out in partnership with a specified structure, company, artist, or well-known cultural or artistic leader in Paris or surrounding area.

Successful candidates will be accommodated at the Récollets building in the centre of Paris.

Residency period: 3 months
Financial support: 1500 euros per month

Apply online at http://www.international-recollets-paris.org/?lng=en

Application Deadline: 17 June 2015

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Expressions Dance Company performing Natalie Weir’s 7 Deadly Sins

When: 21–29 August
Where: Playhouse, QPAC

Wrath, Greed, Sloth, Pride, Lust, Envy, Gluttony. 7 Deadly sins

Wrath. Greed. Sloth. Pride. Lust. Envy. Gluttony. Plunge into a wicked tale of ancient sin unleashed on the modern world. Spotlighting the inherent frailty and imperfections that exist in us all, 7 Deadly Sins explores the age-old sinful nature of mankind retold through electrifying contemporary dance characterised by Natalie Weir's unique insights into the human condition.

Rich imagery, extravagant costumes and breathtaking movement will pack an emotional punch in this devilishly delicious adventure!

Book now as tickets are already selling fast!

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Australia Council grants programs suspended or cancelled after 2015 Federal Budget cuts

In the 2015 Federal Budget, the Government announced cuts to the Australia Council’s budget to establish a new funding structure called the 'National Programme for Excellence in the Arts'. Yesterday the Australia Council outlined the significant effect the 2015–16 budget measures will have on their funding programs.

'To manage the transition to the new funding framework the Council needs to take the following actions:

  • the Australia Council June grant round, including government programs, will not proceed
  • existing applications can be assessed within the September round, which will include multi-year project support for individual artists and arts organisations
  • the six-year funding for organisations program is suspended
  • the Australia Council will honour the current contracts of multi-year funded organisations until their conclusion at the end of 2016
  • the ArtStart, Creative Communities Partnerships Initiative and Artists in Residence programs will not be offered in the future.'

Yesterday Ausdance met with other peak arts organisations to discuss joint actions and to draft a joint response. We will update you in the coming week.

In the meantime, you may like to add your name to the Media Entertainment Arts Alliance (MEAA) joint letter to George Brandis. Sign the letter here: http://bit.ly/1IOfz6c

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Federal Budget 2015—some changes for Arts funding

The 2015 Federal Budget was announced on Tuesday 12 May. While detail and analysis will come to light over the coming days, the main item for the Arts is the establishing of a 'National Programme for Excellence in the Arts' to support endowments, international touring and strategic projects, with an emphasis on attracting private sector support.

The program will be delivered through the Ministry of Arts, but money is being redirected from the Australia Council to fund it. Minister for the Arts, George Brandis stated 'here will be no reduction in the Australia Council’s funding to the 28 major performing arts companies as a result of this initiative'.

From the Minister's press release:

The National Programme for Excellence in the Arts will allow for a truly national approach to arts funding and will deliver on a number of Government priorities including national access to high quality arts and cultural experiences.

Arts funding has until now been limited almost exclusively to projects favoured by the Australia Council. The National Programme for Excellence in the Arts will make funding available to a wider range of arts companies and arts practitioners, while at the same time respecting the preferences and tastes of Australia’s audiences.

Accordingly, the Visions of Australia and Festivals Australia programmes will return to the Ministry for the Arts after being transferred to Australia Council by the previous government. The Major Festivals Initiative will also be transferred with support for this programme to be doubled to $1.5 million.

The program will also provide $5.3 million over three years for the continuation of Creative Partnerships Plus1 matched funding.

Additionally, following on from the savings announced last year more efficiencies are being required of the Australia Council and arts agencies. An additional $13.2 million through until 2019 is being cut from arts and cultural programs administered by the Australia Council, Screen Australia and the Ministry for Arts. The Australia Council will need to find an additional $1.8 million in efficiencies per year, with Screen Australia looking for $0.9 million and the Ministry $0.7 million this year, and $0.5 million in the future years. According to the Budget papers 'the savings from this measure will be redirected by the Government to repair the Budget and fund policy priorities'.

The Australia Council has noted their savings will be met through reduced funding to the ArtStart, Capacity Building and Artists in Residence programs.

The Australia Council has issued a statement:

The Board of the Australia Council will be giving careful consideration to the Council’s priorities for the next year and beyond, and the implications for delivery of the Australia Council Strategic Plan.

Until the Board and Executive have had the opportunity to undertake these considerations in response to the Budget measures further detail will not be available.

The Australia Council remains committed to supporting Australian artists and arts organisations, and working collaboratively to achieve strong outcomes for the arts in Australia.

News reports and articles

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Mobilise: Creating Momentum—the 2015 APACA conference

  • When: 17-20 August 2015
  • Where: Sydney

Mobilise: Creating Momentum, the Australian Performing Arts Centres Association's (APACA) 29th annual conference, will provoke, explore, and debate how we revitalise our sector and our practice.

The keynote speaker is international arts management guru Michael M Kaiser.

Mobilise will also include the Performing Arts Exchange (PAX)—an opportunity for presenters and producers to come together in a new format at the only national touring market for 2015. Excerpts, curated conversations, and of course pitches will allow producers and presenters to exchange information and create the relationships that form the basis for future touring partnerships.

 Networking and touring information events will make PAX suitable for all performing arts sector participants.

Visit APACA for more information and registration.

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Accessible Arts’ Arts + Disability Expo 2015

  • Date:18–19 September 2015
  • Location: Carriageworks, Sydney

The expo is a two-day event showcasing the products and services available for individuals is the arts and disability sector. Featuring exhibitors across the arts and disability sectors, interactive demonstrations, discussions and live performances, the expo will provide individuals, groups and families greater choice and resources to fully participate in the arts.

For all general enquiries, please contact Gemma Collocott, Strategic Projects Manager at gcollocott@aarts.net.au or on +61 2 9251 6499 ext 110

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2015 CHASS Australia Prizes

The CHASS Australia Prizes honour distinguished achievements by Australians working, studying or training in the humanities, arts and social sciences (HASS), including academics, practitioners, philanthropists, policy makers and students.

Nominations close 1 June 2015.

Individuals, agents, publishers, teachers and organisations are invited to make nominations for any of the four categories:

  • Book (cash prize of $3,500 sponsored by Routledge)
  • Distinctive Work (cash prize of $3,500 sponsored by Routledge): an exceptional artistic performance, exhibition, film, television show, play, composition or practical contribution to arts policy.
  • Future Leader (cash prize of $2,000 sponsored by Future Leaders): for an individual under 35 years of age who is demonstrating leadership skill and potential in the arts, humanities and social sciences.
  • Student ($500 voucher sponsored by The Co-Op): for a student essay, exhibition, performance, project or thesis.

Self-nominations are welcome. To nominate, visit the CHASS website.

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2015 Australian Dance Awards longlist

The long list of nominations is being shortlisted by the Australian Dance Awards selection panel.

The shortlist will be announced in July, with winners announced at the 2015 Australian Dance Awards in Adelaide on Saturday 12 September.

Image by Chris Herzfeld, Camlight Productions. Lina Limosani, Elizabeth Cameron-Dalman & Kimball Wong.Image by Chris Herzfeld, Camlight Productions. Lina Limosani, Elizabeth Cameron-Dalman & Kimball Wong.

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New Zealand Dance Company auditions

The New Zealand Dance Company is seeking a female dancer with strong technique, partnering and improvisational skills with a minimum of three years professional experience.

NZDC is offering an Auckland-based contract from 29 June – 23 Aug 2015 including a January 2016 international tour. There is further potential for contracts in November/December 2015 and ongoing in 2016.

New Zealand Dance Company choreographers include Ross McCormack (NZ), Malia Johnston (NZ), Stephen Shropshire (Holland) and Louise Potiki Bryant (NZ).

Read more…

DANscienCE Festival 2015 call for presentations

DANscienCE bings together dance artists and scientists in an exploratory celebration of two fields of creative excellence.

  • Date: 21–23 August 2015
  • Venue: QUT Creative Industries

DANscienCE Festival

Directed by Liz Lea and Associate Professor Gene Moyle.

DANscienCE 2015 will explore themes of cognitive psychology, applied dance science, technology, neuroscience, ecology, robotics, and the ageing body. We want to hear from the Australian and international dance and science communities, researchers, educators, practitioners and artists to contribute to the program and the publication that will follow.

You are invited to submit paper presentations (standard, Pecha Kucha, posters), performative works (live and film), workshops, forums and panels.

Visit DANscienCE Festival 2015 for full program and submission details.

Submissions due 15 May 2015 to danscience2015@gmail.com

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Vale Maggi Phillips

It is with great sadness that Ausdance National farewells Maggi Phillips. Dr Phillips was an extraordinary contributor to dance in Australia, as a teacher, researcher and dance scholar. Maggi passed away in Perth on the evening of 31 March, surrounded by family and friends. Her dedication to dance practice and scholarship is well known and our heartfelt sympathy goes out to her family, colleagues and students.

Most recently Maggi was Associate Professor and the Coordinator of Research and Creative Practice at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts, a position that fused her disparate influences and her desire to privilege such diversity in scholarship and access. She was a much-loved supervisor in the school’s postgraduate program and wrote on dance from numerous perspectives, including cultural distinctiveness, singular knowledge and danced thought. Together with colleagues from QUT and Deakin University, Maggi led the Australian Learning and Teaching Council project, Dancing between Diversity and Consistency: Refining Assessment in Post Graduate Degrees in Dance, which highlighted the particularities of multi-modal artistic research.

In 2010, Maggi received an Australian Dance Award for her Services to Dance Education, and in 2013 took on the role of Editor of Brolga—an Australian journal about dance, overseeing editions about education and dialogues. She was also a great contributor to the World Dance Alliance, presenting at many forums and serving on review and editorial committees.

Maggie Phillips at her 70th birthdayMaggi's 70th birthday.

Last year friends from around Australia and the world sent messages in celebration of Maggi's 70th birthday—paying tribute to her broad contribution in developing artists, academics and dance in all corners of the globe, particulary through the World Dance Alliance. Secretary-General of the World Dance Alliance and long-time friend and colleague Cheryl Stock wrote at that time

Maggi, you are the ultimate quiet achiever – an extraordinary life in dance, some of which is well known and some of which is tantalisingly unknown. What we clearly see from your academic work is someone with a passion for knowledge (of which you have prodigious amounts), an ever enquiring mind that takes you on all kinds of literary, cultural and fantastical journeys and an intellectual capacity that is awe-inspiring and which you generously share with colleagues and students alike.  A workaholic with a zest for life, a voyager who is a wonderful travel companion, a researcher who knows what questions to investigate, I consider you a long-time and dear friend.

I remember first hanging out with you in the early ’80s in Darwin, where you were at the time a mover and shaker at Brown’s Mart Community Arts Centre and also Artistic Director of Feats. You invited me several times to undertake projects there. What fun-filled crazy times I enjoyed with you during the Darwin days! I recall those beautiful ballet feet and legs and expressive arms. We worked together on a large community project, Backtracks, involving over 100 people from all sorts of backgrounds and skills bases – I even persuaded you to dance, in a ball gown I recall. You were very accommodating of my sometimes crazy eclectic ideas (as long as they were interesting!) What I mostly remember of those steamy troppo days and evenings was your infectious deep throated laugh (still wonderfully frequent) and the stories – ah the stories! – around the kitchen table – of your days in the circus dancing bareback on elephants (or were they horses?).

That you are a great shopper is well known, seeking out the most amazing treasures, mainly to wear in exotic combinations which look just fantastic on your slim body.  From pottery in the Atherton Tablelands to the markets in Taiwan, to the most exquisite fabrics in India, you always find that special something. Your forensic ability to find such purchases are more than matched by your forensic ability in research to go deeply into your research topics. I feel privileged to have worked with you and Kim Vincs on the 3-year research project you led – such a collegial, pleasurable and rewarding experience.

Despite your challenging health problems, you bear them with such dignity, lack of complaint and good spirits, that I always feel uplifted in your company. Even though we do not see much of each other, your support and friendship is treasured. Thank you Maggi.

Today Cheryl noted

Maggi in her quiet manner, inspired us with her insightful musings, extraordinary intellect, imaginative and scholarly writings, witty humour and throaty laugh, and above all with her non-judgmental and always positive support and unconditional friendship.

Tracks Dance Company have published an overview of Maggi's time in Darwin and her early training, in her own words.

Vale Maggi Phillips, by Nina Levy. Dance Australia

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Chunky Move position vacant—Executive Producer

An exciting opportunity exists for a dynamic and experienced arts producer to take up a senior leadership role with one of Australia’s leading contemporary dance companies.

Led by internationally acclaimed choreographer Anouk van Dijk, Chunky Move has an enviable reputation nationally and internationally for producing a distinct yet unpredictable brand of genre-defying dance performance. The Company’s multi-tiered programming initiatives nurture a strong and vibrant dance culture in their home city of Melbourne.

The Executive Producer is responsible for the overall management of the Company, producing new works, initiating national and international touring and collaborations, and generating income through actively fundraising and developing entrepreneurial activities.

This position requires an impressive track record at a senior level in the performing arts, strong producing credentials, and excellent communication and management skills.

Your application should address the selection criteria and received no later than COB Tuesday 14 April 2015.

For position description and company profile, visit Chunky Move's website.

For further information contact Hillary Coyne,  Business and Program Manager on (03) 9645 5188 or email hillary@chunkymove.com.au.

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Tracks Dance Company position vacant: General Manager

Tracks Dance Company is looking for a general manager to manage the day-to-day operations of the organisation and play a leadership role in its marketing and sponsorship campaigns.

The successful applicant will have a passion for the arts and a desire to be an integral part of the Tracks Dance Company team under the artistic direction of David McMicken and Tim Newth.

Tracks is a recognised centre of excellence, producing exceptional performances built on an extended history of trusted community collaboration. The company, a not for profit organisation, is located in Darwin, Northern Territory.

For selection criteria and more information about the position, please contact Susan Congreve on susan@tracksdance.com.au or call 0488 287 042.

Applications close 5 pm Monday 20 April.

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2015 Hotbed #1 with Martin Nachbar—applications open

Hotbed is Lucy Guerin Inc’s workshop program for professional dancers and dance-makers. Workshops are led by local and international choreographers to encourage a broad understanding of the local dance community of current contemporary dance thinking and practice.

Dates: Monday 4 – Friday 9 May 2015
Times: Mon, Wed, Fri 11.30 am – 4.30 pm / Tues & Thurs 10.00 am – 3.00 pm
Venue: Lucy Guerin Inc studio, 28 Batman Street, West Melbourne
Price: $75 for the full week

Applications for workshop #1 with Martin Nachbar (Germany) close 15 April 2015.

Places are limited and by application only. Visit Lucy Guerin's website for more information and to apply online.

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Asia-Pacific Dance Bridge 2015: Connectivity through dance

16 – 18 October 2015

World Dance Alliance Singapore is proud to present the 2015 Annual General Meeting of World Dance Alliance Asia-Pacific alongside Asia-Pacific Dance Bridge 2015: Connectivity Through Dance.

Asia-Pacific Dance Bridge 2015: Connectivity through Dance aims to cultivate dance connectivity within Singapore’s own dance community as well as forge alliances between dancers, academics, educators and administrators throughout the Asia-Pacific region and beyond. The conference will consist of several events: Symposium, Choreolab, Community Showcase, Small Company and Independent Artist Showcase, Singapore Tertiary Showcase and Workshops.

These events will be presented in partnership with Singapore’s arts industry organisations located in Singapore’s arts & culture district including Esplanade Theatres on the Bay (Esplanade), Lasalle College of the Arts (Lasalle), Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA), National Library Building (NLB), and School of the Arts (SOTA).

The World Dance Alliance Asia-Pacific (WDAAP) Annual General Meeting, Network Meetings, Young Scholars Meeting as well as the World Dance Alliance Global Executive Meeting will also be hosted at NAFA.

Submissions deadlines

Call for Symposium: Closed
Call for Choreolab: 15 April 2015 Extended to 30 April 2015
Call for Community Showcase: 15 April 2015 Extended to 30 April 2015
Call for Small Company & Independent Artist Showcase: 15 April 2015 Extended to 30 April 2015
Call for Workshops: 15 April 2015 Extended to 30 April 2015

For further details of the event please visit the WDAS2015 website.

WDA members can register here now.

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Contemporary dance workshop in France

dance for the time being: situating contemporary dance through an examination of its provenance and heritage

Dordogne, France 19 – 31 July 2015

This summer intensive for professional dancers will elaborate the structures and processes that informed post modernism in embodied performance practices. Workshops will explore the practice of dancing and the agency of the dancer in a choreographic elaboration of the unstable body.

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Tanja Liedtke Fellowship

The Tanja Liedtke Foundation is is pleased to announce South Australian dancer and choreographer Gabrielle Nankivell as the winner of the 2015 Tanja Liedtke Fellowship. Congratulations to Gabrielle!

Gabrielle was also the inaugural recipient of the Keith Bain Choreographic Travel Fellowship, presented at the 2014 Australian Dance Awards last November.

Read the Media Release.

Previous TLF recipients have been Joseph Simons (2013) Antony Hamilton (2009) and Katarzyna Sitarz (2011).

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Announcing Jerril Rechter as keynote artist-in-conversation #2

Jerril Rechter is the CEO of VicHealth. She has extensive experience in leadership across the areas of government and not-for-profit sectors.

Jerril is a World Health Organization Advisor, a board member of the International Network of Health Promotion Foundations, a member of Victoria’s Justice Health Ministerial Advisory Council and a member of the Liquor Control Advisory Council.

She regularly presents at state, national and international conferences and events to share her experiences in health promotion, leadership, the arts, and the potential of innovations to improve health and wellbeing for everyone.

She has served on various state and national boards and committees, including VicHealth's, as Board Member from 2004 to 2010. Her Ministerial appointments have included the Victorian Eating Disorders Taskforce, Australia Day Committee Victoria, Australia Council for the Arts Deputy Chair Dance Board, Arts Tasmania Board, Brand Tasmania Board and the Community Leaders Group Tasmania.

Jerril is a recipient of a Centenary Medal, Tasmania Day Award, and Fellowships from the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust, Australia Council, Harvard Club of Australia, the Australian Davos Forum-Future Summit, and Williamson Community Leadership Program (Leadership Victoria).

Jerril holds a Master of Business Leadership from RMIT University. She has held executive positions at Leadership Victoria, Melbourne International Festival of the Arts, Footscray Community Arts Centre, and founded Stompin Youth Dance Company.

The National Forum is a partnership between the Australia Council for the Arts and Ausdance National.

Australian Government. Australia Council for the Arts

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2015 Winter Brisbane Contemporary Dance Intensive with Expressions Dance Company

Applications are now open

Brisbane Contemporary Dance Intensive: Winter 29 June – 3 July 2015 Apply Now

This biannual event is regarded as one of Australia’s best training programs in contemporary dance, led by a team of specially selected professional dancers and choreographers from around the country.

Join acclaimed guest teachers and EDC dancers as you participate in workshops with an intense focus on contemporary dance, its techniques and the industry, preparing you for a career in dance.

DATES | Monday 29 June – Friday 3 July 2015
VENUE | QUT Campus, Kelvin Grove, Brisbane
TIMES | 9 am – 5 pm Daily
COST | $570 per person

For more information email bcdi@expressionsdancecompany.org.au or call 07 3257 4222

Please Note: spaces are limited and entry is by application only.

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Announcing Lemi Ponifasio as keynote artist-in-conversation #1

National Dance Forum partners the Australia Council for the Arts and Ausdance National are thrilled to announce acclaimed New Zealand-based artist Lemi Ponifasio as the first keynote artist-in-conversation for NDF2015.

Lemi is a leading voice in contemporary dance and theatre making internationally, based in the Asia-Pacific, performing and collaborating worldwide. He will be in conversation with NDF2015 co-facilitator Fiona Winning on the afternoon of Thursday 19 March.

The second keynote and the full list of speakers will be unveiled in early February.

Lemi Ponifasio

Lemi PonifasioLemi Ponifasio. Photo: Christian Westerback

Theatre artist Lemi Ponifasio founded the MAU in Auckland in 1995, a collaboration of communities and artists from all over the world.

MAU is a Samoan word that means a declaration to the truth of a matter or revolution as an effort to transform.

In his artistic universe, Ponifasio orients the modern individual towards other dimensions of consciousness by way of the decelerated rhythm of his strict aesthetic, making use of striking images, movement and dynamic interplay of light and darkness. A pioneer at the international frontier of dance and theatre art, his theatre vision transcends the barriers between genres and cultures and transmits the universal power of art. Lemi Ponifasio presents his productions in such places as the Avignon Festival, BAM, Ruhrtriennale, Edinburgh International Festival, Theatre de la Ville Paris, London's Southbank, Holland Festival, Luminato Festival, Vienna Festival and Berliner Festspiele.

I AM, Ponifasio’s most recent work, premiered at the Avignon Festival 2014 followed by seasons at the Edinburgh International Festival, the Ruhrtriennale, Germany, and I AM MAPUCHE for Festival Santiago a Mil, Chile. His other creations include Birds With Skymirrors responding to the disappearing Pacific Islands, homelands to most of his dancers and devastated by climate change; Tempest: Without A Body, concerning our collective paralysis in the face of truth, symbolized by increased and unlawful use of state power post 9/11; Le Savali: Berlin confronting the imperial City of Berlin with its own communities, the young generation of immigrant families in search of belonging and constrained by threat of deportation; The Crimson House probing the nature of power and subjectivity in our panoptic state – a world that sees all and no longer forgets; and Stones In Her Mouth, a work with Maori women as transmitters of a life force through oratory, ancient chants, choral-work and dance. In 2012 Ponifasio staged the epic opera Prometheus by Carl Orff for the Ruhrtriennale.

Watch some of Lemi's work with MAU

Stones in her mouth (2014)

Birds with sky mirrors

Tempest: without a body

The Crimson House

 
The National Forum is a partnership between the Australia Council for the Arts and Ausdance National.
 
Australian Government | Australia Council for the Arts

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2015 World Dance Alliance events in Singapore

When: 16–18 October 2015
Where: Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA), Singapore

World Dance Alliance Singapore is proud to present the 2015 Annual General Meeting, Network Meetings and Young Scholars Meeting of World Dance Alliance Asia-Pacific as well as the Global Executive Meeting alongside the conference Asia-Pacific Dance Bridge 2015: Connectivity through Dance. Coinciding with the da:ns festival organised by the Esplanade, Singapore, conference events at venues located in Singapore’s arts and culture district are outlined below.

The conference aims to cultivate dance connectivity within Singapore’s own dance community as well as forge alliances between dancers, academics, educators and administrators throughout the Asia-Pacific region and beyond.

The conference will include scholarly papers, performative presentations and Pecha Kucha style presentations. Other conference events include showcases, a choreolab, masterclasses and workshops.

Asia-Pacific Dance Bridge 2015: Connectivity through Dance

Conference papers: call for abstracts

We now invite abstracts for presentations addressing the conference theme for the following categories by 2 March 2015. You will be notified of acceptance by 1 April 2015.

All modes of presentation require a 250-word abstract and a 100-word biography, plus up to four keywords to identify themes relevant to your topic. The conference will also include lunchtime conversations with invited speakers.

Email your proposal to Stephanie Burridge and cc Secretariat Sarah Knox.

Scholarly papers

Submit an abstract of 250 words maximum. These will be double-blind refereed by an international review committee as per academic research conventions and published in the conference proceedings.

Performative presentations

This format is designed to privilege the voice of practitioners through showing digital footage of a choreographic work or a community/teaching/video project they have undertaken. Proposals should comprise a 250-word concept statement of the practice/project, together with a 10-minute maximum online (Vimeo/YouTube) excerpt of recent work. Promotional footage will not be considered.

Pecha Kucha style presentations

(for students in Honours year and above)

Pecha Kucha is a presentation format in which 20 slides are timed to be shown each for 20 seconds (7 minutes total). Research students are encouraged to present in this format. Initial submissions are in the form of a 250-word abstract summarising the topic, methodology and summary of the research to date, with an extra page of no more than 7 contextual/bibliographic references in APA style. If selected, more detailed instructions on the format will be provided.

Associated performance events

There will be an opportunity for members to participate in the following events. Chapter Heads and members will be advised about application processes by 1 March.

Performance showcases

  • The Small Company/Independent Artist Showcase, chaired by Susan Yeung, will be presented at the Recital Studio, Esplanade. The focus will be on cutting-edge contemporary dance works by choreographers from the Asia-Pacific region. The collection of works speaks of a new generation of dance-making that is uniquely contemporary Asian.
  • The Singapore Tertiary Showcase will feature Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (coordinated by Gillian Tan) and Lasalle College of the Arts (coordinated by Susan Yeung). Both institutions will present their own dance works as well as a collaborative dance work in the Next Generation platform of Esplanade’s da:ns festival.
  • The Community Showcase, chaired by Peter Gn, will be presented at the Plaza @ National Library. It aims to celebrate the diversity of dance through enjoyable dance performances of amateur groups from the Asia-Pacific region.

Choreolab

Melissa Quek will chair the Choreolab in consultation with the Creation & Presentation Network Chair, Nanette Hassall. Selected emerging choreographers from the Asia-Pacific region will be in an intensive residence prior to the conference and will present works-in-progress during the conference.

Masterclasses and workshops

Masterclasses will include traditional and contemporary dance forms with international artists and choreographers from the Asia-Pacific region. Workshops addressing one or more of the following WDA network areas may also be presented: Research & Documentation, Creation & Presentation, Education & Training, Support & Development.

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Australia Day Honours 2015

Ausdance National congratulates those from the dance community recognised in this year's Australia Day Honours.

Member (AM) in the General Division of the Order of Australia

Ms Leanne Faye Benjamin OBE
For significant service to the performing arts, particularly ballet, as a dancer and role model. Principal, The Royal Ballet, London

Mr Noel Christian Tovey
For significant service to the performing arts, to Indigenous performers, and as an advocate forthe lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex community.

Medal (OAM) of the Order of Australia in the General Division

Miss Carole Oliver
For service to the performing arts through dance education. Founder, Owner and Artistic Director, Carole Oliver School of Ballet

Ms Daele Fraser
For service to the performing arts, particularly dance. President, Dance Master International Association.

Citations can be found at It's An Honour.

Nominations for Australian honours can be made all year round here.

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DANscienCE Festival 2015

21 – 23 August

Directed by Liz Lea and Associate Professor Gene Moyle, the 2015 DANscienCE Festival is a curated event that will provide an exciting oppportunity for scientists, artists, researchers and educators to explore and celebrate the synergies between these two fields of creativity.

DANscienCE focuses on the areas of cognitive psychology, applied dance science, technology, robotics and ecology/biology. The festival aims to foster partnerships between the community, research organisations and industry.

Participants will engage in panel discussions, present papers, observe demonstrations amd watch performances.DANscienCE will explore the breadth of the growing connections between dance and science, and the innovative approaches and projects that scientists and artists are already undertaking in both Australia and Internationally.

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New in 2015: 33% lower premiums for Aon dance insurance

Ausdance Public liability–33% lower premiums. New prices start January 1st, 2015. Buy online today.

After recent discussions with Ausdance, cashflow pressures were identified as an important issue for many Ausdance members throughout 2014. Following this feedback, Aon have strongly negotiated with insurers to secure a more affordable dance insurance package.

Aon are subsequently very pleased to announce that their dance insurance premiums are now 33% lower.

This discounted rate is available for new policies placed from 1 January 2015 and for all current Aon dance customers (see your renewal pack for more information).

For a no-obligation quote and option to buy online, visit Aon’s Ausdance page or give Aon’s Dance service team a call on 1800 805 191.

If you’d like to learn more about the importance of having public liability insurance as a dance business, check out a recent Aon article: How does public liability insurance protect me?

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SMUDGE: Phillip Adams BalletLab project auditions

SMUDGE: an exciting new collaboration between Phillip Adams BalletLab and artist Brook Andrew.

Phillip Adams BalletLab is seeking professional and experimental industry individuals from the wider sector of performing arts, interdisciplinary and visual arts practitioners that include researchers, architects, musicians, designers, etc. The project will require a level of physical/movement practice and understanding of contemporary performance and/or creative collaborations, depending on the discipline of the applicant, (e.g. an architect may be utilised to perform physically and create ‘spaces’ through objects placed in the space for performers).

SMUDGE 2015 creative development project dates: 11–29 May (three weeks full time Monday to Friday)

Read more…

Teaching dance, supporting children: information from Ausdance National

For almost thirty years Ausdance has been working with dance teaching societies, organisations and teachers looking for the best approach to support the industry and students. Ausdance continues to compile and distribute information and guidelines about dance training, focusing particularly on issues of quality and safety. The Australian Guidelines for Teaching Dance suggests minimum standards for dance teaching and ways teachers can maintain or upgrade their teaching skills. You can also access the code of ethics for dance teachers and for parents, information about child protection and choosing a dance studio for your child.

We remain committed to providing resources which help to facilitate the highest possible quality of dance education and training in this country. We continue to work with studio teachers, the broader dance sector and the wider community in reviewing and investigating additional strategies to ensure positive dance experiences within a dance-training environment.

Children have a fundamental right to be safe from any form of abuse while involved in dance, sport or any activities. This is a legal requirement as well as a moral obligation. Child protection requires a commitment from everyone, including individuals teaching or leading dance and movement activities, to ensure the dance environment is safe for all children.

We welcome your thoughts and feedback on these resources and the broader discussion on dance for young people. Please join the discussion and leave your thoughts below or contact us directly.

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New Artistic Director for Force Majeure

Jo Dyer, Chair of the Board of Force Majeure has announced the appointment of Danielle Micich as the incoming Artistic Director/CEO for the company, replacing founding Director Kate Champion. Jo said:

The Board of Directors is delighted that Danielle has accepted the role of Artistic Director of Force Majeure. Danielle’s body of work demonstrates an immensely talented and rigorous artist who has thought passionately and deeply about dance theatre and the role it occupies in the Australian and international arts landscape. We can think of no-one better to build on the wonderful legacy being left by Kate Champion. We believe that under Danielle’s leadership, Force Majeure will continue to flourish in the unique space Kate has carved out for us, a genuine cross-artform blend of theatre and dance, dedicated to exploring ideas and ourselves.

Danielle is currently a core artist with Performing Lines WA and recently premiered her new work Overexposed at the State Theatre Centre of WA. She is a graduate of the Victorian College of the Arts and was Artistic Director of STEPS Youth Dance Company in Perth for four years. Her choreography for Barking Gecko’s Driving Into Walls was nominated for a 2012 Helpmann Award.

Danielle said:

Watching Force Majeure over many years define its unique place in Australian theatre drew me towards making dance theatre myself. If anyone told me that the last ten years was preparation for something much bigger, I should have listened earlier. The many people and companies I have worked with along the way have shaped the artist I am today.

Working with Kate Champion was a defining moment. I knew then I would pursue my practice in dance theatre. It's a great honour to follow on from one of Australia’s finest Artistic Directors and continue her legacy. Seeing the bigger picture is one thing, but knowing how to contribute and lead is another. I am very excited about my role in the future of Force Majeure.

Danielle will join Executive Producer Bec Allen, the staff, Board and artists of Force Majeure in the position of Artistic Director/CEO in mid-2015.

Jo Dyer commented:

Kate had no involvement in the recruitment of her successor, so the Board was thrilled—and not a little relieved—that upon being advised of our choice for the role and Danielle’s subsequent acceptance of the job, Kate has thoroughly endorsed Danielle’s appointment.

Out-going Artistic Director/CEO Kate Champion:

After thirteen years building Force Majeure’s reputation as a dance theatre company that is artistically adventurous and thematically contemporary, I am delighted with the Board’s decision to appoint Danielle Micich as the new Artistic Director. Danielle is at a point in her career where her talent, passion and enthusiasm for the art form fits perfectly with the company’s creative legacy and vision for the future. This represents an exciting new stage in Force Majeure’s direction and one I wholeheartedly support.

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2014 highlights from the Ausdance network

Ausdance WA

It’s been another busy year for Ausdance WA with many memorable dance events and projects.

Our Act-Belong-Commit Dance 100 program included five separate projects to inspire, educate and engage with dance at all ages and levels. As well as live performances, lunch-time discos, secondary school workshops and film screenings, we piloted a new type of workshop series called Act-Belong-Commit Monkeyfunk. This paired young children and their parents together to play and groove with a dance artist and live musician and was a gorgeous example of the elation that dance can bring us both socially and physically.

Other highlights include the Regional Arts Australia Summit held in Kalgoorlie, the Ausdance skill set for Teaching Dance and our own West Australian Dance Awards, which celebrated excellence across the dance sector.

Catch up on all the Ausdance WA news at their website.

Ausdance QLD

It was a big year for Ausdance QLD. 12 artists and projects were supported with funded choreographic residencies, and an additional 370 hours of subsidised space for creative development was provided to Queensland dancers.

The year started with the city of Brisbane hosting the Australian Performing Arts Market for the first time, with Ausdance QLD supporting 10 artists to attend along with providing a dance-focused booth space. Partnering with Ausdance National, we also hosted a spectacular networking event.

But it was a big year for Brisbane, with the city also hosting the G20 summit in September—Ausdance facilitated opportunities for street and community dance artists to perform in public events by recruiting, assisting to schedule, contracting and paying all independent performers/small companies.

Along with technical workshops, skill development and participation in the World Dance Alliance, we’ve moved office a few times and will be returning to the Judith Wright Centre in early 2015.

Catch up on all the Ausdance Qld news at their website.

Ausdance NSW

Big Dance, the largest celebration of dance in the world took place in Australia for the first time on the Sunday 13 July 2014 at five locations: Sydney, London and Glasgow as well as two regional locations Port Macquarie and Bega.

In Sydney thousands dancers of all ages and abilities participated in this free special event at the Sydney Opera House. Big Dance was filmed at Sydney Opera House with live satellite links to London and Glasgow.

Check out the video from the day, including footage from London and Glasgow.

Ausdance NSW was proud to partner with Sydney Dance Company, Sydney Opera House and Big Dance UK in presenting Big Dance for the first time in Australia.

Another highlight for Ausdance NSW was hosting the Australian Dance Awards, again at the Sydney Opera House. The show included the presentation of 11 awards, an induction to the Hall of Fame, the presentation of the Keith Bain Choreographic Travel Fellowship and also an In Memoriam segment. The Awards presentations were built into an entertainment program that included nine performances highlighting the amazing talent of the Australian dance industry.

Attended by almost 1000 people the guests for the 2014 Australian Dance Awards  including representatives from National and State Arts Organisations, significant Dance organisations, National Ausdance Honorary Life Members, Board members and selection panel and of course nominees, presenters and performers.

Catch up on all the Ausdance NSW news at their new website.

Ausdance SA

In April, Ausdance SA successfully presented the Australian Youth Dance Festival. Held in Renmark on the border of South Australia and Victoria, this was the eighth Australian Youth Dance Festival (AYDF).

Ausdance SA said a sad farewell to outgoing director Phil Callaghan and welcomed Simon McMahon as new director.

Ausdance SA finished off an eventful 2014 with a successful Dance Teachers Day at AC Arts with over 45 participants and the informal showing for Choreolab 2014 at the Ausdance SA studio with over 34 guests. Thanks to all whom participated and supported these events.

Catch up on all the Ausdance SA news at their website.

Ausdance ACT

It was a big year for the ACT Youth Dance Fest. 2014 saw this unique event celebrate 30 years with 57 dance works, 37 high schools and colleges and over 1400 young dancers taking to the Canberra stage in a non-competitive sharing of dance, art and culture.

The success of the youth dance fest has led Ausdance ACT to develop the Move Up professional learning program for teachers, with the first summer course taking place in early 2015. The Move Up program delivers workshops and support so teachers can confidently effectively deliver the dance elements of the new Curriculum.

Professional dancers in Canberra were able to take part in low-cost professional classes, supported by Ausdance ACT to help build the independent dance community in the city. Artists also continued to access the auspicing services of Ausdance ACT and undertake development as part of the Strange Attractor series. Strange Attractor is about the dancer and the work—cultivating the dancer’s work of performance by providing time, space and provocations to guide their process.

Catch up on Ausdance ACT news at their website.

Ausdance Vic

2014 was a pretty big year for Ausdance Vic; we moved office and we said goodbye to old and hello to new staff and board members. This year we also delivered and co-presented some amazing projects:

What’s in store for 2015? We’re looking forward to programming the ‘I Could Have Danced All Night’ stage for White Night 2015 and working with Dance Massive in presenting the Open Studios Program and Master Classes.

Catch up on Ausdance Vic news at their website.

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New artistic leadership for Dancenorth

North Queensland’s contemporary dance company has announced the appointment of its new artistic leaders. In the wake of the company’s September announcement of a new structure to support a reinvigorated artistic model, Mr Trevor Goldstone, Chair of the Dancenorth’s Board of Directors, announced today (5 December) of the appointment of three artistic leaders who will steer the company into the future.

Read more…

National Dance Forum 2015: join our Volunteer Program

Are you passionate about dance?

Are you seeking experience in arts management/administration?

Do you want to have the opportunity to share ideas and discuss the most important issues facing the dance sector today?

NDF2015 is searching for bright, organised, motivated individuals interested in dance to be part of the National Dance Forum 2015 Volunteer Program. Volunteers will gain experience in arts management, access networking opportunities and participate in the National Dance Forum from 19 to 21 March 2015, free of charge, and all while being part of a valued team making the forum a fantastic and welcoming event.

Apply now

Please email a bio or CV outlining your relevant experience by Friday 6 February to NDF2015 co-producer Kath Papas on kp@kathpapas.net. Successful applicants will be notified mid February 2015. For any queries call Kath on 0422 570 837.

National Dance Forum, Melbourne 19–21 March 2015: energise your practice with discussion, reflection & networking; for three days connect with other creative minds & bodies; in March 2015 join us as we explore current professional practice in Australia

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A toast to the stars of West Australia’s vibrant dance sector

The West Australian Dance Awards raise a toast to the stars and rising stars of Western Australia’s vibrant dance sector.

The 2014 West Australian Dance Awards were celebrated on Wednesday 19 November at bamBOO (Luxe Bar Courtyard) in Highgate, WA.

Chrissie Parrott, December 2014The amazing career of this year’s recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award, Chrissie Parrott, was warmly celebrated. Chrissie Parrott's work spans five decades. As a performer, choreographer, teacher, director, independent artist and director, she has championed innovation in Western Australian dance. Photo: Andrea Evans

West Australian Ballet principal dancers Fiona Evans and Matthew Lehmann were both awarded for their Outstanding Performance in Onegin (West Australian Ballet, 2013).

The award for Outstanding Achievement in Youth or Community Dance was presented to independent artist Megan Wood-Hill for her production Men of The Red Earth, which was a community dance project produced for Roebourne Shire’s Red Earth Arts Festival in 2013 and performed by a group of all male miners and tradesmen.

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Why the arts curriculum review recommendations should be rejected!

Federal Education Minister Christopher Pyne commissioned the Review of the Australian Curriculum earlier this year and its recommendations were recently made public. The National Advocates for Arts Education (NAAE) have concerns about the recommendations that relate to The Australian Curriculum: The Arts.

Today the NAAE sent letters to the federal, state and territory education ministers asking them to reject these recommendations when they meet with Minister Pyne in December to consider the Review. Here is the NAAE's letter and detailed responses to each of the Review’s recommendations (see appendix).

The National Advocates for Arts Education believe that, after an extremely rigorous development and writing process by ACARA, in consultation with teachers and the arts industry, we have achieved a well-written and well-researched national arts curriculum that has been endorsed across the teaching and practice professions. The Australian Curriculum: the Arts was endorsed by state and territory Education Ministers in July 2013 (subject to resolution of some matters raised by one state). We are concerned the Review’s recommended changes would severely compromise a curriculum that has taken four years of careful work to produce.

The Arts curriculum must be allowed to follow ACARA’s evaluation process after being properly implemented by classroom teachers. All curriculum is reviewed and refined over time; however it is only after implementation and with consultation that this process should occur. Notably, most state and territory jurisdictions have already begun to seriously invest in the implementation of the Arts curriculum, and we do not believe that the recommendation to rewrite it has been justified.

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Annie Greig to depart Tasdance

Tasdance Artistic Director since 1997, Annie Greig, will be leaving the company in 2015. She says:

It has been a privilege to contribute to the rich history of Tasdance; however it is the right time for me to transition from the company next year. I am certain Tasdance will continue to go from strength-to-strength, proudly remaining Tasmania’s flagship contemporary dance company and an advocate for the growth of arts and cultural activities in regional Australia.

A real focus of my tenure has been to support young and emerging dancers and choreographers, and I get great satisfaction that I have been able to offer choreographic opportunities to over 50 of Australia’s dance practitioners. Additionally, with an emphasis on linking with regional audiences, it has been gratifying that the company has regularly toured our repertoire inter-state. I pay tribute and say thanks to all the artists, staff, supporters, sponsors and Board that I’ve connected with at Tasdance, and I look forward to witnessing the continued development of Tasdance in the years ahead.

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Bodies of Thought: 12 Australian Choreographers

This book on Australian contemporary dance focuses specifically on innovative choreographers, concentrating on a work by each with an accessible interview and an insightful essay by a leading dance writer. It is ideal for dance practitioners, students and researchers as well as seasoned dance audiences.

Beautifully designed and affordably priced, the book includes superb images of the dance works taken by Australia's best dance photographers.

Bodies of Thought: 12 Australian Choreographers features a generation of award-winning Australian choreographers with international reputations and legacies of influence: Kate Champion, Rosallnd Crisp, Tess De Quincey, Russell Dumas, Lucy Guerin, Sue Healey, Helen Herbertson, Gideon Obarzanek, Stephen Page, Garry Stewart, Meryl Tankard and Ros Warby.

The field of innovative dance in Australia is vibrant and diverse. With their extensive background as writers in the field, the aditors have created a collection of essays that offers a lucid account of a wide range of experimental dance work and conveys some of the excitement it generates in live performance.

—Jane Goodall, Adunct Professor, The University of Western Sydney.

Editors: Erin Brannigan, Senior Lecturer in Dance, School of Arts and Media, UNSW and Virginia Baxter, Managing Editor, RealTime.
Publishers: RealTime and Wakefield Press. RRP: $34.95

The RealTimeDance archive [1994-present] features a range of interviews, articles, reviews, video excerpts and links about the body of work of each of the twelve choreographers featured in this book, as well as providing information about those works and others which are available online or as DVDs or for loan. Visit the Dance Archive on the RealTime website to find out more. 

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Dame Maggie Scott: A Life in Dance

It is impossible to tell the story of dance in Australia without telling the story of Dame Margaret Scott, the founding Director of the School and a dancer and teacher of immense vision and intellect.

This book is a wonderful celebration of the life of Dame Maggie Scott, whose contribution to Australian dance over the last 67 years has been immense. This inspiring biography tells the incredible story of the pioneering figure of Australian ballet.

Born in Johannesburg in 1922, Maggie showed an early love of dance and was encouraged to go overseas for further training, but just six weeks after her arrival in the UK, war with Germany was declared. Scott toured relentlessly to entertain troops throughout the war and was a regular at Albert Hall. In 1942 she joined the esteemed Ballet Rambert, and travelled to Australia with them by ship in 1947. Her account of Australia in the 1940s is fascinating.

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The National Advocates for Arts Education respond to the Review of the Australian Curriculum

Media Release

The future of The Australian Curriculum: The Arts
A response to the Review of the Australian Curriculum, October 2014
(550 kb PDF)

The National Advocates for Arts Education (NAAE) acknowledge the Review of the Australian Curriculum – Final Report (pp.213–220) and welcome its general statements about the value of the arts in formal school education. The NAAE also welcomes the report’s emphasis on the need for greater teacher professional development in the arts.

However, we consider this review to be premature. There has been little opportunity to test the five arts subjects in the classroom, and, as we noted in our submission to the review, we ‘strongly urge the review panel to enable the Australian Curriculum: The Arts to be implemented in its present form, allowing processes of refinement to be managed by classroom teachers. It is a living document that can be refined by expert arts educators as it unfolds across the country’. Teachers need to implement, test and reflect on the current well-developed arts curricula and NAAE rejects the recommendation that ‘the content of each of the arts forms needs to be restructured and re-sequenced along the lines suggested by the (two) subject matter specialists employed by this review’.

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Motion capture

Edith Cowan University is excited to announce that WAAPA has a new motion capture facility that will be used to prevent injuries to dancers as well as a teaching and performance tool for its elite dancers.

This facility is the only motion capture setup of its kind to incorporate the skills of a biomechanist directly into a university dance program in the interest of preventing dance injuries.

What makes motion capture at Mount Lawley unique is that we have access to a large cohort of talented dancers, in addition to scientific and artistic academics who are willing and able to use the lab in the investigation of the prevention of dance injuries.

—Dr Luke Hopper, Biomechanist and health in performing arts specialist, ECU

Read the extended articles

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Artistic Director for new WA contemporary dance company

One of Australasia’s foremost dance practitioners and pioneers, Raewyn Hill has been appointed as Artistic Director of the new WA contemporary dance company.

Raewyn created numerous critically acclaimed works for Dancenorth including the cry (2010), Black Crows (2010) and MASS (2011). Under her leadership, the company has performed the award-nominated MASS at the Brisbane Festival and the Downstage Theatre in Wellington. She also created a new work, Fugue (2012), for The Australian Ballet’s 50th Anniversary and performed at The State Theatre in Melbourne, premiered Allegories at the Brisbane Festival (a collaboration with Queensland Ballet, Expressions Dance Company and Dancenorth), created a new solo A Fall from Grace that premiered at The Australian Festival of Chamber Music (2013) and premiered Flock at Tokyo’s National Art Centre (2014).

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2014 Lifetime Achievement Award

Congratulations Leigh Warren!

The Australian Dance Awards committee is happy to announce that the Lifetime Achievement Award for 2014 will be presented to Leigh Warren at the Sydney Opera House on 9 November in recognition of a lifetime dedicated to dance.

Leigh has made an outstanding national and international contribution to dance as a performer, choreographer, teacher, director and mentor over four decades. Leigh’s impeccable technique and mesmeric performances as a dancer saw him perform with The Australian Ballet, Ballet Rambert, Nederlands Dans Theater, Nureyev and Friends and other international companies.

Leigh’s choreographic career spans over 30 years during which he has been acclaimed for his exceptional musicality and seamless, fluid, inventive works, covering a wide range of subject matter which he explores in depth. An outstanding and inspiring teacher, Leigh crosses both classical and contemporary techniques, training dancers of exceptional quality, and is equally sought after as a mentor, influencing a generation of dancers and dance makers.

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Help us shape the NDF2015 program: submit your ideas, proposals and feedback

Submit your ideas and proposals

Please use the NDF2015 proposals form (1MB PDF) to submit your ideas and feedback. Email the form to NDF2015 by Friday 3 October 2014.

We welcome your suggestions for topics, speakers or proposals for sessions including but not limited to:

  • Five-minute presentations that may be thematically grouped with others to form the basis for longer sessions that will include both presentations and discussion
  • 'Pecha kucha' style presentations (20 slides x 20 seconds)
  • Studio-based sessions such as lecture demonstrations

Please note: proposals for showings and classes will not be eligible. NDF2015 is about fostering critical dialogue, and there will be other avenues for showings through Dance Massive managed by Ausdance Victoria. For more information visit Dance Massive.

Give us your feedback

We encourage any feedback you have about the proposed NDF2015 lines of focus:

  • Transforming the form: changing structures and their effects
  • The subtleties and nuances of innovation.
  • Discourse: How is dance written about, spoken about and communicated?

Please use the NDF2015 proposals form and complete the feedback section.

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Ministers agree about the importance of arts education

The National Advocates for Arts Education (NAAE) continue their work to ensure the entitlement of every young Australian to an arts education, one that includes all five artforms—dance, drama, media arts, music and the visual arts.

In August representative of NAAE met in Brisbane progressing discussion on the role of the Minister for Arts, working with the Minister for Education, to support arts education. NAAE was pleased to hear that there had been agreement between Ministerial offices about the importance of arts education, and the centrality of the arts to a liberal education.

The meeting noted NAAE’s support for Minister Brandis’s statement about ‘taking the arts to a new place of creative excellence’.

Read the full statement from NAAE.

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Kate Champion resigns from Force Majeure

Artistic Director and CEO of Force Majeure, Kate Champion today announced her resignation from the company she founded in 2002. After 12 years at the helm she will be resigning at the completion of her pre-existing duties in 2015.

Force Majeure, the company I established together with my colleagues Roz Hervey and Geoff Cobham, has been the most important and meaningful manifestation of my career as a choreographer and director so far. The experiences I’ve had, working with the collaborating artists, producers, staff and crew, are amongst my most cherished and we’ve achieved a great deal since the premiere of our first major work, "Same, same But Different" in 2002.

Inching our way from life as a project based concern through to annual funding, then as an ‘emerging Key Organisation’ to finally becoming a Key Organisation in 2012. I’m satisfied that I have fulfilled all I had hoped and dreamt of for the company during my tenure as founding director and I now wish to take the opportunity to explore new creative possibilities outside the framework of a company structure.

—Kate Champion

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ACHPER International Conference calls for papers/presentations

3 – 15 April 2015, Adelaide

The Australian Council for Health, Physical Education and Recreation (ACHPER) invites submissions for presentations at the 29th ACHPER International Conference: Values into Action—A Brighter Future.

Presentations will be structured in concurrent sessions of 20 minutes, 45 minutes or 90 minutes in length, and can be structured as a paper, presentation, workshop, forum, or poster under one of the following sub themes:

  • the educative purpose of health and physical education
  • strengths based health and physical education
  • learning in, through and about movement
  • health literacy
  • critical inquiry and problem solving in health and physical education
  • sport pedagogies

Deadline for submissions: 10 September 2014.

To submit your abstract, or for further details about the submission process, please visit the ACHPER website.

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Keir Choreographic Award—winner announced

The inaugural Keir Choreographic Award has been awarded to Atlanta Eke. The People's Choice Award went to Sydney artist Jane McKernan, as selected by audience members at the grand final at Carriageworks.

Four of the eight commissioned artists—Sarah Aiken, Matthew Day, Atlanta Eke, Jane McKernan—competed for the inaugural award at Carriageworks in Sydney in July.

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Dancehouse residency programs

The Housemate programs reflect Dancehouse's commitment to advancing innovative contemporary dance in Australia by instigating and nurturing rigorous discourse and encouraging wide-ranging, movement-based experimentation and innovative choreographic practices.

Both Performance and Research Housemate programs provide the artist with extensive time, generous financial support and a thoroughly mentored environment. The Housemate program is one of the very few fully paid artist-in-residence programs in the world. Artists are given between 8 and 14 weeks of free studio space, a salary package (or pro rata), and administrative, mentoring and production support. Housemates are selected by a peer advisory panel from a national call for applicants.

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Honours for dance—Cheryl Stock AM

The Ausdance National Council, staff and network congratulate former National President, foundation member, advisor and collaborator Cheryl Stock on being made a member (AM) in the general division of the Order of Australia. Cheryl's AM is For significant service to the performing arts as a choreographer, educator and administrator. This is a wonderful acknowledgement of a long and outstanding career.

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Dance Movement Therapy Conference

The Dance Movement Therapy Association of Australasia and the Hanny Exiner Memorial Foundation are pleased to collaborate in presenting the fourth dance movement therapy conference in Melbourne, Australia.

The conference will explore how dance movement therapy and other creative arts therapies can function as single and multi-modal approaches to health and healing; and how dance movement therapists can make valued contributions to multi-disciplinary teams.

Dance movement therapy conference: 12–14 July 2015, Melbourne
Pre and post conference workshops and activities: 9–14 July.

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Creative tax deductions

The financial year ends soon, so why not make a tax-deductible donation that supports your favourite art form.

Through givenow.com.au, some of Australia's best dance companies are now inviting you to help support new Australian work, choreographic development, kids dance activities, community dance and dance touring.

Imagine yourself attending a work you helped make happen! Here's your chance.

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Sydney Dance Company Heritage Collection

SDC is excited to announce that work has commenced on the editing and digitising of film and video recordings of some of the major works created by long-standing former Artistic Director, Graeme Murphy AO and his Creative Associate, Janet Vernon AM. 

Image: Salome, 1998 Choreography: Graeme Murphy. Dancers: Josef Brown, Tracey Carrodus and Bradley Chatfield. Photo: Lois Greenfield

 

The Heritage Collection will include re-mastered films of many works created by Murphy on the Sydney Dance Company ensemble during his 31 year tenure from 1976–2007, in addition to a new documentary resource of Murphy in conversation, interweaving a myriad of interviews filmed over a period of three decades, with new footage in which he reflects on his body of work.

A free screening of a selection of works from the Collection is being planned for October. For a sneak peek, check out this teaser.  

Download the full Media Release for more information.

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World Alliance for Arts Education Global Summit 2014 calls for abstracts

Theme: ‘Transform: from inception to innovation in arts education’

We invite you to share your research evidence, innovations and best practices in arts education globally.

Participation in this summit is by invitation only. If you are successful you will be part of approximately 90 presentations from quality arts educators across the globe in dance, drama, media arts, music, visual arts and cross-arts education.

Abstracts due 30 June 2014.

Summit date and location

26 – 28 November 2014
Griffith University, School of Education and Professional Studies, Mt Gravatt Campus, Brisbane

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The Federal Budget 2014

The Federal Budget for 2014 was announced on 13 May with some big impacts for the arts sector.

The Government will look to achieve savings of $87.1 million over four years by reducing 'uncommitted funding to arts programmes' administered by the Attorney‑General's Department (the Ministry of Arts), the Australia Council for the Arts, and Screen Australia. In 2014-15 these cuts will be $9.6 million from the Australia Council specifically, with $6 million in 2015-16.

There are cuts to the Adelaide Festival Centre's support for Asian cultural activities program, and a raft of changes slated for the collecting institutions based in Canberra (including the National Library of Australia, National Gallery of Australia and others). There are also cuts in education, with the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) facing efficiencies and refocusing of its work.

However, the Government has supported the Australian Ballet School, with $1 million towards the purchase of a residence for boarding accommodation for students at the School.  Funding has also been extended for Creative Partnerships Australia - $5.4 million over four years. However, the agency is being asked to manage efficiencies, with a halving of the staffing profile.

The Government is bringing back the Community Business Partnership to advise on philanthropy in Australia. The Community Business Partnership, to be chaired by the Prime Minister, will bring together prominent business and community leaders to provide leadership and high level advice for encouraging growth in volunteering and philanthropy and promote partners.

For further analysis read the views of some arts academics at The Conversation and the full Australia Council Portfolio Budget Statement

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Vale Gailene Stock CBE AM

Gailene Stock AM CBE 
28.1.1946 – 29.4.2014

Australian-born Gailene Stock, Director of the Royal Ballet School since 1999 and former Director of The Australian Ballet School, has passed away following a battle with cancer.

Gailene trained as a dancer in Australia and then at the Royal Ballet Upper School as a result of a scholarship awarded by the Royal Academy of Dance. As a principal artist with The Australian Ballet, the National Ballet of Canada and the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, she performed many leading roles in the major classics and twentieth century dramatic works, most notably John Butler's Sebastian and Antony Tudor's Pillar of Fire and The Divine Horsemen.

Following a sixteen year dancing career, Gailene accepted the position of director of the National Theatre Ballet School, Victoria, for eight years and The Australian Ballet School for nine years, before taking on the role of director of the Royal Ballet School in 1999.

Internationally acclaimed, Gailene's knowledge and experience was regularly sought in the dance community worldwide. She participated as a jury member in many international competitions including in the role of president of the Prix de Lausanne, Switzerland and the Youth America Grand Prix, New York.

Gailene was made a Member of the Order of Australia in 1997 and awarded a CBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours list in 2013.

The Ausdance networks pays tribute to Gailene for a lifetime of outstanding achievements in dance and dance education.

Read obituary by Valerie Lawson in the Sydney Morning Herald

Read obituary in the UK Telegraph

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Pay the dancers

The payment of professional dancers has been an important discussion over the last few days for independent performers in Australia. Following an initial call-out for performers to be part of a new video clip for Kylie Minogue filming on Friday 25 April, concerns were raised about remuneration for participating dancers. 

Paul Malek of Dancechat and Jordan Beth Vincent, President of Ausdance Victoria have helped raised awareness of the ongoing problems associated with the valuing of performers in the commercial dance sector, noting this is not an isolated incident.

Ausdance believes that dancers are trained professionals who study and work hard to maintain their performance abilities. Like other artists, they deserve recognition and remuneration for the work they do. There may be times a dancer chooses to donate their skills and time, but we hope a professional video opportunity would come with professional remuneration.

The Media Entertainment Arts Alliance have been in negotiations with the production company since the filming was announced, resulting in award payments now being offered to performers under the Broadcast and Recorded Entertainment Award.

Ausdance and MEAA will continue discussions with dancers on how best to support dancers to access appropriate remuneration.

Ausdance Victoria is currently surveying free-lance and studio based teachers of dance on rates of pay and qualifications. Participate here before 30 June.

If you have any thoughts on this topic please leave them in the comments below.

You can read more about the issue here.

Contribute to the twitter discussion

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Complete nominations list for 2014 Dance Awards

Here is the long list of nominees for 2014 Australian Dance Awards.

This list, along with recorded excerpts of performances, will go to the Selection Panel who will vote on a shortlist of the top four contenders in each category.

The shortlist will be announced late July/early August. Shortlisted nominees will be notified directly before the public announcement.

The winners will be announced at the 2014 Australian Dance Awards in Sydney on Sunday 9 November.

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Ausdance 2013 Annual Report

The Ausdance National Council met in Canberra in late March for strategic discussion and our Annual General Meeting.

The Annual Report of activities for 2013 highlighted some great achievements over the year, including the National Dance Forum 2013, Australian Dance Awards and the Dance Education in Australian Schools roundtable.

The AGM also included election of the executive team for 2014–16. Congratulations and big thanks to President Brian Lucas, Vice-Presidents Claudia Alessi and Marilyn Miller and Treasurer Peter Bayliss. We appreciate your leadership, insights and dedication of volunteer time.

Motions of thanks were also adopted in recognition of long-time Ausdance SA Director Phil Callaghan, who finished up with Ausdance earlier this year, and Catherine Osborn – Ausdance WA President and National Council member who is finishing her term in May after six years in these roles.

The National Council also undertook some strategic discussions on the structure and focus of Ausdance National with Kristine Riethmiller of KMR Consulting. These discussions will continue across the year, please stay tuned for opportunities to include your thoughts.

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Keith Bain on Movement

Keith Bain—champion dancer, actor, choreographer and legendary teacher of movement at NIDA—was the first in Australia to create a comprehensive discipline in the study of movement for performance.

For over fifty years Keith profoundly influenced Australia's actors and dancers for stage and screen and his book is full of examples of the gentle wisdom recalled by many. With wit and simplicity he unveils the sources behind his belief in the infinite capacity of the human body to convey emotion and defy gravity.

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Supporting arts in the curriculum

Ausdance National has prepared a submision to the review of the Australian Curriculum. The review has been established by the Federal Government to examine the development and implementation of the Australian Curriculum.

In February the National Curriclum for the Arts was published and we are keen to see it implemented. Ausdance has long been an advocate for well-resourced and informed curricula for dance and the arts. The benefit of a consistent curriculum across jurisdictions allows teachers, educators and arts professionals to develop and share approaches to learning.

Read Ausdance National's submision to the review of the Australian Curriculum.

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2014 UNESCO International Arts Education Week

Arts for Peace

19–24 May

On 23 May 2012 Irina Bokova, Director General, United Nations Education, Science and Culture Organisation (UNESCO), launched the inaugural International Arts Education Week (IAEW) at UNESCO Headquarters, Paris.

Attended by leading international arts education scholars and practitioners, the shared vision was to define an integrated strategy that responds to a critical moment in human history: social fragmentation, a dominant global culture of competition, endemic urban and ecological violence, and the marginalization of key educational and cultural languages of transformation.

The launch and celebration drew attention to the role arts education plays in a global agenda of peace and cultural understanding (see UNESCO charter).

Read Sir Ken Robinson's inaugural International Arts Education Week message.

Advocacy kit

The World Alliance for Arts Education (WAAE) is pleased to launch an advocacy kit that celebrates the contributions of the arts to the lives and learning experiences of individuals and groups across the globe.

The advocacy kit has been developed  by WAAE members A/Prof Ralph Buck (World Dance Alliance) and Dr Robin Pascoe (International Association for Drama/Theatre Education) in collaboration with representatives from InSEA and ISME.

The kit is intended to provide those involved in arts education in schools and communities with ideas and practical strategies to promote the arts disciplines as a fundamental human right. The kit also provides an historical overview of the WAAE and its organisation, and the contributions and partnerships that exist between the arts education sector, UNESCO and other key organisations.
 

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Publication of The Australian Curriculum: The Arts

Five art forms for all young Australians!

The Australian curriculum for the arts, health and physical education, technologies, economics and business, and civics and citizenship for Foundation – Year 10 is now available on the Australian Curriculum website.

The publication of The Australian Curriculum: The Arts represents a special moment in the history of Australian dance education, with dance now officially one of five art form subjects in the national curriculum. States and territories and education authorities will determine implementation timelines for schools. This is the result of many years of advocacy by Ausdance through the National Advocates for Arts Education (NAAE) and the Australia Council with teachers, associations, education departments and State and Territory education ministers.

However, the Education Minister has recently decided to review the National Curriculum and the NAAE has made a submission to this Review, calling for the implementation of the Arts curriculum in its present form. The NAAE is concerned about the prospect of more delays and tweaking that may result in a less-than-optimal curriculum. The NAAE acknowledges that there is some content that is still subject to further revision, but this revision must take place in the context of rigorous trials by classroom teachers.

The Chairman of the ACARA board, Professor Barry McGaw has made a clarifying statement about the cross-curriculum priorities noting that they are "options, not orders".

Sandra Gattenhof, Assoc. Professor, QUT Creative Industries Faculty, School of Media, Entertainment, Creative Arts, Drama said:

This is a historic moment in Australian arts curriculum. For the first time ever, and even internationally I would argue, we have a curriculum that provides an entitlement for young Australians to all five art forms. This will have enormous implication on the expectations of what can be achieved in secondary schools, in tertiary institutions and ultimately on the cultural life and heritage for Australia.

Watch Sandra Gattenhof's keynote delivered at the Educators' Performing Arts Market.

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Talking dance—meet the makers at the 2014 Australian Performing Arts Market

Ausdance celebrates Australian dance makers at APAM 2014

In February 2014, Ausdance National and Ausdance Queensland hosted Talking dancemeet the makers, a networking event for the dance makers participating in the Australian Performing Arts Market (APAM).

The following slideshow, which was projected during the event, showcases the latest work of Australian dance companies and independent dance artists who were presenting work at APAM 2014.

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Benefits of arts participation in schools

The Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA), Sydney University and the Australia Council for the Arts have just released this video about how participation in the arts at school has valuable and long-term benefits for children of all ages and abilities, in terms of both academic and non-academic outcomes and achievements.

Studies have shown that students who frequently participate in the arts are "more academically engaged...and motivated...and also have higher self-esteem..and a greater sense of meaning in life."

Speakers are Associate Professor Michael Anderson (Sydney University) Dr David Sudmalis (Australia Council for the Arts) and Professor Andrew Martin (Sydney University)

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Review of The Australian Curriculum: The Arts

The National Advocates for Arts Education (NAAE) made a submission to the review panel for the Australian Curriculum (500 KB PDF) strongly urging it to recommend that the Australian Curriculum: The Arts be implemented in its present form. The NAAE said that processes of refinement should be managed by classroom teachers piloting the curriculum, not a review panel.

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Australia Day honours

Ausdance National congratulates all those from the dance community recognised in the Australia Day honours.

Co-Directors of Tracks Dance, David McMicken and Tim Newth, have been recognised by being made members (AM) in the General Division of the Order of Australia. David and Tim have been recognised for their tireless work with Tracks Dance and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in the Northern Territory. Tracks Dance were also recognised at the 2013 Australian Dance Awards for outstanding outstanding achievement in youth or community dance.

Ausdance National life member and former President Sue Street was made an Officer (AO) in the General Division for ‘distinguished service to the performing arts, particularly to dance education at a tertiary level, as a teacher and administrator, to professional organisations, and as a mentor’.

Professor David Throsby was also made an Officer (AO) in the General Division for ‘distinguished service to the community as a leading cultural economist, to the promotion and preservation of Australian arts and heritage, and to tertiary education'. David authored Dance in Australia - A Profile.

Lucinda Dunn, principal with The Australian Ballet, was recognised with an OAM for service to the performing arts through ballet. Entertainer Rhonda Burchmore also recieved an OAM for service to the performing arts and to the community.

Nominations for Australian honours can be made all year round here.

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Journal of Emerging Dance Scholarship

The Journal of Emerging Dance Scholarship (JEDS) is published annually in September by the World Dance Alliance (WDA). It is designed to serve the needs of international dance scholars who are currently enrolled in a graduate program or within 5 years of having graduated from a graduate program in dance or a related field.

JEDS is published online as an open resource. Articles are selected to assure dance scholarship from around the world is included in each publication.Each article submission is reviewed by two international dance scholars with no more than 16 submissions accepted for the annual publication. Articles are chosen based on originality of research and the contributions each makes to the future of dance praxis (theory and practice).

JEDS Vol. 2 will be published 1 September, 2014

JEDS 2015 Vol. 3, will be comprised only of blind-reviewed papers selected from those presented at the 2014 World Dance Alliance Global Summit in Angers, France.

Visit the JEDS website to find out more.

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Celebrating Dance in the Asia Pacific—2 new books

Evolving Synergies: Celebrating Dance in Singapore

by Dr. Stephanie Burridge & Dr. Caren Cariño

Evolving Synergies tells the Singapore dance story and will be of interest to dance teachers, lecturers, researchers and students in universities, colleges, schools of higher education, the education sector including junior colleges, the professional dance world and professional dance training institutions.

It crosses into many fields that are offered at graduate and post-graduate level including anthropology, ethnography, philosophy and religion, social and cultural studies, arts criticism and aesthetics, theatre studies, women's studies, politics, inter-disciplinary arts, teaching pedagogy and many more.

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Congratulations to Aimee Smith

West Australian dancer and choreographer Aimee Smith has received a 2013 Realise Your Dream Award through the British Council Australia. The award includes an individual professional development program based in the UK, return flights and $5000.

Aimee was recognised with the Award for Emerging Artist at the 2007 WA Dance Awards, after graduating from WAAPA in 2004. Aimee’s projects and performances have included working across the globe in places such as the Arctic Circle, India, Japan and Taiwan. She has recently completed a Masters in Sustainability. You can find out more about Aimee's work here.

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Laurel Martyn remembered

Ausdance extends our sympathies to the family, former students and colleagues of Laurel Martyn OBE.

Laurel was awarded a lifetime achievement award at the 1997 Australian Dance Awards, in recognition of her years of choreography, performance and teaching. Born in Toowoomba, Queensland in 1916 Laurel was the first Australian woman to be accepted into Vic-Wells Ballet (later Sadler’s Wells Ballet) in 1936, and was a featured soloist by 1938.

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Dance historians captured on radio

Over many years the National Library of Australia has been researching and archiving some of Australia's dance history, and in a nice twist, two of our leading researchers have had their stories captured by ABC radio.

As part of the Canberra Close-up series, produced by radio station ABC666, Michelle Potter, inaugural Curator of Dance at the National Library (2002 – 2006) and Lee Christofis, Curator (2006 – 2013), have shared their experiences capturing some important moments in dance history.

Listen in: Michelle Potter   Lee Christofis

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NAAE concerned for future of UNESCO cultural program

National Advocates for Arts Education (NAAE), have expressed concern UNESCO has recently voted to downgrade its cultural program (including arts education), thus risking the program's eventual elimination. Writing to the Australian National Commission for UNESCO, NAAE have outlined concerns about the possible downgrading of UNESCO's cultural program, and requesting Australia's representatives prioritise this program when it votes again at its November meeting. NAAE also acknowledges the leadership role UNESCO has played as an active advocate for Arts Education internationally.

Toshi Kawaguchi, Secretary-General of the Australian National Commission for UNESCO has recently responsed:

Australia is not a member of the Executive Board. As such, we were not involved in the decision. The Australian National Commission for UNESCO intends to participate in the General Conference, however, and has registered National Advocates for Arts Education’s (NAAE) views. We appreciate your input as the peak national arts education association.

Australia has much to offer in the cultural and arts education sphere and places value in arts education, including working to elevate creativity and cultural expression nationally.  As you note, education ministers endorsed the Australian Curriculum for the arts in July 2013 so that for the first time, all Australian students from Foundation to Year Ten will have access to an arts education that covers five art forms of drama, dance, media arts, music and visual arts.  To the credit of cultural bodies such as NAAE and Drama Australia, the Australian Curriculum for the arts recognises the opportunities that the arts learning area offers students in relation to further developing their general capabilities such as literacy, personal and social capability, and intercultural understanding.
 

NAAE will continue to monitor the progress of the decision and the outcome of the General Conference.

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DEAS2013 report

In schools there are some good dancers, some who are not. But it doesn’t matter. Dance should be accessible, enjoyable and shared.

These wise words from ACT teacher Mardi Roberts-Bolton underlined why Ausdance continues to focus on Dance Education in Australian Schools (DEAS). The 2013 DEAS forum, with a new national curriculum on the horizon, was focused on providing teachers and policy makers with the capacity to ensure dance is accessible and enjoyed by all. DEAS2013 took place in Melbourne from 26 to 27 September. Policy makers and professional dancers from across Australia joined together for two days of learning, sharing and practical skills development.

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2013 Australian Dance Week

The Ausdance network celebrates and promotes dance in all its forms every year during Australian Dance Week (ADW).

The dates for the opening and closing of Australian Dance Week vary slightly from state to state according to local events, but it always takes place during the first week of May and follows International Dance Day which is 29 April. Each state and territory Ausdance coordinates a variety of events from book launches and forums to free performances and community classes, and encourages its dance community to promote their own activities throughout the week.

ADW2014 will run from 3 – 11 May.

Contact your local Ausdance to find out how you can get involved in Australian Dance Week 2014.

Here is a sample of some the ADW activities that happened in 2013...

WA

Events in Perth and Western Australia included performances at the State Theatre Centre, WAAPA, King St Arts Centre and Forest Place;  open rehearsals at the West Australian Ballet Centre; many and varied workshops, forums and films screenings. The Perth dance community had the privilege of working with Phillip Channells (Director of Dance Integrated Australia and former Artistic Director of Restless Dance Theatre) who shared his expertise in working with performers and dance-makers of all abilities/disabilities.

The second Oral Histories Project was launched with a gathering of celebrated WA dancers, choreographers, critics, arts managers and teachers on 29 April. This project, commenced in 2011 by Varnya Bromilow and Michelle Saunders, consists of 22 interviews of key WA dance artists and supporters. The first oral histories project was completed by Lynn Fisher and colleagues in 1990, and it was a real joy for Ausdance WA to launch the second installment to this important endeavour.

SA

Ausdance SA presented it's annual free multicultural dance showcase for local dance groups in Rundle Mall featuring a diverse range of styles that included Bollywood, bellydance, hip hop, breakdance and more.

Just a few of the performers at Ausdance SA's free dance spectacular in Rundle Mall. Photos: Alexander Waite Mitchell

ACT

Every ADW Ausdance ACT presents free performances at the Belconnen Fresh Food markets, as well as coordinating dozens of free classes all over town for anyone to sample. ADW2013 was bigger than ever as Canberra celebrated its centenary. The Albert Hall was jumping with its Kick Up Your Heels swing dance party & workshop with Canberra’s own Jumptown! Swing and the wonderful Spectrum Big Band. The variety of dance on offer was impressive: salsa, hip hop, Hilal, clogging, bush dance, African, Bollywood, tap, zumba—you name it!

QLD

Ausdance QLD hosted an exciting 5-night showcase of short works from the Queensland's best independent dancers and choreographers. The work was cutting edge, passionate, daring and varied. There were two big performance events at the Judith Wright Centre: Big Dance Night Out was a showcase from the biggest and best crews, ensembles and troupes of Brisbane’s professional studios; Stay Up Later gave Brisbane’s dance schools and students an opportunity to come together and show their skills and creativity.

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International Solo Dance Theatre Festival

Registrations are now open for the 18th International Solo Dance Theatre Festival—a tribute to Tanja Liedtke, in Stuttgart 13 – 16 March 2014.

The festival provides a competitive platform for contemporary choreographers and young dancers. Choreographers and dancers from around the world are requested to perform a solo piece which is new, original, imaginative, unique and which displays unusual achievement.

The festival aims to provide an overall view of the latest trends in the solo dance-theatre scene. A respected jury will judge choreographic and dance skills as well as musicality, interpretation and performance.

For conditions of entry visit the TREFFPUNKT Rotebuehlplatz website.

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Buzz & STEPS to form new company

The Boards of STEPS Youth Dance and Buzz Dance Theatre plan to create a new West Australian contemporary dance company.

The unanimous decision by both Boards has come after months of consultation. STEPS and Buzz will continue their respective operations until the end of 2014.

Pamela-Jayne Kinder, Chair of Buzz, said the State Government’s Future Moves investment of $1.6 million over four years has strengthened the contemporary dance sector in Western Australia, and the Boards see this as an important response in creating a more sustainable future for the dance sector.

The new company will continue to inspire young people, offer extraordinary dance experiences for young people, support dance in education, and maintain creative opportunities for choreographers.

Read the full Media Release.

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2013 Lifetime Achievement Award

The Australian Dance Awards committee is happy to announce that the Lifetime Achievement Award for 2013 will be presented to Ronne Arnold in recognition of a lifetime dedicated to dance.

Ronne has inspired generations of audiences and dancers as a stunning performer, a dynamic choreographer and teacher, and as an academic who has presented and published his research into Aboriginal dance.

Born in Philadelphia, Ronne completed a dance degree in the US with special emphasis on Laban notation. He first came to Australia in 1960 to appear in West Side Story, and has lived here almost continuously since, performing, choreographing and teaching for companies and training institutions throughout the country.

Ronne was founder and Artistic Director of the Australian Contemporary Dance Company from 1967 – 72. The company made history by touring regional NSW and Queensland and bringing a new contemporary repertoire to audiences.

Passionate about Australia’s Indigenous dance, Ronne completed an MA in 1991, researching the dances of the Wanam people of Cape York Peninsula. He taught in various capacities at the National Aboriginal and Islander Skills Development Association (NAISDA College) from 1986 until 2003.

(l) Photo: Peter Andrews  (r) Ronne with Robina Beard OAM, in New Blues, Australian Contemporary Dance Company.

Ongoing partner of the Australian Dance Awards, Bloch Dance Australia is pleased to continue its support of the Awards. Bloch’s National Manager–Dance Products & Services Australasia, Sandie Windsor-Richards said

we are delighted that Ronne Arnold is this year's recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award and has been recognised for his generosity of spirit and love of dance.

Ronne is an outstanding pioneer who has made a major contribution to contemporary dance in Australia.

The Australian Dance Awards 2013 are presented by Harlequin Floors with Ausdance ACT.

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Dr Alan Brissenden inducted into Australian Dance Awards Hall of Fame

Dr Alan Brissenden AM was inducted into the Hall of Fame at the 2013 Australian Dance Awards by Robyn Archer AO and David McAllister AM in recognition of his distinguished services to the dance profession.

Alan has made an enormous impact on how we view dance, with an extraordinary 60 years of dance criticism and scholarly writings. His acute perceptions, developed through an eager engagement with dance and all the other performing arts, have provided insightful reflections and commentaries on Australia's constantly changing dance landscape.

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New awards celebrating Australian Arts in Asia

The winners of the inaugural Australian Arts in Asia Awards have been announced. These awards recognise, celebrate and promote the significant number of Australian artists contributing to stronger, deeper and broader cultural links with Asian nations.

Minister for Arts, The Hon Tony Burke MP said

Australia’s engagement in Asia isn’t simply about trade, business and foreign affairs, there is a dynamic creative engagement which allows Australian art to be experienced in Asia, great works from Asia to be available here and most importantly fresh creativity which is only possible because of the way we work together. This event is a celebration of diversity in Australia and across the region and how making connections through art promotes understanding and appreciation of all cultures.

Congratulations to these dance artists who made the list of finalists:

  • Annalouise Paul Game On (India)
  • Kyle Page Engi (Japan)
  • Bangarra Dance Theatre Spirit (Mongolia, Thailand & Vietnam)
  • Margie Medlin Time Frames (India)
  • Steps Youth Dance Company & QL2 Scratch the Surface (Taiwan)
  • Tony Yap Company & Multicultural Arts Victoria MAPFest (Indonesia & Malaysia)
  • Tony Yap Company Kekkai–Beyond Fixed Boundaries (Republic of Korea, South Korea)

Read Media Release about Annalouise Paul's Game On. See the full list of winners.

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Accessible Arts masterclasses 2013

Join leading choreographers, Sue Healey, Dean Walsh and Philip Channells in the Catalyst Dance Masterclass Series.

Accessible Arts is hosting a series of three masterclasses tailored to dancers with and without physical or sensory disability, and people with mental illness or acquired brain injury.

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New Asia–Pacific Channels edition

The latest edition of Channels is jam-packed with exciting new dance activity in Asia and the Pacific. There are new dance networks, events, research, journals, books and more.

Some of the highlights include a new Nepal chapter of World Dance Alliance; plans for the 2014 Global Dance Summit, which will be held at the beautiful Centre National de la Dance Contemporaine in Angers, France; and Our Roots Right Now—The Research Forum and Festival of Thai/ASEAN Contemporary Theatre, at Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand.

Collage of dance event highlights from the 2013 edition of Asia-Pacific Channels1] Ter Wei Lun from Lee Wushu Arts Theatre in Wushu Madness II–The Realm Between, choreographed by Lee Swee Seng, in the Showpiece Performances of MyDance Festival 2013, at Panggung Bandaraya on 31 May 2013. Photo: Huneid Tyeb. 2] Kathak dance performed by Kalanidhi Indira Sangeet Mahabidhayalaya at International Dance Day on 29 April 2013 at Yalam Maya Kendra in Kathmandu, organised by the newly inaugurated WDAAP Nepal chapter. Photo by Raju Shakya & Prabin Lal Singh. 3] A ceremonial dance from the West New Britain province of Papua New Guinea, performed during the Foundation Day Celebrations at Port Moresby Grammar School on 4 April 2013. Photo: Naomi Faik-Simmer 4] Dr Maya Krishna Rao in her performance Ravanama, during the seminar ‘The Moving Space: Women in Performance’ at the Rabindranath Tagore Centre, Kolkata, on 3 February 2013. Photo: Kolkata Sanved 5] Thai choreographer Pichet Klunchun in his section of the tripartite Fire Fire Fire, on 28 January 2013 in the ‘Our Roots Right Now’ research forum and festival at Sodsai Pantoomkomol Centre for Dramatic Arts. Photo: L. Skar 6] The Nora Thummanit Thaksin University Group who performed Nora: Klong Hong in January 2013 in the ‘Our Roots Right Now’ research forum and festival at Sodsai Pantoomkomol Centre for Dramatic Arts.

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NAAE welcomes new Arts Curriculum

The National Advocates for Arts Education (NAAE) has warmly welcomed news the ACARA Board has approved the new The Australian Curriculum: The Arts. NAAE, of which Ausdance is a member, has strongly supported the development of the arts curriculum and its central principle of the entitlement of every young Australian to an arts education, one that includes all five artforms – dance, drama, media arts, music and the visual arts.

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