News

Apply now for 2015 Lucy Guerin Inc. studio residency

Making a new contemporary dance work? Need studio space?

Each year Lucy Guerin Inc. offers 5 x Studio Residencies to choreographers. These all take place at LGI studios, 28 Batman Street,
 West Melbourne.

There will be no presentation outcome to this initiative but artists are encouraged to arrange a showing of the work they develop at the studio and invite feedback from peers and audience. There is no cash component to this residency—only free space.

To apply

Download the application form and respond to the application questions by submitting 2 pages max. via email. All applications should be emailed to Claire Bradley at Lucy Guerin Inc.

Applicants will be notified of the outcome of their application by Monday 24 November 2014.

Deadline for applications: 11pm Monday 17 November 2014

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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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Audition–The Australian Ballet Education Ensemble

14 & 15 November, 2014
The Australian Ballet Lvl 5, 2 Kavanagh St, Southbank Melbourne

The Australian Ballet is now calling for applications for auditions its for Dance Education Ensemble 2015 where successful dancers will be offered exciting employment opportunities including skills development, touring, teaching and performance.

Auditioning dancers will be required to demonstrate the following attributes:

  • a comprehensive background and high standard of classical ballet technique — pointe work for females required
  • performance and repertoire knowledge/experience — ability to work with a dance director in a range of dance genre
  • high level of physical fitness — performance readiness
  • competent communication skills — articulate and ease in public speaking
  • teaching attributes —  motivated to work with students to promote the benefits of dance learning

Successful applicants will engage in:

  • a short-term contract (minimum 10 months) with The Australian Ballet (Feb – Nov 2015)
  • participate in a six week professional development session in teaching and performance
  • engage in program implementation for metropolitan and regional areas throughout Australia
  • be required to travel interstate during the contract duration

To apply

Email your resume to Hayley Arundel, Dance Education Ensemble Manager. Please include:

  • personal details
  • education qualification – secondary, tertiary and vocational
  • dance training and performance experience
  • allied skills – singing, acting, tap, circus arts and gymnastics
  • 2 photographs – head shot and full length

Deadline for applications: Friday 7 November

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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’.

Read more…

Dancenorth seeks production manager

Dancenorth requires an experienced team-oriented production manager to manage the productions of the dance company and a supervise a small theatre.

Applicants should be able to

  • manage the realisation of the design, technical and scheduling processes of our productions under the direction of management.
  • work for and protect the interests of the company to allow the directors and designers to dream and pursue every opportunity to realise their vision.
  • support the creative team and the logistics of our productions and lead the production team to holistically engage with all departments.
  • manage the production budget to ensure it remains within budgetary parameters.
  • supervise the management of a 200-seat theatre.

Read the media release.

Email applications to Trevor at Dancenorth for a full position description and job criteria.

Deadline for applications: 7 November

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Tanja Liedtke Fellowship

The Tanja Liedtke Foundation is now inviting applications for the 2015 Fellowship which will run from 3 August to 5 September.

Applicants should be between the ages of 20 and 35 and who are citizens or permanent residents of Australia.

The 2015 Fellowship program includes a 3-week creative development residency at ada Studio in Berlin, attendance at the international dance festival Tanz im August, and participation in Tanzlabor_21’s Summer Lab in Frankfurt am Main.

More information and how to apply can be found on the Tanja Liedtke Foundation website.

Deadline for applications: 12 December 2014.

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

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Dancers and performers wanted in New Zealand

Black Sheep Productions is calling for expressions of interest from dancers and performers who would like to be involved with the development and presentation of a new full-length choreography in 2015.

Approximately four dancers are required to make up the collective for this project. Successful applicants will be willing to work collaboratively under direction, have a strong background in contemporary technique and be comfortable contributing choreographic material, creating and performing partnering, speaking on stage and working with props/objects.

This role will be paid if a current funding application is successful (the outcome will be known by early December). The project will be postponed if funding is not received in this round.

For more information please email Natalie Maria Clark.

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Creative Arts Fellowship

The National Library of Australia is now inviting applications for the 2015 Creative Arts Fellowship.

The Creative Arts Fellowship of $10,000 is supported by the Friends of the National Library of Australia and aims to assist professional artists to develop new artistic work creatively using or inspired by the Library’s collections. 

The Fellowship is open to individuals practising in any art form. This may include writing, music, dance, theatre, visual arts, emerging, hybrid and experimental art forms. The 2015 Creative Arts Fellow must complete their residency by 30 June, 2015.

The Library provides creative artists with a unique and supportive environment in which to immerse themselves in the collections and to be inspired by, repurpose, transform or imaginatively respond to published or original sources, such as pictures, manuscripts, maps, music and oral histories, in any way they choose.

Deadline for applications: 9 November 2014

Apply now.

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Nominate now for Sidney Myer Performing Arts Awards

The Sidney Myer Performing Arts Awards were created in 1984 to commemorate
Sidney Myer’s life and his love for the arts. The awards recognise outstanding
achievements in dance, drama, comedy, music, opera, circus and puppetry.

The annual Sidney Myer Performing Arts Awards focus on two awards and one prize:

  • Individual Award ($50,000)
  • Group Award ($80,000)
  • Facilitator’s Prize ($20,000)

The Awards are decided on a national basis and each nomination is considered by a Judging Committee. While past achievement is recognised, consideration is also given to the potential of an individual or group to continue their contribution to Australian society through the performing arts into the future.

For the purpose of the Awards, the performing arts include all aspects of creation and performance across all forms of drama, comedy, dance, music, opera, circus and puppetry. They do not include visual or plastic arts, crafts, film, electronic media or literature.

To start your nomination or find out more about the program, please visit the Sidney Myer Fund’s website.

Deadline for nominations: 2 November 2014, 5pm (EST)

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Motion capture

Edith Cowan University is excited to announce that WAAPA has a new motion capture facility that will be utilised 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 complete Media Release.

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Artistic Director for new WA contemporary dance company

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

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

Career highlights

  • the programming of her solo show at the Sydney Opera House to a sell-out season (When Love Comes Calling, 2004)
  • her appointment as Artistic Director of Dancenorth (2010 – 2014)
  • being the second only international choreographer commissioned by the Bolshoi Ballet Academy (Vespers, 2009)
  • invitations to be artist-in-residence at School of Dance, the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts (Hong Kong, 2007 – 2009), the Cite Internationale des Arts (Paris, 2009 & 2011) and the Baryshnikov Arts Centre (New York City, 2010).

Awards

2014 Nominated – Outstanding Performance by a Company for Abandon (Australian Dance Awards)
2013 Nominated – Services to Dance Education (Australian Dance Awards)
2013 Nominated – Outstanding Achievement in Youth or Community Dance for Small Dances/Big Stories (Australian Dance Awards)
2013 Top 50 Most Influential People in North Queensland (Queensland Government)
2013 Queensland Cultural Champion (Queensland Government)
2012 Nominated – Best Ballet or Dance Work for MASS (Helpmann Awards)
2002 Commitment to dance in New Zealand (New Zealand School of Dance)
1992 Best All Round Student Award (New Zealand School of Dance)

Profile provided by CDCWA (The Contemporary Dance Company of Western Australia) 2014.

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Bachelor of Dance Studies, University of Auckland

The University of Auckland is now accepting applications for the Bachelor of Dance Studies 2015. Auditions will be held in New Zealand in November.

The National Institute of Creative Arts and Industries Dance Studies Programme is highly regarded in New Zealand and internationally as a centre of research and practice. You will work with leading professionals to advance your choreographic and performance techniques, broaden your understanding of dance history and the place of dance in contemporary culture, and gain the skills to pursue a sustainable career in a diverse range of dance-related fields.

Auditions

Wellington: Monday 10 November
Christchurch: Wednesday 12 November
Auckland: Friday 14 and Saturday 15 November

Visit the Auckland University website for more information.

For questions and application support please email the Dance Department.

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2014 Lifetime Achievement Award

Congratulations Leigh Warren!

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

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

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

As Artistic Director of Australian Dance Theatre and then Leigh Warren Dance, Leigh has been lauded for the diversity of his repertoire, his master craftsmanship in staging and the creation of a significant body of Australian work exemplifying successful artistic collaborations. His collaborations with opera, music, film, theatre and with artists such as Philip Glass, Paul Cox and Mary Moore, have resulted in ground breaking productions.

Importantly, Leigh has also demonstrated his ongoing commitment to nurturing Indigenous artists over more than a decade providing important opportunities for many artists.

Book your tickets for the 2014 Australian Dance Awards.

Read about all the Australian Dance Awards winners.

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Changes at Dancenorth

In a bold step to develop the company’s programs, revitalise its activities and diversify its performances in regional Queensland, Dancenorth has announced the rollout of a new and innovative company structure.

Chair of Dancenorth’s Board of Directors, Trevor Goldstone said:

This initiative will see Dancenorth audiences in Townsville and across Australia, benefit from a more diverse range of national and international choreographic styles and personalities. The change will bring more of Australia’s established and emerging choreographers to Townsville to create new works, and ensure Dancenorth becomes an iconic and exciting national creative dance hub, whilst at the same time building on the nationally recognised community and education program, for which the company has become justly proud.

Instead of a single artistic director, the new structure will see the appointment of three eminent and nationally renowned dance practitioners who will advise the company on its artistic pathway. Guest choreographers will then work with the Dancenorth team to deliver a range of exciting performances.

This means that after five years as Artistic Director, Raewyn Hill steps down from her position as the company embraces its fresh approach to producing top-quality contemporary dance in the region. Mr Goldstone thanked and acknowledged the contribution that Raewyn Hill has made to Dancenorth over the past five years—

Raewyn is an artistic director and choreographer of world standing and she had developed a series of stimulating, entertaining and cutting edge productions for Dancenorth that have been recognised Australia wide. We all wish the very best of success to Raewyn Hill in the next step of her career.

Mr. Goldstone added that the changing economy, funding arrangements, and consumption of performing arts have all led to this innovative restructure. It will create opportunities for audience development as more internationally recognised choreographers present a diverse range of works, which will be particularly beneficial to Townsville.

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Arts activated 2014 conference

28 – 29 October, Sydney

The closing date for Arts Activated 2014 registrations has been extended until 9pm AEDT Monday 13 October.

Register now to secure your place at the leading arts and disability conference in Chatswood, Sydney. Arts Activated accepts the Companion Card fair ticketing system. Information on the Companion Card can be found through the National Companion Card Scheme website.

Arts Access Australia and British Council have co-curated two international panel of specialists across the two-day conference program to discuss trends and challenges on the global scale, and  explore long-term relationships versus short-term engagement.

To register and to see the full program visit the Conference website.

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Performing Arts Market NZ 2015

9 –11 March, Auckland 2015

The Performing Arts Market is run by the Performing Arts Network of New Zealand (PANNZ). It is New Zealand’s sole marketplace for the promotion of professional tour ready dance, theatre and music productions.

It is also an important forum for connecting artists and presenters, debating the issues facing our industry and building capacity within our sector. PANNZ is attended by festival directors, venue managers, artists, producers and industry stakeholders.

Important dates

29 Sep: Registrations/applications open
27 Oct: Producer submissions to Cyberpaddock close
 3  Nov: Presenter voting round opens
17 Nov: Presenter voting round closes
24 Nov: Pitches announced
20 Dec: Earlybird registrations close
30 Jan: Registrations close (late fees begin)
9 –11 Mar: PANNZ Market 2015

For more information visit the PANNZ website.

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The Corner Dance Lab 2015

16 – 24 January 2015

Dance Integrated Australia and The Farm is excited to be hosting the second Corner Dance Lab in beautiful Federal (northern New South Wales).

The artistic line up for The Corner Dance Lab 2015 is:

Phil Blackman, Sean Campbell, Philip Channells, Hsin-Ju Chiu (Raw), Ben Ely, Kate Harman, Julian Louis, Kimberly McKintyre, Lee-Anne Litton, Kellie O’Dempsey, Timothy Ohl, Sarah-Vyne Vassallo, Gavin Webber.

Participants at the inaugural Corner Dance Lab, January 2014. Photo: Tim Standing / Daylight Breaks

As an independent artist who grew up in Byron Bay, it was my immense pleasure in returning to the region to participate in The Corner Dance Lab. Having the opportunity to work with a number of world-renowned leaders in dance and physical theatre, amongst such an inspiring and rich natural landscape made this experience unbeatable. Working alongside such a diverse range of artists in such a collaborative manner was truly remarkable and the artistic connections created are invaluable. The intensive needs to exist as a mainstay annual event for both the local and Australian wide artistic community.—Harrison Hall, Independent Artist (Melbourne)

Early Bird Expressions of Interest are now open. Register now and save $100!

Request an EOI form or telephone Philip Channells on +61 432 073 304 for more information.

Read about The Corner Dance Lab 2014.

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

Submit your ideas and proposals

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

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

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

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

Give us your feedback

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

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

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

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Ministers agree about the importance of arts education

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

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

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

Read the full statement from NAAE.

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International event for community dance practitioners

13 – 15 November 2014 Cardiff, Wales

The Foundation for Community Dance (FDUC) in the UK is proud to present this program of workshops, demonstrations and presentations for professionals working in the community dance sector.

Titled 'People Dancing', this event provides an opportunity to share practice and approaches to engaagemant across different international, social, economic and political contexts. 

Wherever and however you work with people in dance, 'People Dancing' provides an opportunity to share your practice and approaches to engagement across different international, social, economic and political contexts.

To find out more visit the FDUC website.

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2015 Conference for the Musical Theatre Educators’ Alliance

2 –23 June 2015, Edith Cowan University, Perth

Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA) is proud to host the 2015 Conference for the Musical Theatre Educators’ Alliance (MTEA), which will coincide with the 30th Anniversary of WAAPA’s much respected Music Theatre Course. Themed 'Australasian Overtures', this will be the first MTEA conference to be held in the Southern Hemisphere.

WAAPA’s Alumni include internationally celebrated artists such as Hugh Jackman, Tim Minchin, Lisa McCune, Eddie Perfect, and Lucy Durack and graduates of its Music Theatre Department are employed in every major commercial musical throughout Australasia.

Hugh Jackman says:

Having been fortunate enough to work in musical theatre all over the world, I know the value of learning from other performers/directors from different cultures, with different approaches. What a great idea to get Music Theatre students, professionals, and educators together in the one place at the one time. Go WAAPA!

The MTEA’s annual conference brings together musical theatre educators from all over the world to share ideas about curriculum, recruitment, production, and professional placement. It is also an opportunity to unite the Alliance with the key professional theatre artists in their respective fields.

The Conference will focus on building bridges and broadening horizons for musical theatre across all languages and cultures, with a special focus on Asia. It will offer presentations, workshops, discussions, and entertainment of interest to teachers of Acting, Singing, Dance, and Voice, and will feature key Australian and International educators and artists.

Further details regarding the Conference program and speakers will be announced later in 2014.

Visit MTEA website.

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Kate Champion resigns from Force Majeure

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

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

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

—Kate Champion

Prior to founding Force Majeure, Kate worked as a director, choreographer, dancer, teacher and rehearsal director for various companies including Australian Dance Theatre, Belvoir, Legs on the Wall, Dance North, English National Opera and the UK’s DV8 Physical Theatre.

She had also created, performed and toured two critically acclaimed solo shows—Face Value and About Face. As Artistic Director of Force Majeure, Kate has directed Same, same But Different, TenebraePart 1 and 2, Already Elsewhere, the film series The Sense Of It, The Age I’m In, Not in a Million Years and Never Did Me Any Harm. In 2012, Kate co-directed Force Majeure and Belvoir’s co-production Food with Steve Rodgers.

Kate Champion: "I look forward to seeing the company continue to flourish as a vehicle for original, new artistic vision."
Photo: Lisa Tomasetti

Force Majeure received an Australian Dance Award for Outstanding Performance by a Company for The Age I’m In (2009) and Ros Hervey was awarded Outstanding Performance by a Female Dancer for Same, same but different (2002).

Force Majeure Chair, Jo Dyer stated;

It will be a wrench for Force Majeure to say goodbye to our founding Artistic Director Kate Champion. Kate's leadership of this company has seen it mature into one with a strong national presence and growing international reputation. As an artist of great talent, curiosity and intellect, Kate's creative contribution to Force Majeure has been immense, both as a creator of original works and a mentor of emerging talent. Over the past twelve years, Kate has created dynamic works of wit and profundity that have delighted and provoked audiences around Australia and the world. Her own artistic endeavours have been matched by her commitment to nurturing the work and artistic development of independent artists, both through the investment of her time and expertise and by sharing financial resources from Force Majeure's hard-won funding.

As much as we will feel Kate's departure, the Board of Force Majeure is also excited about welcoming a new artistic vision into the company. We look forward to going through a searching international recruitment process in the coming months to find the culture leader who can build on Kate's legacy and join Executive Producer Bec Allen to take us into the next stage of our development as one of Australia's leading dance theatre companies.

For more information on the company and application process visit the Force Majeure website

Read Media Release.

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Community dance conference—call for submissions

25–29 November 2015, University of Otago, New Zealand

Call for submissions

‘Moving Communities’ is an exciting four-day conference that will provide an opportunity to bring together practitioners, academics and students to celebrate and discuss themes and topics within the broad field of community dance.

The conference will be co-hosted by the Dance Studies Programme at the School of Physical Education, Sport and Exercise Sciences and the Caroline Plummer Fellowship Committee.

A special feature of the conference will be the reunion of the ten recipients of the Caroline Plummer Fellowship in Community Dance. This prestigious six-month Fellowship was made possible by the family of the late Caroline Plummer and was first offered in 2005.

The school is now inviting submissions for paper presentations, workshops, panel discussions and community performances from those who are engaged in Community Dance practice, education and research internationally.

Read more…

International Scientific Conference—anatomy of dance

20–21 November 2014, St. Petersburg State Museum of Theatre and Music

The International Scientific Conference Anatomy of Dance is part of the Festival Diaghilev P.S. which was founded in 2009, when the whole world celebrated the 100th anniversary of Sergei Diaghilev's Ballets Russes. Since then it has established itself in the Russian cultural events playbill, has been included in the calendar of the most important European festivals and has found its unique creative personality.

The program planned for 2014 comprises tours of Wayne McGregor's Random Dance Company and Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, with participation of Shaolin monks in Sutra. George Balanchine's ballet Raymonda Variations performed by students of the Vaganova Ballet Academy will be supplemented with the photo exhibition by Paul Kolnik.

Read more…

Creative Australia fellowships applications closing soon

Applicants may apply for grants of up to $50,000 per year, for up to two years, for activities commencing from1 January 2015 or 1 July 2015. 

This initiative is open to:

  • companies that present programs of contemporary dance work – including festivals and venues
  • individuals
  • groups and
  • organisations

The purpose of the Creative Australia—Presentation (Dance) initiative is to build and diversify audiences for the presentation of contemporary Australian dance works. Successful proposals will present a range of Australian dance works with broad benefit for dance artists and audiences.

Applicants will demonstrate a clear audience engagement strategy and curatorial vision for ongoing programming. This program can be in a festival format or over multiple seasons in an annual program.

Applications can include remounts of existing Australian works, however applicants are encouraged to include presentation of new Australian dance works.

Deadline for applications: 31 October 2014

Potential applicants are encouraged to discuss their application with Program Manager, Dance Sandy Collins or T 1800 226 912.

For more information and to apply online visit Australian Council website.

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New Zealand Fringe Festival

New Zealand’s biggest Arts Festival, the NZ Fringe, is inviting registrations now.

Do you have something extraordinary you’ve always wanted to create?

Whether it’s an exciting new work, an old work you’d like to revisit or an inspiration you’ve just had, NZ Fringe Festival welcomes you with open arms!

Deadline for registrations: 8 October 2014.

For more details or to register go to the NZ Fringe website.

NZ Fringe Festival Director Hanna Clarke

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2014 Australian Dance Awards

7 pm Sunday 9 November

Tickets are on sale through the Sydney Opera House box office and Ticketek.
Standard $50; Concession/under 16 years $40

Some of Australia's most accomplished and leading artists of the professional dance industry will converge at the Sydney Opera House for the presentation of the annual Australian Dance Awards. The pre-eminent industry awards will be presented in an evening of performance that showcases the amazing quality and excellence of innovative and established dance that the Australian industry has to offer.

Other dance events in Sydney

La Bayadere, The Australian Ballet
6 – 22 November at Joan Sutherland Theatre, Sydney Opera House. Book now

New Breed, Sydney Dance Company
5 – 8 November at Carriageworks. Book now

Wicked
From 20 September at Capitol Theatre. Book now

Equity 75: A Summit of Creativity and Diversity
The Sydney Theatre Company
26 & 27 October

Open Workshop
8 November, 12 – 3pm. Led by with Annalouise Paul at Critical Path, Drill Hall.
Direct any inquiries to Critical Path

2014 Australian Dance Awards are proudly presented by Ausdance NSW, Sydney Opera House and Harlequin Floors.

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2014 Australian Dance Awards shortlisted nominees

Congratulations to the all nominees who have been shortlisted for a 2014 Australian Dance Award!

Here they are in alphabetical order.

Services to Dance

Catherine Baldwin [CEO & Consultant]
Jeff Busby [Photographer]
Nicolette Fraillon [Music Director & Chief Conductor, The Australian Ballet]
Annie Greig [Artistic Director, Tasdance]

Services to Dance Education

Janet Karin OAM [Kinetic Educator, The Australian Ballet School & President, IADMS ]
Tanya Pearson OAM [Founder, Tanya Pearson Classical Coaching Academy]   
Katrina Rank [Dance researcher, education specialist and community dance leader]
Diana Reyes [Spanish dance teacher & educator]

Outstanding Achievement in Youth or Community Dance

Buzz Dance Theatre for Look the Other Way
QL2 Dance for Hit the Floor Together
STRUT Dance & STEPS Youth Dance Company for Trois Générations
Tracks Dance Company for Zombies in the Banyan Tree

Outstanding Achievement in Choreography

Rafael Bonachela for Emergence [Sydney Dance Company]
Stephanie Lake for Aorta [Chunky Move]
Leigh Warren for Not According to Plan [Leigh Warren Dance]
Natalie Weir for When Time Stops [Expressions Dance Company]

Outstanding Performance by a Company

The Australian Ballet for Cinderella
Chunky Move for Aorta
Dancenorth & Opera Queensland for Abandon
Sydney Dance Company for De Novo

Outstanding Achievement in Independent Dance

Nat Cursio for Blizzard
Larissa McGowan for Skeleton
Dalisa Pigram for Gudirr Gudirr
Aimee Smith for Wintering

Outstanding Performance by a Female Dancer

Deborah Brown for Brolga [Bangarra Dance Theatre]
Kate Denborough for Flesh & Bone [KAGE]
Leanne Stojmenov for Cinderella [The Australian Ballet]
Rachael Walsh for Giselle [Queensland Ballet]

Outstanding Performance by a Male Dancer

Waangenga Blanco for Blak [Bangarra Dance Theatre]
Daniel Gaudiello for Cinderella [The Australian Ballet]
James Vu Anh Pham for Aorta [Chunky Move]
Jack Ziesing for When Time Stops [Expressions Dance Company]

Outstanding Achievement in Commercial Dance or Musical Theatre

David Atkins Enterprises for Hot Shoe Shuffle
Timothy Brown for Salon
Rohan Browne for Singin' in the Rain
Red Hot Rhythm for Rhythm Junkies

Outstanding Achievement in Dance on Film/New Media

The Australian Ballet for Behind Ballet
Rochelle Carmichael for Plucked
Sue Healey for On View
Karen Pearlman & Richard James Allen for ‘...the dancer from the dance' [Physical TV Company]

The winner of the 2014 Lifetime Achievement Award will be announced shortly....stay tuned!

You can find all the past Award winners on the Australian Dance Awards website.

Proudly presented by Ausdance NSW, Sydney Opera House and Harlequin Floors
Image courtesy of The Australian Ballet. Photographer: Jeff Busby. Dancers: Jasmin Durham & Jarryd Madden

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International Solo Dance/Theatre Festival

12 – 15 March 2015, Stuttgart

This international festival held in Germany provides the platform for an international choreographic competition for contemporary choreographers and young dancers (under 30 years).

Participants from all over the world are requested to perform a solo piece which is new, original, imaginative, unique and which displays unusual achievement. A respected jury will judge choreographic and dance skills as well as musicality, interpretation and performance.

Prizes to a total value of €16.000 are awarded.

To find out more visit the Treffpunkt Rotebuehlplatz website.

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Tribute to Tanja Liedtke—Stuttgart 2015

12 – 15 March 2015, Stuttgart

The 19th International Solo Dance/Theatre Festival will be a tribute to the late Tanja Liedtke.

This international choreographic competition is held over four days sees contemporary young choreographers (under 30 years) showcase their most recent work before an internationally-renowned jury. The choreographed solo dance pieces submitted should be under one-year old and between 9 and 12 minutes long.

Prize winners will take part in tours in May and November, travelling both within Germany and internationally.

Deadline for applications: 11 November 2014.  

Apply now.

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The Fourth Australian Dance Movement Therapy Conference

The Dance Movement Therapy Association of Australia (DTAA) turns 21 in 2015. To celebrate, the DTAA and the Hanny Exiner Memorial Foundation will present 'Broadening the spectrum: dance and other expressive arts therapies for health and healing' from 12–14 July 2015 at The Historic Abbotsford Convent, Abbotsford, Victoria.

Dr. Sherry Goodill, Chairperson of the Department of Creative Arts Therapies at Drexel University, USA, and President of the American Dance Therapy Association, is the first keynote speaker confirmed. Sherry, (PhD, BC-DMT, NCC, LPC), has been working as a dance/movement therapist and educator since 1980. She holds a Masters in creative arts therapy with a specialisation in dance/movement therapy from Hahnemann Medical College, and a PhD in medical psychology with a concentration in mind/body studies from The Union Institute and University. In 2005, Sherry published An Introduction to Medical Dance/Movement Therapy: Health Care in Motion. She also serves on the editorial panels for the Arts in Psychotherapy journal and the Journal of Creativity in Mental Health.

Pre and post conference workshops with local and international presenters will be offered.

A call for papers will be made later in 2014.

The DTAA Committee welcomes interest from members in contributing to the development of the conference. Please email Kim Dunphy.

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ACHPER International Conference calls for papers/presentations

3 – 15 April 2015, Adelaide

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

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

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

Deadline for submissions: 10 September 2014.

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

About the ACHPER conference

ACHPER biennial international conferences have a long history of engaging international and national scholars, health and physical education teachers, sport coaches and other allied professionals in the sharing of practice, stimulation of ideas and the development of future partnerships. The previous international conference in Melbourne 2013 attracted over 1,200 delegates and presenters.

The 29th ACHPER International Conference: Values into Action—A Brighter Future occurs in an exciting time for Health and Physical Education (HPE) in Australia. With the Australian Curriculum: HPE implementation processes for Foundation to Year 10 planned for 2015, the timing of this conference synchronises and supports how schools will deliver this curriculum. 

This conference presents an opportunity to stimulate future-focused thinking about pedagogy and learning in, through and about movement in physical education, sport, recreation, and personal, social and community health. It will also help you develop a greater understanding of how moving enhances learning and holistic student health and wellbeing outcomes, and offer creative ways to develop a more engaging ‘active curriculum’ for delivery in the classroom, in schools and in the community.

The keynote speakers have been chosen for their awareness of current developments in HPE pedagogy and learning, physical activity provision and health concepts in Australia and Internationally. The dynamic and innovative program will bring to life the conference theme with a good mix of theory and practical applications for your professional practice.

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ArtsHub 2014 Conference—Inform.Inspire.Innovate.

The ArtsHub 2014 conferencewith the theme 'Inform.Inspire.Innovate.' will be held in Melbourne at the Darebin Arts Centre in Preston.

The conference program includes industry leading keynote presentations from:

  • Tony Grybowski, CEO, Australia Council Is Government funding dead? Time to innovate!
  • Anna Draffin, Deputy CEO, Philanthropy Australia Make philanthropy work for YOU
  • Tony Stephens, Director, Artbank The future is NOW. Opportunities abound
  • Jane Scott, CEO and Artistic Director, Craft Future trends—can I really have an arts career?
  • Stephanie Walker, Executive Director, Performance Space From the artist's mouth: a real life success story

Delegates can choose between 6 breakout sessions. Each session will run 4 times during the course of the day.

Breakout sessions include:

  • How to manage money
  • How to leverage social media
  • How to maximise funding opportunities
  • How and what resources can small business utilise in the arts
  • How can we plan and prepare for future industry trends
  • How to Plan a Career Pathway in Arts Management

When: 8.30am - 7.30pm Friday 31 October
Where: Darebin Arts Centre, 387 Bell Street, Preston, Melbourne

The full conference program is available on the ArtsHub website.

Book now.

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Bodies of Thought: 12 Australian Choreographers

Erin Brannigan and Virginia Baxter are the editors of this new book that focuses specifically on twelve choreographers.

Bodies of Thought: 12 Australian Choreographers features a generation of award-winning, innovative Australian choreographers with international reputations and legacies of influence.

The artists featured are Kate Champion, Rosalind Crisp, Tess de Quincey, Russell Dumas, Lucy Guerin, Sue Healey, Helen Herbertson, Gideon Obarzanek, Stephen Page, Garry Stewart, Meryl Tankard & Ros Warby.

Read more…

Keir Choreographic Award—winner announced

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

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

Read more…

Dancehouse residency programs

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

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

Read more…

Honours for dance—Cheryl Stock AM

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

Here are just some of Cheryl's roles and achievements—

  • Secretary General, World Dance Alliance (WDA), ongoing since 2009; Vice-President, WDA Asia-Pacific region, 2000–2008
  • National President, Ausdance, 1996–2000; Vice-President, 1992–1995; Life Member
  • Founding Artistic Director, Dance North, Townsville, 1984–1995
  • Chairperson, Dance Board, Australia Council for the Arts, 1987–1989; Member, Theatre Board, 1983–1987
  • Associate Professor in Dance, Creative Industries Faculty, Queensland University of Technology, since 2000. Head of Dance, 2000–2006. Director, Postgraduate Studies since 2012
  • Author of various publications and peer reviewed papers
  • Director and choreographer of over 40 dance/theatrical productions including Naik Naik (2013) Accented Body (2006) Here/There/Then/Now (2002)
  • Initiated and directed 19 cultural exchange programs in Asia, particularly in Vietnam, through the Vietnam Opera Ballet, the National Dance School and the National Mime Company, 1988–2002
  • Member, Australian Dance Awards Selection Panel, 2012–2014
  • Member, Artistic Advisory Panel, Australian Choreographic Centre, 2000–2008
  • Dancer and choreographer, Australian Dance Theatre, 1970–1975 and 1979

Cheryl's awards include

  • Outstanding Alumni Award, Flinders University of South Australia, 2007
  • Australian Artists Creative Fellow, 1994–1997
  • Australian Dance Award for Lifetime Achievement, 2003
  • Australian Dance Award for Services to Dance, 1994

Read more of Cheryl's achievements at Accented Body.

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Dance & movement therapy conference

12 – 14 July 2015, Melbourne

The Dance Movement Therapy Association of Australia turns 21 in 2015.

To celebrate, the DTAA and the Hanny Exiner Memorial Foundation are pleased to be presenting its 2015 national conference Broadening the Spectrum: Dance and other expressive arts therapies for health and healing.

The DTAA Committee welcomes interest from members in contributing to the development of the conference. Please email Kim Dunphy.

Visit the DTTA website for more information.

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Creative tax deductions

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

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

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

Read more…

Call for presentations for international arts conference

Performing Arts Management
18 – 22 December 2014

International University Global Theatre Experience (IUGTE) is now calling for proposals for its annual international multidisciplinary conference researching topical questions and processes in contemporary performing arts administration.

The conference is open to arts administrators, arts management educators and consultants, arts entrepreneurs, fundraisers, producers, arts agents and talent managers from all over the world working in various artistic disciplines.

The conference offers the opportunity to find international network opportunities and potential collaboration partners: performing arts academics, arts educators and teachers, performers of various genres and techniques, theatre directors, dancers and choreographers, musicians, stage designers costume designers, mask makers, multimedia artists, scriptwriters, playwrights, theatre critics and arts journalists.

For submission guidelines and other information go to the IUGTE website.

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Sydney Dance Company Heritage Collection

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

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

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

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

Download the full Media Release for more information.

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World Alliance for Arts Education Global Summit 2014 calls for abstracts

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

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

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

Abstracts due 30 June 2014.

Summit date and location

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

Read more…

The Federal Budget 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Vale Gailene Stock AM

Gailene Stock AM CBE 
28.1.1946 – 29.4.2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read obituary by Valerie Lawson in the Sydney Morning Herald

Read obituary in the UK Telegraph

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Pay the dancers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

You can read more about the issue here.

Contribute to the twitter discussion

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Complete nominations list for 2014 Dance Awards

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

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

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

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

Read more…

Ausdance 2013 Annual Report

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

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

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

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

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

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BlakDance 2014 in Melbourne

BlakDance Australia & Footscray Community Arts Centre in association with Melbourne Festival presents BLAKDANCE 2014, an International showcase event to be held at Footscray Community Arts Centre in October.

BlakDance Australia will partner with Ausdance Victoria to deliver Professional Development training following the BlakDance 2014 performance season.

BLAKDANCE 2014 choreographers are:

  • Ms Vicki Van Hout
  • Mr Sani Townson
  • Ms Henrietta Baird
  • Mr Ian Colless
  • Ms Mariaa Randall

BlakDance is excited to have these partners on board and look forward to working together to deliver an amazing, culturally rich and exciting Australian performance event.

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Keith Bain on Movement

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

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

Read more…

Supporting arts in the curriculum

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

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

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

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UNESCO International Arts Education Week

Arts for Peace

May 19–24

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

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

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

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

Advocacy kit

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

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

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

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Arts curriculum available online now

Five art forms for all young Australians!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Benefits of Arts Participation in Schools

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

Ausdance celebrates Australian dance makers at APAM 2014

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

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

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Benefits of arts participation in schools

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

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

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

Watch video now.

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Australia Day honours

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Journal of Emerging Dance Scholarship

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

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

JEDS Vol. 2 will be published 1 September, 2014

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

Visit the JEDS website to find out more.

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Celebrating Dance in the Asia Pacific—2 new books

Evolving Synergies: Celebrating Dance in Singapore

by Dr. Stephanie Burridge & Dr. Caren Cariño

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

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

Read more…

Congratulations to Aimee Smith

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

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

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Laurel Martyn remembered

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

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

Read more…

Dance historians captured on radio

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

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

Listen in: Michelle Potter   Lee Christofis

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NAAE concerned for future of UNESCO cultural program

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

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

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

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

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

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DEAS2013 report

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

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

Read more…

2013 Australian Dance Week

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

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

ADW2014 will run from 3 – 11 May.

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

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

WA

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

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

SA

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

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

ACT

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

QLD

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

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International Solo Dance Theatre Festival

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

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

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

For conditions of entry visit the TREFFPUNKT Rotebuehlplatz website.

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Buzz & STEPS to form new company

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

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

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

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

Read the full Media Release.

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2013 Lifetime Achievement Award

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Dr Alan Brissenden inducted into Australian Dance Awards Hall of Fame

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

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

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New awards celebrating Australian Arts in Asia

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

Minister for Arts, The Hon Tony Burke MP said

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

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

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

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

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Accessible Arts masterclasses 2013

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

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

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New Asia–Pacific Channels edition

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

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

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

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NAAE welcomes new Arts Curriculum

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

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Queens Birthday Honours for dance

Congratulations to Ausdance founding member Professor Shirley McKechnie AO and Head of Dance at WAAPA and former Chair of the Tertiary Dance Council of Australia, Nanette Hassall AM for their Queen's Birthday Honours.

Both Shirley and Nan have been recipients of an Australian Dance Award for Lifetime Achievement.

Congratulations also to Sydney Dance Company collaborator Iva Davies, and former Chair Rowan Ross.

Renie Allison-Matini of Victoria and Daryl Powell of the ACT were recognised with OAMs for their contributions to the broad dance community.

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Tanzkongress 2013 performance highlights

What would an international dance conference be if it did not include an array of performances? Even though Tanzkongress itself was only three days, there were a significant range of performance, workshop and class opportunities.

The opening celebrations included the staging of a movement choir entitled Tanz Aller (everyone dancing). Audience members became the performers, directed through individual radio sets with the staging led by the artists' collective Ligna. Movement choirs were popular in 1920s Germany and used at rallies of the working class. The experience was a rich one, a great opportunity to bond with strangers from around the world as we formed patterns and movements, while also hearing the history of the movement choirs.

Tanzkongress 2013 audience performancesLeft: Radio sets were used to direct audience performers in the Tanz Aller movement choir. Right: Audience members performing in the Tanz Aller movement choir (photo Julie Dyson). Below right: Songlines Flash Mob

The main stage opening was a performance of La Creation du monde 1923 – 2012. This performance included a re-staging of the original la creation du monde; a so-called 'ballet negre' originally presented in 1923, book-ended by modern interpretations and questions on the themes presented in the ballet. Colonialism and the appropriations of African cultures were passionately explored by Congolese choreographer Faustin Linyekula and CCN-Ballet de Lorraine.

Other highlights on the program included a 20th Anniversary presentation by Candoco Dance Company. From London UK, Candoco was formed to provide an artistic vehicle for performers with and without disability. They have gathered a strong international reputation including a starring role in the ceremonies of the London Olympics. Chunky Move artistic director Anouk van Dijk teamed up with longer term collaborator Falk Richter for Rausch (intoxication). Seven dancers and five actors explored themes of freedom and connection in spell-binding mix of high-powered theatre and dance.

Of course there were also less formal performances. Dutch choreographer Erik Kaiel has been working with students from St Benedikt school in Duesseldorf, resulting in some flash mob performances in amongst the Congress participants.

Tanzkongress encouraged participation in the creation of new works, as well as the re-staging of the old, through its dance and workshop program. It was a valuable opportunity to see a range of performances from outside Australia.

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Tanzkongress 2013—Performing Translations

In 2006 Berlin staged the first Tanzkongress of modern times. Now in its third iteration, the conference has established itself as a vital part of European dance discussions. Supported by the German Federal Cultural Foundation, Tanzkongress draws participants from around the globe including New Zealand, USA, Australia, India and throughout Europe. Tanzkongress 2013 has the theme of 'performing translations' exploring commonalities and differences in dance and how we can work across communication forms. 

Translation takes place not only between practices and competences, art forms and styles, ideologies and generations. Art meets politics, practice meets theory, dance meets technology. Tanzkongress program

Around 1000 participants worked with nearly 200 presenters—dancers, choreographers, academics and teachers, producers, and critics—covering areas such as choreography, education, journalism, dramaturgy, politics, architecture, sociology, philosophy, and medicine. 

The Dance Congress is a congress for dance, yet one that treats the concept of dance in an extremely broad sense and thus proves the art form's relevance to other disciplines and the connectivity of its discourse beyond dance. Tanzkongress program

On Mentoring

It was impossible to be everywhere and be part of everything, but highlights for me included the ‘On Mentoring’ discussion led by renowned choreographer Jonathan Burrows.

Jonathan presented his thoughts on the idea of mentoring, noting that any application for arts funding in the UK these days needs to include a mentoring component. The audience then broke into smaller groups to reflect and share experiences. Important in an international forum was the cultural implications of mentoring—in that some places only respect direct teacher-student relations rather than the cross-beneficial concepts understood in mentoring. There was also shared recognition that while mentoring can happen in quite fluid ways, there is benefit in formal mentoring relationships that bring with them time, commitment and patience. 

Tanzkongress presenters and audienceLeft: Tanzkongress venue. Top: ‘On mentoring’ discussion led by renowned choreographer Jonathan Burrows. Bottom: Dance for cities panel and audience for ‘East-Western perspectives on dance journalism’. Photos: Roslyn Dundas.

East-Western Perspectives on Dance Journalism

A panel discussion titled 'The Contemporary and the Critical—East-Western Perspectives on Dance Journalism', explored the cultural understandings of dance performance and review. Session participants were witness to an interesting discussion on the need, or not, to have a cultural understanding on a dance piece being witnessed. Traditional and contemporary as dance forms were dissected, as was the overlap of ritual and entertainment. Indian based choreographer Anusha Lall commented "If I have been moved, shifted in my skin" then that moment of empathy is valuable, even if the cultural background or understanding isn't there. 

The Renaissance of Dance Cities

Bureaucrats, ballet directors and former politicians gathered for a fiery debate about the place of dance within a city's development. The recognition that people of all walks of life enjoy living in a culturally rich community has supported the development of dance and arts hubs; however, recent economic pressures have seen programs across Europe rolled back. It is clear having infrastructure developed while economic times are good can help maintain connection and development in leaner times; however the priority needs to be supported across all levels of bureaucracy and government.

And outside the lectures and panel discussions...

Tanzkongress participants were able to take dance classes, be part of research, see performances and catch-up with colleagues from around the globe. The German Federal Cultural Foundation have indicated their commitment to Tanzkongress continuing, but in the meantime outcomes from the 2013 conference continue to be added to the Tanzkongress website.

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Dance and science—knowledge and creativity.

There is so much we still have to learn about dance. Human bodies have been dancing for centuries and some of our training techniques have been passed on from generation to generation.

At Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, Dr Emma Redding, head of dance science, is leading a growing group of researchers and students applying scientific methods to the dance training we do every day, seeking to gain knowledge about the body and the impact of dance.

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Visiting Harlequin HQ

One of the key supporters of the Australian Dance Awards is Harlequin Dance Floors. Established in 1979, Harlequin supply dance floors around the world, so it was great to meet with them at the Harlequin HQ in Kent, England.

 Ray, Technical Director with Harlequin undertaking a slip test on Harlequin vinyl floors   Paul, demonstrating the innovative locking method of the 'Liberty' panels Ray, Technical Director with Harlequin undertaking a slip test on Harlequin vinyl floors. Paul, demonstrating the innovative locking method of the 'Liberty' panels

Mark Rasmussen, Global Group Marketing Manager, took the time to show me the main workshop and a presentation on how Harlequin are continually refining their knowledge and processes with the aim of ensuring dancers get the best support they can from a Harlequin dance floor. Harlequin supply a range of different floor types including portable and permanent floors. They have recently redone the stages at the Bolshi Ballet in Russia, and supply the floors for Sydney Dance Company and the Australian Ballet. Riverdance performances for the last ten years have been on a portable Harlequin floor.

Harlequin have been interested in research (being undertaken in the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and in Australia) looking at the scientific benefits and different impacts of floors on the dancers body. A lot has changed in the last few decades as dancers, teachers and choreographers have become more aware of safe dance practices. A good floor is just as vital to a dancer's wellbeing as a good diet and well-trained technique. Ten years ago research was based on sports floor models, but now we know what a basketballer is looking for out of a floor is significantly different to what a contemporary, classical or ballroom dancer needs. We have known for years that sports floors aren't ideal but research is still underway looking at what is right for dancers. And, of course one of the ongoing challenges is that what a classical dancer requires in a floor is different to what a hip-hop or tap dancer needs. While Harlequin have a growing range of floors available, studio owners, community dancers, performance facility directors and companies need to make an individual assessment about what will work best for their dancers.

Over the coming months DanceUK and Ausdance will be reviewing the recent research on dance floors and updating our dance floor information sheets.

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Libby Christie to join The Australian Ballet

Australian arts administrator Libby Christie has been announced as The Australian Ballet’s new Executive Director. Libby will commence the position in late July.

Libby has been acting CEO of the Australia Council since 1 January 2013, with Tony Grybowski recently appointed to take on that role. Ausdance thanks Libby for her leadership and dedication at the Australia Council, leading the Australia Council as the National Cultural Policy was launched, and the review of the Australia Council considered.

The Australian Ballet has issued a media statement with comments from Artistic Director David McAllister and Libby.

“I’m delighted to be working with Libby on realising the company’s vision. She’s a well-respected leader who values collaboration and understands the unique challenges of leading a high-profile and complex arts organisation. I look forward to partnering with her as we enter our next exciting chapter,” said Artistic Director David McAllister.

“I’ve long admired The Australian Ballet for its artistic integrity, progressive approach and strong business achievements behind the curtain. They are one of the world’s busiest ballet companies and lead the way in best practice across many areas,” said Libby Christie.

“I welcome the opportunity to work alongside David, the Board, talented dancers and resourceful administration staff who make up this wonderful organisation. I hope to encourage artistic risks, foster entrepreneurial thinking, promote digital and technological innovation and above all, deliver beautiful performances for a loyal and ever-growing ballet audience.”

Libby takes over from Valerie Wilder, who announced her depature at the completion of her five year contract in October last year. Valerie joined the company in June 2008 from the Boston Ballet and previously from the National Ballet of Canada.

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New CEO for Australia Council announced

Minister for Arts, the Hon. Tony Burke MP has announced Tony Grybowski will be the new CEO of the Australia Council, effective immediately.

Chair of the Australia Council, Rupert Myer has welcomed the announcement

“The members of the Council, our staff and members of artistic communities across Australia join me in expressing our delight that Tony has been appointed CEO.

Tony has been Executive Director, Arts Organisations at the Australia Council for the past five years and is well known to artists and arts organisations for his passion and commitment to creativity."

Ausdance National welcomes Tony to his new position, and is looking forward to working with him and the Council over the coming years. Libby Christie, who has been acting CEO since 1 January is thanked for her contribution, leading the Australia Council as the National Cultural Policy was launched, and the review of the Australia Council considered. 

Arising from the Australia Council review, the framework legislation for the Council is currently before the Federal Parliament. Ausdance and other arts organisations made submissions to a Senate inquiry regarding the proposed legislation, calling for some revisions to ensure the legislation remained broad in its approach, and included peer review for grant making.

The Senate Committee reported on Thursday 9 May, and recommended these issues be incorporated into the legislation. Minister Burke has announced the government will move the amendments recommended by the Senate inquiry.

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Congratulations to winners of Creative Australia Fellowships

Congratulations to dance artists Gideon Obarzanek, Sue Healey and Ashley Dyer on receiving an Australia Council Creative Australia Fellowship!

Creative Australia Fellowships is a major initiative to support the professional development of outstanding artists working across the sector and Australia.

The Fellowships are the centrepiece of the Federal Government's Creative Australia Artist Grants initiative, with $10 million going to individual artists over five years, delivered by the Australia Council.

The Fellowships consist of two categories: established artists (each valued at $100,000 over one year) and early career artists (each valued at $60,000 over two years).

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Budget delivers on Cultural Policy promise

The Federal Budget, presented on 14 May, delivers on the promises announced as part of the National Cultural Policy - Creative Australia

Ausdance is relieved to see the money promised at the launch of Creative Australia confirmed through inclusion in the Budget and estimates for the forward years, under the heading "a creative nation is a productive nation". The National Cultural Policy included a $235 million vision and strategy to place arts and culture at the centre of modern life.

As part of this commitment the Australia Council will receive $75.3 million over the next four years (from 1 July 2013), with $15m per year to be targeted to arts organisations to address the demand for "high quality creative content from established, emerging and hybrid art forms". $1.25m per year will be used to establish a funding pool for the major performing arts organisations, subject to matched funding from the states and territories.

The Creative Young Stars Progam will provide $8m over two years for financial assistance to young people (up to 25) to put towards the cost of representing their community in training, cultural, artisitc, academic or community based activities and events. Successful applicants will receive a grant of $500 (individuals) or $3000 (groups), with 23 individual and 4 group grants awarded in each federal electorate per year.

Other initiatives include the continuation of the ArtStart program for graduates, additional funding for Arts Training Organisations such as the Australian Ballet School and NAISDA, and additional funding for some major performing arts companies including Bangarra Dance Theatre and the West Australian Ballet.

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Dance on Tour

Dance on Tour (DOT) is a joint initiative of four internationally acclaimed and award winning dance companies, Expressions Dance Company, Australian Dance Theatre, KAGE and Shaun Parker & Company.

This initiative has been created to maximise awareness, access and engagement with outstanding dance theatre in regional and remote areas of Australia.

The four dance companies will collectively tour to all eight Australian states, and visit a total of 55 venues, between March and September 2013 with their productions of Garry Stewart’s G (ADT), Natalie Weir’s R&J (EDC), KAGE’s Sundowner and Shaun Parker’s Happy as Larry.

All four companies have been supported to tour in 2013 by Playing Australia, the Australian Government’s national touring performing arts program.

Find out more on the Dance on Tour website.

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Touring dance in 2014

Congratulations to Lisa Wilson who work Lake has been selected to tour in 2014 through Performing Lines' Mobile States program!

Performing Lines develops, produces and tours new and innovative Australian performing arts regionally, nationally and internationally.

For more information about touring opportunities through its various initiatives, visit Performing Lines website.

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Lee Christofis retires from NLA

Ausdance National Honorary Life Member and former Vice-President Lee Christofis is retiring. After six and a half years as Curator of Dance at the National Library of Australia he will finish up on Friday 5 April.

Margy Burn, Assistant Director at the National Library notes Lee's significant contribution:

Notable new collections acquired for the Library arising from Lee’s work include the papers of Irina Baronova, Janet Vernon and Graeme Murphy, and the records of the NAISDA Dance College. Lee has completed more than fifty oral history interviews with dancers, choreographers, administrators and others associated with dance. Lee has selected beautiful photographs documenting the work of leading companies, choreographers and performers as well as designs for sets and costumes, including the archive of Kristian Fredrikson.

Two major projects which occupied Lee during his curatorship were the Ballets Russes project, a long running research collaboration with the University of Adelaide and the Australian Ballet and a project to document Indigenous contemporary dance. Both projects leave significant enduring research resources for the study, enjoyment and understanding of dance in Australia.

Dr Isobel Johnston, Lee's curatorial assistant, will be the initial contact for dance research, advice and assistance. Lee will continue to undertake Oral History interviews for the Library and support the acquisition of dance resources.

The position of Dance Curator will not be replaced, following a decade of special focus on dance at the NLA. It has been announced the next special focus area will be on Indigenous collections and a new Curator of Indigenous collections will continue to build on Lee’s work to document and collect resources for the study of Indigenous dance.

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National Dance Forum finishes

Dance First. Speak Later. With these apt words new Ausdance Victoria CEO Andy Howitt helped bring the 2013 National Dance Forum to a close. Working over two and a half days 170 delegates joined together to challenge, inspire and share. Andy’s vision of the natural order of things spoke to many and reminded delegates of why they were at the Forum in the first place!

The National Dance Forum was first held in 2011 looking to fill a long gap in dance dialogue conferences. With this follow-up Forum in 2013 the discussion centred around the question of ‘why dance?’

In contemporary Australia, what compels us to create and connect with dance? Is it social and political engagement? Is it creating a strong platform for the continuation of culture? How is dance communicating, and what is it doing in the world? Who are we dancing for, and how do we know what they see?

(left) Brian Lucas (National President, Ausdance & independent artist) and Jeff Khan (Co-Director, The Performance Space & Facilitator NDF2013) welcome delegates to the Forum.

Speakers at the forum challenged participants to examine their dance practice, to reach out and engage and to view more broadly who is the ‘dance sector’. Education was a key topic for conversation, with delegates exploring the roll-out of the new arts curriculum, the need for professional development for artists and dance makers, and the opportunities offered by dance education to engage new groups across the community.

Happy snaps of some of the NDF2013 delegates

Over the coming weeks the input and messages gathered at the forum will be collated with more resources and outcomes being made available here. Five short videos from NDF2013 delegates responding to the issues and themes raised during the forum are ready for viewing now.

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National Dance Forum program

Opening and closing with interactive visioning sessions, the program featured a full morning 'Open Space' session on the Sunday tapping the pulse of the forum, and through it that of the dance sector in Australia.

Keynote artists-in-conversation were Dalisa Pigram, co-Artistic Director of Marrugeku, with David Pledger, and Artistic Director of Australian Dance Theatre Garry Stewart with Anne Thompson.

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Leap forward for dance education in 2012

The Australian Curriculum: The Arts

This has been an important year in the evolution of the new national dance curriculum.

One of five arts subject with its own body of knowledge, teaching strategies and learning outcomes, dance is soon to take its place in The Australian Curriculum: The Arts.

We have continued to work with the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) on various drafts of the curriculum throughout 2012, engaging with teachers where the tight timelines for consultation have allowed, and keeping dance educators up to date with regular email bulletins.

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The Australian Ballet & dance education

'Out There' is the unique dance education program of The Australian Ballet.

Designed by dance educator Helen Cameron, the program engages with primary schools, students and teachers, led by a team of dancer/educators who have been especially trained by Helen to deliver the program. It's proving that dance in the curriculum not only provides skill development and expressive opportunities, but supports other curriculum areas in the process.

The ABC's 7.30 program recently profiled the 'Out There' program and interviewed Helen about its success.

After a lifetime of research and design of innovative dance curricula for primary schools, Helen was awarded the Australian Dance Award for Services to Dance Education in 2008.

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New CEO for Ausdance National

The Australian Dance Council – Ausdance is pleased to announce that Roslyn Dundas has been appointed as the new CEO of Ausdance National, commencing on 14 January 2013. Roslyn will replace long-standing National Director Julie Dyson AM, who will retire at the end of the year. Julie has been with the organisation, in both voluntary and paid capacities, since its inception in 1977.

Roslyn has extensive experience in the arts, and in government, strategy, policy development and advocacy. She was the Director of Ausdance ACT for almost three years from 2005, and prior to that appointment was the youngest woman elected to an Australian parliament when she joined the ACT Legislative Assembly in 2001.

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Ausdance honours 80th birthdays of Dr Alan Brissenden & wife Elizabeth

On behalf of the Australian dance community, Ausdance wishes Alan and Elizabeth all the very best on this happy occasion.

Dr Alan Brissenden AM has a long association with Ausdance and a life-long association with the arts. He has been writing dance criticism since his student days in 1950, first in the University of Sydney student paper Honi Soit and then, while still a student in 1952 when he was invited to review for the Sydney Morning Herald. Throughout his long career as Reader in English, specialising in Shakespeare at Adelaide University, Alan has been a regular critic for The Australian, Dance Australia, the Adelaide Review and Radio Adelaide. He was for many years a member of the Board of Governors of the Adelaide Festival and President of the Friends of the State Library of South Australia.

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TAFE funding cuts and the arts

At the recent meeting of the Tertiary Dance Council of Australia (TDCA), serious concerns were raised about the massive cuts to TAFE training in several eastern States.

In this article for Artshub, Tamara Winikoff, Executive Director of the National Association for the Visual Arts, also raises these concerns, and the broader issues of career pathways for artists. While Tamara focuses on the visual arts, much of her analysis could be applied to dance in the TAFE sector, especially with the imminent introduction of the new Australian Curriculum: The Arts.

We'll be making our concerns known to the Victorian, New South Wales, South Australian and Queensland governments about their proposals to so drastically cut TAFE funding. We suggest you read Tamara's article and respond to your own governments about the future of arts training in your State.

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Consultation for draft Arts curriculum about to end

The consultation period for The Australian Curriculum: The Arts has been extended until midnight tonight (25 September), so here's a last opportunity to have your say via ACARA's consultation portal.

Ausdance National has already responded in some detail, thanks to some excellent work by Victorian dance teachers, facilitated by Dr Katrina Rank, Ausdance Victoria's Education & Training Manager.

We also received feedback from individual teachers from around Australia, especially from Queensland, and have incorporated their responses into the Ausdance response.

Teachers have generally been very positive about the draft Dance curriculum, and we hope our detailed response will help to refine it further.

We're looking forward to seeing the final version, so watch this space for further updates.

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