News

Keith Bain tribute

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

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

About Keith

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

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

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

Keith moved to Sydney to begin his modern dance career.

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2012 National dance research forum program

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

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Australia Dancing leaps into Trove

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

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

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BlakDance 2012 triumph

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

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

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Responses to the Australia Council Review

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

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

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

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

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Graeme Murphy honoured

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

Graeme Murphy, AO. Photo: Greg Barrett

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Ballet companies make news on the ABC!

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

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Northern Territory dance sector review

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

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

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Australia Council review released

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

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

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

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The Budget and the arts

In an announcement made by Arts Minister Simon Crean, last night's Federal Budget revealed some welcome new money for the arts, and a new income tax-free threshold of $18,000, which will be of great benefit to the many artists who live close to the poverty line.

As co-convenors of ArtsPeak, Tamara Winikoff and I met this morning with the Minister's arts adviser, Helen O'Neil, for a post-Budget briefing. We discussed many issues around the Budget, including the whole-of-government approach to arts funding, philanthropy and delivery which will be outlined when the National Cultural Policy and the Australia Council review are finally released.

Tamara and I have made an Artspeak statement which reiterates some of the issues already flagged in previous submissions to the National Cultural Policy, and welcoming the new funding in the Budget.

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Federal Budget day

It's Federal Budget day, and we're all keen to see how the arts and cultural industries fare in the absence of the long-awaited National Cultural Policy.

We're off to the Arts Minister's office tomorrow morning to discuss the Budget outcomes and to hear about the Government's plans for the release of the National Cultural Policy later this year.

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National Cultural Policy—messages from the field

We've joined our colleages at ArtsPeak and the Council for Humanities, Arts & Social Sciences (CHASS) to comment on the delay in releasing the National Cultural Policy.

On a positive note, the delay will enable us to look more closely at the small to medium performing and visual arts sectors and prepare a more detailed submission to Government. We'll keep you posted about progress once next week's Federal Budget has been delivered.

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National Cultural Policy delayed

It's been reported that the release of the long-awaited National Cultural Policy has been delayed by several months.

We've verified this report with the Office for the Arts in Canberra, and have been informed that full details of the NCP's release will be announced in next Tuesday's Federal Budget.

Ausdance, along with our ArtsPeak colleages, has been supporting the Minister's push for a new National Cultural Policy for several years now, and contribtuing to its development. We hope Arts Minister Simon Crean will continue his strong support for increased funding through the policy, and we'll respond more fully once we see what announcements are made in the Budget.

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National Cultural Policy only weeks away

We understand that the National Cultural Policy is now only weeks away, so we've written to Arts Minister Simon Crean again, this time in response to the media release from the Arts & Cultural Ministers' meeting on 30 March.

This was our last opportunity to comment prior to the NCP's release, so we've reproduced the text here, following correspondence with the Office for the Arts after my colleague, Tamara Winikoff, and I visited the department on behalf of ArtsPeak.

ArtsPeak has also written to the Minister, particularly emphasising the importance of the small to medium arts sector in Federal Budget considerations. The letter reads as follows:

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New member of the Dance Board

Good to see Michelle Ryan's recent appointment to the Dance Board of the Australia Council, adding to the practitioner base of the board.

Michelle has more than 20 years' experience as a performer, choreographer, rehearsal director and producer, and was a peer adviser at the board's November 2011 assessment meeting.

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‘Shades of us’—a stunning AYDF finale

It was fantastic to be able to join the Ausdance NSW team, the choreographers and more than 150 young people from all over Australia on the last day of the Australian Youth Dance Festival at NAISDA Dance College in Gosford NSW.

Shades of Us, presented in Mt Penang Gardens on the final evening, was a performance that grew out of an intensive week of creative development with choreographers Sue Healey, Philip Channells, Anton, Kay Armstrong, Matt Cornel, Adelina Larsson, Lee Pemberton, Vicki Van Hout and artistic director Rowan Marchingo.

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A new arts ‘accord’—will it make a difference?

The State and Territory Arts and Cultural Ministers have announced that they'll be working together on some important arts initiatives.

They've used the word 'accord' to describe this agreement, and we think this means they'll be cooperating on implementing the new National Cultural Policy, which is great news. But it's difficult to interpret some of the language in their media release, so we'll be writing to Arts Minister Simon Crean to investigate. We'll also suggest ways to broaden this commitment from a dance perspective.

If you want to read the Arts Ministers' report (PDF) and send us your ideas, please let us know in the next few days. You could also write to your own State or Territory Arts Minister and suggest ways to support dance in the National Cultural Policy, particularly in the small to medium performing arts sector.

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