News

Complete nominations list for 2014 Dance Awards

Here is the full 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 in July and shortlisted nominees will be notified directly.

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

Services to dance

  • Catherine Baldwin
  • Greg Barrett
  • Jeff Busby
  • Nicolette Fraillon
  • Annie Greig
  • Deborah Jones
  • David Walter

Services to dance education

  • Adele Hyland
  • Janet Karin OAM
  • Tanya Pearson
  • Lee Pemberton
  • Katrina Rank
  • Diana Reyes
  • Leigh Rowles
  • Carol Wellman Kelly

Outstanding achievement in youth or community dance

  • Buzz Dance Theatre for Look the Other Way
  • Canberra Dance Theatre GOLD Company for Life is a Work of Art
  • Dancenorth for Shake a Leg
  • DrillDance for Rebellion
  • fLiNG Physical Theatre for Socialsize Me
  • QL2 Dance for Hit the Floor Together
  • Restless Dance Theatre for Debut 4
  • Shaun Parker & Company for Trolleys
  • Steps Youth Dance & Strut for Trois Generations
  • Stompin for On Your Marks
  • Tracks Dance for Zombies in the Banyan Tree
  • Yellow Wheel for FX

Outstanding achievement in choreography

  • Rafael Bonachela for Les Illuminations, Sydney Dance Company
  • Rafael Bonachela for Emergence, Sydney Dance Company
  • Kate Denborough & Gerard van Dyck for Flesh & Bone, Kage
  • Daniel Jaber for Nought, Australian Dance Theatre
  • Stephanie Lake for Aorta, Chunky Move
  • Paul Malek & Kim Adam for Yours Truly, Collaboration The Project
  • Stephen Page & Daniel Riley McKinley for Blak, Bangarra Dance Theatre
  • Garry Stewart for Monument, The Australian Ballet
  • Leigh Warren for Not According to Plan, Leigh Warren & Dancers
  • Natalie Weir for When Time Stops, Expressions Dance Company

Outstanding performance by a company

  • Australian Ballet (The) for Cinderella
  • Australian Ballet (The) for Monument
  • Australian Dance Theatre for G
  • Australian Dance Theatre for Nought
  • Bangarra Dance Theatre for Blak
  • Chunky Move for Aorta
  • Circa for Opus
  • Dancenorth & Opera Queensland for Abandon
  • Expressions Dance Company for When Time Stops
  • Leigh Warren & Dancers for Not According to Plan
  • Lucy Guerin Inc. for Conversation Piece
  • Queensland Ballet for Cinderella
  • Sydney Dance Company for Les Illuminations
  • Sydney Dance Company for De Novo
  • West Australian Ballet for Peter Pan

Outstanding achievement in independent dance

  • Rochelle Carmichael for Plucked
  • Natalie Cursio for Blizzard
  • Dance Makers Collective for Big Dance in Small Chunks
  • Martin del Amo for Slow Dances for Fast Times
  • DirtyFeet for Vitality
  • Melissa Jones for Disquiet
  • Phluxus2 Dance Collective for De-generator
  • Rennie McDougall for Yes Dance
  • Larissa McGowan for Skeleton
  • PROJECTion Dance for Swan Lake
  • Marrageku & Dalissa Pigram for Gudirr Gudirr
  • Lee Serle for POV
  • Aimee Smith for Wintering
  • Ade Suharto & Peni Candra Rini for Ontosoroh

Outstanding performance by a female dancer

  • Juliette Barton for Les Illuminations, Sydney Dance Company
  • Deborah Brown for Brolga (Kinship), Bangarra Dance Theatre
  • Yolande Brown for Blak, Bangarra Dance Theatre
  • Kate Denborough for Flesh & Bone, Kage
  • Madeleine Eastoe for La Sylphide, The Australian Ballet
  • Fiona Evans for La Sylphide, West Australian Ballet
  • Tammi Gissell for Seeking Biloela, Canberra Dance Theatre
  • Ingrid Gow & Halaina Hills for Cinderella, The Australian Ballet
  • Amy Harris for Cinderella, The Australian Ballet
  • Jessica Hesketh for Nought, Australian Dance Theatre
  • Alice Hinde for Abandon, Dancenorth
  • Samantha Hines for Nought, Australian Dance Theatre
  • Lucy Ingham for De-generator, Phluxus2 Dance Collective
  • Lana Jones for Don Quixote, The Australian Ballet
  • Fiona Jopp for Les Illuminations, Sydney Dance Company
  • Lauren Langlois for 247 Days, Chunky Move
  • Elise May for Carmen Sweet, Expressions Dance Company
  • Kirstie McKracken for Double Think, Force Majeure
  • Dalisa Pigram for Gudirr Gudirr, Marrageku
  • Tara Robertson for Blak, Bangarra Dance Theatre
  • Leanne Stojmenov for Cinderella, The Australian Ballet
  • Rachel Walsh for Giselle, Queensland Ballet
  • Charmene Yap for Les Illuminations, Sydney Dance Company

Outstanding performance by a male dancer

  • Waangenga Blanco for Blak, Bangarra Dance Theatre
  • Thomas Bradley for Emergence, Sydney Dance Company
  • Daryl Brandwood for Carmen Sweet, Expressions Dance Company
  • Andrew Crawford for Emergence, Sydney Dance Company
  • Cass Mortimer Eipper for Les Illuminations, Sydney Dance Company
  • Daniel Gaudiello for Cinderella, The Australian Ballet
  • Chengwu Guo for Paquita, The Australian Ballet
  • Rudy Hawkes for The Four Temperaments, The Australian Ballet
  • Daniel Jaber for G, Australian Dance Theatre
  • Kevin Jackson for Cinderella, The Australian Ballet
  • Bernard Knauer for Emergence, Sydney Dance Company
  • Alisdair Macindoe for Dual, Stephanie Lake
  • Hunter Page-Lochard for Blak, Bangarra Dance Theatre
  • James Pham for Aorta, Chunky Move
  • Andre Santos for Peter Pan, West Australian Ballet
  • Luke Smiles for Slow Dance for Fast Times, Martin del Amo
  • Kimball Wong for Nought, AustralianDance Theatre
  • Jack Ziesing for When Time Stops, Expressions Dance Company

Outstanding achievement in dance on film or new media

  • Australian Ballet (The) for Behind Ballet
  • Diane Busuttil for Curdled
  • Rochelle Carmichael for Plucked, Liquid Skin
  • Sue Healey for On View
  • Paul Malek & Yvette Lee for Dance Chat
  • Physical TV Company for '...the dancer from the dance'

Outstanding achievement in commercial dance or musical theatre

  • Timothy Brown for Salon
  • Rohan Browne for Singin’ in the Rain
  • Red Hot Rhythm for Rhythm Junkies
  • The Company for Hot Shoe Shuffle
  • The Company for Grease
  • The Company for The Tap Pack
  • The Company for King Kong
  • The Company for Chitty Chitty Bang

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Keir Choreographic Award finalists announced

The Keir Choreographic Award is a new biennial award dedicated to the commissioning of new choreographic work and promoting innovation in contemporary dance.

The eight finalists for the prize include a mix of dancers, choreographers and visual artists: Sarah Aiken (VIC), James Batchelor (VIC), Tim Darbyshire (VIC), Matthew Day (VIC), Atlanta Eke (VIC), Shaun Gladwell (NSW), Jane McKernan (NSW), and Brooke Stamp (VIC).

The Keir Choreographic Award is supported and delivered jointly by Dancehouse in Melbourne and Carriageworks in Sydney. A two-week season of the commissioned works will be presented at Dancehouse in Melbourne to provide increased exposure for the artists. The jury will select four of the commissioned works to be presented at Carriageworks in Sydney for the finals. The winner will receive a $30,000 prize, with a further $10,000 prize in the hands of the voting audience. The impact of the Award is significantly enhanced by a new Australia Council initiative, which provides $80,000 worth of funding for the commissioning of new work by the finalists.

Congratualations to the eight finalists!

Read more about the Award and finalists on the Dancehouse website.

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Nominate future leaders

The Council for the Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences (CHASS) invites nominations for the CHASS Australia Prize for a Future Leader in the Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences (Cash prize of $2,000).

The Prize is being sponsored by Future Leaders, a philanthropic initiative about leadership and our future. It seeks to involve, inform and inspire.

Terms and conditions:

  • There is no fee to nominate a Future Leader for the Prize;
  • Nominees must not have reached 35 years of age before 31 December 2013;
  • Nominators should provide sufficient evidence to allow judges to assess their leadership;
  • Self-nominations are acceptable;
  • The work may take place abroad, but nominees must be citizens or permanent residents of Australia;​
  • Five copies of the application form and supporting materials are required for judging;
  • Application materials will not be returned to applicants;
  • Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Go to the CHASS website for more details and to nominate.

Deadline for nominations: 30 June 2014

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Melbourne Fringe Festival 2014

The 2014 Melbourne Fringe Festival runs from 17 September – 5 October. General registration will open Friday 2 May, 2014.

If you are interested in presenting an event in the 2014 Festival, please sign up for the eNews to be notified about confirmed registration dates and details.

Expressions of Interest

North Melbourne's Errol St will once again be the home of the Fringe Hub—the beating heart of the Melbourne Fringe Festival. It's a special precinct of venues featuring work from all the presentation categories in the Festival and also houses the always-vibing Fringe Club. 

If you're interested in being programmed in a Fringe Hub venue this year, you must submit an Expression of Interest (EOI). Go to the Fringe website for forms and more information.

As a part of the Fringe Hub EOI process, it is recommended that you make a time soon to visit the office and speak in person with Producer, Felix Preval.

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International conference on dance education

An International Conference on Dance Education 2014 (ICONDE 2014) will be held at the University of Malaya in Kuala Lumpur 13 – 17 August. 

The conference theme is 'Dance Education—International Perspectives on Teaching, Learning, Creating: Challenges, Possibilities and Prospects'

Call for papers

ICONDE 2014 will explore and examine various dimensions of dance education mainly focusing on teaching, learning and creating dance in international communities (North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific) and in Malaysia.

This conference hopes to define dance education and its goals, such as: The objectives, values, benefits, and rationale for why dance education is important in today’s society.

ICONDE 2014 will deal with issues on dance education’s connections with other disciplines in the arts, humanities and sciences in developing curriculum design and instructional strategies, and will assess the status of dance education and dance in tertiary institutions where dance education programs are offered.

Issues and questions might include, but need not be limited to the topics below:

  • What is the current status of dance education?
  • Who provides dance education experiences, and where?
  • How can dance become a viable part of the educational curriculum in primary, secondary schools, and higher institutions of learning?
  • What types of standards are used to teach and assess learning in dance?
  • Where can one train to become a dance educator to teach, create and conduct research?
  • What are the employment opportunities for dance educators?
  • What types of research and writing are being conducted in the field of dance education?
  • What kind of challenges does dance education face?
  • What are the possibilities and prospects for the future of dance education in various countries?
  • What are the philosophies and epistemological perspectives guiding research and practice in dance education today?
  • How does one frame and conduct research and practice in dance education?

Papers should be approximately 20 minutes for presentation and 10 minutes for discussion. E-mail your submission (in English) to Mohd Anis Md Nor.

Deadline for proposals: 15 May 2014

For more information visit the conference website.

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Ausdance 2013 Annual Report

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

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

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

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

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

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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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fLiNG Physical Theatre Co. seeks dance director

An exciting position exists in Bega NSW with fLiNG Physical Theatre Inc. as Youth Company Director.

The position involves the creation of choreographic and project work with the company of fLiNG Physical Theatre and YfLiNG. A contract for a full-time position is currently on offer from July 2014 for a twelve-month period with the option of negotiating an additional twelve-month tenure.

The Youth Company Director will develop his/her role and responsibilities within the company whilst working with an experienced team including, the Artistic Director Lee Pemberton and Associate Director Gabrielle Rose.

This is a fantastic opportunity for the right person to develop their knowledge and skills of community arts practice whilst developing their choreographic and artistic work.

Email fLiNG or phone 0429 909 433 for a full job description.

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Call for submissions—Vivid Ideas 2014

One Night Only

As part of Vivid Ideas 2014, Pozible is excited to announce a one night only live pitching event to take place at the Museum of Contemporary Art!

Pozible is on the look out for innovative, inspired creators from the music, film, performance, fashion and/or visual art industries to submit their crowdfunding ideas for consideration.

Four selected participants will be asked to deliver a 5-minute pitch of their crowdfunding campaign to a live audience as well as a 5 – 10 minute performance of what you do—be that a film screening, music performance, fashion show or anything else!

The event will be hosted by Sydney comedian, filmmaker, writer and successful Pozible crowdfunder Dan Ilic, who raised more than $50,000 to create a 10 week satirical comedy, A Rational Fear. On the night every member of the audience will have $30 to pledge to their favorite pitch. All projects must have a $30 Reward to offer in return for pledges. All pledges you receive on the night will go towards your crowdfunding campaign.

When:  Saturday 31 May 6:30 – 8:30pm
Where: Museum of Contemporary Art 40 George St, The Rocks NSW 2000

Apply now.

Deadline for applications: 20 April

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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.

His first book Keith Bain On Movement (published 2010) was compiled and edited by Michael Campbell* with the help of other former students of Keith's, determined to preserve the transformative teaching on which they founded their success. In ten packed chapters Bain pushes the outer limits of the body and mind, discovers the uses of space and time, strength and weakness, character and gesture; all conveyed in his own uncompromising style.

Keith Bain The Principles of Movement (published 2013) is a step-by-step course for students and teachers collated and edited by Michael Campbell.

"His teachings are the foundation of my technique" —Cate Blanchett

"He is one of the great mentors of my creative life" — Baz Luhrmann

Both books are available directly from Currency House and selected book stores.

* Michael Campbell is a director, choreographer, librettist, literary events manager and former principal dancer with both West Australian Ballet and Queensland Ballet.

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Nominate now for Sidney Myer Performing Arts Awards

First awarded in 2011, the Sidney Myer Creative Fellowships provide unrestricted grants of $160,000 over two years to individual artists, arts managers and thought leaders in the humanities. Specific outcomes for the Fellowships are not required.

The two criteria used to select Fellows are: outstanding talent and exceptional courage.

Nominations are welcome for artists and arts managers across the entire spectrum of the visual, performing, interdisciplinary, new media and literary arts. Consideration is also given to arts managers and thought leaders in the humanities. Applicants to the program may not self-nominate and must include two referees who are not the nominator.

The Fellowships are intended for artists in their ‘early mid-career'. To be eligible, nominees must be in the first seven to fifteen years of their creative practice, and primarily resident in Australia for the two years of their Fellowship.

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

Deadline for nominations: 10.00 pm, 1 June 2014.

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Brolga—call for submissions

Brolga–an Australian journal about dance invites academics and community members to submit articles (either for refereeing or general circulation) for the 2014 issue of this online publication.

Performances, past and present, forge impressions which sometimes reside in memory and, at other times, signal new ways of imaging what dance might ‘do’ and convey.

The next issue of Brolga invites commentaries and/or analyses on the range of performances which occur in the Australian context.

From community-orientated events which often pass unnoticed outside of their specific circle to the highly publicised production of a renowned visiting company, each iteration of dance creates the sediments of the discipline’s history and gestures towards its continuing vitality—or otherwise. Other significant contributions come from the performative nature of an array of social dancing wherein movement consolidates identity, seduces partners or displays virtuosic skills.

The plethora of productions in educational institutions also begs consideration for what they impart to their young participants. What value is to be gained from commitment to the school musical? How do choreographers approach new works for vocational training institutions?

Choreographers, companies, dancers, works, rationales and forms may provide the stimulus or writers may be more inclined to survey the changing nature of performance within the technologies and interconnectivity of social media and live-feeds. What roles do fringe festival performances play in the market place of international arts’ festivals? Who were the fringe performers of yesteryears? Do funding bodies influence performance products?     

These are just a few thoughts on the diversity of performing dance. We urge you to share your stories and insights about your community, school, profession or research. All contributions are welcome .

Please email essays, articles, tributes, impressions and even telling photos of ‘performing dance’ to Maggi Phillips. If you wish your paper to be blind refereed for academic purposes, please make that clear in the submission.

Dealine for submissions: 31 June 2014

Guidelines for contributors.

If writers or publishers have books to review please send copies directly to:

Associate Professor, Maggi Phillips
Coordinator of Research & Creative Practice
WAAPA @ Edith Cowan University
2 Bradford St, Mt Lawley, WA 6050

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Supporting arts in the curriculum

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

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

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

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Healthy Partnerships for Performing Arts Grant Program

The Australian Society for Performing Arts Healthcare (ASPAH) is the national peak body for the promotion of performing arts healthcare. Its Healthy Partnerships for the Performing Arts (HPPA) Grants progam aims to:

  • promote the concept of healthcare for performing artists,
  • increase the participation of performing artists in relevant healthcare, and
  • improve the delivery of healthcare for performing artists.

ASPAH is now inviting applications from groups and institutions for projects that will use the expertise of a health care professional or educator with interest, experience and/or skills relevant to the health of performers.

The project should function as a way of both embedding expertise into a studio, arts group, institution or community, and building emerging networks of ongoing support. Grant applications must include at least one ASPAH member to be eligible for consideration.

Read more about this grants program on the ASPAH website.

Deadline for submissions: 30 June 2014

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Professional training opportunities in London

These 8-week courses are ideal for well-trained dancers looking to launch their professional careers.

You may have just graduated or been working for a year or two and want to spend time on an intensive programme improving your skills. The professional programme offers the knowledge, skills, and techniques you need to establish yourself as a working dancer.

Participants will train across the board with some of the best and most connected teachers in London and have opportunities to attend intimate 'sofa sessions' to educate you on all aspects of the industry.

Scheduled programme dates for 2014 are:

14 July — 7 September
29 September — 24 November

Visit London Dance Programme website for more information.

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Call for proposals—world congress of daCi

The 2015 World Congress of Dance and the Child International (daCi) is now calling for proposals. Titled 'Exploring Identities in Dance', this 13th World Congress is focused on the theme of identity in dance as it is experienced in formal, non-formal and informal settings of education.

The Congress will explore:

  • How can we comprehend and describe identity in the 21st Century?
  • What kinds of identity are experienced and expressed in dance practice of young people around the world today?
  • What role does dance play for young people to define and perceive their own and others’ identities?
  • How do professionals working with dance and young people comprehend and articulate their own professional identity?

It will be a unique opportunity for everyone interested in dance and young people to meet, dance, share, present and discuss issues related to the Congress theme across age levels and professions.

Please visit the daCi website for more information.

Deadline for submission of proposals: 1 May 2014
Deadline for early-bird registration: 1 February 2015

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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).

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 Council dance grants 2014

Dance grants

Apply now for these Australia Council for the Arts grants for dance projects starting in 2014.

  • Artform Development: provides organisations with funding for programs and services that benefit a range of dance artists. Applications close 15 August 2014.
  • Fellowships: to support an established dance artist to undertake creative or professional development. Applications close 31 July 2014.
  • Projects—Presentation: support for dance works with a presentation outcome. Applications close 7 February 2014.
  • Projects—Creative Development: support for the research and creative development of new dance works. Applications close 7 February 2014.
  • Creative Australia—New Work: for the creative development of new artistic works in dance. Applications close 15 August 2014.
  • Cité Residency: three-month residency at the Australia Council's residential studio at the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris. Applications close 15 August 2014.

Leadership grants

Artistic Leaderships Grants Program invites proposals from artistic leaders (including emerging leaders) to undertake highly impactful professional development in artistic leadership that leads to a significant advancement of capabilities, knowledge and global awareness. Applications close 24 February 2014.

Executive Leadership Grants Program invites proposals from established senior arts leaders and managers for periods of professional development that would lead to new models of organisational capacity and leadership structures in the arts. Applications close 24 February 2014.

For more information about funding for dance read our factsheet Funding Sources for Dance Artists.

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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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Expressions of Interest—Dance Massive 2015

Dance Massive is a biennial festival and a joint initiative of Dancehouse, Malthouse and Arts House in collaboration with Ausdance Victoria. The next festival is scheduled for March 2015.

This innovative and sustainable festival model provides its growing audiences with a concentration of dance programming with a focus on Australian artists. At the vanguard of contemporary dance, Dance Massive looks and feels like a national contemporary dance festival, albeit a geographically concentrated one.

Dancehouse

Dancehouse will program a suite of choreographic works by Australian independent dance makers.

Applications for for Dance Massive 2015 have now closed. Visit the Dancehouse website for more information.

Artshouse

Dance Massive 2015 will be the primary focus for the Arts House 2015 Season 1 program. Visit the Arts House website for more information.

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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.

Singaporean choreographers work through their embodied cultural 'memories' and embrace multiple dance traditions that synergise not only with western contemporary dance forms but with dance practices from across the region.

Singapore Dance Theatre is the city state's flagship dance company with an enviable repertoire of classical ballets and contemporary works by Singaporean luminary the late Goh Choo San, as well as leading international choreographers. Professional contemporary artists and companies give regular performances, hip hop and hybrid dance forms thrive in community centres and on the stage while the unique Singapore Youth Festival sees thousands of students participate in dance performances.

Innovations in movement vocabulary, juxtaposed with cultural and personal narratives and storytelling traditions, celebrate a deep-rooted understanding of tradition that underpins radical changes in Singapore's contemporary dance scene.

Moving Oceans: Celebrating Dance in the South Pacific

by Ralph Buck and Nicholas Rowe

Moving Oceans explores the diversity of dance across the South Pacific, celebrating dance by taking the readers through a journey into dance histories, moving across the island nations—New Zealand, Fiji, Samoa, Tonga, Cook Islands, Papua New Guinea and New Caledonia.

This collection of articles and interviews, by choreographers, educators, scholars and performers, comments on the issues and traditions that inform their diverse practices. With a particular focus on the interplay of cultures, old and new, as the artists travel around the South Pacific, the narratives in the volume reveal personal artistic experiences; emerging voices of youth; hidden stories of past generations; stories of recognition as dancers with disabilities take the stage; teacher's classroom voices; and community dancers in action.

The book will interest scholars and students of cultural studies, performing arts, dance history, anthropology, culture studies, as well as dance institutions and departments, dance critics, choreographers, and the general reader.

To order, go to Taylor & Francis Asia Pacific website. 

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Registrations open for the 2014 AYDF

Ausdance SA is pleased to launch the AYDF Renmark SA 2014 website, complete with artistic program, online payments and registration.

Australian Youth Dance Festival, Renmark SA, 2014 – theme Regeneration.

Book now to secure a place!

Young dancers from across Australia are getting ready to invade Renmark, in the South Australian Riverland for the 2014 Australian Youth Dance Festival (AYDF). Supported by the Australia Council for the Arts and Country Arts SA the festival enables young dancers to participate in a program of classes, screenings, performances and workshops. First held in 1997 the Festival has a strong regional focus and looks to engage young people from across the country.

Read more about the AYDF program and partner support in this media release

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Congratulations to Aimee Smith

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

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

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Laurel Martyn remembered

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

Laurel was awarded a lifetime achievement award at the 1997 Australian Dance Awards, in recognition of her years of choreography, performance and teaching. Born in Toowoomba, Queensland in 1916 Laurel was the first Australian woman to be accepted into Vic-Wells Ballet (later Sadler’s Wells Ballet) in 1936, and was a featured soloist by 1938. She danced with Borovansky for five years, before establishing the Ballet Victoria Guild, (later the Victorian Ballet Company and then Ballet Victoria). Laurel was awared the Order of the British Empire in 1976. In 1985 her work Let them Dance – a preparation for dance and life was first published, with the aim of outlining a course of early years movement development.

Brolga – an Australian journal about dance has a dedicated edition looking at the work and life of Laurel, published to coincide with her 80th birthday in 1996. Janet Karin, former principal dancer with the Australian Ballet and dancer with the Ballet Guild writes:

Laurel broke so many rules of her time. She was an intellectual ballet dancer; she developed new collaborative process; she brought the philosophy of modern dance into ballet; she believed that concepts were more important than steps; she looked beyond the appearance of ballet to the person dancing.

There is also a wealth of information about the work of Laurel Martyn OBE on Trove collected by the National Library of Australia including an oral history recording captured by Mark Gordon as part of the Esso Performing Arts and Oral History Archive Project in 1989.

Laurel had the vision and wisdom to create a system of teaching dance which steered away from the unimaginative teaching of a rigid syllabus, and focused on principles and purpose of movement, and creative expression. Passionate about dance teaching and the education of dance teachers, Laurel has had significant influence on the Australian dance world.

Laurel Lawton

Laurel Martin Gill (performing as Martyn)
23–7–1916 : 16–10–2013
Loving wife of Lloyd (dec). Only daughter of E.A.and Olive Gill (both dec). Much loved aunt to the extended family.
Privately cremated.

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New research on benefits of arts education

The Australia Council for the Arts joined with University of Sydney to undertake a longitudinal study on the impact of school, home and commuity based arts participation. The study, available through the Journal of Education Psychology, found students who are involved in the arts have higher school motivation, engagement in class, self-esteem, and life satisfaction.

Students who participate in dance, drama, music, and visual arts showed more positive academic and personal wellbeing outcomes than students who were not as involved in the arts.

Academic outcomes included motivation, homework completion, class participation, enjoyment of school, and educational aspirations, while personal wellbeing measures considered such factors as self-esteem, life satisfaction, and a sense of meaning or purpose.

Active participation, more than simply being an observer or audience member, also yielded stronger positive effects on school and personal wellbeing outcomes in the study.

The study, in examining in-school and out-of-school arts engagement noted essential elements (such as engagement and active participation) must be present in out-of-school activities to ensure a quality and beneficial experience, rather than the participation being just a time commitment.

The co-authors of the study commented on the clear outcome of the reserach for greater intergration of arts into the school environment. Associate Professor Michael Anderson

This study provides new and compelling evidence that the arts should be central to schooling and not left on the fringes

Dr David Sudmalis, Australia Council Acting Director Community Partnerships

Not only does this study demonstrate that the arts help deliver positive outcomes in engagement and motivation for students outside of the arts domain, it also shows that high quality, participatory arts education has the greatest impact. These important findings show the significance of partnerships between the arts and education sectors, where artists and teachers work together to develop students’ expertise in and through the arts.

Find out more from the Australia Council

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Dance historians captured on radio

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

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

Listen in: Michelle Potter   Lee Christofis

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NAAE concerned for future of UNESCO cultural program

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

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

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

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

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

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DEAS2013 report

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

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

Martin Dixon MP, Minister for Education in Victoria welcomed participants to the forum acknowledging the need to harness our innate ability for dance in schools. Mr Dixon noted the prominent role of dance in many cultures and the way dance can be an accessible way of growing cross-cultural understanding. In talking about the benefits of integrating dance into the curriculum, Minister Dixon noted it won't be a one size fits all approach and schools should have the freedom to teach the curriculum for local benefit, building partnerships with local artists.

Key note speaker for DEAS2013 was Professor Brian Caldwell. Professor Caldwell is a leading researcher and has been examining the benefits of arts in schools. Recent studies he has undertaken with partners such as the SongRoom have found strong evidence of the benefit of arts for all aspects of the learning environment. Attendance increases, and literacy and numeracy improve as a result of arts based programs. Professor Caldwell noted that arts are vital in every school, at every level.

Linda Lorenza from ACARA outlined how the new Arts Curriculum will be accessible online, once it is cleared for publication. The Curriculum was approved by State and Territory Education ministers prior to the Federal Election, but there are still some revisions to be progressed before the final curriculum is available.

Professional dance companies are working to ensure teachers looking for resources to support the delivery of dance in schools will be able to access high quality and relevant tools. Sydney Dance Company, Restless Dance Theatre and Tasdance provided a snapshot of work currently underway, connections companies are making with young people and opportunities for future engagement.

Jason Coleman, renowned choreographer, studio owner and judge from ‘So you think you can dance’ entrained DEAS participants with his story sharing the joy of dance and leading the group in some moves. Jason listed the five things he learnt from dancing: hard-work, passion, team work, confidence and the ability to use your body and mind. He continues to teach these to his dance students as they are useful lessons for life, whatever you end up doing.

To close day one of discussions at DEAS2013 a new publication by Ausdance VIC’s Education and Training Manager Dr Katrina Rank was launched. Teaching Primary Dance, which provides practical insights to teaching dance in primary schools, will be available following the finalisation of the National Curriculum.

Day Two

Jeff Meiners, University of SA and drafting contributor to the dance curriculum started day two by asking participants to consider our connections across Australia as dance practitioners and how the new dance curriculum can be used to change culture—ensuring great connection and engagement with the arts.

Three school-based dance teachers shared their experiences (good and bad) of teaching dance. Jacqui Fenwick, currently based in Victoria, discussed the particular challenges and benefits of engaging young boys in dance, noting recent research from UK that showed more boys want to be dancers than fireman as their future profession. Mardi Roberts-Bolton, working in the ACT, spoke of the struggle of turning a professional dance career into that of a successful dance teacher, and the long journey to overcome prejudice in schools from students and teachers. Mardi’s advice: ‘expertise counts for nothing if you can’t translate it for your students’. Renee Place, working in distance education in QLD, spoke of the benefits of new technology in engaging regional young people and the strength of networking with other teachers.

Dance in Schools – The teachers' experience. DEASJacqui Fenwick, Mardi Roberts-Bolton and Renee Place talk about their experience teaching dance in schools.

The afternoon saw a group of teachers and educators heading to The Australian Ballet to work with their Dance Ensemble and experience hands-on their in-school program. Others focused their discussions on the challenges and opportunities arising from the new curriculum and the future of dance education in Australian schools. The ideas and questions arising from this session are being reviewed by Ausdance staff and will inform our work in the coming years.

Stacey Hattensen, from Education Services Australia then gave an overview of Scootle—digital resources in support of the national curriculum. It is anticipated as the new arts curriculum is finalised more resources will be available and more teachers will be able to access them through Scootle.

Dance Education in Australian Schools 2013 ended with participants sharing their visions for dance in schools in 2015 and 2030. Ideas included 1) access to live performance and digital resources would be commonplace, 2) a strong community will allow teachers to share ideas and tools, and 3) students and parents will have a strong understanding of the place of dance in Australia’s history and future.

20 plus sticky notes with aspirations for dance in schools in 2015 and 2030

Visit the 2013 Dance Education in Australian Schools project page to view presentations.

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Workshops in Horton technique

World renowned teacher from Alvin Ailey studios in New York, Iquail Shaheed is teaching a 3-day workshop in Horton technique and repertoire at NAISDA Dance College, Gosford. This is an exceptional training opportunity for professional and pre-professional dancers.

Interested participants should email Kim Walker Executive Director, NAISDA or T 02 4340 3155 or 1800 117 116 (free call)

When:  Tuesday 22 — Thursday 24 April, 10am — 4pm

Where: NAISDA Dance College 31 The Avenue, Mount Penang Parklands, Kariong NSW

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2013 Australian Dance Week

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

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

ADW2014 will run from 3 – 11 May.

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

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

WA

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

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

SA

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

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

ACT

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

QLD

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

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2014 World Dance Alliance Global Summit—Contemporising the past: Envisaging the future

Contemporising the past: envisaging the future. World Dance Alliance global summit 2014. Angers, France.The 2014 World Dance Alliance Global Summit has the theme 'Contemporising the past: Envisaging the future'

When: 6 – 11 July 2014

Where: Centre National de Danse Contemporaine (CNDC) in Angers, France.

The week-long Summit will comprise six key elements, all of which embrace the theme Contemporising the past: Envisaging the future:

  • International conference of scholarly papers, panel discussions, performative presentations by artists and practitioners, and poster presentations by emerging scholars and postgraduate students. Refereed on-line proceedings will be published after the Summit.
  • Daily sunset showcase performances of short works by independent artists and tertiary dance students. 
  • International workshops catering for professional dance artists working in performance as well as education, community, youth and special interest areas.
  • Choreolab for emerging and mid-career choreographers to work intensively for one week under the mentorship of CNDC Director Robert Swinston resulting in a public showing of works in progress.
  • Evening performances by local and visiting companies.
  • WDA Global Assembly and Network Meetings—your opportunity to get involved and shape the future of WDA.

The main site for these dance explorations is the impressive contemporary Quai Forum des Arts Vivants theatre complex, situated on the banks of La Maine river and looking out on to the 13th Century fortress that houses the extraordinary Tapestry of the Apocalypse—an artistic endeavour that continues to enchant, intrigue and astonish. This juxtaposition of old and new culture is a fitting metaphor for our investigations into how we are shaping dance now and into the future.

For all WDA Global Summit enquiries, check the 2014 World Dance Alliance Global Summit website.

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Dance studies seminar, USA 2014

“Dance Studies in/and the Humanities” is a multi-school, multi-year initiative designed to advance the field of dance studies. Funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the project will appoint postdoctoral fellows in dance studies at Brown University, Northwestern University and Stanford University over a four-year period from 2012 – 13 through 2015 – 16.

The project will sponsor intensive week-long seminars each summer from 2012 through 2015 that will bring together the postdoctoral fellows with advanced graduate students and junior faculty to develop best practices for interdisciplinary research and teaching in dance studies. The project aims to accelerate the current momentum toward a dynamic and vigorous (inter)discipline.

Read more…

2014 Asian Satellite meeting

Australia is delighted to host the 2014 Asian Satellite for IETM (the leading international network for contemporary performing arts) bringing together a focused group of contemporary performing arts professionals from Australia, Europe and Asia to network and exchange ideas for collaboration and coproduction between the regions.

The meeting will be held in the context of Arts Centre Melbourne's Asian Performing Arts Program and is preceded by the final weekend of the Next Wave festival. It will be an inspiring gathering of artists and arts professionals engaged in collaboration between Europe and Asia.

Delegates are strongly encouraged to arrive in Melbourne to be able to start the performance itinerary on the morning of Saturday 10 May through Sunday 11 May, alongside their international peers and then attend the IETM Asian Satellite meeting, 12 – 14 May 2014.

Go the Australia Council website for more information.

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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.

Alan's contribution to dance reflects his passion for the art form and its artists. He possesses a generosity of spirit and complementary honesty for which we love and respect him. As a veteran dance and drama writer, he has proactively encouraged and supported emerging dance writers, particularly as co-editor and then editor of Brolga—an Australian journal about dance.

Alan studied at the University of Sydney and completed his doctoral research at University College, London. He has produced an outstanding record of literary achievements during his 50 years at the University of Adelaide, firstly as a lecturer, then as Chair of the English Department and finally as Honorary Visiting Research Fellow.

A world-renowned Shakespearean scholar, notably on the importance of dance in Shakespeare's works, he has demonstrated a lifelong commitment to the arts by committee membership of several organisations including the Adelaide Festival Board, the ABC Advisory Committee and for decades as a contributing member of the Ausdance network. Amongst many other awards and honours, in 1996 Alan was made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for his services to the arts.

Dr Alan Brissenden AM with David McAllister AM (Artistic Director, The Australian Ballet) at the  launch of Australia Dances. University of Adelaide, July 2010.

We often forget that those who have not danced themselves but have spent a lifetime of intellectual endeavour in the service of dance are fundamental to its ecology. Alan brings an outsider’s eye and insider's knowledge to the discourse on dance to challenge and provoke us to see dance in diverse ways while affirming our own value and enriching our knowledge of dance, evident in his most recent publication, Australia Dances: Creating Australian Dance 1945—1965.

It is timely that in 2013 Dr Brissenden is inducted into the exclusive Hall of Fame—the 14th such honour awarded in Australia at the Australian Dance Awards (ADAs).

Read more on the Australian Dance Awards website.

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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.

Read more…

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.

Read more…

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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Tanja Liedtke fellowship

Congratulations to Joseph Simons of Dubbo who is this year's recipient of the Tanja Liedtke Fellowship (TLF).

The fellowship will take place in Berlin and Frankfurt in August/September of 2013. The two key objectives of the 2013 Fellowship are:

  1. To provide a program of opportunity for a developing Australian dancer/choreographer to expand and develop his/her creative boundaries,
  2. To enable young artists to meet and work collaboratively in the context of international exchange and experimentation.

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

Read full Media Release.

For more information visit Tanja Liedtke Foundation.
 

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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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Good news from major performing arts companies

The latest Australia Council Snapshot of Major Performing Arts Company Key Trends shows that Australia’s major performing arts companies are robust, stable and have continued to expand their city audiences in line with population growth. They have also extended their reach and engagement in regional and remote communities.

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Report on NSW multicultural arts forum

Groundswell has published the final report on the Multicultural Arts Forum 2012  held in April this year. The forum brought together over 180 artists, arts workers, policy-makers, arts leaders and critical thinkers from NSW and across Australia to share ideas, perspectives and experiences on how to reap the benefits of our culturally diverse arts.

This report presents the main outcomes of the forum as well as a comprehensive evaluation of its results.

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A night to remember at the Australian Dance Awards

The 2012 Australian Dance Awards were presented in spectacular fashion at the beautiful new Heath Ledger Theatre in the State Theatre Centre of Western Australia on 1 September.

Catherine Osborne (l) President, Ausdance WA and Lauren Malkin (r) Client Manager AON Risk Services, presented Lucinda Sharp with her award for Services to Dance. Photo: Matthew Thompsett

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Nanette Hassall—lifetime achievement award 2012

Nanette Hassall is the 2012 recipient of the Australian Dance Award for Lifetime Achievement. This Award honours the career and achievements of an outstanding senior figure in the Australian dance community who has dedicated at least 40 years to dance as a performer, choreographer, advocate, educator, administrator or visionary.

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Report on national dance research forum

Thank you for a great weekend. The National Dance Research Forum was stimulating, energising and so well organised with great food and venues. (Dr Cheryl Stock)

Last weekend we had the pleasure of partnering with the Tertiary Dance Council of Australia to welcome 35 Australian and five international dance researchers to the first national dance research forum held for many years.

The forum provided a unique opportunity for everyone to hear some high-profile speakers, share their own research, join small discussion groups and make plans with potential collaborators.

Speakers included: (l to r) Dr Carol Brown (Uni of Auckland), Dr Kim Vincs (Deakin) & Ruth Gibson (igloo).

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Dance, young people & change—diversity in action

The collaboration between World Dance Alliance (WDA) and dance and the Child international (daCi) produced one of the biggest global dance festivals ever held—Dance, Young People and Change. Hosted by the Taiwan National University of the Arts (TNUA) in Taipei, the event attracted young people from North and South America, Europe, the UK and most Asia-Pacific nations.

The festival/conference was a multi-layered event that included keynote addresses, ‘dance flavour’ taster classes, workshops, forums and paper presentations. It brought together young people, their parents, mentors and educators from across the world to reflect on key issues and future directions for dance in young people’s lives.

Ann Tai, Taiwan representative for daCI and teacher at TNUA, exuberant in the opening parade.

There was also a wonderful range of performances by young people, a festival of international dance academies, and an amazing program of Taiwanese dance performed by Taiwan’s professional companies and groups, including Cloud Gate 2 and Dance Forum. Teachers attended masterclasses and paper presentations and exchanged ideas about approaches to dance learning, teaching and curriculum for young people.

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National crowdfunding strategy

The Australia Council for the Arts with its philanthropic arm, Artsupport Australia, has commenced its national crowdfunding roadshow as part of a strategy to explore the opportunities in crowdfunding for cultural and creative projects.

The roadshow is the culmination of a multi-stage strategy which included a pilot mentoring phase by Artsupport Australia for a group of crowdfunding projects, and the Australia Council commissioning the first piece of research in Australia into barriers and motivations of donors to crowdfunding projects in the cultural and creative sectors.

Caroline Vu, NSW Manager of Artsupport Australia said:

With crowdfunding reaching a tipping point in Australia, there’s huge potential to increase individual giving to arts and culture...the key to this is improving the understanding and skills of the sector; leading to better and more successful campaigns. As the success rate for crowdfunding projects increases, people will become more confident that crowdfunding truly enables creative ideas to become reality.

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Brolga in 2013

Brolga 35 (December, 2011) was the final print edition. From issue # 36 Brolgaan Australian journal about dance will be published on our website and available for purchase either as a complete volume (PDF) or as individual articles. All you need to do is create an account and become an Ausdance customer.

Brolga is pleased to welcome Professor Maggi Phillips from WAAPA, as its new editor.

By the end of 2013 we intend to have all back issues of Brolga online. We believe that this collection of articles will be a valuable resource for students, researchers and dance lovers all over.

Harobo Perth, 2005. Dancer: Hannah Cann. Photo: Laura Ross

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Ausdance advocacy

The last few weeks have seen us engaged in quite a diverse range of advocacy activities across several states and territories.

We’ve chaired a National Advocates for Arts Education (NAAE) meeting in Sydney, attended the Arts & Health Forum at Parliament House in Canberra, discussed arts policy with Minister Crean’s arts adviser and the Secretary of the Office for the Arts in Canberra, and lobbied Schools Minister Peter Garrett about the implementation of The Australian Curriculum: The Arts.

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Dance in the Northern Territory

In June we visited Darwin and participated in Monsoon Sessions, a professional development program for local artists. The two dance forums considered a range of issues of particular concern to NT artists, including Indigenous dance opportunities, career pathways, dance policy and the future of Ausdance NT.

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NAAE welcomes arts curriculum

The National Advocates for Arts Education (NAAE) have welcomed the release of The Australian Curriculum: The Arts for public consultation.

Launching the draft on Monday, Schools Minister Peter Garrett said that he had been "a passionate advocate of the importance of arts as part of a comprehensive, well-rounded education", and that learning in the arts "inspires creativity, encourages young people to think critically, helps develop their sense of identity and can provide great benefits for learning in other core areas".

The NAAE is now advocating for improved teacher education in the arts, and for the allocation of more resources to enable the arts curriculum to be properly implemented.

The NAAE has released a media statement today supporting the draft curriculum, while noting that 'there is still work to do'.

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Draft arts curriculum launched for consultation

Ausdance welcomes the launch of the draft of The Australian Curriculum: The Arts for public consultation, announced yesterday by The Federal Minister for School Education, the Hon. Peter Garrett. The consultation period will be for three months, until 23 September.

The new curriculum will, for the first time, entitle all young people to learning in dance at school, a major breakthrough for students and dance educators. The four other subjects in the arts curriculum are drama, media arts, music and visual arts.

Ausdance has played a strong lobbying role in having dance included in The Australian Curriculum: The Arts, and has supported ACARA—the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority—in the development of the dance curriculum.

We encourage you, as dance teachers in schools, students and parents, to continue having your say throughout this next consultation stage.

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Ausdance welcomes new treasurer

The Ausdance team is pleased to welcome Peter Bayliss from Into Tomorrow on board as its Treasurer. Into Tomorrow is a Chartered Accounting firm that provides a variety of services to music, arts and community sector clients. The company was founded by Peter in 2009 to combine his passions for music, the arts and community services with his skills as an accountant and business manager.

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The National Arts & Health Forum

The forum at Parliament House on 27 June was an important step in developing a meaningful and effective arts and health policy framework. The forum media release gives you further details of speakers, topics and the outcomes of the meeting.

The audio of the forum is now available on Place Stories, as is the opening speech by the Minister for the Arts, the Hon Simon Crean MP.

Until recently the forum was referred to as a one-off event. However, the organisers now see the need for it to continue, informing the advice that the Arts & Health Foundation provides to the Ministerial Working Group on Arts and Health.

We have been invited to be part of this ongoing process, and hope that our members will contribute their experiences and amazingly successful dance and health stories via the Arts and Health PlaceStories website. More resources will be posted on PlaceStories in the weeks ahead.

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Keith Bain tribute

Keith Bain OAM passed away in Sydney on 4 July, 2012. He was much loved and repected by the Australian dance community and will be greatly missed. Keith's inspiration, insights, generosity, humour and vision were valued by many.

Keith's funeral was held at the Eastern Suburbs Crematorium on Tuesday 10 July.

About Keith

Keith began as a ballroom dancer in the country town of his birth, Wauchope. He graduated as Dux of the year from Armidale Teachers College in 1945 and taught at Kogarah Boys High and Temora High where his students experienced quality music, drama and dance.

It was in Temora that he saw the Bodenwieser Dance Group perform, and after talking with the dancers, Keith said that he

...sensed that [he] had the eyes to analyse the work, the head to appreciate it and a body that might someday master it.

Keith moved to Sydney to begin his modern dance career.

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National dance research forum

On the weekend of 4 – 5 August 2012 Australian dance researchers will meet in Melbourne to share their work, ideas and develop their dance research networks. Participants include dance researchers working in choreographic cognition, technology, injury prevention and management, intercultural research, audience development and dance education.

Read more…

Australia Dancing leaps into Trove

The National Library of Australia has integrated the Australia Dancing service into the national discovery service Trove.

Trove is an exciting destination for dance researchers and expands the potential of finding new and rare materials in many diverse collections. Trove takes you to resources in libraries, archives, performing arts collections, galleries; to biographical databases and online collections including pictures, digitised newspapers and finding aids. Trove also incorporates the National Library's dance resources, which continue to grow each year.

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BlakDance 2012 triumph

BlakDance 2012 festival in Brisbane highlighted a wonderful range of contemporary Indigenous dance from Australia and New Zealand.

Choreographers, dancers, industry members and audiences came together to celebrate and gain a deeper understanding of contemporary Indigenous dance practice.

Read more…

Responses to the Australia Council Review

The Australia Council Review was a comprehensive and complex document covering many facets of governance, funding, peer review and relationships with other agencies, plus important recommendations for additional arts funding.

Ausdance responded to the Review, as did many other arts organisations and individuals.

We then joined with ArtsPeak colleagues to make a joint statement where there was common agreement across art forms.

We now await the Government's response to this consultation, and the eventual release of the National Cultural Policy.

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Graeme Murphy honoured

Congratulations to Graeme Murphy, who was yesterday appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) in the Queen's Birthday Honours list.

Graeme Murphy, AO. Photo: Greg Barrett

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Ballet companies make news on the ABC!

This year West Australian Ballet (WAB) celebrates its 60th birthday and The Australian Ballet (TAB) celebrates its 50th birthday. ABC TV presented a feature on the two companies on its 7.30 Report, 6 June. The segment includes brief interviews with David  McAllister (Artistic Director of TAB since 2001), Barry Moreland (Artistic Director of WAB from 1983 – 97) and dancers Madeleine Eastoe and Kevin Jackson, both originally from WA and now principal artists with TAB.

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Northern Territory dance sector review

Arts NT, which provides Ausdance NT’s operational funding, announced to the organisation its intention to “employ an outside consultant to examine the dance sector’s needs and determine the best model for dance support relevant to the NT.” 

This review is expected to take place between July and September 2012 and will be a joint initiative of Arts NT and Ausdance NT, with Arts NT as the lead agency. Read more.

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Australia Council review released

Arts Minister Simon Crean has released the review into the Australia Council which will help inform the National Cultural Policy.

The Minister notes that 'the review makes 18 recommendations for reform of the Council and provides an opportunity to reflect on its success and to consider the major challenges ahead'.

We'll be commenting with our ArtsPeak colleagues, but we'd also like to hear from you. Please leave a comment when you've read the report.

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