- What: One Body, One Career—Anouk van Dijk’s Countertechnique method intensive
- When: 29 June – 10 July 2015.
- Where: Melbourne, Australia.
The intensive is for professional dancers and advanced students interested in pursuing a long, healthy and successful career in dance.
It is curated and taught by Chunky Move Artistic Director, Anouk van Dijk, in conjunction with Countertechnique Master Teacher Nina Wollny and American Alexander Technique expert Tom Koch.
First-time participants will gain an intensive introduction to the distinct elements and methodology that form Countertechnique, Anouk van Dijk’s movement system and training method. Returning participants have the opportunity to deepen and expand their understanding. Through theory, physical practice, discourse and workshops, participants will gain a set of practical tools that they will be able to draw from and apply in their daily dance practice.
An exciting opportunity exists for a dynamic and experienced arts producer to take up a senior leadership role with one of Australia’s leading contemporary dance companies.
Led by internationally acclaimed choreographer Anouk van Dijk, Chunky Move has an enviable reputation nationally and internationally for producing a distinct yet unpredictable brand of genre-defying dance performance. The Company’s multi-tiered programming initiatives nurture a strong and vibrant dance culture in their home city of Melbourne.
The Executive Producer is responsible for the overall management of the Company, producing new works, initiating national and international touring and collaborations, and generating income through actively fundraising and developing entrepreneurial activities.
This position requires an impressive track record at a senior level in the performing arts, strong producing credentials, and excellent communication and management skills.
Your application should address the selection criteria and received no later than COB Tuesday 14 April 2015.
For position description and company profile, visit Chunky Move's website.
For further information contact Hillary Coyne, Business and Program Manager on (03) 9645 5188 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tracks Dance Company is looking for a general manager to manage the day-to-day operations of the organisation and play a leadership role in its marketing and sponsorship campaigns.
The successful applicant will have a passion for the arts and a desire to be an integral part of the Tracks Dance Company team under the artistic direction of David McMicken and Tim Newth.
Tracks is a recognised centre of excellence, producing exceptional performances built on an extended history of trusted community collaboration. The company, a not for profit organisation, is located in Darwin, Northern Territory.
For selection criteria and more information about the position, please contact Susan Congreve on email@example.com or call 0488 287 042.
Applications close 5 pm Monday 20 April.
Hotbed is Lucy Guerin Inc’s workshop program for professional dancers and dance-makers. Workshops are led by local and international choreographers to encourage a broad understanding of the local dance community of current contemporary dance thinking and practice.
Dates: Monday 4 – Friday 9 May 2015
Times: Mon, Wed, Fri 11.30 am – 4.30 pm / Tues & Thurs 10.00 am – 3.00 pm
Venue: Lucy Guerin Inc studio, 28 Batman Street, West Melbourne
Price: $75 for the full week
Applications for workshop #1 with Martin Nachbar (Germany) close 15 April 2015.
Places are limited and by application only. Visit Lucy Guerin's website for more information and to apply online.
Force Majeure's Artistic Director Danielle Micich will work with Dance Integrated Australia's Philip Channells and a company of artists with a disability to develop and premiere a new work over the next two years.
Artists with physical, sensory, psychosocial, neurological, medical or intellectual impairment are invited to participate in a weekend workshop audition. Participants will work within a supportive environment where they will be encouraged to take risks exploring their physicality. Performers from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds are aslo encouraged. Applicants must be based in NSW and be 18+ years.
- be a highly skilled dancer, actor or physical-theatre performer who has an interest in devising process’ of dance theatre.
- identify as a person living with impairments (a problem in body function or structure), activity limitations (a difficulty encountered by an individual in executing a task or action) and/or participation restrictions (a problem experienced by an individual in involvement in life situations).
Saturday 9 OR Sunday 10 May 2015
10am – 4pm at Carriageworks, 245 Wilson Street Eveleigh, Sydney
Go to the Force Majeure website to download an application form
Deadline for applications: 5pm 10 April, 2015
The following Australian Government advisory and funding bodies are dedicated to strengthening the cultural, education, business, and more broadly, people-to-people relations between Australia and China, Japan and Korea respectively.
In 2015 –16, the ACC, AJF and AKF will deliver approximately A$700,000 each in grants for organisations and individuals. The ACC, AJF and AKF invite interested organisations and individuals from all over Australia to apply online.
Details on how to apply can be found on the following websites:
Call for Expression of Interest: 27 February – 31 March 2015
The ACC supports projects across China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Macau and Australia. ACC grants are designed to provide seed funds to Australian organisations and individuals for proposals around education, economic diplomacy, arts and culture.
Grant Round opens for applications: 27 February – 20 April 2015
Projects and programs supported by the AJF help promote people-to-people engagement across a diverse range of sectors, including the arts, education, science and technology, sport, local government, community services and business. Applications are sought from both Australia and Japan. Projects supporting reconstruction of the communities of the Tohoku region are encouraged. As 2016 will be the 40th Anniversary of the establishment of the AJF, the AJF will seek to lodge successful proposals as 40th Anniversary projects.
Grant Round opens for applications: 27 February – 4pm 16 April 2015
The Foundation supports the development and strengthening of enduring people-to-people relationships with Korea covering a range of strategic areas: Geopolitical Relations; Economics and Trade; Education, Science and Technology; Society, Culture, Arts, Sports and Media. The priority areas in 2015-16 are: Korean Language and Literacy, Economic Diplomacy, Science Innovation; and Sports Diplomacy (focused on major sporting events). Australian individuals and organisations are invited to submit applications outlining projects with clear goals and committed partners. Grants are usually between $20,000 and $30,000.
The Council for Australia-Latin America Relations grant round also opened on 2 March 2015.
The art of movement and the craft of the actor
This four-day physical theatre workshop will be led by internationally reknowned teaching-artist Norman Taylor. Norman is a teacher of movement analysis and improvisation. He studied and taught mime, movement and improvisation with Jacques Lecoq. He now teaches, acts, travels, advises and directs all over the world. He is currently a regular teacher at Ecole Lassaâd in Brussels.
The workshops will explore and analyse actions and see how different 'action mimes' can nurture the approach to different styles and texts.
Dates: 14 – 17 April
Times: 10am – 4pm daily
Venue: DanceHouse, 150 Princes Street, North Carlton VIC
Workshop producer: Dani Cresp or 0408 590 759
16 – 18 October 2015
World Dance Alliance Singapore is proud to present the 2015 Annual General Meeting of World Dance Alliance Asia-Pacific alongside Asia-Pacific Dance Bridge 2015: Connectivity Through Dance.
Asia-Pacific Dance Bridge 2015: Connectivity through Dance aims to cultivate dance connectivity within Singapore’s own dance community as well as forge alliances between dancers, academics, educators and administrators throughout the Asia-Pacific region and beyond. The conference will consist of several events: Symposium, Choreolab, Community Showcase, Small Company and Independent Artist Showcase, Singapore Tertiary Showcase and Workshops.
These events will be presented in partnership with Singapore’s arts industry organisations located in Singapore’s arts & culture district including Esplanade Theatres on the Bay (Esplanade), Lasalle College of the Arts (Lasalle), Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA), National Library Building (NLB), and School of the Arts (SOTA).
The World Dance Alliance Asia-Pacific (WDAAP) Annual General Meeting, Network Meetings, Young Scholars Meeting as well as the World Dance Alliance Global Executive Meeting will also be hosted at NAFA.
Call for Symposium: Closed
Call for Choreolab: 15 April 2015
Call for Community Showcase: 15 April 2015
Call for Small Company & Independent Artist Showcase: 15 April 2015
Call for Workshops: 15 April 2015
For further details of the event please visit the WDAS2015 website.
WDA members can register here now.
American Dance Festival (ADF) 2015 will take place 11 June – 25 July in Durham, USA.
Heralded as “One of the nation’s most important institutions” by the New York Times and as “The world’s greatest dance festival” by the New York Post, the ADF has a long record of creative achievement and is indivisible from the history of modern dance.
Since 1934, ADF has remained committed to serving the needs of dance, dancers, choreographers, and professionals in dance-related fields. Remaining true to the goals of its founding artists, ADF’s programs are developed based on its mission:
- to encourage and support the creation and presentation of new modern dance work by both established and emerging choreographers,
- to preserve our modern dance heritage through continued presentation of classic works as well as through archival efforts,
- to build wider national and international audiences for modern dance,
- to enhance public understanding and appreciation of the art form and its cultural and historical significance,
- to provide a sound scientific and aesthetic base for professional education and training of young dancers,
- and to maintain a forum for integrating and disseminating information on dance education.
Go to the ADF website to find out more.
dance for the time being: situating contemporary dance through an examination of its provenance and heritage
Dordogne, France 19 – 31 July, 2015
This summer intensive for professional dancers will elaborate the structures and processes that informed post modernism in embodied performance practices. Workshops will explore the practice of dancing and the agency of the dancer in a choreographic elaboration of the unstable body.
They will also introduce the participants to the aesthetic underpinnings of the ongoing performance project dance for the time being.
Russell Dumas, Linda Sastradipradja, Jonathan Sinatra, David Huggins, Jennifer Way, Tom Rawe, Stuart Shugg and other guest teachers and artists associated with Dance Exchange Inc, will teach the workshops at beautiful La Pinale in the Dordogne in France.
Workshops commence Sunday 19 July and finish Friday 31 July (Sat 25 and Sun 26 are rest days).
|9am – 10am||individual warm up|
|10am –1pm||workshop 1|
|1pm – 4pm||lunch and siesta|
|4pm – 6.30pm||workshop 2|
|7pm – 8pm||dinner|
Fee: 1100 Euros (includes all food, accommodation and tuition. Food is mostly vegetarian. Accommodation is in shared rooms—simple but adequate.)
These workshops are for professional dancers or recent dance graduates and participation is by invitation.
Please send an expression of interest and CV to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Applicants will be notified by the end of March (or sooner if it fills up).
About workshop leaders
Russell Dumas founded Dance Exchange in 1976. His choreography, presented under the company’s name ever since, constitutes one of the most distinctive and original bodies of Australian dance work. As a dancer he worked with many companies including The Royal Ballet, Netherlands Dance Theatre, Ballet Rambert, Strider, Culberg, Gulbenkian and others in Europe and with Trisha Brown and Twyla Tharp in New York.
Jennifer Way and Tom Rawe danced with Twyla Tharp Dance from the mid seventies to 1988. During their time with the Tharp Company, they performed in all of the company’s active repertory, including projects for television and film, such as Hair, Ragtime, and Amadeus. Besides being performers, both Jenny and Tom were responsible for reconstructing and rehearsing repertory within the Tharp Company and transferring Tharp’s works to other companies. They both taught and coordinated numerous workshops and master classes for Twyla Tharp Dance and independently. Jenny continues to teach and stage Tharp repertory and Tom is now a Physical Therapist and Feldenkrais Practitioner.
Linda Sastradipradja graduated from the Victorian College of the Arts with Distinction then moved to New York. Her credits include Mikhail Baryshnikov's White Oak Dance Project (working directly with choreographers including Twyla Tharp, Merce Cunningham, Mark Morris and Tere O'Connor), Sara Rudner, Dennis O'Connor Dance, Dana Reitz and Molissa Fenley. Linda has worked on theatre and film productions in association with artists Sara Rudner, John Carrafa, Lee Gingold and The Alley Theatre (Houston) and is featured in the work of renowned dance photographer Lois Greenfield. Linda is currently doing a PhD, teaching at Melbourne University and works with Dance Exchange as a performer and artistic associate.
Jonathan Sinatra has a BA (Honours) from the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts. His solo works include Testing 1-2-3, languid yet, sometimes I fear touch, Passing By and Burning In. He has been dancing with Russell Dumas (Dance Exchange) since 2001 and been known to moonlight with other artists including Xavier Le Roi and Eleonore Didier. He also teaches Contact Improvisation.
David Huggins started his dance training while completing his degree in psychology in New Zealand. He then completed his Bachelor of Dance at Melbourne University in 2010. After graduating, he was invited to perform in Rapt a new work choreographed by New Zealand choreographer Douglas Wright for the Auckland Arts Festival. David now dances with Melbourne contemporary dance choreographer Russell Dumas in his company, Dance Exchange.
Stuart Shugg graduated in 2008 from the Victorian College of the Arts in Melbourne. In Australia he worked extensively with Russell Dumas's company Dance Exchange and was mentored by Linda Sastradipradja. He also appeared in the works of Lucy Guerin, Philip Adams, and Antony Hamilton. In NYC, Stuart has worked with Jon Kinzel, Jodi Melnick, film artist Matthew Salton and has been a member of the Trisha Brown Dance Company since November 2011. His own work has been shown at Movement Research, Center for Performance Research, and Gibney Dance Center.In 2013, Stuart made a dance film documenting the last performances of Trisha Brown's work Astral Convertible at the Walker Art Museum, Minneapolis, which screened at the Australian Center for the Moving Image in 2014.
The Tanja Liedtke Foundation is is pleased to announce South Australian dancer and choreographer Gabrielle Nankivell as the winner of the 2015 Tanja Liedtke Fellowship. Congratulations to Gabrielle!
Gabrielle was also the inaugural recipient of the Keith Bain Choreographic Travel Fellowship, presented at the 2014 Australian Dance Awards last November.
Jerril Rechter is the CEO of VicHealth. She has extensive experience in leadership across the areas of government and not-for-profit sectors.
Jerril is a World Health Organization Advisor, a board member of the International Network of Health Promotion Foundations, a member of Victoria’s Justice Health Ministerial Advisory Council and a member of the Liquor Control Advisory Council.
She regularly presents at state, national and international conferences and events to share her experiences in health promotion, leadership, the arts, and the potential of innovations to improve health and wellbeing for everyone.
She has served on various state and national boards and committees, including VicHealth's, as Board Member from 2004 to 2010. Her Ministerial appointments have included the Victorian Eating Disorders Taskforce, Australia Day Committee Victoria, Australia Council for the Arts Deputy Chair Dance Board, Arts Tasmania Board, Brand Tasmania Board and the Community Leaders Group Tasmania.
Jerril is a recipient of a Centenary Medal, Tasmania Day Award, and Fellowships from the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust, Australia Council, Harvard Club of Australia, the Australian Davos Forum-Future Summit, and Williamson Community Leadership Program (Leadership Victoria).
Jerril holds a Master of Business Leadership from RMIT University. She has held executive positions at Leadership Victoria, Melbourne International Festival of the Arts, Footscray Community Arts Centre, and founded Stompin Youth Dance Company.
The National Forum is a partnership between the Australia Council for the Arts and Ausdance National.
The International Organization for the Transition of Professional Dancers is pleased to announce that the 2014 Philippe Braunschweig Grant has been awarded to dancer Sébastien Thill.
The annual €3,000 competitive grant is given to a dancer at or near the end of their performance career to contribute towards the cost associated with retraining for a second profession.
This grant, given to honour the IOTPD’s Founding President, is for professional dancers who have had an international career and who do not qualify for transition support from any one of the countries where they have danced.
Read full press release.
The application deadline for the 2015 Philippe Braunschweig Grant is April 30, 2015.
For more details on how to apply visit the IOTPD website.
Applications are now open
This biannual event is regarded as one of Australia’s best training programs in contemporary dance, led by a team of specially selected professional dancers and choreographers from around the country.
Join acclaimed guest teachers and EDC dancers as you participate in workshops with an intense focus on contemporary dance, its techniques and the industry, preparing you for a career in dance.
DATES | Monday 29 June – Friday 3 July 2015
VENUE | QUT Campus, Kelvin Grove, Brisbane
TIMES | 9 am – 5 pm Daily
COST | $570 per person
For more information email email@example.com or call 07 3257 4222
Please Note: spaces are limited and entry is by application only.
Brolga–an Australian journal about dance invites academics and writers to submit articles (either for refereeing or general circulation) for the 2015 issue of this online publication.
Issue #40 will focus broadly on the increasingly important theme of improvisation, and will be edited by Olivia Millard from Deakin University. Improvisation is quintessentially elusive, being and vanishing in each instant of impulse, so what might happen in its writing or attempts to capture its flights on the page?
Please email essays or articles to Olivia Millard.
If you wish your paper to be blind refereed for academic purposes, please make that clear in the submission.
Deadline for submissions: 31 May 2015 (for publication in September)
If writers or publishers have books to review please send copies to:
ATT: Brolga Editor
PO Box 45
Braddon ACT 2612
National Dance Forum partners the Australia Council for the Arts and Ausdance National are thrilled to announce acclaimed New Zealand-based artist Lemi Ponifasio as the first keynote artist-in-conversation for NDF2015.
Lemi is a leading voice in contemporary dance and theatre making internationally, based in the Asia-Pacific, performing and collaborating worldwide. He will be in conversation with NDF2015 co-facilitator Fiona Winning on the afternoon of Thursday 19 March.
The second keynote and the full list of speakers will be unveiled in early February.
Theatre artist Lemi Ponifasio founded the MAU in Auckland in 1995, a collaboration of communities and artists from all over the world.
MAU is a Samoan word that means a declaration to the truth of a matter or revolution as an effort to transform.
In his artistic universe, Ponifasio orients the modern individual towards other dimensions of consciousness by way of the decelerated rhythm of his strict aesthetic, making use of striking images, movement and dynamic interplay of light and darkness. A pioneer at the international frontier of dance and theatre art, his theatre vision transcends the barriers between genres and cultures and transmits the universal power of art. Lemi Ponifasio presents his productions in such places as the Avignon Festival, BAM, Ruhrtriennale, Edinburgh International Festival, Theatre de la Ville Paris, London's Southbank, Holland Festival, Luminato Festival, Vienna Festival and Berliner Festspiele.
I AM, Ponifasio’s most recent work, premiered at the Avignon Festival 2014 followed by seasons at the Edinburgh International Festival, the Ruhrtriennale, Germany, and I AM MAPUCHE for Festival Santiago a Mil, Chile. His other creations include Birds With Skymirrors responding to the disappearing Pacific Islands, homelands to most of his dancers and devastated by climate change; Tempest: Without A Body, concerning our collective paralysis in the face of truth, symbolized by increased and unlawful use of state power post 9/11; Le Savali: Berlin confronting the imperial City of Berlin with its own communities, the young generation of immigrant families in search of belonging and constrained by threat of deportation; The Crimson House probing the nature of power and subjectivity in our panoptic state – a world that sees all and no longer forgets; and Stones In Her Mouth, a work with Maori women as transmitters of a life force through oratory, ancient chants, choral-work and dance. In 2012 Ponifasio staged the epic opera Prometheus by Carl Orff for the Ruhrtriennale.
Watch some of Lemi's work with MAU
Stones in her mouth (2014)
Birds with sky mirrors
Tempest: without a body
The Crimson House
When: 16–18 October 2015
Where: Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA), Singapore
World Dance Alliance Singapore is proud to present the 2015 Annual General Meeting, Network Meetings and Young Scholars Meeting of World Dance Alliance Asia-Pacific as well as the Global Executive Meeting alongside the conference Asia-Pacific Dance Bridge 2015: Connectivity through Dance. Coinciding with the da:ns festival organised by the Esplanade, Singapore, conference events at venues located in Singapore’s arts and culture district are outlined below.
The conference aims to cultivate dance connectivity within Singapore’s own dance community as well as forge alliances between dancers, academics, educators and administrators throughout the Asia-Pacific region and beyond.
The conference will include scholarly papers, performative presentations and Pecha Kucha style presentations. Other conference events include showcases, a choreolab, masterclasses and workshops.
Asia-Pacific Dance Bridge 2015: Connectivity through Dance
Conference papers: call for abstracts
We now invite abstracts for presentations addressing the conference theme for the following categories by 2 March 2015. You will be notified of acceptance by 1 April 2015.
All modes of presentation require a 250-word abstract and a 100-word biography, plus up to four keywords to identify themes relevant to your topic. The conference will also include lunchtime conversations with invited speakers.
Submit an abstract of 250 words maximum. These will be double-blind refereed by an international review committee as per academic research conventions and published in the conference proceedings.
This format is designed to privilege the voice of practitioners through showing digital footage of a choreographic work or a community/teaching/video project they have undertaken. Proposals should comprise a 250-word concept statement of the practice/project, together with a 10-minute maximum online (Vimeo/YouTube) excerpt of recent work. Promotional footage will not be considered.
Pecha Kucha style presentations
(for students in Honours year and above)
Pecha Kucha is a presentation format in which 20 slides are timed to be shown each for 20 seconds (7 minutes total). Research students are encouraged to present in this format. Initial submissions are in the form of a 250-word abstract summarising the topic, methodology and summary of the research to date, with an extra page of no more than 7 contextual/bibliographic references in APA style. If selected, more detailed instructions on the format will be provided.
Associated performance events
There will be an opportunity for members to participate in the following events. Chapter Heads and members will be advised about application processes by 1 March.
- The Small Company/Independent Artist Showcase, chaired by Susan Yeung, will be presented at the Recital Studio, Esplanade. The focus will be on cutting-edge contemporary dance works by choreographers from the Asia-Pacific region. The collection of works speaks of a new generation of dance-making that is uniquely contemporary Asian.
- The Singapore Tertiary Showcase will feature Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (coordinated by Gillian Tan) and Lasalle College of the Arts (coordinated by Susan Yeung). Both institutions will present their own dance works as well as a collaborative dance work in the Next Generation platform of Esplanade’s da:ns festival.
- The Community Showcase, chaired by Peter Gn, will be presented at the Plaza @ National Library. It aims to celebrate the diversity of dance through enjoyable dance performances of amateur groups from the Asia-Pacific region.
Melissa Quek will chair the Choreolab in consultation with the Creation & Presentation Network Chair, Nanette Hassall. Selected emerging choreographers from the Asia-Pacific region will be in an intensive residence prior to the conference and will present works-in-progress during the conference.
Masterclasses and workshops
Masterclasses will include traditional and contemporary dance forms with international artists and choreographers from the Asia-Pacific region. Workshops addressing one or more of the following WDA network areas may also be presented: Research & Documentation, Creation & Presentation, Education & Training, Support & Development.
Ausdance National congratulates those from the dance community recognised in this year's Australia Day Honours.
Member (AM) in the General Division of the Order of Australia
Ms Leanne Faye Benjamin OBE
For significant service to the performing arts, particularly ballet, as a dancer and role model. Principal, The Royal Ballet, London
Mr Noel Christian Tovey
For significant service to the performing arts, to Indigenous performers, and as an advocate forthe lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex community.
Medal (OAM) of the Order of Australia in the General Division
Miss Carole Oliver
For service to the performing arts through dance education. Founder, Owner and Artistic Director, Carole Oliver School of Ballet
Ms Daele Fraser
For service to the performing arts, particularly dance. President, Dance Master International Association.
Citations can be found at It's An Honour.
Nominations for Australian honours can be made all year round here.
21 – 23 August
Directed by Liz Lea and Associate Professor Gene Moyle, the 2015 DANscienCE Festival is a curated event that will provide an exciting oppportunity for scientists, artists, researchers and educators to explore and celebrate the synergies between these two fields of creativity.
DANscienCE focuses on the areas of cognitive psychology, applied dance science, technology, robotics and ecology/biology. The festival aims to foster partnerships between the community, research organisations and industry.
Participants will engage in panel discussions, present papers, observe demonstrations amd watch performances.DANscienCE will explore the breadth of the growing connections between dance and science, and the innovative approaches and projects that scientists and artists are already undertaking in both Australia and Internationally.
After recent discussions with Ausdance, cashflow pressures were identified as an important issue for many Ausdance members throughout 2014. Following this feedback, Aon have strongly negotiated with insurers to secure a more affordable dance insurance package.
Aon are subsequently very pleased to announce that their dance insurance premiums are now 33% lower.
This discounted rate is available for new policies placed from 1 January 2015 and for all current Aon dance customers (see your renewal pack for more information).
For a no-obligation quote and option to buy online, visit Aon’s Ausdance page or give Aon’s Dance service team a call on 1800 805 191.
If you’d like to learn more about the importance of having public liability insurance as a dance business, check out a recent Aon article: How does public liability insurance protect me?
SMUDGE: an exciting new collaboration between Phillip Adams BalletLab and artist Brook Andrew.
Phillip Adams BalletLab is seeking professional and experimental industry individuals from the wider sector of performing arts, interdisciplinary and visual arts practitioners that include researchers, architects, musicians, designers, etc. The project will require a level of physical/movement practice and understanding of contemporary performance and/or creative collaborations, depending on the discipline of the applicant, (e.g. an architect may be utilised to perform physically and create ‘spaces’ through objects placed in the space for performers).
SMUDGE 2015 creative development project dates: 11–29 May (three weeks full time Monday to Friday)
For almost thirty years Ausdance has been working with dance teaching societies, organisations and teachers looking for the best approach to support the industry and students. Ausdance continues to compile and distribute information and guidelines about dance training, focusing particularly on issues of quality and safety. The Australian Guidelines for Teaching Dance suggests minimum standards for dance teaching and ways teachers can maintain or upgrade their teaching skills. You can also access the code of ethics for dance teachers and for parents, information about child protection and choosing a dance studio for your child.
We remain committed to providing resources which help to facilitate the highest possible quality of dance education and training in this country. We continue to work with studio teachers, the broader dance sector and the wider community in reviewing and investigating additional strategies to ensure positive dance experiences within a dance-training environment.
Children have a fundamental right to be safe from any form of abuse while involved in dance, sport or any activities. This is a legal requirement as well as a moral obligation. Child protection requires a commitment from everyone, including individuals teaching or leading dance and movement activities, to ensure the dance environment is safe for all children.
We welcome your thoughts and feedback on these resources and the broader discussion on dance for young people. Please join the discussion and leave your thoughts below or contact us directly.
Jo Dyer, Chair of the Board of Force Majeure has announced the appointment of Danielle Micich as the incoming Artistic Director/CEO for the company, replacing founding Director Kate Champion. Jo said:
The Board of Directors is delighted that Danielle has accepted the role of Artistic Director of Force Majeure. Danielle’s body of work demonstrates an immensely talented and rigorous artist who has thought passionately and deeply about dance theatre and the role it occupies in the Australian and international arts landscape. We can think of no-one better to build on the wonderful legacy being left by Kate Champion. We believe that under Danielle’s leadership, Force Majeure will continue to flourish in the unique space Kate has carved out for us, a genuine cross-artform blend of theatre and dance, dedicated to exploring ideas and ourselves.
Danielle is currently a core artist with Performing Lines WA and recently premiered her new work Overexposed at the State Theatre Centre of WA. She is a graduate of the Victorian College of the Arts and was Artistic Director of STEPS Youth Dance Company in Perth for four years. Her choreography for Barking Gecko’s Driving Into Walls was nominated for a 2012 Helpmann Award.
Watching Force Majeure over many years define its unique place in Australian theatre drew me towards making dance theatre myself. If anyone told me that the last ten years was preparation for something much bigger, I should have listened earlier. The many people and companies I have worked with along the way have shaped the artist I am today.
Working with Kate Champion was a defining moment. I knew then I would pursue my practice in dance theatre. It's a great honour to follow on from one of Australia’s finest Artistic Directors and continue her legacy. Seeing the bigger picture is one thing, but knowing how to contribute and lead is another. I am very excited about my role in the future of Force Majeure.
Danielle will join Executive Producer Bec Allen, the staff, Board and artists of Force Majeure in the position of Artistic Director/CEO in mid-2015.
Jo Dyer commented:
Kate had no involvement in the recruitment of her successor, so the Board was thrilled—and not a little relieved—that upon being advised of our choice for the role and Danielle’s subsequent acceptance of the job, Kate has thoroughly endorsed Danielle’s appointment.
Out-going Artistic Director/CEO Kate Champion:
After thirteen years building Force Majeure’s reputation as a dance theatre company that is artistically adventurous and thematically contemporary, I am delighted with the Board’s decision to appoint Danielle Micich as the new Artistic Director. Danielle is at a point in her career where her talent, passion and enthusiasm for the art form fits perfectly with the company’s creative legacy and vision for the future. This represents an exciting new stage in Force Majeure’s direction and one I wholeheartedly support.
It’s been another busy year for Ausdance WA with many memorable dance events and projects.
Our Act-Belong-Commit Dance 100 program included five separate projects to inspire, educate and engage with dance at all ages and levels. As well as live performances, lunch-time discos, secondary school workshops and film screenings, we piloted a new type of workshop series called Act-Belong-Commit Monkeyfunk. This paired young children and their parents together to play and groove with a dance artist and live musician and was a gorgeous example of the elation that dance can bring us both socially and physically.
Other highlights include the Regional Arts Australia Summit held in Kalgoorlie, the Ausdance skill set for Teaching Dance and our own West Australian Dance Awards, which celebrated excellence across the dance sector.
Catch up on all the Ausdance WA news at their website.
It was a big year for Ausdance QLD. 12 artists and projects were supported with funded choreographic residencies, and an additional 370 hours of subsidised space for creative development was provided to Queensland dancers.
The year started with the city of Brisbane hosting the Australian Performing Arts Market for the first time, with Ausdance QLD supporting 10 artists to attend along with providing a dance-focused booth space. Partnering with Ausdance National, we also hosted a spectacular networking event.
But it was a big year for Brisbane, with the city also hosting the G20 summit in September—Ausdance facilitated opportunities for street and community dance artists to perform in public events by recruiting, assisting to schedule, contracting and paying all independent performers/small companies.
Along with technical workshops, skill development and participation in the World Dance Alliance, we’ve moved office a few times and will be returning to the Judith Wright Centre in early 2015.
Catch up on all the Ausdance Qld news at their website.
Big Dance, the largest celebration of dance in the world took place in Australia for the first time on the Sunday 13 July 2014 at five locations: Sydney, London and Glasgow as well as two regional locations Port Macquarie and Bega.
In Sydney thousands dancers of all ages and abilities participated in this free special event at the Sydney Opera House. Big Dance was filmed at Sydney Opera House with live satellite links to London and Glasgow.
Check out the video from the day, including footage from London and Glasgow.
Ausdance NSW was proud to partner with Sydney Dance Company, Sydney Opera House and Big Dance UK in presenting Big Dance for the first time in Australia.
Another highlight for Ausdance NSW was hosting the Australian Dance Awards, again at the Sydney Opera House. The show included the presentation of 11 awards, an induction to the Hall of Fame, the presentation of the Keith Bain Choreographic Travel Fellowship and also an In Memoriam segment. The Awards presentations were built into an entertainment program that included nine performances highlighting the amazing talent of the Australian dance industry.
Attended by almost 1000 people the guests for the 2014 Australian Dance Awards including representatives from National and State Arts Organisations, significant Dance organisations, National Ausdance Honorary Life Members, Board members and selection panel and of course nominees, presenters and performers.
Catch up on all the Ausdance NSW news at their new website.
In April, Ausdance SA successfully presented the Australian Youth Dance Festival. Held in Renmark on the border of South Australia and Victoria, this was the eighth Australian Youth Dance Festival (AYDF).
Ausdance SA said a sad farewell to outgoing director Phil Callaghan and welcomed Simon McMahon as new director.
Ausdance SA finished off an eventful 2014 with a successful Dance Teachers Day at AC Arts with over 45 participants and the informal showing for Choreolab 2014 at the Ausdance SA studio with over 34 guests. Thanks to all whom participated and supported these events.
Catch up on all the Ausdance SA news at their website.
It was a big year for the ACT Youth Dance Fest. 2014 saw this unique event celebrate 30 years with 57 dance works, 37 high schools and colleges and over 1400 young dancers taking to the Canberra stage in a non-competitive sharing of dance, art and culture.
The success of the youth dance fest has led Ausdance ACT to develop the Move Up professional learning program for teachers, with the first summer course taking place in early 2015. The Move Up program delivers workshops and support so teachers can confidently effectively deliver the dance elements of the new Curriculum.
Professional dancers in Canberra were able to take part in low-cost professional classes, supported by Ausdance ACT to help build the independent dance community in the city. Artists also continued to access the auspicing services of Ausdance ACT and undertake development as part of the Strange Attractor series. Strange Attractor is about the dancer and the work—cultivating the dancer’s work of performance by providing time, space and provocations to guide their process.
Catch up on Ausdance ACT news at their website.
2014 was a pretty big year for Ausdance Vic; we moved office and we said goodbye to old and hello to new staff and board members. This year we also delivered and co-presented some amazing projects:
- White Night 2014
- International Dance Educators Workshop
- The 2014 Victorian Dance Awards
- The Alice Project
- Dance Massive Open Studios Selection
- Sublime @ Substation
- Australian Children's Television Foundation—Dance Academy Online Teachers Resources
What’s in store for 2015? We’re looking forward to programming the ‘I Could Have Danced All Night’ stage for White Night 2015 and working with Dance Massive in presenting the Open Studios Program and Master Classes.
Catch up on Ausdance Vic news at their website.
North Queensland’s contemporary dance company has announced the appointment of its new artistic leaders. In the wake of the company’s September announcement of a new structure to support a reinvigorated artistic model, Mr Trevor Goldstone, Chair of the Dancenorth’s Board of Directors, announced today (5 December) of the appointment of three artistic leaders who will steer the company into the future.
Are you passionate about dance?
Are you seeking experience in arts management/administration?
Do you want to have the opportunity to share ideas and discuss the most important issues facing the dance sector today?
NDF2015 is searching for bright, organised, motivated individuals interested in dance to be part of the National Dance Forum 2015 Volunteer Program. Volunteers will gain experience in arts management, access networking opportunities and participate in the National Dance Forum from 19 to 21 March 2015, free of charge, and all while being part of a valued team making the forum a fantastic and welcoming event.
Please email a bio or CV outlining your relevant experience by Friday 6 February to NDF2015 co-producer Kath Papas on firstname.lastname@example.org. Successful applicants will be notified mid February 2015. For any queries call Kath on 0422 570 837.
The West Australian Dance Awards raise a toast to the stars and rising stars of Western Australia’s vibrant dance sector.
The 2014 West Australian Dance Awards were celebrated on Wednesday 19 November at bamBOO (Luxe Bar Courtyard) in Highgate, WA.
The award for Outstanding Achievement in Youth or Community Dance was presented to independent artist Megan Wood-Hill for her production Men of The Red Earth, which was a community dance project produced for Roebourne Shire’s Red Earth Arts Festival in 2013 and performed by a group of all male miners and tradesmen.
The 2014 Australian Dance Awards were announced and presented at the Sydney Opera House, Sunday 9 November.
and the winners are...
Federal Education Minister Christopher Pyne commissioned the Review of the Australian Curriculum earlier this year and its recommendations were recently made public. The National Advocates for Arts Education (NAAE) have concerns about the recommendations that relate to The Australian Curriculum: The Arts.
Today the NAAE sent letters to the federal, state and territory education ministers asking them to reject these recommendations when they meet with Minister Pyne in December to consider the Review. Here is the NAAE's letter and detailed responses to each of the Review’s recommendations (see appendix).
The National Advocates for Arts Education believe that, after an extremely rigorous development and writing process by ACARA, in consultation with teachers and the arts industry, we have achieved a well-written and well-researched national arts curriculum that has been endorsed across the teaching and practice professions. The Australian Curriculum: the Arts was endorsed by state and territory Education Ministers in July 2013 (subject to resolution of some matters raised by one state). We are concerned the Review’s recommended changes would severely compromise a curriculum that has taken four years of careful work to produce.
The Arts curriculum must be allowed to follow ACARA’s evaluation process after being properly implemented by classroom teachers. All curriculum is reviewed and refined over time; however it is only after implementation and with consultation that this process should occur. Notably, most state and territory jurisdictions have already begun to seriously invest in the implementation of the Arts curriculum, and we do not believe that the recommendation to rewrite it has been justified.
Tasdance Artistic Director since 1997, Annie Greig, will be leaving the company in 2015. She says:
It has been a privilege to contribute to the rich history of Tasdance; however it is the right time for me to transition from the company next year. I am certain Tasdance will continue to go from strength-to-strength, proudly remaining Tasmania’s flagship contemporary dance company and an advocate for the growth of arts and cultural activities in regional Australia.
A real focus of my tenure has been to support young and emerging dancers and choreographers, and I get great satisfaction that I have been able to offer choreographic opportunities to over 50 of Australia’s dance practitioners. Additionally, with an emphasis on linking with regional audiences, it has been gratifying that the company has regularly toured our repertoire inter-state. I pay tribute and say thanks to all the artists, staff, supporters, sponsors and Board that I’ve connected with at Tasdance, and I look forward to witnessing the continued development of Tasdance in the years ahead.
This book on Australian contemporary dance focuses specifically on innovative choreographers, concentrating on a work by each with an accessible interview and an insightful essay by a leading dance writer. It is ideal for dance practitioners, students and researchers as well as seasoned dance audiences.
Beautifully designed and affordably priced, the book includes superb images of the dance works taken by Australia's best dance photographers.
The field of innovative dance in Australia is vibrant and diverse. With their extensive background as writers in the field, the aditors have created a collection of essays that offers a lucid account of a wide range of experimental dance work and conveys some of the excitement it generates in live performance.
—Jane Goodall, Adunct Professor, The University of Western Sydney.
Editors: Erin Brannigan, Senior Lecturer in Dance, School of Arts and Media, UNSW and Virginia Baxter, Managing Editor, RealTime.
Publishers: RealTime and Wakefield Press. RRP: $34.95
The RealTimeDance archive [1994-present] features a range of interviews, articles, reviews, video excerpts and links about the body of work of each of the twelve choreographers featured in this book, as well as providing information about those works and others which are available online or as DVDs or for loan. Visit the Dance Archive on the RealTime website to find out more.
It is impossible to tell the story of dance in Australia without telling the story of Dame Margaret Scott, the founding Director of the School and a dancer and teacher of immense vision and intellect.
This book is a wonderful celebration of the life of Dame Maggie Scott, whose contribution to Australian dance over the last 67 years has been immense. This inspiring biography tells the incredible story of the pioneering figure of Australian ballet.
Born in Johannesburg in 1922, Maggie showed an early love of dance and was encouraged to go overseas for further training, but just six weeks after her arrival in the UK, war with Germany was declared. Scott toured relentlessly to entertain troops throughout the war and was a regular at Albert Hall. In 1942 she joined the esteemed Ballet Rambert, and travelled to Australia with them by ship in 1947. Her account of Australia in the 1940s is fascinating.
The future of The Australian Curriculum: The Arts
A response to the Review of the Australian Curriculum, October 2014 (550 kb PDF)
The National Advocates for Arts Education (NAAE) acknowledge the Review of the Australian Curriculum – Final Report (pp.213–220) and welcome its general statements about the value of the arts in formal school education. The NAAE also welcomes the report’s emphasis on the need for greater teacher professional development in the arts.
However, we consider this review to be premature. There has been little opportunity to test the five arts subjects in the classroom, and, as we noted in our submission to the review, we ‘strongly urge the review panel to enable the Australian Curriculum: The Arts to be implemented in its present form, allowing processes of refinement to be managed by classroom teachers. It is a living document that can be refined by expert arts educators as it unfolds across the country’. Teachers need to implement, test and reflect on the current well-developed arts curricula and NAAE rejects the recommendation that ‘the content of each of the arts forms needs to be restructured and re-sequenced along the lines suggested by the (two) subject matter specialists employed by this review’.
Edith Cowan University is excited to announce that WAAPA has a new motion capture facility that will be used to prevent injuries to dancers as well as a teaching and performance tool for its elite dancers.
This facility is the only motion capture setup of its kind to incorporate the skills of a biomechanist directly into a university dance program in the interest of preventing dance injuries.
What makes motion capture at Mount Lawley unique is that we have access to a large cohort of talented dancers, in addition to scientific and artistic academics who are willing and able to use the lab in the investigation of the prevention of dance injuries.
—Dr Luke Hopper, Biomechanist and health in performing arts specialist, ECU
Read the extended articles
- Motion capture raises the barre for WAAPA dancers (ecu.edu.au)
- Technology helps WA Academy of Performing Arts dance students tap into better performances (abc.net.au)
Raewyn created numerous critically acclaimed works for Dancenorth including the cry (2010), Black Crows (2010) and MASS (2011). Under her leadership, the company has performed the award-nominated MASS at the Brisbane Festival and the Downstage Theatre in Wellington. She also created a new work, Fugue (2012), for The Australian Ballet’s 50th Anniversary and performed at The State Theatre in Melbourne, premiered Allegories at the Brisbane Festival (a collaboration with Queensland Ballet, Expressions Dance Company and Dancenorth), created a new solo A Fall from Grace that premiered at The Australian Festival of Chamber Music (2013) and premiered Flock at Tokyo’s National Art Centre (2014).
Congratulations Leigh Warren!
Leigh has made an outstanding national and international contribution to dance as a performer, choreographer, teacher, director and mentor over four decades. Leigh’s impeccable technique and mesmeric performances as a dancer saw him perform with The Australian Ballet, Ballet Rambert, Nederlands Dans Theater, Nureyev and Friends and other international companies.
Leigh’s choreographic career spans over 30 years during which he has been acclaimed for his exceptional musicality and seamless, fluid, inventive works, covering a wide range of subject matter which he explores in depth. An outstanding and inspiring teacher, Leigh crosses both classical and contemporary techniques, training dancers of exceptional quality, and is equally sought after as a mentor, influencing a generation of dancers and dance makers.
Submit your ideas and proposals
We welcome your suggestions for topics, speakers or proposals for sessions including but not limited to:
- Five-minute presentations that may be thematically grouped with others to form the basis for longer sessions that will include both presentations and discussion
- 'Pecha kucha' style presentations (20 slides x 20 seconds)
- Studio-based sessions such as lecture demonstrations
Please note: proposals for showings and classes will not be eligible. NDF2015 is about fostering critical dialogue, and there will be other avenues for showings through Dance Massive managed by Ausdance Victoria. For more information visit Dance Massive.
Give us your feedback
We encourage any feedback you have about the proposed NDF2015 lines of focus:
- Transforming the form: changing structures and their effects
- The subtleties and nuances of innovation.
- Discourse: How is dance written about, spoken about and communicated?
Please use the NDF2015 proposals form and complete the feedback section.
The National Advocates for Arts Education (NAAE) continue their work to ensure the entitlement of every young Australian to an arts education, one that includes all five artforms—dance, drama, media arts, music and the visual arts.
In August representative of NAAE met in Brisbane progressing discussion on the role of the Minister for Arts, working with the Minister for Education, to support arts education. NAAE was pleased to hear that there had been agreement between Ministerial offices about the importance of arts education, and the centrality of the arts to a liberal education.
The meeting noted NAAE’s support for Minister Brandis’s statement about ‘taking the arts to a new place of creative excellence’.
2 –23 June 2015, Edith Cowan University, Perth
Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA) is proud to host the 2015 Conference for the Musical Theatre Educators’ Alliance (MTEA), which will coincide with the 30th Anniversary of WAAPA’s much respected Music Theatre Course. Themed 'Australasian Overtures', this will be the first MTEA conference to be held in the Southern Hemisphere.
WAAPA’s Alumni include internationally celebrated artists such as Hugh Jackman, Tim Minchin, Lisa McCune, Eddie Perfect, and Lucy Durack and graduates of its Music Theatre Department are employed in every major commercial musical throughout Australasia.
Hugh Jackman says:
Having been fortunate enough to work in musical theatre all over the world, I know the value of learning from other performers/directors from different cultures, with different approaches. What a great idea to get Music Theatre students, professionals, and educators together in the one place at the one time. Go WAAPA!
The MTEA’s annual conference brings together musical theatre educators from all over the world to share ideas about curriculum, recruitment, production, and professional placement. It is also an opportunity to unite the Alliance with the key professional theatre artists in their respective fields.
The Conference will focus on building bridges and broadening horizons for musical theatre across all languages and cultures, with a special focus on Asia. It will offer presentations, workshops, discussions, and entertainment of interest to teachers of Acting, Singing, Dance, and Voice, and will feature key Australian and International educators and artists.
Further details regarding the Conference program and speakers will be announced later in 2014.
Visit MTEA website.
Artistic Director and CEO of Force Majeure, Kate Champion today announced her resignation from the company she founded in 2002. After 12 years at the helm she will be resigning at the completion of her pre-existing duties in 2015.
Force Majeure, the company I established together with my colleagues Roz Hervey and Geoff Cobham, has been the most important and meaningful manifestation of my career as a choreographer and director so far. The experiences I’ve had, working with the collaborating artists, producers, staff and crew, are amongst my most cherished and we’ve achieved a great deal since the premiere of our first major work, "Same, same But Different" in 2002.
Inching our way from life as a project based concern through to annual funding, then as an ‘emerging Key Organisation’ to finally becoming a Key Organisation in 2012. I’m satisfied that I have fulfilled all I had hoped and dreamt of for the company during my tenure as founding director and I now wish to take the opportunity to explore new creative possibilities outside the framework of a company structure.
25 – 29 November 2015, University of Otago, New Zealand
Call for submissions
‘Moving Communities’ is an exciting four-day conference that will provide an opportunity to bring together practitioners, academics and students to celebrate and discuss themes and topics within the broad field of community dance.
The conference will be co-hosted by the Dance Studies Programme at the School of Physical Education, Sport and Exercise Sciences and the Caroline Plummer Fellowship Committee.
A special feature of the conference will be the reunion of the ten recipients of the Caroline Plummer Fellowship in Community Dance. This prestigious six-month Fellowship was made possible by the family of the late Caroline Plummer and was first offered in 2005.
The school is now inviting submissions for paper presentations, workshops, panel discussions and community performances from those who are engaged in Community Dance practice, education and research internationally.
Congratulations to the all nominees who have been shortlisted for a 2014 Australian Dance Award!
Here they are in alphabetical order.
3 – 15 April 2015, Adelaide
The Australian Council for Health, Physical Education and Recreation (ACHPER) invites submissions for presentations at the 29th ACHPER International Conference: Values into Action—A Brighter Future.
Presentations will be structured in concurrent sessions of 20 minutes, 45 minutes or 90 minutes in length, and can be structured as a paper, presentation, workshop, forum, or poster under one of the following sub themes:
- the educative purpose of health and physical education
- strengths based health and physical education
- learning in, through and about movement
- health literacy
- critical inquiry and problem solving in health and physical education
- sport pedagogies
Deadline for submissions: 10 September 2014.
To submit your abstract, or for further details about the submission process, please visit the ACHPER website.
The inaugural Keir Choreographic Award has been awarded to Atlanta Eke. The People's Choice Award went to Sydney artist Jane McKernan, as selected by audience members at the grand final at Carriageworks.
Four of the eight commissioned artists—Sarah Aiken, Matthew Day, Atlanta Eke, Jane McKernan—competed for the inaugural award at Carriageworks in Sydney in July.
The Housemate programs reflect Dancehouse's commitment to advancing innovative contemporary dance in Australia by instigating and nurturing rigorous discourse and encouraging wide-ranging, movement-based experimentation and innovative choreographic practices.
Both Performance and Research Housemate programs provide the artist with extensive time, generous financial support and a thoroughly mentored environment. The Housemate program is one of the very few fully paid artist-in-residence programs in the world. Artists are given between 8 and 14 weeks of free studio space, a salary package (or pro rata), and administrative, mentoring and production support. Housemates are selected by a peer advisory panel from a national call for applicants.
12 – 14 July 2015, Melbourne
The Dance Movement Therapy Association of Australia turns 21 in 2015.
To celebrate, the DTAA and the Hanny Exiner Memorial Foundation are pleased to be presenting its 2015 national conference Broadening the Spectrum: Dance and other expressive arts therapies for health and healing.
The DTAA Committee welcomes interest from members in contributing to the development of the conference. Please email Kim Dunphy.
Visit the DTTA website for more information.
The financial year ends soon, so why not make a tax-deductible donation that supports your favourite art form.
Through givenow.com.au, some of Australia's best dance companies are now inviting you to help support new Australian work, choreographic development, kids dance activities, community dance and dance touring.
Imagine yourself attending a work you helped make happen! Here's your chance.
The Heritage Collection will include re-mastered films of many works created by Murphy on the Sydney Dance Company ensemble during his 31 year tenure from 1976–2007, in addition to a new documentary resource of Murphy in conversation, interweaving a myriad of interviews filmed over a period of three decades, with new footage in which he reflects on his body of work.
A free screening of a selection of works from the Collection is being planned for October. For a sneak peek, check out this teaser.
Download the full Media Release for more information.
Theme: ‘Transform: from inception to innovation in arts education’
We invite you to share your research evidence, innovations and best practices in arts education globally.
Participation in this summit is by invitation only. If you are successful you will be part of approximately 90 presentations from quality arts educators across the globe in dance, drama, media arts, music, visual arts and cross-arts education.
Abstracts due 30 June 2014.
Summit date and location
26 – 28 November 2014
Griffith University, School of Education and Professional Studies, Mt Gravatt Campus, Brisbane
The Federal Budget for 2014 was announced on 13 May with some big impacts for the arts sector.
The Government will look to achieve savings of $87.1 million over four years by reducing 'uncommitted funding to arts programmes' administered by the Attorney‑General's Department (the Ministry of Arts), the Australia Council for the Arts, and Screen Australia. In 2014-15 these cuts will be $9.6 million from the Australia Council specifically, with $6 million in 2015-16.
There are cuts to the Adelaide Festival Centre's support for Asian cultural activities program, and a raft of changes slated for the collecting institutions based in Canberra (including the National Library of Australia, National Gallery of Australia and others). There are also cuts in education, with the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) facing efficiencies and refocusing of its work.
However, the Government has supported the Australian Ballet School, with $1 million towards the purchase of a residence for boarding accommodation for students at the School. Funding has also been extended for Creative Partnerships Australia - $5.4 million over four years. However, the agency is being asked to manage efficiencies, with a halving of the staffing profile.
The Government is bringing back the Community Business Partnership to advise on philanthropy in Australia. The Community Business Partnership, to be chaired by the Prime Minister, will bring together prominent business and community leaders to provide leadership and high level advice for encouraging growth in volunteering and philanthropy and promote partners.
Gailene Stock AM CBE
28.1.1946 – 29.4.2014
Australian-born Gailene Stock, Director of the Royal Ballet School since 1999 and former Director of The Australian Ballet School, has passed away following a battle with cancer.
Gailene trained as a dancer in Australia and then at the Royal Ballet Upper School as a result of a scholarship awarded by the Royal Academy of Dance. As a principal artist with The Australian Ballet, the National Ballet of Canada and the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, she performed many leading roles in the major classics and twentieth century dramatic works, most notably John Butler's Sebastian and Antony Tudor's Pillar of Fire and The Divine Horsemen.
Following a sixteen year dancing career, Gailene accepted the position of director of the National Theatre Ballet School, Victoria, for eight years and The Australian Ballet School for nine years, before taking on the role of director of the Royal Ballet School in 1999.
Internationally acclaimed, Gailene's knowledge and experience was regularly sought in the dance community worldwide. She participated as a jury member in many international competitions including in the role of president of the Prix de Lausanne, Switzerland and the Youth America Grand Prix, New York.
Gailene was made a Member of the Order of Australia in 1997 and awarded a CBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours list in 2013.
The Ausdance networks pays tribute to Gailene for a lifetime of outstanding achievements in dance and dance education.
Read obituary by Valerie Lawson in the Sydney Morning Herald
On 29 April every year, the international dance community celebrates International Dance Day.
We celebrate our art form's ability to cross all political, cultural and ethnic barriers and bring people together with a common language—dance.
The payment of professional dancers has been an important discussion over the last few days for independent performers in Australia. Following an initial call-out for performers to be part of a new video clip for Kylie Minogue filming on Friday 25 April, concerns were raised about remuneration for participating dancers.
Paul Malek of Dancechat and Jordan Beth Vincent, President of Ausdance Victoria have helped raised awareness of the ongoing problems associated with the valuing of performers in the commercial dance sector, noting this is not an isolated incident.
Ausdance believes that dancers are trained professionals who study and work hard to maintain their performance abilities. Like other artists, they deserve recognition and remuneration for the work they do. There may be times a dancer chooses to donate their skills and time, but we hope a professional video opportunity would come with professional remuneration.
The Media Entertainment Arts Alliance have been in negotiations with the production company since the filming was announced, resulting in award payments now being offered to performers under the Broadcast and Recorded Entertainment Award.
Ausdance and MEAA will continue discussions with dancers on how best to support dancers to access appropriate remuneration.
Ausdance Victoria is currently surveying free-lance and studio based teachers of dance on rates of pay and qualifications. Participate here before 30 June.
If you have any thoughts on this topic please leave them in the comments below.
You can read more about the issue here.
Contribute to the twitter discussion
Here is the long list of nominees for 2014 Australian Dance Awards.
This list, along with recorded excerpts of performances, will go to the Selection Panel who will vote on a shortlist of the top four contenders in each category.
The shortlist will be announced late July/early August. Shortlisted nominees will be notified directly before the public announcement.
The winners will be announced at the 2014 Australian Dance Awards in Sydney on Sunday 9 November.
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.
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.
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.
Arts for Peace
On 23 May 2012 Irina Bokova, Director General, United Nations Education, Science and Culture Organisation (UNESCO), launched the inaugural International Arts Education Week (IAEW) at UNESCO Headquarters, Paris.
Attended by leading international arts education scholars and practitioners, the shared vision was to define an integrated strategy that responds to a critical moment in human history: social fragmentation, a dominant global culture of competition, endemic urban and ecological violence, and the marginalization of key educational and cultural languages of transformation.
The launch and celebration drew attention to the role arts education plays in a global agenda of peace and cultural understanding (see UNESCO charter).
Read Sir Ken Robinson's inaugural International Arts Education Week message.
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.
Five art forms for all young Australians!
The Australian curriculum for the arts, health and physical education, technologies, economics and business, and civics and citizenship for Foundation – Year 10 is now available on the Australian Curriculum website.
The publication of The Australian Curriculum: The Arts represents a special moment in the history of Australian dance education, with dance now officially one of five art form subjects in the national curriculum. States and territories and education authorities will determine implementation timelines for schools. This is the result of many years of advocacy by Ausdance through the National Advocates for Arts Education (NAAE) and the Australia Council with teachers, associations, education departments and State and Territory education ministers.
However, the Education Minister has recently decided to review the National Curriculum and the NAAE has made a submission to this Review, calling for the implementation of the Arts curriculum in its present form. The NAAE is concerned about the prospect of more delays and tweaking that may result in a less-than-optimal curriculum. The NAAE acknowledges that there is some content that is still subject to further revision, but this revision must take place in the context of rigorous trials by classroom teachers.
The Chairman of the ACARA board, Professor Barry McGaw has made a clarifying statement about the cross-curriculum priorities noting that they are "options, not orders".
Sandra Gattenhof, Assoc. Professor, QUT Creative Industries Faculty, School of Media, Entertainment, Creative Arts, Drama said:
This is a historic moment in Australian arts curriculum. For the first time ever, and even internationally I would argue, we have a curriculum that provides an entitlement for young Australians to all five art forms. This will have enormous implication on the expectations of what can be achieved in secondary schools, in tertiary institutions and ultimately on the cultural life and heritage for Australia.
Watch Sandra Gattenhof's keynote delivered at the Educators' Performing Arts Market.
Ausdance celebrates Australian dance makers at APAM 2014
In February 2014, Ausdance National and Ausdance Queensland hosted Talking dance—meet 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.
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)
The National Advocates for Arts Education (NAAE) made a submission to the review panel for the Australian Curriculum (500 KB PDF) strongly urging it to recommend that the Australian Curriculum: The Arts be implemented in its present form. The NAAE said that processes of refinement should be managed by classroom teachers piloting the curriculum, not a review panel.
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.
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.
Evolving Synergies: Celebrating Dance in Singapore
by Dr. Stephanie Burridge & Dr. Caren Cariño
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.
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.
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.
The Australia Council for the Arts joined with University of Sydney to undertake a longitudinal study on the impact of school, home and community-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.
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.
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.
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.
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...
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.
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.
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!
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.
The 2013 Australian Dance Awards were presented and celebrated in a memorable night in Canberra on Monday 5 August.
and the winners are...
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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)
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.
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.
This interview with Dr Boni Rietveld of the Netherlands Medical Centre for Dancers and Musicans discusses advice for younger dancers on how to prevent injuries, prevent current injuries from getting worse and provides encouragement for dancers recovering from injury.
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.
Congratulations to the all nominees who were shortlisted for a 2013 Australian Dance Award!
Here they are (in alphabetical order)—
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
The National Advocates for Arts Education (NAAE) welcomes Creative Australia, and particularly its focus on a 'National Arts and Culture Accord' and ‘A Universal Arts Education for Lifelong Learning and to drive Creativity and Innovation’.
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.