News

Update: 2016 Australian Dance Awards nominations process

With about three months until this year’s Australian Dance Awards (ADAs) in Perth, the selection panel has finished looking at all the viewing links for the long list of nominations and have submitted first-round votes. The next step is for the panel is to look at the top four or five contenders in each category and then submit another round of votes. Sometimes a teleconference is convened so that everyone can contribute to the discussion about any issues, tied or close scores etc.

We hope to have the 2016 shortlist confirmed by early July. The nominations coordinator will then contact all shortlisted nominees. 

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Ausdance honorary life members respond to Ausdance National’s loss of operational funding

The founders and honorary life members of Ausdance—the Australian Dance Council—are extremely disappointed that an organisation with such a high national and international reputation for innovation and creativity has not been supported with four-year organisation funding by the Australia Council.

Funding cuts to the organisation’s innovative partnerships, public forums, its advocacy campaigns to support the small to medium dance sector (including years of work with the Australia Council to increase the Council’s own profile and funding—petitions to both Houses of Parliament in 2006, Dance Plan 2012 etc.); its seminal publications, dance education programs, and its international leadership in Safe Dance research leaves us believing that the Australia Council no longer sees value in the leadership shown by Ausdance National

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Dancenorth experiment fills in the blanks

Media release

Next week Dancenorth opens their tour of the double bill ‘If _ Was _’

Tour performance dates and locations

  • 9–11 June, Dancenorth, Townsville
  • 15 June, Mackay Entertainment Centre
  • 16 June Proserpine Entertainment Centre 
  • 23–25 June, Judith Wright Centre, Brisbane
  • 29 June – 2 July, the Substation, Melbourne

Delve into the fanciful and illusionary worlds of two extraordinary choreographers, Stephanie Lake and Ross McCormack, as they fall down the rabbit hole of imagination and fill in the blanks for Dancenorth’s most recent double bill.

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Full house for National Arts Election Debate

Final preparations are underway for next week’s much anticipated ArtsPeak National Arts Election Debate in Melbourne.

8 June 1.00 pm – 2.30 pm
The Wheeler Centre, 176 Little Lonsdale Street, Melbourne

The debate will bring the arts leaders of each of the three major parties together to share their big ideas and respond to the burning questions of industry leaders and commentators from right across the industry.

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30th ACHPER International Conference and call for papers

The 30th Australian Council for Health, Physical Education and Recreation (ACHPER) International Conference, Participating in an Active and Healthy Life: Valuing the Participant Voice, has already attracted high-quality keynote speakers from overseas and Australia and promises to be a showcase of contemporary and future-focused ideas. It is a must-attend event for all health and physical education professionals, health, sports and other industry stakeholders.

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2016 International Arts Education Week message by Li Cunxin

The World Alliance for Arts Education and UNESCO share an inspiring message for International Arts Education Week (23–29 May) by Li Cunxin (Mao's Last Dancer), Artistic Director, Queensland Ballet:

In a world of constant pressures, of noise, of expectations and distractions, art can be the thing that sustains us. Art has the capacity to take us to another world; allows an escape even if just for a moment. Be it in a gallery, a theatre, a music studio or on the street, art is a powerful thing. It has the power to transform, to transport, to enrich and therefore, sustain.

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Dancenorth hosts inclusive professional dance exchange

Adelaide Dancer Chris Dyke has returned to Townsville as part of the first ongoing inclusive professional dance exchange in Australia.

Dancenorth's Kyle Page and Chris Dyke in front of a fig tree's giant roots. Chris Dyke and Kyle Page. Photo: Amber Haines

During the two-week secondment, Chris has choreographed a new solo work with the guidance of his mentor, Dancenorth Artistic Director Kyle Page, trained with the company each day and watched dancers rehearse for their upcoming performance of ‘If _ Was _’ a double bill created by Stephanie Lake and Ross McCormack.

Chris, who visited Townsville from Adelaide based Restless Dance Theatre and has Downs syndrome, described the opportunity as “a dream come true”.

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Ausdance National faces challenge

13 May 2016 media release

The Australian Dance Council—Ausdance congratulates the 12 dance organisations which were successful in the four-year funding announcements by the Australia Council. There is a solid core of highly creative, inspiring and highly productive organisations to create and tour dance around Australia and overseas.

Regrettably, the Australian Dance Council—Ausdance Inc (Ausdance National) finds itself amongst the 62 previously funded organisations that have not been successful. Ausdance National has been notified by the Australia Council that it will not receive operational funding beyond 31 December this year. This brings to an end many years of operational support for the work of Ausdance National.

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ArtsPeak Arts Sector Update #1 2016—an invitation to sector meetings and the Election Debate

Arts Sector update. ArtsPeak—April 2016

Welcome! ArtsPeak is producing a series of National Arts Sector Updates in the lead-up to the Federal election in July.  This work picks up on last year's Free the Arts updates and is being delivered as part of our partnership with Feral Arts. A National Election Strategy Group is coordinating the work. Membership is open to anyone. If you would like to get involved email contact@artspeak.net.au

Please share this update in your networks and with your members.

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New low as Government pumps Catalyst funds out the door in blatant pre-election pork barreling

ArtsPeak Media Release (45 KB PDF)
9 May 2016

The arts sector is reeling today at news that an extraordinary $13m in Catalyst funds were secretly pushed out the door over the weekend just in advance of the election being called and caretaker mode beginning.

In total $23,317,301 has now been spent – nearly half the $48m allocated for the next 4 years of Catalyst operations. When Senate Estimates sat last Thursday evening the committee were only made aware of the $10m of grants announced by Arts Minister Mitch Fifield last week.

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Government turns its back on the opportunity to fix arts funding mess

ArtsPeak—Confederation of Peak National Arts Organisations

Media Release, 4 May 2016 (31KB PDF)

Hopes that the government would take the opportunity to fix the mess it created twelve months ago were dashed, with no mention of arts and culture in the pre-election Budget handed down in Canberra last night.

ArtsPeak spokesperson and Executive Director of the National Association for the Visual Arts, Tamara Winikoff OAM said, “Unfortunately when it comes to the arts, it seems this government is not concerned about forcing job losses and causing chaos, the very opposite of the PM’s mantra about jobs and growth. The 2016 Budget does nothing to redress the devastating impact of the cuts to the Australia Council and ongoing ‘efficiency dividend’ imposed by the government in 2014 and 2015. The cuts total more than $42 million/year. Massive destabilisation of the arts industry is resulting from decisions made by the current government, and without any policy framework, it looks set to continue.”

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2016 Australian Dance Awards longlist

This longlist of nominations, along with recorded excerpts of performances, goes to the Selection Panel who will vote to shortlist their top four contenders in each category.

Not every single nomination will appear on this list. A long, unedited list (up to 550 nominations each year) is carefully scrutinised by the ADAs advisors and members of the Selection Panel to eliminate any nominations that do not meet all the Selection Criteria.

As the panel looks at excerpts of all nominated work before deciding on a shortlist, it is essential for the committee to keep only the most outstanding/significant nominations so that it remains a manageable task. The committee also takes care to ensure that the professional dance sector is well represented across all states and territories.

The ADAs Selection Panel members not only generously donote their time and expertise, but do so with great diligence and consideration. Without them the ADAs would not be possible.

The shortlist will be announced about mid July, with winners announced at the 2016 Australian Dance Awards in Perth on Sunday 18 September.

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ArtsPeak calls for Government to act on Senate Inquiry recommendations

Media Release 7 March 2016

ArtsPeak (the confederation of Australian national peak arts organisations and state arts industry councils), at its meeting on Wednesday 2nd March, called on the Commonwealth Government to urgently provide a positive public response to the recommendations of the Senate Inquiry into the impact of the 2014 and 2015 Commonwealth Budget decisions on the Arts.

At the meeting ArtsPeak reaffirmed its full endorsement of all 13 recommendations made in the Inquiry report, highlighting two in particular that need an urgent response before the upcoming election: that the government develop and articulate an evidence-based, coherent and clear arts policy in consultation with the arts sector and that the Commonwealth government restore to the Australia Council the full amount of funds diverted from it in the 2014 MYEFO and 2014 and 15 Budgets (see full set of Senate Inquiry Recommendations attached).

Co-convenor of ArtsPeak, Nicole Beyer said today, “The time to act is now. It has been three months since the Senate Inquiry report was handed down and there has been no action from the government to implement any of the recommendations. Arts companies across the country are now starting to fail, tours are being cancelled and projects abandoned. The government needs to take responsibility, and to make clear public announcements about its intended actions in response the report.”

ArtsPeak Co-convenor Tamara Winikoff OAM agreed, 'What the Minister is being told loud and clear is that the Government’s funding cuts are destabilising the arts infrastructure to a major extent and this needs to be fixed urgently. Despite a token gesture by the Arts Minister, the cuts are incrementally crippling both small to medium arts organisations and major cultural institutions in Canberra.'

Winikoff continued, 'In an election year the arts sector is looking to the government to act quickly and decisively to properly fix the mess it has created over the last two years. Implementing the Senate Inquiry recommendations is a vital first step. The May budget is the government’s window of opportunity to restore arts funding and regain the trust of artists, organisations and arts audiences and supporters across the country.'

The Senate Inquiry recommendations encapsulated the sentiments of almost 3000 submissions from individuals and organisations as well as hundreds of people who spoke at the public hearings conducted in 10 cities around the country.

The volume of the Inquiry response and the weight and unanimity of opinion is unprecedented in the arts in Australia. It has led to a new mood of motivation and co-operation across the whole arts community to ensure that the stability and sustainability of the arts is restored.

For media comment please contact: Nicole Beyer, Director, Theatre Network Australia 0432 609 658 Tamara Winikoff OAM, Executive Director, National Association for the Visual Arts (NAVA) 0411 162 156 / 02 9368 1900

Recommendations of the Senate Inquiry into the impact of the 2014 and 2015

Recommendation 1

5.8 The committee recommends that the government develop and articulate, in consultation with the arts sector, a coherent and clear arts policy, including priorities for arts funding supported by evidence-based analysis, and greater clarity about the respective roles of the Ministry for the Arts and the Australia Council, as well as the other statutory arts bodies.

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Ausdance responds to Royal Commission’s public hearing into Centres for the Performing Arts

1 March 2016

Statement regarding hearings by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

Public hearing into Centres for the Performing Arts
2 March 2016

Ausdance holds the position that any abuse of a child—sexual, physical or emotional—is abhorrent. A dance studio or class is not isolated from the rest of society, no matter how special it may appear or feel. Studio owners and class teachers, like teachers and activity leaders across the whole of our community, have a special responsibility for the welfare of children in their charge. This holds whether it is a small community dance class or a large commercially-oriented studio.

A dance class or studio is first and foremost a business and as such should be subject to regulatory requirements as any business providing recreational services for children. Dance is also a key art form, which in the view of Ausdance makes any abuse of the trust placed by children in their class leaders or studio principals especially serious.

Ausdance notes that the Royal Commission is not enquiring into abuse in dance studios or the entertainment industry. Rather, the Royal Commission is hearing evidence about two specific centres for the performing arts, one of which was for dance. However, Ausdance supports the invitation for anyone who believes they have a direct and substantial interest in the scope and purpose of the public hearing to contact the Royal Commission directly.

Ausdance has a series of guides and fact sheets to assist dance teachers and dance studios. Where relevant, these guides and fact sheets have links to external authorities. The guides include:

Ausdance re-affirms its statement of 15 December 2014 Teaching dance, supporting children.

Download this statement (210 KB PDF)

Neil Roach, A/g CEO Ausdance National

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New study investigating injuries in Australia’s professional dancers

Safe Dance IV: Investigating injuries in Australia's professional dancers

Ausdance National has joined with the University of Sydney to conduct a research study about the different types of injuries in company and independent professional dancers across Australia, their contributing risk factors, access to health services and return to dance practices. 

We are looking for professional dancers to participate in this research. For more information about the study, or to be involved, please visit Safe Dance IV—Investigating injuries in Australia's professional dancers.

Please help us in spreading the word about this study by forwarding this notice to any dancers you think may be interested in participating. 

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to email Amy Vassallo, a PhD candidate at the Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Sydney.

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Choreographic Practices journal: call for contributions

Key information

  • Choreographic Practices is an international peer-reviewed journal.
  • Full article should be approx 6,000 words.
  • Deadline for full essays: 1 June 2016
  • To submit a contribution email ChoreographicPractices@live.co.uk.
  • For questions about the theme or focus of your submission, please email Robert Vesty (associate editor for this special issue).

This special journal issue of Choreographic Practices—WORDS and DANCE—aims to draw together, contribute to and exemplify debates around the use of spoken word in current and future 21st Century dance practices as well as its place in the contemporary cultural landscape.

What are the intersections between spoken words (in the form of live narrative, poetry, dialogue or writing) and choreographic practices?
What is the relationship between the word and the move?
How can/do spoken words and dance work together, especially in improvisatory practice?
What implications does the use of voice have in dance practice?

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