Free showing Force Majeure’s ‘You Animal, You’ Sydney Festival 14 Jan 2017

Performer Ghenoa Gela holds hands in front of facePerformer: Ghenoa Gela. Photo: Ashely de Prazer

A chance to see into the process of making a new work, this showing of You Animal, You, Force Majeure’s new dance theatre work explores the most ‘animal’ of the human senses—smell.

Directed by Artistic Director Danielle Micich, five diverse performers tell stories from personal experience, asking how we behave in response to our own smell, and to the smell of others. Using Force Majeure's unique synthesis of movement, storytelling and text, the work draws the audience into a sensory world as it asks challenging and confronting questions about gender, ethnicity, age, desire and disgust, viewed through the power of smell.

Venue: Carriageworks
When: 14 January at 12 pm and 5 pm 
Length: 40 MINS
Tickets: Free
Book Online or 1300 856 876

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Dance Massive 14–26 March 2017

More than 40 curated dance shows and activities over 13 days, including bold new works, workshops, networking opportunities and special events.

Now more than ever, it’s time to engage and connect, to question everything. Most importantly, it’s time to dance.

Dance Massive offers you that possibility – a chance to rediscover your belief in the joyous and the extraordinary privilege of feeling alive. How? By engaging with the work of people who with focus, skill and fierce imagination, enable you to know yourself better, and to see the world through fresh eyes.

For this fifth chapter of Dance Massive, we have unearthed and commissioned work that is adventurous, deeply mythical, exuberantly fun, confidently abstract and at times, hilariously ambiguous.

Over thirteen days you can immerse in the full spectrum of choreographic forms, including an ambitious new project from our state dance company Chunky Move, a world premiere from rising choreographic star and Bundjalong /Yaegl woman Mariaa Randall, and intricate work by long time experimenter, Sandra Parker.

Dance Massive V is choreography at its best: as theatre, as action, as communal gathering and as form that is creating its future. Dance Massive will take you onto the streets, out of the black box and into the unknown. Embrace it.

It’s definitely worth buying a ticket or four.

It’s time to dance and dance massive.

Now more than ever.

Angela Conquet, Dancehouse
Matthew Lutton, Malthouse Theatre
Angharad Wynne-Jones, Arts House

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Lucy Guerin’s ‘Split’ premieres at Dance Massive 2017

In Split, dancers Melanie Lane and Lilian Steiner negotiate ever-diminishing dimensions of space and time. As our world contracts, the clock ticks faster, and bodies press closer.

For a sneak peek of Split, check out this creative development footage from our studio earlier this year.

This is a square, a stage, a world, a life. Space is getting less and time is getting shorter. We can all make sense of this dance. With delicacy and complexity, this dance revels in Lucy Guerin’s sharp, elegant, choreographic investigations, unfolding a mesmerising physical drama. 

Featuring a musical score by UK composer Scanner, lighting design by Paul Lim and costumes by Harriet Oxley, Split is a thought-provoking structural meditation rendered in movement, delivered by one of Australia’s most original dance companies.

Get your ticket now.

Dates & times

  • 7 pm Thursday 16 March – Saturday 18 March
  • 7 pm Thursday 23 March – Saturday 25 March
  • 3 pm Sunday 19 March & Sunday 26 March


Arts House, North Melbourne Town Hall

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Inquiry into innovation and creativity: workforce for the new economy

The Standing Committee on Employment, Education and Training invites you to make a submission to the inquiry into Innovation and Creativity: Workforce for the New Economy 

'On Wednesday 9 November 2016 the Committee adopted an inquiry referred by the Minister for Employment, Education and Training, Senator the Hon Simon Birmingham, asking the Committee to inquire into and report on matters that ensure Australia’s tertiary system—including universities and public and private providers of vocational education and training—can meet the needs of a future labour force focused on innovation and creativity.'

Make your submission by addressing the terms of reference by 13 January 2017.

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Dance Teaching for the 21st Century: Practice and Innovation 10–11 Dec 2016

Cementing their reputation as a leader in dance education and training for almost a century, the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) announces a thought-provoking international program ahead of Dance Teaching for the 21st Century: Practice and Innovation, a conference in Sydney, Australia. 

Dance Teaching for the 21st Century: Practice and Innovation brings together dance teachers, educators, researchers, historians and scholars from around the globe to explore practices and innovations within the context of dance teaching today. 

As dance and dance pedagogies evolve, the RAD remains at the forefront of the field of dance teacher education and training. The Conference will answer questions such as how in today’s rapidly-evolving dance ecology, do past practices inform current trends? And how recent innovations shape the way we learn and teach dance and ensure safe dance practices? 

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National Indigenous Dance Forum—join the Curatorial and Community working groups

The National Indigenous Dance Forum (NIDF), in partnership with Yirramboi Festival (Melbourne Indigenous Arts Festival), will take place from 5–7 May 2017 in Melbourne.

It's time to get involved! Be part of the NIDF Curatorial, or Community, working groups (or join BOTH). 

Curatorial Working Group

The group will meet and communicate independently via teleconference and email to decide on the forum:

  • planning process
  • programming
  • representation
  • protocol
  • purpose

You will:

  • be advocates of the forum
  • be responsible for selecting speakers and final participants (if we get more than 250 expressions of interest).

Community Access Group

On your travels to communities, you will need to advocate for the NIDF and make sure everyone you are connected to knows about it. You will need to:

  • explain to communities when the dance forum is and why it’s important to come
  • explain that it’s for traditional, cultural and contemporary groups and individuals
  • explain that it is a platform for the right discussions to happen. If people have issues, they need to come and raise them.

Contact BlakDance if you would like to join either, or BOTH, working groups.

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2017 Tanja Liedtke Fellowship: call for applications

2017 Tanja Liedtke Fellowship

The program offers four weeks stay in Berlin, with three weeks dedicated to a creative development residency at ada Studio

The Fellowship includes return flights, accommodation and financial support for the fellow and their creative development project.

The Tanja Liedtke Fellowship focuses on young emerging Australian dancer/choreographers between the ages of 20 and 35 years.

  • Program dates—31 July to 27 August 2017.
  • Applications close 16 December 2016.

Find information, checklist and application form.

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BOLD festival—celebrating the legacy of dance—call for presentations

Bold—celebrating the legacy of dance, 8–12 March 2017


Hosted by National Library of Australia, National Film and Sound Archive, National Portrait Gallery and QL2 Dance in association with Ausdance ACT. Directed by Liz Lea.

Bold invites practitioners, researchers and performers interested in sharing and creating dialogue about the legacy of professional and community dance and their interrelations to make submissions for

  • Pecha Kuchas
  • paper presentations
  • workshops
  • forums
  • performances

Proposals due 18 November 2016. For submission details, please visit The Bold Festival.

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Ausdance leads on child safety issues for dance schools

To ensure a safe environment for dance students, Ausdance will soon publish a studio policy pack, containing best-practice recommendations and sample policies to assist teachers and studios to meet their legal, ethical and moral obligations.

Ausdance National President Shane Colquhoun said: ‘Children have a fundamental right to be safe from any form of abuse while involved in dance, sport or any other activities—it is a moral obligation and a legal requirement. Child protection requires a commitment from everyone, including individuals teaching or leading dance and movement activities.’

This new publication will provide teachers, students and parents with up-to-date information and guidance about child protection, and will include advice about choosing a dance studio.

Ausdance continues to compile and distribute information and guidelines about dance training, focusing particularly on issues of quality and safety. The Australian Guidelines for Teaching Dance suggest minimum standards for dance teaching and codes of ethics for dance teachers and parents.

Teaching dance, supporting children: information from Ausdance National

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

If you would like to be notified when the new dance policy pack is available please send us an email. In the meantime, here is our recently updated Child protection fact sheet.

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VET FEE-HELP funding cuts—impact on professional dance training

VET FEE-HELP funding cuts—impact on professional dance training—media release (246 KB PDF)

Senator the Hon. Simon Birmingham
Minister for Education and Training
PC Box 6100, Senate
Parliament House
Canberra ACT 2600

Dear Minister,

Ausdance is deeply concerned about your decision to include some of Australia's leading professional dance training courses in the crackdown on courses eligible for VET student loans.

We are particularly concerned about the statement that these professional dance training courses are being subsidised because they are 'used simply to boost enrolments, or provide 'lifestyle' choices, but don't lead to work'.

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Ausdance announces new constitution and interim executive leadership

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

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

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NAAE archives donated to the National Library of Australia

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

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Chunky Move collaboration Anti Gravity at Asia TOPA

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

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

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

For more information and bookings, visit Malthouse Theatre.

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Shaun Parker & Company seeks executive producer

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

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2016 Australian Dance Awards recipients

The annual Australian Dance Awards recognise and honour professional Australian dance artists who have made an outstanding contribution to Australian dance.

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

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

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

Outstanding Performance by a Company

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

Outstanding performance by a company: Bangarra Dance Theatre for Lore

Outstanding Performance by a Male Dancer

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

David Mack performing in Frame of Mind

Outstanding Performance by a Female Dancer

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

Elma Kris performing in Lore

Outstanding Achievement in Independent Dance

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

Performers in On View: Live Portraits

Services to Dance

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

Services to dance

Outstanding Achievement in Commercial Dance, Musicals or Physical Theatre

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

Circa performing Il Ritorno 

Outstanding Achievement in Youth Dance 

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

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

Outstanding Achievement in Dance on Film or New Media

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

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

Outstanding Achievement in Choreography

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

Performer in Motion Picture

Services to Dance Education  

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

Joan Pope teaching a movement class to primary school students

Outstanding Achievement in Community Dance

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

Performers in Twilight dance beside the ocean

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Terri Charlesworth receives 2016 Australian Dance Award for Lifetime Achievement

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

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

Terri Charlesworth teaching balletPhoto: Darren Clark

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2016 Election wrap—what’s next?

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

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

So, what happens now?

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Have you done the Safe Dance IV survey?

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

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

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

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

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

Read more about Safe Dance IV.

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