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Support the organisation that supports dance

The Australian Dance Council—Ausdance, has for nearly forty years been at the forefront of inspiring, supporting and informing the dance community in Australia. Working with and for artists, we want to see dance take its place as a premier and integral activity in Australia.

Now we need your support to continue this work. We face a future without ongoing funding via the Australia Council for the Arts, putting at risk all that we do. 

As a service organisation, the ability to secure philanthropic and ticket revenue is limited. With a focus on developing and supporting an under-resourced sector, maintaining a stable base of funding is needed to leverage relationships to enhance the standing of dance in the community. 

A vital part of the Australian dance community since 1977, Ausdance has been at the forefront in promoting dance; through the establishment and delivery of the Australian Dance Awards and Australian Dance Week; understanding dance, through research, partnerships and publications such as Brolga–an Australian journal about dance and the World Dance Alliance global symposium papers available on http://www.ausdance.org.au; and developing the place of dance in the national dialogue through advocacy engagement with Federal and state governments.

Activities such as the Safe Dance reports and development, resulting in better health outcomes for professional and developing dancers, have delivered real data and results for the industry and are only able to progress through stable funding for Ausdance.

Donate now

Direct Deposit to the AUSDANCE FUND
Westpac BSB: 032-719 
Account number: 565527

Once you've made a donation, be sure to email [email protected] to make sure you receive your tax receipt. 

Donations of $2.00 or more are tax-deductible 
http://arts.gov.au/roco

Read more…

Write for Brolga—an Australian journal about dance

Submissions are open for Brolga #41 under the broad theme 'A place for dance'.

Key information

Brolga covers

The art and community ecology in which dance exists is delicate and complex. As with the fight for survival by animals in compromised environments perhaps it is the ‘charismatic’ or ‘innovative’ artists who survive. If so, where is the place for the dancers and dance makers who exist outside the realm of publically notable; who eschew spectacle or even notoriety? And how is it possible for a dancer to find their dance place in the rich history of skill and experimentation?

How does an individual place their practice/work so that sits alongside others while still allowing their ‘voice’ to be heard? What are the structures that are supporting or need to be overcome and how is it possible to make art that satisfies many competing factors, not least being the dance artist’s own interests and desires in participating in a fragile ecology of dance practices? 

Possible elements of the theme may include:

  • Dancing outside the mainstream
  • Participatory performance
  • Dancing in alternative places/spaces
  • Non-traditional performer–audience relationships
  • Varying platforms for the development and performance of dance
  • Accessing support for dance: Is government funding a viable mechanism for resourcing dance work? 

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WA hosts the 2016 Australian Dance Awards

Ochre Contemporary Dance CompanyThe 2016 Australian Dance Awards image is from Western Australian company Ochre Contemporary Dance Company. Photo: Dana Weeks

The dance community in Western Australia is gearing up to host the 2016 Australian Dance Awards at the Heath Ledger Theatre, State Theatre Centre of Western Australia, Perth, on Sunday 18 September. Ausdance WA is working with Claudia Alesssi, creative producer of this year’s event, to curate a truly memorable evening, showcasing Western Australian dance companies, and more.

Ausdance WA, with Co3, STRUT Dance and Performing Lines, will present the 2016 MoveMe Festival in the lead up to the Awards, taking over the State Theatre Centre from 15 until 18 September, to present performances of Western Australian and international works, Prime Cuts showing of independent dance works, TeachMe Workshops for dance teachers, ShowMe Forum, in association with Circuitwest, for producers and presenters, artists talks, and satellite events from West Australian Ballet, Force Majeure and Ochre.  MoveMe Festival passes are on sale now at the early bird price starting at $65. One pass gets you into all the main events and more, including discounted tickets for the Australian Dance Awards, as the Festival transforms the State Theatre Centre of Western Australia for a week of big new shows and big new ideas. Purchase your Festival Pass through Ticketek Australia. 

The 2016 Australian Dance Awards are sponsored by Harlequin Floors, Aon Australia, Gaynor Minden, Equity Foundation and Dance Informa, with West Australian sponsorship from K2 Dance, The Good Store, The Chapel Space, Kindy Dance Time and APS Physio. The event is supported by the state government of Western Australia through the Department of Culture and the Arts, the Perth Theatre Trust, and the Australia Council for the Arts. We are truly grateful for the support of our sponsors as, without them, the event could not happen.

The 2016 Australian Dance Awards

  • 6.30 pm Sunday 18 September 2016
  • Heath Ledger Theatre, State Theatre Centre of Western Australia, Perth
  • Tickets: ticketek

For further information, contact Gabrielle Sullivan, director Ausdance WA T 08 9322 6101  E [email protected]

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Update: 2016 Australian Dance Awards nominations process

With about three months until this year’s Australian Dance Awards (ADAs) in Perth, the selection panel have finished looking at all the viewing links for the long list of nominations and have submitted their first round of votes. The next step is for the panel is to look at the top four or five contenders in each category and then submit another round of votes. Sometimes a teleconference is convened so that everyone can contribute to the discussion about any issues, tied or close scores etc.

We hope to have the 2016 shortlist confirmed by early July. The nominations coordinator will then contact all shortlisted nominees. 

The voting process is very rigorous and members are thorough and diligent. The selection panel, comprised of a wide cross-section of dance experts, representing the various sectors, generations and experience, generously donate their time so that the Dance Awards may continue.

Ausdance WA, along with Ausdance National Vice-President Claudia Alessi, are busy securing sponsors, presenters and performers, and everything that goes with presenting the Awards.

You can go the ADAs website anytime and nominate an outstanding performance or piece of work. (Nominations close each year on the last day of February.) Have a look at the eligible works list which is updated throughout the year. If you think a work is missing, please email Leanne Craig, the nominations coordinator.

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Dancehouse’s Housemate Residency

The Housemate Residency is about accompanying dance artists through the entire creative process, from vision to realisation. The program offers time to explore, space to examine possibility and the financial support to bring the Resident's project to fruition.

EOI submissions close 7 July 2016 at midnight.

Dancer/choreographer Sarah Aitkin looks through a cardboard tubeSarah Aiken's 2015 Housemate Performance Set.

Past Housemates

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Ausdance honorary life members respond to Ausdance National’s loss of operational funding

The founders and honorary life members of Ausdance—the Australian Dance Council—are extremely disappointed that an organisation with such a high national and international reputation for innovation and creativity has not been supported with four-year organisation funding by the Australia Council.

Funding cuts to the organisation’s innovative partnerships, public forums, its advocacy campaigns to support the small to medium dance sector (including years of work with the Australia Council to increase the Council’s own profile and funding—petitions to both Houses of Parliament in 2006, Dance Plan 2012 etc.); its seminal publications, dance education programs, and its international leadership in Safe Dance research leaves us believing that the Australia Council no longer sees value in the leadership shown by Ausdance National over the last four decades. We do not believe the Australia Council’s offer of ‘transitional’ or project funding would be adequate to fully support an efficient and effective arts service organisation.

Ausdance initiatives have been central to improving the health, education, employment opportunities, career transitions, research, teaching standards, and sector communication across all forms of dance in Australia. It has been especially influential in promoting dialogue between the larger Major Performing Arts 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. Ausdance National has also worked closely with education advocates and researchers through the (unfunded) National Advocates for Arts Education, the Tertiary Dance Council of Australia and ArtsPeak. The Ausdance network offers a uniquely integrated service of international, national and state/territory activities.

To give the dance profession a credible and respected voice at the highest levels, Ausdance National has provided advice to—and fostered partnerships with—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 National Film & Sound Archive, 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 International Association for Dance Medicine and Science, the World Alliance for Arts Education, Dance UK and Dance USA.

As one artist has written:

Ausdance is an organisation that has supported and facilitated new research (Safe Dance, Brolga (journal), teacher standards), passionate dialogue (conferences, forums, ArtsPeak) and real connections amongst our diverse community of teachers, artists, government and audience. Ausdance has been a leader for all the arts and has been central to my development as a dance artist: advocating for me, supporting my wider education and providing opportunities for my emerging and then established voice to be heard. From the youth dance conferences to the national summits – we would have been lost without Ausdance. (There have been) so many more initiatives that have changed dance practices across the country and then modelled across the world.

In the current context, it is ironic that Dance UK has recently merged with two other dance agencies to create a model similar to Ausdance. As Arts Council England noted:

This commissioned grant for £650,000 a year, for three years … will strengthen the national dance infrastructure. Working through its joint national membership which includes dance agencies, higher education institutions, teachers, schools, professional dancers, choreographers and touring dance companies in every region, the consortium will support a more coherent national approach to the delivery of dance services. It will offer dance services and development across the spectrum from children and young people’s dance to professional dance practice and being representative of the creative case for diversity.

This new collaborative working model will directly benefit the 40,000 plus dance workforce, and children dancing in and outside school, and will indirectly impact on the millions of adults who participate in dance and watch performances. It will provide:

  • a single more powerful voice for dance to policy makers and politicians
  • a centralised knowledge hub
  • policy direction
  • industry intelligence
  • a three-year programme of strategic initiatives with industry-wide benefit, and
  • promote best practice and nurture talent.

The decision not to support Ausdance National is mystifying, given the reach of its services and the model it has provided for Dance UK and other international service organisations.

The small to medium cultural sector has been significantly impacted, and will result in the loss of cultural and creative capital in Australia for years to come. It defies belief that the announcement of the ‘innovation agenda’ did not include a role the arts, and that the mantra of ‘jobs and growth’ appears not to apply comprehensively to the arts community. As one of the most important contributors to the lives of all Australians, the arts and cultural sector has, at best, been marginalised. 

We call on both political parties to commit to transparent and credible arts policies to enable future large-scale decisions such as the Government’s recent restructure of arts funding programs to be made in a context that is widely understood and supported. We seek the following commitments from the Australian Government to:

  • Produce a coherent arts policy in which funding decisions are contextualised and understood by the entire cultural sector;
  • Provide appropriate funding for essential national infrastructure/service organisations including Ausdance National;
  • Immediately increase available project funding for dance organisations and independent artists;
  • Provide new funding for the Catalyst program that is not drawn from the Australia Council.

Signed, 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
Nicky lo Bianco
Professor Shirley McKechnie AO
Sandra Macarthur-Onslow
Professor Cheryl Stock AM
Professor Susan Street AO
Paul Summers

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Undisciplining Dance Symposium

Undisciplining Dance Symposium 30 June – 2 July 2016

The Undisciplining Dance Symposium brings artists and researchers in the fields of dance, choreography, performance, visual arts, spatial design and architecture together to imagine divergent futures and ways of effecting change and movement.

This unprecedented gathering of international artists in the field of dance, performance and creative arts research rethinks disciplinarity, the role of the body and live art in today's diverse cultural and political climate.

undisciplining dance symposium poster. 30 June – 2 July 2016What can art do for us? Can the arts enable new value systems? How do the arts provoke and 'undiscipline' us, creating space for us to come together differently in uncertain times. Image: Claire O'Neill - Fieldwork for (extra) ordinary folk.

The Undisciplining Dance Symposium will mobilise inspired, fluid, surprising and inclusive approaches to arts research through presentations, performances, workshops and performative lectures by leading international artists and scholars.

International keynote presenters offer diverse perspectives from Europe, the Americas and the Pacific.

  • Artist and Māori scholar, Dr Moana Nepia from the University of Hawaii will open the symposium with a special performative event at Waipapa Marae.
  •  Globally renowned in the critique of performance studies and choreography Professor André Lepecki from New York University launches his new book ‘Singularities’ and speaks to the significant political movements of experimental performance.
  • Swedish artist Efva Lilja will perform her solo, There once was: A House, A Cow, A Woman and present a lecture that speaks to the role of art and research in politically complex and troubled times.

The Undisciplining Dance Symposium is hosted by Choreographic Research Aotearoa and Dance Studies, Faculty of Creative Arts and Industries, the University of Auckland.

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Dancenorth experiment fills in the blanks

Media release

Next week Dancenorth opens their tour of the double bill ‘If _ Was _’

Tour performance dates and locations

  • 9–11 June, Dancenorth, Townsville
  • 15 June, Mackay Entertainment Centre
  • 16 June Proserpine Entertainment Centre 
  • 23–25 June, Judith Wright Centre, Brisbane
  • 29 June – 2 July, the Substation, Melbourne

Delve into the fanciful and illusionary worlds of two extraordinary choreographers, Stephanie Lake and Ross McCormack, as they fall down the rabbit hole of imagination and fill in the blanks for Dancenorth’s most recent double bill.

Female dancer dressed in green leans towards her own shadow cast across the grass.Photo: Amber Haines

Dancenorth Artistic Director Kyle Page set the challenge for each artist to select sound from the one sound score, create costumes from one pattern, utilise lighting from one design and work to a set duration. It is within these parameters that If_Was_ comes to life.

'If _ Was _ is a big dance experiment, we set a clear framework for Stephanie and Ross and literally invited each of them to fill in the blanks'.

'Stephanie and Ross are two of the most extraordinary choreographic talents of our time and they will each generate something profoundly different in response to the equal limitations', said Page.

'The human mind is biologically predisposed to draw from a personal library of thoughts and feelings to generate unique interpretation, we each draw upon past experiences to create sensory representations of objects, concepts and ideas', said Page.

Hosting Lake and McCormack in Townsville to create the double bill is a bold move that reflects the vision of Dancenorth to be a collaborative and creative hub for choreographic development and research that supports risk and innovation to extend dance as an art form.

Stephanie Lake describes her new work as a surreal hive of buzzing life reflecting the beauty and brutality of the natural world.

From marching automatons to wild hybrid creatures, this work and the dancers within it are continually transmuting and being affected by their rapidly changing conditions. It's about survival, symbiosis and rebirth. Through intricate choreography and vivid imagery the dancers incubate a strange world of their own making with a desperate forward momentum.

'Dancenorth is one of the most exciting companies in Australia right now. It's incredibly energised, youthful, smart and prolific', said Stephanie.

'The dancers and collaborators are all amazing artists in their own right and bring so much to the creative process', said Stephanie. 

'If Form Was Shifted’ is the title of Ross McCormack’s new work, a virtuosic reflection of the thought process structured through group manipulation.

'What interests me is to watch the body at odds with its purpose, this is where I try to orientate most of my movement. I see the body as a device grappling with its complexities and place, how it rather unnaturally manipulates itself is somehow spectacular yet also pathetic', said Ross.

'If Form Was Shifted is foremost a collaboration between myself the Dancenorth dancers and composer Robin Fox', said Ross.

'Dancenorth has supported my work since 2009, each time hugely different from the last. The current team is quite unique which made this opportunity impossible to miss. Their enormous capacity physically and conceptual understanding provokes a huge artistic challenge to anyone’s artistic ideology', said Ross.

Dancenorth is supported by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body; the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland, Townsville City council and the Tim Fairfax Foundation.

Interviews available upon request with

  • Kyle Page
  • Stephanie Lake
  • Ross McCormack

Photos provided available at higher resolution

Biographies

STEPHANIE LAKE is a multi award-winning Australian choreographer, dancer and director of Stephanie Lake Company. Stephanie’s major choreographic works including Double Blind, DUAL, A Small Prometheus, AORTA and Mix Tape have been presented by Theatre National de Chaillot (Paris), Theater im Pfalzbau (Germany), Dublin Dance Festival, Tramway (Glasgow), M1 CONTACT Festival (Singapore), Aarhus Festival (Denmark) Melbourne Festival, Sydney Festival, Dance Massive, Arts House, Sydney Opera House, Theatre Royal and Carriageworks among others. In 2014 Stephanie was awarded both the Helpmann Award (A Small Prometheus) and Australian Dance Award (AORTA) for Outstanding Choreography. She also won the Green Room Award for Mix Tape in 2011. In 2013 Stephanie was appointed inaugural Resident Director of Lucy Guerin Inc, which included working as Guerin’s choreographic assistant at Lyon Opera Ballet. Stephanie received a prestigious Sidney Myer Creative Fellowship in the same year and the Dame Peggy Van Praagh Choreographic Fellowship in 2012.  

Stephanie has been commissioned by Sydney Dance Company, Chunky Move, Tasdance, Stompin, Frontier Danceland (Singapore), Sydney Symphony and many times by the Victorian College of the Arts. She collaborates across theatre, film & TV, visual art and music video and has directed several large-scale public works involving over 1000 participants. Her performance career spans fifteen years, touring and dancing extensively with Gideon Obarzanek's Chunky Move and Lucy Guerin Inc as well as Antony Hamilton & Byron Perry, Anouk Van Dijk and Phillip Adams' BalletLab. 

ROSS McCORMACK graduated from the New Zealand School of Dance in 2001. He has worked with Douglas Wright Dance Company and the Royal New Zealand Ballet. Australian Dance Theatre.  In 2005 Ross won the Sir Robert Helpman Award for his performance in the work Held.

From 2004 Ross has worked for extensively with Alain Platel at Les Ballets C de la B in Belgium. In 2011/12 Ross performed with Australia’s Chunky Move touring Connected to the United States, In 2012  Ross joined MelbouMelbourne-based company Lucy Guerin and Dancers to tour perform in Untrained at BAM in New York England and Ireland. In 2013/14/15 Ross rejoined Les Ballets for Alian Platels new creation TauberBach.

Ross has been commissioned to choreograph several short works for New Zealand companies: (sex) (2012) and Stealth (2009), Footnote Dance; SUM- (2011),New Zealand School of Dance; and Nga hau e wha: Papa Nuku (2011), Okareka Dance Company. In Australia Ross choreographed his first full-length work Nowhere Fast (2009) for Dancenorth, Townsville, which toured to the Macau Arts Festival; [SIC] (2011) Dancenorth; and short work I said HaHa (2011) for Link Dance Company. AGE  2013/14 was Ross's first full lfull-lengthin New Zealand AGE was commissioned with the help of CNZ and the 2014 International Festival In Wellington. 2015/16 Premiered a new work Triumphs and Other Alternatives in Wellington which toured to Auckland and Sydney. In 2016  commissioned and premiered The Weight of Force at the Hong Kong Arts Festival. Ross the most recent recipient of the CNZ choreographic fellowship in New Zealand.

About Dancenorth

Dancenorth is a contemporary dance company based in Townsville, Tropical North Queensland making outstanding, bold, new critically acclaimed work. As a major champion of the arts Dancenorth balances a dynamic regional presence with a commitment to creating compelling professional contemporary dance that tours the globe.

Dancenorth is a collaborative and creative hub for choreographic development and research that makes a significant contribution to cultural development by valuing and supporting risk and innovation as a means of extending dance as an art form.

Under the Artistic Direction of Kyle Page, Dancenorth delivers an ambitious and far-reaching program of engagement including the creation and presentation of new work, national and international touring, development opportunities for local dancers and choreographers and national and international residencies and exchanges.

Dancenorth is supported by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body; the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland, Townsville City council and the Tim Fairfax Foundation.

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Full house for National Arts Election Debate

Final preparations are underway for next week’s much anticipated ArtsPeak National Arts Election Debate in Melbourne.

8 June 1.00 pm – 2.30 pm
The Wheeler Centre, 176 Little Lonsdale Street, Melbourne

The debate will bring the arts leaders of each of the three major parties together to share their big ideas and respond to the burning questions of industry leaders and commentators from right across the industry.

Patricia Karvelas (ABC and Sky news) will moderate a three-cornered conversation between Arts Minister Senator Mitch Fifield, Shadow Arts Minister Mark Dreyfus and Greens Arts Spokesperson, Adam Bandt. Using a ‘QandA style’ format, industry spokespeople will raise topics and questions developed by a national organising group.

The debate is now fully booked out and will be streamed live from 12.45 pm EST via the ArtsPeak website: www.artspeak.net.au/debate

ArtsPeak spokesperson Nicole Beyer said:

'It is really exciting to have such a broad cross section of the arts industry coming together in one place and at one time. This election is of vital importance to the arts sector and everyone is very keen to hear what the three parties have to say. With the parties now starting to release their arts policies there is a lot to talk about."

Please note: Space at the Wheeler Centre is strictly limited. Media representatives wishing to attend on the day should contact Nicole Beyer to arrange access—0432 609 658. Guests with tickets should arrive at 12.30 pm. Doors will be closed from 12.50 pm.

#AusVotesArts

#IStandWithTheArts

Further information and comment – ArtsPeak co-convenors

Nicole Beyer - 0432 609 658
Tamara Winikoff – 0411 162 156
email: [email protected]

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Be part of Tasdance’s Dark Mofo performance

Odeon Theatre, 20–21 June 2016, 4.45 pm – 7.40 am (sunset to sunrise)

an older woman with bare arms and chest stands with arms raised

Participate in Tasdance's Dark Mofo project on the night of the winter solstice. We need around 100 dancers to join Tasdance company members as we keep a 'collective solo' going across the 14 hours between sunset and sunrise. Registration is very simple and can be done via the Dark Mofo and Tasdance websites.

Dancers of all ages, backgrounds and ability levels are invited to become performers in this piece. There will be a series of workshops around the state leading up to the performance, which you are welcome to attend.

To register your interest, submit your details on the Tasdance website or call 03 6331 6644. Tasdance will contact you directly with information about preparation, participation and workshop dates.

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Apply for the Caroline Plummer Fellowship in Community Dance 2017

Apply now for the Caroline Plummer Fellowship in Community Dance. Applications close 1 June 2016.

Caroline Plummer Fellowship in Community Dance

The Caroline Plummer Fellowship in Community Dance is a six-month Fellowship offered by the University of Otago (School of Physical Education) in Dunedin, New Zealand. It is one of five prestigious Fellowships offered by the University and the only one offered internationally. Tenure is usually from 1 March to 31 August. It offers project costs and a salary equivalent with a Level One Lecturer at the University. 

The Fellowship was set up by Caroline Plummer’s parents in memory of Caroline who died of cancer in 2004 at the age of 24.

Successful applicants will create and perform a community dance project. Projects can be wide-ranging and diverse but must embrace Caroline’s passion and vision for dance in the community. 

For more information please visit the University of Otago Fellows website and the Caroline Plummer website.

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30th ACHPER International Conference and call for papers

The 30th Australian Council for Health, Physical Education and Recreation (ACHPER) International Conference, Participating in an Active and Healthy Life: Valuing the Participant Voice, has already attracted high-quality keynote speakers from overseas and Australia and promises to be a showcase of contemporary and future-focused ideas. It is a must-attend event for all health and physical education professionals, health, sports and other industry stakeholders.

The conference is taking place over three days from 16–18 January 2017 at the University of Canberra, Canberra. It will be an opportunity for delegates to consider the participation of children and young people in our schools and communities and ensuring they have a voice, feel valued and make a difference.

Call for papers/presentations

Closes 29 July 2016

The 30th ACHPER International Conference Program Committee invites abstract submissions for paper presentations, workshops/interactive sessions, posters/exhibits, lightning talks and or colloquia (symposia) addressing one of the following themes:

  • focus on educative purposes
  • take a strengths‐based approach
  • value movement
  • develop health literacy
  • include a critical inquiry approach
  • sport and recreation pedagogies

To submit your abstract or for further details about the submission process, please click here or please contact us at [email protected]. Papers/posters can be considered for the Early Career Researcher Award, Young Scholar Award and the Academic Poster Award.

Registration now open

For information about registration fees and to register online, please visit http://www.achper2017.com.

ACHPER looks forward to welcoming you to Canberra in January 2017.

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2016 International Arts Education Week message by Li Cunxin

The World Alliance for Arts Education and UNESCO share an inspiring message for International Arts Education Week (23–29 May) by Li Cunxin (Mao's Last Dancer), Artistic Director, Queensland Ballet:

In a world of constant pressures, of noise, of expectations and distractions, art can be the thing that sustains us. Art has the capacity to take us to another world; allows an escape even if just for a moment. Be it in a gallery, a theatre, a music studio or on the street, art is a powerful thing. It has the power to transform, to transport, to enrich and therefore, sustain.

My world of ballet is one such artform. In my experience ballet, and the personal nature of creative expression, is a power like no other. I truly believe ballet can sustain communities by enriching lives through prioritising physical and mental wellbeing, connecting diverse communities with each other and bridging socio-cultural divides.

True art should not exclude, it should invite all to explore, experience and enjoy. Ballet can do just that. Ballet develops individual skills such as confidence, creativity, reflection, determination, persistence, and resilience. It encourages a drive for excellence and can develop skills that can sustain us for life, with many great artists taking on leadership roles and becoming shapers of society.

I would not be the dancer I became or the person I am today without the incredible arts education I received as a young person. Knowing how vital that training was to me, I have long been committed to the development of young people in the arts. It’s something that is at the very heart of my vision personally and professionally. A key part of that development is finding what makes people passionate.

Passion is the most important thing in achieving one’s best and is what sustains one in reaching for a goal. Passion made me work harder than most, passion made me hungry and drove me to pursue perfection and excellence. To catch up to my fellow classmates and to improve, I often woke up at 5am or earlier to practice, hopping one-legged with sandbags strapped to my ankles and pirouetting under the candle lights to gain the necessary muscle strength for jumping and turning, I did this for years. Hard work paid off, I graduated as one of the top dancers in China and the rest is history.

I found my passion for ballet thanks to an incredible teacher I had, Teacher Xiao. I credit Teacher Xiao with changing my outlook on life, for inspiring me, for making me who I am today and for igniting my passion. That passion for ballet was what sustained me through years of being away from my family, through all the challenges and hard work.

I hope many others will benefit from arts education like I have. They may not all grace the stage, but I do believe it will transform their lives and the lives of those around them. I do believe arts education will not only help sustain our precious artforms but also our communities. Creating passionate people that strive to understand, respect and challenge each other.

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Dancenorth hosts inclusive professional dance exchange

Adelaide Dancer Chris Dyke has returned to Townsville as part of the first ongoing inclusive professional dance exchange in Australia.

Dancenorth's Kyle Page and Chris Dyke in front of a fig tree's giant roots. Chris Dyke and Kyle Page. Photo: Amber Haines

During the two-week secondment, Chris has choreographed a new solo work with the guidance of his mentor, Dancenorth Artistic Director Kyle Page, trained with the company each day and watched dancers rehearse for their upcoming performance of ‘If _ Was _’ a double bill created by Stephanie Lake and Ross McCormack.

Chris, who visited Townsville from Adelaide based Restless Dance Theatre and has Downs syndrome, described the opportunity as “a dream come true”.

"When I come here we do workshops and I make friends with the Dancenorth team, then we work on my choreography. Working with Kyle is my dream. My other dream is to create a 3D film with live dance for me to perform in SA, Sydney, Townsville, NYC and the world. I want to put my dance film on TV, YouTube and all over Facebook.”

Chris’ mentor Kyle said it is vital to have these opportunities and to highlight the immense benefit for not only Chris but also the Dancenorth Ensemble.

“Chris is a very talented dancer who inspires me daily, I actually can’t be sure who gets the most out of this exchange, him or me. That is the magic of mentoring—it is a two-way street.”

“Chris is extraordinarily creative, passionate, calm and generous; it is this combined with immense talent that led me to want to work with him in an ongoing exchange of ideas and movement” he said.

“Dancenorth is currently developing a proactive disability action plan ensuring we offer an inclusive environment filled with genuine collaboration and opportunities for all abilities,” he said.

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ArtsPeak calls for restoration of Australia Council Funding

Media Release, 16 May 2016

ArtsPeak, the national confederation of peak arts and cultural organisations, says the Australian arts ecology is under serious threat following the announcement of four-year funding decisions by the Australia Council.

Sixty-five previously funded organisations have lost funding for their core operations and of the 262 applications to the round, over half were not funded. It seems clear from these statistics that the jobs and growth mantra does not apply to the arts.

Nicole Beyer, ArtsPeak co-convenor and Director of Theatre Network Australia said: 'This is an incredibly tough time for the arts sector. We go from relief at the news of a company that has been successful to sadness when we hear of really vital and outstanding organisations that have missed out. We know that the Australia Council has been stretched. We know people will have been doing their very best in an incredibly difficult situation. There is a lot of support within the sector for those who missed out this time round and everyone understands it is no reflection on the quality or importance of their work'. 

With the Federal election looming, ArtsPeak is calling for the restoration of Australia Council funding as a matter of urgency so that the Australian arts ecology can remain viable and vibrant. This call was made unanimously by 2700 individuals and organisations in submissions to last year’s Senate inquiry into arts funding, the largest ever response to such an inquiry.

Tamara Winikoff OAM, ArtsPeak co-convenor and Executive Director of the National Association for the Visual Arts (NAVA), said today: 'It couldn't be clearer that essential ingredients are missing: a national plan for growing and valuing Australian cultural ideas and expression; political courage to embrace experimentation and risk taking; celebration of the arts as core to our national character and achievement; and a real investment in building a vibrant, confident arts environment. It's time to stop tinkering at the edges. The arts has proved itself time and again to be an incredibly valuable investment. Please can we see all the political parties put this on the election agenda.'

ArtsPeak urges politicians to recognise the value of arts and culture to all Australians, to invest in it appropriately and to ensure that the arms-length approach to funding decisions in the arts is maintained.

Media release also available on the NAVA website: ArtsPeak calls for restoration of Australia Council Funding

For media comment please contact:

Tamara Winikoff OAM, Executive Director, National Association for the Visual Arts (NAVA) 0411 162 156 / 02 9368 1900

Nicole Beyer, Director, Theatre Network Australia 0432 609 658

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Ausdance National faces challenge

13 May 2016 media release

The Australian Dance Council—Ausdance congratulates the 12 dance organisations which were successful in the four-year funding announcements by the Australia Council. There is a solid core of highly creative, inspiring and highly productive organisations to create and tour dance around Australia and overseas.

Regrettably, the Australian Dance Council—Ausdance Inc (Ausdance National) finds itself amongst the 62 previously funded organisations that have not been successful. Ausdance National has been notified by the Australia Council that it will not receive operational funding beyond 31 December this year. This brings to an end many years of operational support for the work of Ausdance National.  

Ausdance National has supported the dance industry through development projects such as the National Dance Forum, the Australian Dance Awards, Safe Dance® research, organising the annual meeting of dance company managers, and publishing authoritative guidelines for teaching dance and academic articles about dance. It was the organisation the Royal Commission called on for consultation in private meetings. Ausdance also holds bequests from Dame Peggy van Praagh and Keith Bain to award to professional dancers each year.  

Neil Roach, the Acting CEO of Ausdance National, said today: “Ausdance National has a 40 year legacy of solid support for the dance industry. While there are a number of associated State and Territory Ausdance offices supporting their local dance industry, as a peak body Ausdance National has had the overview of the entire sector and the national and global links to truly support the development of professional dance. This has now been put at risk.”

Ausdance National President, Brian Lucas, said today “Ausdance has been a key player in the development of the Australian dance sector over the past four decades. In that time, the organisation has adapted and grown, demonstrating both the ability to be responsive to the changing needs of its membership and a willingness to assist in driving the growth and strength of the sector through the implementation of key initiatives and programmes. 

It would be virtually impossible to find a dancer, choreographer, dance teacher, dance student, dance academic, or dance audience member who has not been positively and substantially impacted by the activities of the organisation.

Now it is time for Ausdance National to draw on its substantial reserves of experience, knowledge and resourcefulness as we adapt and respond to our drastically changed circumstances. 

The mission of the organisation—to educate, inspire and support the dance community to reach its potential as a dynamic force within local, national and international communities—remains steadfast and unchanged. Our challenge is to assess how best to ensure that this vital mission can be maintained and upheld during this difficult period in Australian arts history, and into the future.”

For media comment and enquiries please contact:

Neil Roach, Acting CEO, Australian Dance Council—Ausdance (Ausdance National) on
02 6248 8992. [email protected]

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ArtsPeak Arts Sector Update #1 2016—an invitation to sector meetings and the Election Debate

Arts Sector update. ArtsPeak—April 2016

Welcome! ArtsPeak is producing a series of National Arts Sector Updates in the lead-up to the Federal election in July.  This work picks up on last year's Free the Arts updates and is being delivered as part of our partnership with Feral Arts. A National Election Strategy Group is coordinating the work. Membership is open to anyone. If you would like to get involved email [email protected]

Please share this update in your networks and with your members.

Register to get future email updates.

National Arts Election Debate 2016

ArtsPeak is organising a National Arts Election Debate in Melbourne on the 8 June. The debate will bring the arts leaders of each of the major parties together to share their big ideas and respond to the burning questions of industry leaders and commentators from across the industry. 

Patricia Karvelas (ABC and Sky news) will moderate a three-cornered contest. Arts Minister Senator Mitch Fifield has been invited, and Shadow Arts MinisterMark Dreyfus and Greens Arts Spokesperson, Adam Bandt are already confirmed. Space is limited so book early.

The debate will be live streamed—details to follow in future updates.

Election debate questions

Ideas for questions for the debate are being gathered online. Everyone is invited to add their thoughts. The final list of questions will be distilled by a steering group of representatives from across the sector.

Add your ideas

National Arts Sector Meeting

  • Where: Arts House, North Melbourne Town Hall , Queensberry St, North Melbourne, Victoria 
  • When: 12.45 pm – 5.00 pm, 7 June
  • Register for the National Arts Sector Meeting (Space is limited, so please book early.)

In conjunction with the National Arts Election Debate, we are organising a National Arts Sector Meeting in Melbourne on h June—the day before the Debate. We hope that sector reps from across the country will be able to make it Melbourne for the meeting (and the Debate the following day). An agenda will be developed closer to the day.  We need a group of Melbourne-based people to help out with the organisation of the day. If you can help, please visit our Google doc to connect.

Communications and social media

Collaborative Online Space

We have set up a Google docs folder to help people connect and work together during the campaign.

Media coverage has started to pick up again and we encourage everyone to start to speak up and make noise again. 

Recent Media Highlights include:

Facebook

We are continuing to post updates to the Free the Arts Facebook page.

It would be great to get some more active sharing and commenting on this page over the coming weeks.

Twitter #AusVotesArts

We propose all using this one hashtag for the period leading up to the election. 

Wherever possible it would good to also use #AusVotes with it to make sure the arts issue are part of the broader election sharing.

For more info or feedback

[email protected]

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New low as Government pumps Catalyst funds out the door in blatant pre-election pork barreling

ArtsPeak Media Release (45 KB PDF)
9 May 2016

The arts sector is reeling today at news that an extraordinary $13m in Catalyst funds were secretly pushed out the door over the weekend just in advance of the election being called and caretaker mode beginning.

In total $23,317,301 has now been spent – nearly half the $48m allocated for the next 4 years of Catalyst operations. When Senate Estimates sat last Thursday evening the committee were only made aware of the $10m of grants announced by Arts Minister Mitch Fifield last week.

ArtsPeak spokeperson and CEO of the National Association of Visual Arts NAVA Tamara Winikoff said:

Our worst suspicions are now being confirmed that the government is using arts funding for thinly disguised political purposes. Of course we congratulate the successful applicants and we hope at least some of the cash splash lands in places that will help sustain artists who will be hit hard by this week’s Australia Council 4 year funding announcements. It just makes a complete mockery of all the hard work artists do in planning their programs and making applications. What is going to happen over the next four years now that half the Catalyst money is gone?

The arts and cultural sector has been further confused by the allocation of significant monies to capital works projects such as the $1m for the redevelopment of the Primrose Potter Australian Ballet Centre. This would appear to fall outside the remit and original intention of the Catalyst Fund.

It simply is not appropriate for Catalyst to fund things like this regardless of how important it might be. The capacity of the sector to be adventurous and innovative is being smothered in favour of government anointed programs. Funding for capital works should come from other sources – not cripple the already scant funding available to small to medium companies and individual artists who are actually innovating. This sends a terrible message to the arts community about the government’s priorities ahead of the election.

For further comment contact Tamara Winikoff – 0411 162156, [email protected]

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Government turns its back on the opportunity to fix arts funding mess

ArtsPeak—Confederation of Peak National Arts Organisations

Media Release, 4 May 2016 (31KB PDF)

Hopes that the government would take the opportunity to fix the mess it created twelve months ago were dashed, with no mention of arts and culture in the pre-election Budget handed down in Canberra last night.

ArtsPeak spokesperson and Executive Director of the National Association for the Visual Arts, Tamara Winikoff OAM said, “Unfortunately when it comes to the arts, it seems this government is not concerned about forcing job losses and causing chaos, the very opposite of the PM’s mantra about jobs and growth. The 2016 Budget does nothing to redress the devastating impact of the cuts to the Australia Council and ongoing ‘efficiency dividend’ imposed by the government in 2014 and 2015. The cuts total more than $42 million/year. Massive destabilisation of the arts industry is resulting from decisions made by the current government, and without any policy framework, it looks set to continue.”

Read more…

2016 Australian Dance Awards longlist

This longlist of nominations, along with recorded excerpts of performances, goes to the Selection Panel who will vote to shortlist their top four contenders in each category.

Not every single nomination will appear on this list. A long, unedited list (up to 550 nominations each year) is carefully scrutinised by the ADAs advisors and members of the Selection Panel to eliminate any nominations that do not meet all the Selection Criteria.

As the panel looks at excerpts of all nominated work before deciding on a shortlist, it is essential for the committee to keep only the most outstanding/significant nominations so that it remains a manageable task. The committee also takes care to ensure that the professional dance sector is well represented across all states and territories.

The ADAs Selection Panel members not only generously donote their time and expertise, but do so with great diligence and consideration. Without them the ADAs would not be possible.

The shortlist will be announced about mid July, with winners announced at the 2016 Australian Dance Awards in Perth on Sunday 18 September.

Services to Dance

  • Geoff Cobham (VIC) Production manager and designer
  • Nicolette Fraillon (VIC) Music Director & Chief Conductor, TAB
  • Jennifer Irwin (NSW) Costume designer
  • Djakapurra Munyarryan (NSW) Elder, performer, consultant, Bangarra Dance Theatre
  • David Page (NSW) Musician, composer performer

Services to Dance Education

  • Sally Chance (SA) Youth dance practitioner, festival director, founder Restless Dance Theatre
  • Diana de Vos OAM (WA) Examiner and advisor for RAD, dancer, teacher
  • Sue Fox (QLD) Advocate, curriculum advisor, Principal Project Officer for Qld Curriculum & Assessment Authority
  • Joan Pope OAM (WA) President of Dalcroze Australia, writer, teacher
  • Katrina Rank (VIC) Education & Training Manager for Ausdance; chief writer Ausdance skill set for Teaching Dance
  • Kim Vincs (VIC) Choreographer, reseacher, teacher dancer, teacher, reseacher
  • Kim Walker (NSW) Director NAISDA, choreographer, performer

Outstanding Achievement in Community Dance

  • Australian Dance Theatre for Dance Partners—City to Coast
  • Kate Meade for Victorian Dance Festival
  • Bangarra Dance Theatre for Rekindling Youth Program
  • Dancenorth for Twilight
  • Rawcus for Catalogue
  • Tracks Dance Company for Hidden Meaning
  • Tracksuit & DADAA for Small Fortunes

Outstanding Achievement in Youth Dance

  • Ballet Theatre Queensland for Sleeping Beauty
  • Catapult Dance for the Flipside Project
  • DRILL Performance Company for Radical Kid
  • DRILL Performance Company & Tasdance for All Your Worth
  • Force Majeure & Powerhouse Youth Theatre for Jump First, Ask Later
  • Restless Dance Theatre for Touched
  • Slide Youth Dance Theatre for Time
  • Stompin Youth Dance Company for 6000 to 1
  • CO3 Youth Ensemble for Toros
  • QL2 Dance for Reckless Valour

Outstanding Achievement in Choreography

  • Waangenga Blanco & Deborah Brown for I.B.I.S [Bangarra dance Theatre]
  • Rafael Bonachela for Variation 10 [Sydney Dance Company]
  • Kate Champion for Nothing to Lose [Force Majeure]
  • Tess de Quincey for Moondance (De Quincey Co]
  • Atlanta Eke for Miss Universal [Chunky Move]
  • Lucy Guerin for Motion Picture [Lucy Guerin inc.]
  • Greg Horsman for Coppelia [Queensland Ballet & West Australian Ballet]
  • Frances Rings for Sheoak [ Bangarra Dance Theatre]
  • Michelle Ryan for Touched [Restless Dance Theatre]
  • Vicki van Hout for Long Grass
  • Natalie Weir for 7 Deadly Sins [Expressions Dance Cpompany]

 Outstanding Performance by a Company

  • The Australian Ballet for 20:21
  • The Australian Ballet for Sleeping Beauty
  • Bangarra Dance Theatre for Lore
  • Chunky Move for Depth of Field
  • CO3 for Carnivale
  • Dancenorth for Spectra
  • Expressions Dance Company for 7 Deadly Sins
  • Marrugeku for Cut the Sky
  • Queensland Ballet for Sleeping Beauty
  • Restless Dance Theatre for Naturally
  • Sydney Dance Company for Frame of Mind
  • Tasdance for Affinity
  • West Australian Ballet for Ballet at the Quarry: Zip Zap Zoom

Outstanding Achievement in Independent Dance

  • Makeshift Dance Collective for One. Two. Ten
  • Gareth Belling & Collusion for Desirelines
  • Alice Dixon & Caroline Meadon for This is What's Happening
  • Shone Erskine for White Matter
  • Antony Hamilton for NYX [Antony Hamilton Projects]
  • Antony Hamilton & Alisdair Macindoe for Meeting [Antony Hamilton Projects]
  • Sue Healey for On View - Live Portraits
  • Adelina Larson, Jamie Winbank & Alison Plevey for Strange Attractor
  • Jo Lloyd for Confusion for Three
  • Nerida Matthaei for The Paratrooper Project [Phluxus Dance Collective]
  • Lisa Maris McDonnel for Home Truths
  • Polytoxic Dance Theatre for The Backup Service
  • Vicki van Hout for Long Grass
  • Victoria Hunt for TANGI Wai…the cry of water
  • Liesel Zink for The Stance

Outstanding Performance by a Female Dancer

  • Benedicte Bemet for Sleeping Beauty [The Australian Ballet]
  • Madeleine Eastoe for Giselle [The Australian Ballet]
  • Katherine Gurr for Carnivale [Co3]
  • Amber Haines for Syncing Feeling [Dancenorth]
  • Sarah Hepburn Coppelia [West Australian Ballet]
  • Elma Kris for Lore [Bangarra Dance Theatre]
  • Chloe Leong for Frame of Mind [Sydney Dance Company]
  • Clare Morehen for The Sleeping Beauty [Queensland Ballet]
  • Tara Jade Samaya for Depth of Field [Chunky Move]
  • Jesse Scales for Frame of Mind [Sydney Dance Company]
  • Amber Scott for Sleeping Beauty [The Australian Ballet]
  • Niharika Senapati for Depth of Field  [Chunky Move]
  • Brooke Widdison-Jacobs for Cinderella [West Australian Ballet]
  • Kialea-Nadine Williams for A Dying Swan [Leigh Warren Dance]
  • Vivienne Wong for Filigree and Shadow [The Australian Ballet]

Outstanding Performance by a Male Dancer

  • Brett Chynoweth for The Dream [The Australian Ballet]
  • Cass Eipper Mortimer for Frame of Mind [Sydney Dance Company]
  • Scott Ewen for Be Your Self  [Australian Dance Theatre]
  • Chengwu Guo for The Dream [The Australian Ballet]
  • Kevin Jackson for Giselle [The Australian Ballet]
  • Rudy Hawkes for Swan Lake [The Australian Ballet]
  • Gary Lang for Long Grass [Vicki van Hout]
  • Matthew Lehmann for Cinderella [West Australian Ballet]
  • Alisdair Macindoe for Motion Picture [Lucy Guerin Inc]
  • David Mack for Frame of Mind [Sydney Dance Company]
  • Kyle Page for Syncing Feeling [Dancenorth]
  • James Vu Anh Pham for Depth of Field [Chunky Move]
  • Daniel Riley for Ochres [Bangarra Dance Theatre]
  • Matte Roffe for Be Your Self [Australian Dance Theatre]
  • Jack Zeising for The Host [Dancenorth]

Outstanding Achievement in Commercial Dance or Musicals or Physical Theatre

  • Anything Goes (Producer: Andrew Hallsworth) [Opera Australia]
  • Fiddler on the Roof (Choreography: Dana Jolley)
  • Marko Panzic & Stephen Tannos for Genesis [The Dream Dance Company]
  • Georgy Girl  (Producer: Richard East & Dennis Smith, Choreography: Michael Ralph, Direction: Gary Young)
  • Circa for Il ritorno

Outstanding Achievement in Dance on Film or New Media

  • Deborah Brown & Lucy Phelan for Hide [Bangarra Dance Theatre]
  • Stephen Page for Spear [Bangarra Dance Theatre]
  • Tim Podesta for Ador [Projection Dance Company]
  • Pippa Samaya for Dancing in the Now [Ubuntu Samaya]
  • Meryl Tankard & Kate Croser for Michelle’s Story [Hedone Productions]
  • Stephen Tannos for The Process
  • Latai Taumoepeau for Repatriate—24 Frames per Second Solo

The Award for Lifetime Achievement will be announced mid August.

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ArtsPeak calls for Government to act on Senate Inquiry recommendations

Media Release 7 March 2016

ArtsPeak (the confederation of Australian national peak arts organisations and state arts industry councils), at its meeting on Wednesday 2nd March, called on the Commonwealth Government to urgently provide a positive public response to the recommendations of the Senate Inquiry into the impact of the 2014 and 2015 Commonwealth Budget decisions on the Arts.

At the meeting ArtsPeak reaffirmed its full endorsement of all 13 recommendations made in the Inquiry report, highlighting two in particular that need an urgent response before the upcoming election: that the government develop and articulate an evidence-based, coherent and clear arts policy in consultation with the arts sector and that the Commonwealth government restore to the Australia Council the full amount of funds diverted from it in the 2014 MYEFO and 2014 and 15 Budgets (see full set of Senate Inquiry Recommendations attached).

Co-convenor of ArtsPeak, Nicole Beyer said today, “The time to act is now. It has been three months since the Senate Inquiry report was handed down and there has been no action from the government to implement any of the recommendations. Arts companies across the country are now starting to fail, tours are being cancelled and projects abandoned. The government needs to take responsibility, and to make clear public announcements about its intended actions in response the report.”

ArtsPeak Co-convenor Tamara Winikoff OAM agreed, 'What the Minister is being told loud and clear is that the Government’s funding cuts are destabilising the arts infrastructure to a major extent and this needs to be fixed urgently. Despite a token gesture by the Arts Minister, the cuts are incrementally crippling both small to medium arts organisations and major cultural institutions in Canberra.'

Winikoff continued, 'In an election year the arts sector is looking to the government to act quickly and decisively to properly fix the mess it has created over the last two years. Implementing the Senate Inquiry recommendations is a vital first step. The May budget is the government’s window of opportunity to restore arts funding and regain the trust of artists, organisations and arts audiences and supporters across the country.'

The Senate Inquiry recommendations encapsulated the sentiments of almost 3000 submissions from individuals and organisations as well as hundreds of people who spoke at the public hearings conducted in 10 cities around the country.

The volume of the Inquiry response and the weight and unanimity of opinion is unprecedented in the arts in Australia. It has led to a new mood of motivation and co-operation across the whole arts community to ensure that the stability and sustainability of the arts is restored.

For media comment please contact: Nicole Beyer, Director, Theatre Network Australia 0432 609 658 Tamara Winikoff OAM, Executive Director, National Association for the Visual Arts (NAVA) 0411 162 156 / 02 9368 1900

Recommendations of the Senate Inquiry into the impact of the 2014 and 2015

Recommendation 1

5.8 The committee recommends that the government develop and articulate, in consultation with the arts sector, a coherent and clear arts policy, including priorities for arts funding supported by evidence-based analysis, and greater clarity about the respective roles of the Ministry for the Arts and the Australia Council, as well as the other statutory arts bodies.

Read more…

Ausdance responds to Royal Commission’s public hearing into Centres for the Performing Arts

1 March 2016

Statement regarding hearings by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

Public hearing into Centres for the Performing Arts
2 March 2016

Ausdance holds the position that any abuse of a child—sexual, physical or emotional—is abhorrent. A dance studio or class is not isolated from the rest of society, no matter how special it may appear or feel. Studio owners and class teachers, like teachers and activity leaders across the whole of our community, have a special responsibility for the welfare of children in their charge. This holds whether it is a small community dance class or a large commercially-oriented studio.

A dance class or studio is first and foremost a business and as such should be subject to regulatory requirements as any business providing recreational services for children. Dance is also a key art form, which in the view of Ausdance makes any abuse of the trust placed by children in their class leaders or studio principals especially serious.

Ausdance notes that the Royal Commission is not enquiring into abuse in dance studios or the entertainment industry. Rather, the Royal Commission is hearing evidence about two specific centres for the performing arts, one of which was for dance. However, Ausdance supports the invitation for anyone who believes they have a direct and substantial interest in the scope and purpose of the public hearing to contact the Royal Commission directly.

Ausdance has a series of guides and fact sheets to assist dance teachers and dance studios. Where relevant, these guides and fact sheets have links to external authorities. The guides include:

Ausdance re-affirms its statement of 15 December 2014 Teaching dance, supporting children.

Download this statement (210 KB PDF)

Neil Roach, A/g CEO Ausdance National

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New study investigating injuries in Australia’s professional dancers

Safe Dance IV: Investigating injuries in Australia's professional dancers

Ausdance National has joined with the University of Sydney to conduct a research study about the different types of injuries in company and independent professional dancers across Australia, their contributing risk factors, access to health services and return to dance practices. 

We are looking for professional dancers to participate in this research. For more information about the study, or to be involved, please visit Safe Dance IV—Investigating injuries in Australia's professional dancers.

Please help us in spreading the word about this study by forwarding this notice to any dancers you think may be interested in participating. 

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to email Amy Vassallo, a PhD candidate at the Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Sydney.

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Choreographic Practices journal: call for contributions

Key information

This special journal issue of Choreographic Practices—WORDS and DANCE—aims to draw together, contribute to and exemplify debates around the use of spoken word in current and future 21st Century dance practices as well as its place in the contemporary cultural landscape.

What are the intersections between spoken words (in the form of live narrative, poetry, dialogue or writing) and choreographic practices?
What is the relationship between the word and the move?
How can/do spoken words and dance work together, especially in improvisatory practice?
What implications does the use of voice have in dance practice?

Read more…

FINE LINE—develop dance theatre writing skills

Force Majeure and Australian Theatre for Young People (ATYP) have launched FINE LINE, a three-year partnership to discover the next generation of writers for dance. Led by Force Majeure's Danielle Micich and ATYP's Frasier Corfield, the program will give young writers the opportunity to develop skills in writing for the medium of dance theatre. In 2016, FINE LINE will kick off with a skills masterclass. Writers aged 18–26 interested in telling stories through dance theatre are encouraged to apply.

Skills masterclass

  • Date: 5–6 March, 10 am – 4 pm at ATYP
  • Expressions of interest: Complete the online application form by 5 pm Thursday 11 February.
  • More info: bit.ly/1WOSt3f

Script workshops

Following on from the skills masterclass, a group of up to three young writers will be selected for a series of script workshops. Danielle Micich will mentor the selected writers on every aspect of writing for dance theatre – from research and development, to how to write for a devised work with performers, to delivering a text. These will run from 4–9 July 2016.

The final stage of the three-year FINE LINE program will be the full-scale production of one or two scripts at ATYP.

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Ausdance NSW is hiring

Ausdance NSW has an exciting program set for 2016–2018. We are seeking two new team members: a Marketing and Administration Officer and a Dance Development Officer.

Marketing and Administration

You will have responsibility for the look, brand and feel of Ausdance NSW. You will have major input into the new 2016 – 2018 marketing and communication plan. You will lead the promotion of the organisations projects and events and execute general administration tasks. You will lead membership drives and facilitate the promotion of our members events and projects.

Visit the Ausdance NSW website to read the position description.

Dance Development Officer

This is a key role within the organisation. You will work with dance, the broader arts sector and other key stakeholders to develop dance for NSW in line with the organisations strategic plan and KPI’s. Work with the director, staff and board to achieve the organisation's vision and goals on a macro and micro level.

Visit the Ausdance NSW website to read the position description.

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fLiNG Physical Theatre is hiring!

We are seeking an associate artist to work with Co-Artistic Director Rob McCredie to deliver our 2016/17 program. This is a maternity leave cover position for one year, from April 2016 to April 2017.

This is a full-time position offering the right person a unique insight and experience in working with a growing arts organisation. The associate artist will be creating new performance work, engaging with our vibrant community through education programs and working as part of a small and passionate team to deliver regional art at its best.

fLiNG Physical Theatre is located on the pristine Sapphire Coast in NSW. We work primarily in Bega and Tathra. And, you guessed it, there is a whole lot more happening here than just cheese!

So why work with fLiNG Physical Theatre?

  • fLiNG Physical Theatre is a flagship company that produces original contemporary performance for local and national audiences.
  • The associate artist will receive opportunities to develop their practice, make and present work.
  • fLiNG has a strong and supportive community around us who are excited to learn.
  • The associate artist will get to work with a company of young artists who are energised, inspiring, hungry for new experiences and willing to work hard!

If you are interested in this position, please download the job description.

Applications close 27 February 2016.

For more information, contact Gabrielle Rose, co-artistic director, fLiNG Physical Theatre.

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International symposium Dance routes—danced roots: connecting the local and the global

In 2016, the Korean chapter of World Dance Alliance Asia Pacific will host the WDAAP Annual General Meeting and surrounding activities as the event 'Dance routes—danced roots: connecting the local and the global', from 21 to 24 July 2016.

Key information

Registration and conference information.

Ausdance members are automatically World Dance Alliance and we encourage you to attend this international networking event. Each year many Australian artists participate in and benefit from World Dance Alliance events, choreographic development opportunities and publications.

The 2016 Symposium theme focuses on the idea of global and local connectivity through dance, looking at roots as well as routes that dance and dancers negotiate in different cultures of the contemporary world. While the rootedness of the dance traditions remains as important an area in dance research, the emerging and ever-changing routes like migration and diaspora, inter-culturalism, technology, media, and expanding scope for dance as a tool for wellness and somatic well-being are becoming essential focuses of dance research. As a result danced and dance generated dialogues in social, cultural and political milieus have expanded the current research in dance studies in the contemporary times.

The paper presenters will discuss some important questions connected to the local issues and the global negotiations in the ‘world’ of dance:

  • How does dance connect global and local communities and how is the dance community connected to and through important global issues and trends? These trends could be related to the environment, global economy, public health, international conflicts, understanding and embodiment of gender, issues around well-ness and so forth.
  • What does the community of dancers have in common with other communities around the world—in terms of similarities in resources (both natural, economic and social), and dissimilarities rising out of ethnic and cultural diversity, natural resources, geographic location, and so forth.
  • What are some of the familiar aspects of dances in all cultures, and how are they addressed similarly or differently in our community and in communities around the world?
  • How are personal/ local/ culture-specific experiences in and through dance in our community connected to universal experiences? These could include challenges such as violence, poverty, migration, and homelessness or positive experiences such as artistic traditions, rituals, festivals, celebrations and ever-increasing possibilities of cross-cultural collaborations.
  • How do the corporeal connect to the sensorial in dance practices in a fast changing and increasingly technology-reliant world of the dancer?
  • Where do dancers find connections between the local and the global concepts of space and time?

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Aon Ausdance insurance: more cover, cheaper price

Beginning 1 January 2016, our approved insurance partner Aon are proud to launch an even better offering on their Public Liability insurance, tailored specifically for Ausdance members.

While the need to employ best practice is a given, it is still common for a dancer or dance business to be sued for things like providing incorrect advice, damage to a third party and/or injury to students. It’s therefore critical to ensure you also have the right insurance in place.

So, having spoken with Ausdance and listened to the feedback of the dance industry and their clients, Aon’s Public Liability insurance, is now available for new customers with more cover, and at a cheaper price.

Key changes

  • Easy choice of $10million or $20 million Public Liability cover
  • Automatically included Professional Indemnity upped to $5 million cover.
  • Prices now start from as low as $324.40
  • Even simpler & quicker journey through Aon’s no-obligation Buy Online platform.

For any questions, visit A on Ausdance insurance  or call 1800 806 584.

Read more on Aon’s cover, and the importance of Public liability in the dance industry.

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Chunky Move’s NEXT MOVE 2016 EOIs now open

NEXT MOVE is our commitment to developing the next generation of leading dance makers. Since its inception, we have commissioned, produced and presented nine new works through the Next Move program, some of which have gone on to tour nationally and internationally.

In 2016, we will commission two artists to each create a new short work for the Next Move program as part of a double bill. The works will be presented over a two-week season in September 2016 at the Chunky Move Studios.

We are now calling for expressions of interest and invite Australian dance makers with a least 5 years of professional practice to apply.

For further information, download the information pack.

Expressions of Interest are due no later than midnight on Friday 29 January 2016.

Please send any questions to Ben Ryan at [email protected] or call 03 9645 5188.

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Nominate outstanding performances by Australian dance professionals!

The annual Australian Dance Awards (ADAs) recognise and honour professional Australian dance artists who have made an outstanding contribution to dance. These Awards are non-commercial events that rely on the generosity and goodwill of the committee, the dance sector, the presenting venue and, of course, the nominees and presenters.

The ADAs

  • publicly honour and reward those who have, through their achievements, raised the standards of dance in Australia
  • raise the profile and prestige of dance and acknowledge the depth and diversity of the dance profession in our society
  • present a diverse performance program in support of the awards ceremony
  • provide an opportunity for colleagues and friends from across the dance industry to come together to celebrate and acknowledge outstanding achievement.
SA based company Gravity & Other Myths won in 2015 for Outstanding Achievement in Commercial Dance, Musical or Physical Theatre for A Simple Space. Photo: Steve Ullathorne.

Nominations close 28 February 2016

Nominations for next year’s awards must be submitted before 28 February 2016.

You can nominate any time during the year on the Australian Dance Awards website. Please read the selection criteria first and say why you think this performance, person or composition is worthy of consideration for an Australian Dance Award.

Each year we compile a reminder list of eligible works (those that were presented the previous calendar year) to help when you go to submit your nominations. Please contact the nomination coordinator if your work is missing.

Work being nominated for outstanding achievement in choreography, independent dance, youth dance, community dance, commercial dance and dance on film for 2016 must have premiered during 2015.

The current members of the selection panel are listed on the website. These people, plus panel chair Robina Beard and advisors Lee Christofis, Jeff Meiners and Julie Dyson, are keen to see new work wherever possible, so please invite them to your openings. You can email invitations to the nominations coordinator or directly to the Selection Panel (ask for a current list if you don’t already have one).

Encourage your audience to nominate!

Feel free to include this invitation in your programs, on your websites and through your social media networks:

Australian Dance Awards – you can nominate!
Were you excited or moved by the performance this evening? Did a particular dancer deliver a stunning performance?
You can nominate a choreographer, a dancer, a company or a piece of choreography for an Australian Dance Award. Nominate now while your memory is fresh! Visit the Australian Dance Awards website.

Have a look at some of our members' work already on the 2016 eligible works list

The 2016 Awards will be held in Perth, Sunday 18 September. All ADAs recipients and Hall of Fame inductees are listed on the Australian Dance Awards website.

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New dance insurance premiums arrive in 2016

Ausdance has a long-standing partnership with Aon Risk Services to negotiate the best insurance cover for the dance industry. Last year premiums for public liability cover were cut by 33%. For 2016, premiums will not only drop further, but you’ll also be covered for more.

Look forward to an Ausdance member discount and extended cover. Dance studio owners and teachers will appreciate a new cover against claims relating to molestation allegations, a cover which is exclusively offered by Aon.

Question: Have you installed your own dance floors? If yes, we recommend talking to Aon about getting business insurance to ensure your floors are also covered.

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Challenging questions explored at Ausdance dance sector meetings

Ausdance coordinated a meeting of eight representatives of the nationally funded dance companies with the CEO of the Australia Council and senior staff on 12 December 2015.

The aim was multiple: to understand the further implications of the diversion of funds to the National Program for Excellence in the Arts (now Catalyst); to query the status of the vacant role of Chair of Dance, as an announcement had not been made about retaining this role; and to discuss the role of funding in sustaining the dance ecology so carefully developed over the past years.

The diversion of funds does challenge the current number of nationally funded small to medium dance companies, and the announcement of funding or otherwise in April 2016 will reveal the extent of the loss. We note the recent departure of the Australia Council Director Dance Carin Mistry and thank her for many years of dedicated championing of professional dance. We congratulate the new Arts Practice Director, Dance, Adrian Burnett, and look forward to a similarly productive relationship.

Other meetings attended include a teleconference with ArtsPeak; a teleconference convened by the MEAA at the request of freelance commercial dancers to consider minimum pay rates, which will result in a first-ever survey of this sector (think #paythedancers); and a teleconference to consult with youth theatre companies with the thought of learning for youth dance funding.

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Summer Brisbane Contemporary Dance Intensive with Expressions Dance Co

  • Dates: 11–15 January 2016 (Week one) and 18–22 January 2016 (Week two)
  • Venue: Brisbane, Queensland (venue TBC)
  • Times: 9 am–5 pm daily
  • Cost: $570 per person or $1050 per person for 2 weeks
  • For bookings and more info, visit Expressions Dance Company

Dance into your future at Expressions Dance Company’s Summer Brisbane Contemporary Dance Intensive (BCDI), held 11–15 and 18–22 January 2016 in Brisbane.

BCDI is regarded as one of Australia’s best contemporary dance training programs. Over the course of two weeks, you’ll have the chance to work exclusively with EDC’s award-winning dancers as well as some of Australia's most respected dance artists including Craig Bary and Kristina Chan. You’ll get to master your performance skills and deepen your ability to create unique and engaging dance, and have fun while doing it!

The 2016 Summer program has been curated by internationally celebrated dance artist Amy Hollingsworth. Amy brings her extensive skills as both a dancer, working with some of the best dance companies and choreographers, and as a rehearsal/dance director.

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2016 Keir Choreographic Award finalists announced

Congratulations to the eight commissioned artists Sarah Aiken, James Batchelor, Chloe Chignell, Ghenoa Gela, Martin Hansen, Alice Heyward, Rebecca Jensen and Paea Leach.

The Award increases the profile of and cultivates new audiences for contemporary dance within Australia by commissioning and presenting new choreographic works in a competitive context.

For more information, visit Carriageworks.

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World Dance Alliance Asia Pacific 2016 conference: call for performances, choreolab and symposium

In 2016, the Korean chapter of World Dance Alliance Asia Pacific (WDAAP) will host the WDAAP Annual General Meeting and surrounding activities as the event Dance routes—danced roots: connecting the local and the global. It will include showcase performances, an international choreolab and a symposium.

Key information

  • Conference theme: Dance routes—danced roots: connecting the local and the global
  • Conference location and date: Seoul, Korea, 21–24 July 2016
  • Apply to present: performances, scholarly, performative and Pecha Kucha style presentations
  • Apply to participate in the Choreolab
  • Submission deadline: 10 January 2016
  • Acceptance notification: 28 February 2016
  • For detailed information and to apply, visit the World Dance Alliance website

Applications are now open for participation in the following events:

  • Showcase Performances
  • International Choreolab
  • Symposium—call for proposals

The Showcase provides a concert platform for professional choreographers and performers, and pre-professional artists training in dance academies. The performances will take place in the theaters located in the ShangShin Univeristy or Arko Theater and will be open to registered participants of the WDAAP event and the general public.

The International Choreolab is designed for four emerging and mid-career choreographers to work intensively for almost one week under the mentorship of one Korean established dance artist and one internationally known choreographers (to be announced) resulting in a public showing of works in progress. You can apply to participate in the Choreolab as a choreographer or as a dancer.

The Symposium theme focuses on the idea of global and local connectivity through dance, looking at roots as well as routes that dance and dancers negotiate in different cultures of the contemporary world. Presentation formats include scholarly, performative and Pecha Kucha style presentations.

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NAAE welcomes final endorsement of The Australian Curriculum: The Arts

The National Advocates for Arts Education (NAAE) welcomes the endorsement of The Australian Curriculum: The Arts by the Australian Education Council, and the release this week of the updated Australian Curriculum website (version 8.0).

The NAAE, which represents the five art forms included as separate subjects in the curriculum, has been campaigning for seven years on behalf of arts educators across the country. The Arts were not initially included in the national curriculum at all, and this week therefore marks a significant occasion, when The Arts are not only in the curriculum, but they include all five art forms: Dance, Drama, Media Arts, Music and the Visual Arts.

NAAE welcomes ACARA’s response to the Review of the Australian Curriculum, which had recommended a reduction of the Arts curriculum from five arts subject to two. In response to the review's concerns about the 'crowded curriculum', ACARA has introduced optional, single learning area achievement standards for The Arts, while keeping existing subject specific achievement standards as an alternative (NAAE's preferred option). There will be no changes to content descriptions.

The Australian Curriculum: The Arts has already received international recognition as a leader in 21st Century curriculum. Australia is in the unique position of having an Arts curriculum that provides sequential development for each art form, achieving language cohesion without homogenisation, and using appropriately more specialised language in the secondary years. The curriculum provides teachers with information for implementation support across the five art forms.

However, NAAE recognises that schools and teachers have flexibility to make decisions about how they teach the curriculum in accordance with the needs of their students, the requirements of their school and local curriculum authorities. We will continue to work on advocacy and implementation issues as the curriculum is rolled out across the country.

Download the media release. (550 KB PDF)

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Working with children in performing arts—industry consultation

Working with Children in performing arts? Innovation and Business Skills Australia, in conjunction with Focus on Skills and Ausdance, is developing a working with children skill set and units of competency in performing arts.

This project will involve working with AUSDANCE to address identified gaps in the current Dance qualifications and units:

  • Safe dance environments and equipment
  • Dances appropriate to age groups
  • Student health and wellbeing
  • Regulated environment for good teaching practice and code of conduct.

The first round of industry consultation has been completed and revised drafts of the Working with Children in Performing Arts skill sets and units have been updated to reflect stakeholder feedback. A new draft unit applicable to all people working with children in performing arts environments and an additional skill set were developed in response to feedback. All materials are now available for final validation and stakeholder input. Responses are required by close of business Monday 19 October.

Draft materials f or feedback

IBSA invites final comment on the following new materials:

Skill set:

  • CUASS00054 Working With Children in Performing Arts Skill Set
  • CUASS00055 Assistant dance teaching skill set

Units of competency (and their assessment requirements):

  • CUADTM412 Promote the physical and emotional wellbeing of children in performing arts
  • CUAWHS405 Provide a safe performing arts environment for children
  • CUAWHS406 Interact appropriately with children in performing arts environments

To read the draft materials for feedback, visit the Working with Children in performing arts web page on the IBSA website.

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Call for applicants—a secondment/professional development program with Shaun Parker

Shaun Parker & Company is calling for applicants for its annual TRIGGER program, which will take place in December 2015.

Key information

  • What: TRIGGER secondment program.
  • Where: IO MYERS Theatre, University of NSW, Sydney.
  • When: 9.30 am – 6.00 pm, 7–18 Dec 2015
  • Who: We are looking for five dancers who were born with the XY male chromosome. ie. Male dancers or dancers born with the male XY chromosome, but who identify as being female.
  • Cost: Free.
  • Deadline for application: 19 October 2015

The five chosen applicants will join our company of nine dancers who will be working on the creative development of our new work XY.

The program will include a daily technique class in yoga and contemporary dance, followed by task-based improvisation processes with artistic director and award-winning choreographer Shaun Parker. This two-week workshop is free of charge and is invitation only, so please ensure that you submit a strong application for selection.

Shaun Parker will be using this time to develop the skills of the applicants, as well as looking for dancers for various projects for 2016 and 2017.

To apply

Please email the following material to the General Manager Sonia Grebenshikoff at: [email protected]

  • 1-page CV
  • Headshot
  • Link to edited footage of your performance work.

(Please choose carefully the footage you include, as this will be what the artistic director will be basing selection upon.)

Successful applicants notified by early November.

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Australian Talented Youth Project 2015–2016: Call for Nominations

The Australian Talented Youth Project 2015–2016 is a creative opportunity for young emerging artists aged 16–25, with a particular emphasis on those from regional and remote Australia.

The selected young artists will be mentored by leading professionals in the various artistic fields. The year-long face-­to-face and electronic mentoring program includes a week-long residential component to be held in Canberra in February 2016, and all accommodation, catering and transportation to and from the residential component are included.

This year, mentorship is available in the following artistic fields:

  • Music (Voice)
  • Music (Jazz) (keyboard, double bass, guitar, saxophone, vocals
  • Dance
  • Filmmaking
  • Theatre/acting
  • Writing for Theatre
  • Digital Arts

Since there are only 16 places available, which are spread over the various creative and performing arts, the organisers are calling for arts organisations to nominate candidates of the highest calibre. For more information, and the nomination form, please visit the Australian Talented Youth Project website.

Nominations close 15 October 2015.

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Ausdance WA seeks new Director

Key information

  • Job title: Director, Ausdance WA
  • Location: King Street Arts Centre, Perth
  • Applications close 5.00 pm 16 October 2015
  • Annual salary: $60,000—$80,000

Ausdance WA exists to ensure dance is integrally embedded in the cultural life of Western Australians as an art form, career pathway, recreational pursuit and healthy life choice.

‘Lifelong Dance’ is the vision informing our strategies for the 2016-18 triennial. The proposed program of activities will realise this vision across the spectrum of professional and non-professional dance.

We are seeking a leader in program delivery, dance education and policy development to champion innovation, excellence and creativity in dance.

The successful candidate will provide a range of assistance and support to the elected Management Committee; manage the day-to-day affairs of Ausdance-WA; be accountable and responsible for the organisations financial, human and physical resources; and create and maintain effective relationships to be an active advocate and provide leadership for dance in WA.

To express your interest in this role, please email the following to [email protected]:

  • Your resume
  • A statement outlining why you would be effective in this position (max 1000).Your statement must relate to the responsibilities of the position and provide evidence indicating you have the required competencies and experience for the position.

Applications must be received by 5.00 pm 16 October 2015.

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Adoption of The Australian Curriculum: The Arts

Today the Education Council endorsed the Australian Curriculum in eight learning areas, INCLUDING THE ARTS! Congratulations to all our NAAE colleagues, to Linda Lorenza, and to all the wonderful teachers out there who supported the consultation process and contributed their expert knowledge to the writing of the curriculum. What a fabulous outcome for the Arts and for Australian students everywhere!

Adoption of The Australian Curriculum: The Arts by Australian education Ministers is an exciting development, especially after the Pyne review recommended that five art forms in the draft curriculum be reduced to two. However, in response to the review's concerns about the 'crowded curriculum', ACARA has introduced optional, single learning area achievement standards for The Arts, while keeping existing subject-specific achievement standards as an alternative (NAAE's preferred option). There will be no changes to content descriptions. Version 8.0 of the curriculum will be available on ACARA's website from 18 October.

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2015 Australian Dance Award Winners

The 2015 Australian Dance Awards were announced and presented at Her Majesty's Theatre in Adelaide on Saturday 12 September. Congratulations to the winners and all the shortlisted nominees!

Hall of Fame Inductees

Marilyn Jones OBE

Marilyn Jones OBE, Australia’s first new prima ballerina of The Australian Ballet is an iconic figure of dance. From her first season with the company to her last, she sustained an innately lyrical aesthetic. Marilyn’s warmth and humility in such classics as Swan Lake, Raymonda, Sleeping Beauty and, perhaps above all, Giselle with her (then) husband Garth Welch, made her a favourite with audiences nationally and abroad.

Following her performance career, Marilyn taught at the National Theatre Ballet School and was artistic director of The Australian Ballet (1979-1982), where she established the Dancers Company involving final year students of The Australian Ballet School. In 1995 she became Artistic Director of the National Theatre School, and later, Senior Lecturer and Coordinator of Classical Dance at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts.

Today Marilyn is the artistic director of the Australian Institute of Classical Dance, which she established to produce a new Australian ballet-training syllabus. In 1996 she launched the much-valued Dance Creation competition for emerging choreographers. Marilyn continues to lead the Institute’s valuable work, which comprises workshops for students, teachers’ seminars, examinations, scholarship competitions and residencies at the Royal New Zealand Ballet School and the Houston Ballet School in Texas USA.

One of our greatest classical dancers, Marilyn has inspired and influenced generations of young dancers throughout her distinguished life in dance.

Dr Elizabeth Cameron Dalman OAM

Nationally and internationally renowned as a choreographer, teacher and performer, Elizabeth has been passionate and dedicated to dance and the arts for her entire life. Part of a generation of artists seeking a spiritual and holistic way of expressing themselves, she has helped to define Australia's cultural identity and expression in the modern world and has made a significant and lasting impact on the development of Australian contemporary dance.

Originally trained in Adelaide, Elizabeth left to study with remarkable choreographers before returning to found and lead Australian Dance Theatre, following which she taught and choreographed in Europe before returning to the freelance life in Australia and founding Mirramu Creative Arts Centre in New South Wales. She continues to dance, teach and choreograph around the world.

A visionary as well as a pioneer, Elizabeth has always been an advocate of human rights—as expressed in her many creative works—actively supporting Aboriginal rights, women's rights, the environment and contemporary arts. Leading a generation of artists who were seeking a spiritual and holistic pathway through their art in order to communicate and explore ways to interpret the world, she has contributed to defining Australia's diverse cultural identity and has made a significant and lasting impact on the development of Australian contemporary dance.

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Job opportunity: Executive Director at Ausdance Victoria

We have a newly created Executive Director role with a small dynamic organisation and are looking for an arts professional with a passion for the dance sector, and for education and advocacy. Ideally you have had senior management experience and are driven to shape an organisation which is ready for change. Work experience in the education sector would be an advantage as we are an RTO.

If you are an all-rounder who has had financial, funding and strategic planning experience, we would love to hear from you. A position description is available by emailing [email protected]

Applications close Wednesday 30 September. Further enquiries contact Majella Curtis, Vice President, Board of Directors on 0430 091 210.

Position description (120KB PDF file)

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Australian arts funding—September 2015 update

In 2013, 702,000 Australians attended a performance, workshop, or school activity facilitated by a national dance organisation (Key Arts Organisation (KAO) or Major Performing Arts company (MPA)). Australian dance continued to make a significant impact overseas, reaching an international audience of 69,000 through 122 performances by KAOs and MPAs across Europe, South America and the Middle East. From a small amount of funding support our dance companies are engaging audiences, sharing Australian cultural experiences and supporting developing artists.

However, this is all at risk due to the changes in funding being rolled out following the May 2015 Federal Budget. The Australia Council for the Arts has suffered a $34 million cut over the past two budgets, reducing overall funding from $218.7million to $184.5 million.

These reductions have been focused on initiatives and sector grants and the cessation of programs such as ArtStart, Australian Fellowships and Artists In Residence programs. 

$110 million over four years has been directed to the Ministry for the Arts to facilitate the National Program for Excellence in the Arts (NPEA). The guidelines for this program are being drafted, but initial indications show the NPEA will not support individual artists or organisational sustainability.

The arts sector, concerned about these changes, were successful in lobbying the Senate to inquire into these changes. The inquiry is being undertaken by the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Reference Committee and received over 2000 submissions from the public, many opposing the changes.

The inquiry is hearing from a diverse range of artists and organisations, including many dance focused groups. The Committee is due to report in November.

The arts broadly and the professional dance sector specifically contributes to the understanding of Australia’s culture and international profile. While MPA dance companies earn 73 percent of their income via box office and other non-government support, internal Australia Council reporting highlights the reliance small to medium companies have on government support to be able to deliver their creative output. In 2013, dance key organisations received 69 percent of all income from government sources, compared to 37 percent in music and 50 percent in theatre.

Despite a recent increased focus on growing private sector funding by KAO dance companies, it remains only approximately $1 million a year, spread across 13 organisations. While this focus has seen an increase on previous years (260 percent since 2008), private funding for the arts has predominately been directed at larger, more established arts organisations. Small to medium organisations need a growth in base capacity and ongoing stability to be able to harness such relationships.

This is a challenging time for all involved in making professional dance. Follow the debate at #freethearts on Twitter and Facebook and via the Ausdance advocacy page.

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Adelaide abuzz with the influx of some of Australia’s best dancers and dance companies

The Australian Dance Awards 2015 will land in Adelaide for the very first time and the city is abuzz with the influx of some of Australia’s best dancers, dance companies, dance writers, and everyone else who helps Australian dance achieve on the national and international stage.

A packed performance program features Australian Dance Theatre celebrating their 50th anniversary, Dancenorth, Melbourne City Ballet, Restless Dance Theatre, Leigh Warren, with a Welcome to Country from Karl Winda Telfer and Kurruru Youth Arts. It will also see the restaging of an early Elizabeth Cameron Dalman piece for ADT by the current company, the ADT Youth Ensemble will perform the exciting Smash Crack Zeal., and Dusty Feet Dance Collective will appear on film from Alice Springs.

Amongst the Awards will be the induction of two of Australia’s most distinguished contributors of dance to the Hall of Fame. Both Marilyn Jones OBE and Dr Elizabeth Cameron Dalman OAM will receive their certificates from Dr Alan Brissenden AM, himself inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2013, and Ms Elizabeth Walsh, the Chair of Arts Practice, Dance, The Australia Council. The Lifetime Achievement Award will also be presented to Marilyn Rowe OBE. Thirteen Awards in total will be presented, with the Hall of Fame and the Ausdance Peggy van Praagh Choreographic Fellowship.

The Australian Dance Awards will be presented at 7.30 pm at Her Majesty’s Theatre Adelaide on 12 September 2015. Tickets from BASS outlets.

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Job opportunity: Dancenorth General Manager

Are you an experienced arts administrator, a strategic and inspirational leader, an exceptional collaborator, communicator and networker?

Dancenorth, Australia’s leading regional contemporary dance company, have a dynamic new structure that enables Australia’s most talented choreographers to create new works.  Fresh from a national tour the company is gaining attention and is looking for a dynamic leader to maximise upon opportunities to take them to the next level.

This full-time position is based in Townsville, North Queensland.

In the first instance, please email [email protected] for a full job description by 5 pm Sunday 19 September.

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2015 Australian Dance Awards announces two inductees to the Hall of Fame

The Australian Dance Awards is delighted to announce two inductees to the Hall of Fame for 2015.

The Hall of Fame is the most prestigious of all Australian Dance Awards and is made directly by the Awards Advisory Panel in recognition of the individual’s unique contribution and role in professional dance.

The inductees are Marilyn Jones OBE and Dr Elizabeth Cameron Dalman OAM, who will both attend on the night.

Marilyn Jones OBE

Marilyn Jones on pointe and wearing a white tutu, leans over arms outstretched towards Jonathan Kelly who kneels before her clasping her arms.Marilyn Jones & Jonathan Kelly rehearse Anne Wooliams' Swan Lake. 1978 Flemington studios. Photo Michael Cook

Marilyn Jones OBE, Australia’s first new prima ballerina of The Australian Ballet, founded in 1962, remains an iconic figure of dance. From her first season with the company to her last, she sustained an innately lyrical aesthetic.

Her warmth and humility in the classics made her a favourite with audiences nationally and abroad. She was Artistic Director from 1979—1982.

Today Marilyn is the artistic director of the Australian Institute of Classical Dance, which she established during an Australia Council Creative Artists Fellowship to produce a new, Australian ballet-training syllabus.

In 1996 she launched the Dance Creation competition for emerging choreographers. Marilyn continues to lead the Institute’s valuable work, which comprises workshops for students, teachers’ seminars, examinations, scholarship competitions and residencies at the Royal New Zealand Ballet School and the Houston Ballet School in Texas USA.

Elizabeth Cameron Dalman OAM

A black and white photo of Elizabeth Cameron Dalman jumps high in the air, head stretched back, with arms reaching above her. She is smiling.Elizabeth, 1974. Photo: Jan Dalman

Nationally and internationally renowned as a director, choreographer, teacher and performer, Elizabeth is one of our foremost dance pioneers. A passionate artist with a life-long dedication to dance, Elizabeth has been a prime mover in shaping the Australian dance landscape for over 50 years.

Part of a generation of artists seeking a spiritual and holistic way of expressing themselves, she has helped to define Australia's cultural identity and expression in the modern world and has made a significant and lasting impact on the development of Australian contemporary dance.

Originally trained in Adelaide, Elizabeth left to study with remarkable choreographers before returning to found and lead Australian Dance Theatre, following which she taught and choreographed in Europe before returning to the freelance life in Australia and founding Mirramu Creative Arts Centre in New South Wales.

She continues to dance, teach and choreograph around the world.

The Australian Dance Awards 2015

The Australian Dance Awards 2015 are presented by Ausdance and Harlequin Floors with the Adelaide Festival Centre, 7.30 pm on 12 September at Her Majesty’s Theatre Adelaide. Get your Australian Dance Awards tickets from BASS outlets.

Ausdance thanks presenting partner Harlequin Floors and the Adelaide Festival Centre, Equity, AON Risk Management Services, Innovation & Business Skills Australia, Australian Dance Theatre and TAFE SA, and welcomes new partners Gaynor Minden and Novatech Creative Event Technology.

Ausdance National is assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body.

Neil Roach, Project Officer for the Australian Dance Awards 2015

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Award for Lifetime Achievement 2015

The Australian Dance Awards committee is pleased to announce that the Lifetime Achievement Award for 2015 will be presented to Marilyn Rowe OBE in recognition of a lifetime dedicated to dance.

After an outstanding career as an internationally acclaimed principal artist with The Australian Ballet, Marilyn dedicated her life to The Australian Ballet School and its students, helping shape the future of young dancers through her leadership, vision and innovative education programs. Marilyn has been instrumental in developing a world-class unique dance training institution that produces distinctly Australian dancers who have learned through a holistic educational program which balances technique, artistry, academic education and student care. She is the driving force behind the establishment of Marilyn Rowe House, a residence for The Australian Ballet School.

Clockwise from top L: with Dame Peggy van Praagh in the studio; with John Meehan in The Merry Widow Photo: Branco Gaica; with Gary Norman in Spartacus Photo: Branco Gaica; in rehearsal at The Australian Ballet's Flemington studios 1971 Photo: Paul Cox. Images courtesy of The Australian Ballet.

Marilyn performed and created a phenomenal body of work in her performing years, equally outstanding in both classical and contemporary techniques. Her reputation in the latter was forged, when American choreographer Glen Tetley chose Marilyn, Alida Chase, John Meehan and Gary Norman for his ground breaking ballet, Gemini in 1973. Also that year she formed an acclaimed partnership with Kelvin Coe, with whom she won the prize for most outstanding couple plus individual silver medals at the Moscow International Ballet Competition. Her talent inspired other choreographers who illuminated the most brilliant partnerships: with John Meehan in The Merry Widow (Ronald Hynd) and Gary Norman in Anna Karenina (André Prokovsky) as did John Cranko’s existing ballets, Romeo and Juliet and Onegin.

A multi-award winning performer, artist, director and teacher, Marilyn’s legacy to dance, dance education and to Australian arts and culture is far reaching and will be long-lasting. Her contribution has been acknowledged with her appointment as Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 1980 for her services to ballet in Australia.

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ArtsPeak’s response to the draft guidelines for the National Program for Excellence in the Arts

ArtsPeak's response to National Program for Excellence in the Arts draft guidelines (360KB PDF)

Dear Minister Brandis

Re: draft guidelines for the National Program for Excellence in the Arts (NPEA)

ArtsPeak (the confederation of Australian national peak arts organisations and arts industry councils) welcomes the opportunity to respond to the recently released draft guidelines for the Federal Government’s National Program for Excellence in the Arts (NPEA). ArtsPeak particularly welcomes the Government’s statement about the intrinsic value of the arts:

While valuing the many secondary benefits which flow from arts activities, the Program seeks to celebrate the intrinsic capacity of the arts to engage, inspire and make meaning for all Australians.

1. Sustainability

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Ausdance responds to the Draft Guidelines for the National Program for Excellence in the Arts

Draft Guidelines for the Program

Ausdance responds to the Draft Guidelines for the National Program for Excellence in the Arts (300KB PDF)

The Australian Dance Council – Ausdance National is Australia's peak body for dance: educating, inspiring and supporting the dance community in reaching its potential as a dynamic force within local, national and international communities. As part of a network of Ausdance organisations working across Australia, we design and deliver accessible services and integrated programs to support dance in Australia. Ausdance is a member of ArtsPeak and the National Advocates for Arts Education, and facilitates the Tertiary Dance Council of Australia.

We welcome the opportunity to review the guidelines in draft format, noting this new funding process exists under the Commonwealth Grants Rules and Guidelines and will need to be approved by the Finance Minister before commencing.

Ausdance supports the feedback provided by ArtsPeak relating to the Guidelines and adds these further comments.

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Child sexual abuse in the entertainment industry

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse would like to hear from anyone who has experienced, or has information regarding, child sexual abuse in institutions in the entertainment industry.

Royal Commission CEO Philip Reed said that the Royal Commission is calling for people with information about child sexual abuse in the entertainment industry to contact the Royal Commission.

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Congratulations Australian Dance Awards 2015 shortlisted nominees

Image courtesy Australian Dance Theatre. Photographer: Chris Herzfeld Camlight Productions. Dancers from L to R: Kimball Wong, Samantha Hines, Elizabeth Cameron Dalman, Matte Roffe & Lonii Garnons-Williams.

Congratulations to the shortlisted nominees.

Services to Dance

  • Jeff Busby
  • Philippe Charluet
  • Nicolette Fraillon
  • Jennifer Irwin

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Call for Applications: Sydney Dance Company’s Pre-Professional Year 2016

Sydney Dance Company is pleased to invite applications from talented Australian and New Zealand dancers wishing to take part in its Pre-Professional Year program in 2016.

Key information

Applications close 13 August 2015
Course fee: $13,500
For advanced dance students aged 18 or older (or turning 18 in 2016) with a high level of training in Ballet and/or Contemporary dance.
Qualification awarded at completion: Certificate IV in Dance (CUA40113)
Course length: 1 year (Monday–Friday, 9 am – 4.30 pm)
Course location: Sydney Dance Company’s Walsh Bay studios
Application guidelines and FAQs: Apply for the 2016 Pre-Professional Year

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Australian Dance Theatre’s Secondment Week 2015

Australian Dance Theatre’s Secondment Week is an unparalleled opportunity for graduating tertiary dance students to receive training in:

  • tumbling, choreographic tasking and stagecraft
  • current company repertoire
  • audition technique
  • forums on related topics like company life, diet, nutrition and marketing.

Key information

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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 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.

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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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2015 Australian Dance Awards

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

Key information

Date & time: 7.30 pm Saturday 12 September 2015
Location: Her Majesty's Theatre, Adelaide Festival Centre
Tickets: Get your Australian Dance Awards tickets from BASS

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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.

 

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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.

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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.

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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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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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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).

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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 [email protected]

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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 [email protected].

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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 [email protected] 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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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 [email protected] 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

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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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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 806 584.

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)

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 [email protected]. 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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