Careers in dance

ArtStart 2015—applications open now

Applications are now open for 2015, offering up to $10,000 to individual artists who have completed an accredited creative arts course (Certificate IV or higher) in the past three years and are carving out a career in any of the Australia Council supported artforms.

An ArtStart grant can fund services, resources, skills development and equipment to help build an income-generating career in the arts practice you have studied. You  could  use it to:

  • raise your profile
  • set up a studio practice
  • pay for business advice
  • work with a mentor
  • purchase tools of trade
  • and lots more!

ArtStart is open to recently graduated dancers, writers, theatre directors, poets, musicians, ceramicists, visual artists, costume or set designers, jewelers, playwrights, opera singers, community and cultural development practitioners and composers (and more!). ArtStart is designed to help grow arts careers—not to fund the development or presentation of creative works. Take the online eligibility quiz to see if you qualify.

To find out more about ArtStart visit the Australia Council website.

Deadline for applications: 22 September 2014

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Australia Council grants for Indigenous artists

Australia Council funding supports Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists, arts organisations and communities to claim, control and enhance their cultural inheritance.

Apply or nominate now for:

Red Ochre Award

This prestigious award pays tribute to an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander artist who throughout their lifetime has made outstanding contributions to the recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander arts and culture, both nationally and internationally.

Dreaming Award

This award supports a young artist aged 18 – 30 years to create a major body of work through mentoring and partnership, either nationally or internationally.

Australia Council Fellowships

Fellowship grants provide financial support for two year to Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander artists so they can undertake a major creative project or program in their artform. This is only open to Dance and Hybrid Cross Arts projects.

Deadline for applications: 31 July

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Keir Choreographic Award—winner announced

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 international and national line-up of judges includes a range of voices from the artistic community, from visual art through to dance from Australia and around the world including: Mårten Spångberg, the acclaimed 'bad boy' of contemporary dance pushing the boundaries of the art form in polite society; Matthew Lyons, curator at experimental cultural hub The Kitchen in New York; Josephine Ridge Creative Director of Melbourne Festival and one of Australia's most experienced arts identities, Becky Hilton a leading Australian choreographer, director and teacher  and Phillip Keir, The Keir Foundation Director and visionary behind the Award.

Earlier this year, Carriageworks, Dancehouse and the Keir Foundation partnered for the first time to present the Keir Choreographic Award, dedicated to commissioning new choreographic works and to bringing significant support and increased profiling to the contemporary dance sector, both nationally and internationally.

Among the many benefits, the Award includes a cash prize of $30,000 for first prize and $10,000 for an audience choice prize.

Out of the 77 entries, the eight artists commissioned of this inaugural edition were:
Sarah Aiken (VIC); James Batchelor (VIC); Tim Darbyshire (VIC); Matthew Day (VIC); Atlanta Eke (VIC); Shaun Gladwell (NSW); Jane McKernan (NSW); and Brooke Stamp (VIC). Read more about their work .

The biennial Keir Choreographic Award is assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts.

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Pre-professional training with Sydney Dance Company

Sydney Dance Company is now calling for applications for its 2015 Pre-Professional training program, which is open to Australian and New Zealand dancers aged 18 or older (and those who are turning 18 in 2015.)

This nationally accredited one year intensive offers students the chance to work with some of Australia’s most successful and award winning choreographers and educators.

Students will develop their technique, artistry and performance skills alongside members of Sydney Dance Company led by Artistic Director, Rafael Bonachela.

SDC's Pre-Professional Year includes a nationally recognised outcome (qualification CUA40113 Certificate IV in Dance) through a partnering arrangement with ATOD (RTO 31624). As an approved course, students mou may be eligible to apply for New Start Allowance or Youth Allowance.

Watch SDC's 2014 Pre-Professional Year in action.

Apply online here.

Deadline for applications: 18 August 2014.

Successful applicants will be invited to attend an invitation only audition on 14 September at Sydney Dance Company Studios.

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Strut Dance seeks new administrator

Strut Dance, the national centre for choreographic development based in Perth, is looking to appoint a full-time Programme / Communications Administrator.

Duties

  • Delivery of a benchmark choreographic and performance programme to the nation
  • Assist in the planning of programs and individual projects
  • Coordinate the logistics and delivery of Strut programs and projects
  • Communicating our vision and opportunities to the wider world
  • Manage the communications between Strut, membership and the sector
  • Marketing to general public of Strut programs and projects
  • Digital media and Database management
  • Assist the Business and Development Manager in the administration of governance procedures.
  • Office administration to include management of petty cash, mail, office supplies and reception.

Salary negotiable. Email EOIs and C.V. to Strut Dance.

Deadline for applications: 8 August 2014

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Job opportunity New Zealand Dance Company

Community & Education Manager

The New Zealand Dance Company is calling for applications for the contract position as Community and Education Officer.

The NZDC is a vibrant arts company funded at Kahikatea level (bi-annually) by Creative New Zealand, founded in 2011 and launched publicly in 2012. Its vision is to create a sustainable, permanent, high-calibre dance company, with an Auckland home that contributes to the fabric of NZ culture and is dedicated to creating new connections to dance.

The Community & Education Manager's primary role will be to contribute to the realisation of the company’s strategic plan within educational programming, particularly to grow the artform, grow the infrastructure and grow the audience for contemporary dance in Aotearoa.

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ACHPER International Conference—call for papers

13 – 15 April Prince Alfred College, Adelaide

The Australian Council for Health, Physical Education and Recreation (ACHPER) International Conference Program Committee invites submissions for presentations at the 2015 conference. The Conference theme is ‘Values into Action—A Brighter Future’ with the following sub themes:

  • The educative purpose of HPE
  • Strengths based HPE
  • Learning in, through & about movement
  • Health literacy
  • Critical inquiry and problem solving in HPE
  • Sport pedagogies

All presentation types are required to submit an abstract for consideration in the program. Abstracts must be submitted via the online form with a maximum of 300 words. Once received, abstracts will be double blind reviewed and reviewers’ comments will be provided in due course. Papers that are accepted are eligible to be published in the Conference Proceedings.

Deadline for submissions: 10 September 2014

Visit the ACHPER website for more information.

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Dancehouse residency programs

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.

Housemate research program

August – December 2014

The Housemate Research program offered in the second half of each year concentrates on research and experimentation, with no imperative to present an outcome. It gives space to experimental, cutting-edge and sometimes even insular research, thus supporting the discovery of new ground in choreographic exploration.

Housemate performance program

March — July 2015

The Housemate Performance program in the first half of each year, focuses solely on creative development leading to a new work and formal performance season which is presented in one of the two Dancehouse theatres.

For more information and application forms visit Dancehouse website.

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Creative development lab in Melbourne

'Next Stages' —launched in 2012—is a multi-year project developed by Dance Sites with long-time collaborators Dancehouse (Melbourne), Critical Path (Sydney) and STRUT (Perth). The program has brought together three artists from each partner organisation—Fiona Bryant (VIC), Rhiannon Newton (WA), Kay Armstrong (NSW)—and supports the development of three new dance works. The first phase was hosted by STRUT's Eyes Wide in Perth last November. Critical Path hosted a one-week residency 'Process and Method' in February 2014.

The third and final phase of 'Next Stages' is happening in Melbourne in August, commencing with a five-day laboratory focused on creative development for the three participating choreographers. This lab is followed by a three-day open program combining work-in-progress showings, networking sessions and skills development workshops with a view to building capacity for independent makers.

To find out more visit the Dancehouse website.

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NAISDA auditions

Australia's premier Indigenous training college is holding auditions in September for developing artists to start studying in 2015. Abstudy will assist eligible participants with their travel and accommodation costs.

Applicants need to go to the NAISDA website to download an application form.

Deadline for applications: 10 August 2014

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World Alliance for Arts Education Global Summit 2014 calls for abstracts

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, Australia

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Dance, theatre and visual art: engaging students with disability

For those seeking to refresh their creative arts skills, this two day forum will offer primary and secondary teachers practical ways to incorporate the arts into their classroom practice.

Dance, Theatre and Visual Art: Engaging Students with Disability is a NSWIT accredited professional development conference. Sydney Opera House is a NSW Institute of Teachers’ endorsed provider of Institute Registered professional development for the maintenance of accreditation at levels of Proficient Teacher/Professional Competence. Discover how dance, music, theatre and visual arts can unlock your students' learning in stimulating and enjoyable ways.

Teachers will have the opportunity to discuss latest research, participate in creative arts workshops, learn about professional arts education programs and meet key leaders in the arts and disability network.

  • Dates: 5–6 September 2014
  • Cost: 2-day registration  $275

For more information visit or email the Sydney Opera House Education Team or call (02) 9250 7770

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Musical theatre audition masterclass

This Masterclass will help demystify what can be a daunting process—the musical audition. Run by WAAPA’s Co-ordinator of Music Theatre David King and resident director Crispin Taylor, this Masterclass will give you techniques to deal with the most challenging musical audition.

The three-hour session includes mock auditions for singing, acting and dance and prepares auditionees for all challenges from cattle-call  to callback. It is suitable for professional and amateur performers, teachers and prospective WAAPA students.

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2014 International Dance Day message

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.

Mourad Merzouki's 2014 International Dance Day message

Every artist takes pride in his art.

Every artist will always defend the art form whose encounter has changed his life. For that which he has sought and lost and for that which he has the burning desire to share: be it the echo of a voice, the discovered word, the interpretation of a text for humanity, the music without which the universe will stop speaking to us, or the movement which opens the doors to grace.

I have, for dance, not only the pride of a dancer and choreographer, but profound gratitude. Dance gave me my lucky break. It has become my ethics by virtue of its discipline and provided the means through which I discover the world daily.

Closer to me than anything else, it gives me strength each day through the energy and generosity as only dance can. Its poetry comforts me.

Could I say that I wouldn’t exist without dance? Without the capacity for expression it has given me? Without the confidence I have found in it to overcome my fears, to avoid dead ends?

Thanks to dance, immersed in the beauty and complexity of the world, I have become a citizen. A peculiar citizen who reinvents the social codes in the course of his encounters, remaining true to the values of the hip-hop culture which transforms negative energy into a positive force.

I live and breathe dance daily as an honour. But I am living with this honour deeply concerned. I witness around me the loss of bearings and the inability of some of the youth from the working class, growing up in tension and frustration, to imagine their future. I am one of them; so are we all. I am driven, perhaps more than others, by setting an example, to help them fuel their lust for life.

For isn’t society richer with the richness of each of us?

Culture, more than any discourse, unites. So have courage and take risks despite the obstacles and the hatred with which you will no doubt be confronted; the beauty of the world will always be by your side. Like dance has been for me. With its singular force to eliminate social and ethnic distinctions, leaving but the movement of bodies in their essence, of human beings returning to their pure expression, unique and shared.

I would like to end by quoting René Char whose words remind me daily to not let anyone confine us to scripted roles.

“Push your luck, hold on tight to your good fortune, and take your risk. Watching you, they will get used to it.”

So try, fail, start all over again but above all, dance, never stop dancing!

Translation: Petya Hristova and Charlene Lim

Thank you to the International Theatre Insititute's international dance committee, and the World Dance Alliance, who select an outstanding choreographer or dancer to write the message.

To read more about the day, or download the message in other languages, visit the International Dance Day website.

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Pay the dancers

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

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Talking dance—meet the makers at the 2014 Australian Performing Arts Market

Ausdance celebrates Australian dance makers at APAM 2014

In February 2014, Ausdance National and Ausdance Queensland hosted Talking dancemeet the makers, a networking event for the dance makers participating in the Australian Performing Arts Market (APAM).

The following slideshow, which was projected during the event, showcases the latest work of Australian dance companies and independent dance artists who were presenting work at APAM 2014.

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NAAE concerned for future of UNESCO cultural program

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

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

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

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

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

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Dance and science—knowledge and creativity.

There is so much we still have to learn about dance. Human bodies have been dancing for centuries and some of our training techniques have been passed on from generation to generation.

At Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, Dr Emma Redding, head of dance science, is leading a growing group of researchers and students applying scientific methods to the dance training we do every day, seeking to gain knowledge about the body and the impact of dance.

Read more…

Tanja Liedtke fellowship

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

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

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

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

Read full Media Release.

For more information visit Tanja Liedtke Foundation.
 

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National Dance Forum program

Opening and closing with interactive visioning sessions, the program featured a full morning 'Open Space' session on the Sunday tapping the pulse of the forum, and through it that of the dance sector in Australia.

Keynote artists-in-conversation were Dalisa Pigram, co-Artistic Director of Marrugeku, with David Pledger, and Artistic Director of Australian Dance Theatre Garry Stewart with Anne Thompson.

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TAFE funding cuts and the arts

At the recent meeting of the Tertiary Dance Council of Australia (TDCA), serious concerns were raised about the massive cuts to TAFE training in several eastern States.

In this article for Artshub, Tamara Winikoff, Executive Director of the National Association for the Visual Arts, also raises these concerns, and the broader issues of career pathways for artists. While Tamara focuses on the visual arts, much of her analysis could be applied to dance in the TAFE sector, especially with the imminent introduction of the new Australian Curriculum: The Arts.

We'll be making our concerns known to the Victorian, New South Wales, South Australian and Queensland governments about their proposals to so drastically cut TAFE funding. We suggest you read Tamara's article and respond to your own governments about the future of arts training in your State.

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Good news from major performing arts companies

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

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A night to remember at the Australian Dance Awards

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

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

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Report on national dance research forum

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

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

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

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

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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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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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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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Arts service organisations—telling the story

Today I went with my ArtsPeak colleague, Tamara Winikoff, to visit the Office for the Arts in Canberra, where we continued the conversation about our work.

It was useful to share the ArtsPeak map that outlines the broad reach of arts service organisations, especially as we’d like to see it acknowleged as part of the bigger arts support picture in the National Cultural Policy .

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Review of Private Sector Support for the Arts 2011

The Harold Mitchell Review of Private Sector Support for the Arts has just been released by the Minister for the Arts as part of the wider consultation about the new National Cultural Policy.

The Mitchell review recommends several ideas that might help attract new donors to the arts, noting that “The limited funds available to many arts organisations creates a situation where they cannot afford dedicated staff to drive a strategic approach to fund-raising”.

Mitchell also recommends the merging of the Australian Business Arts Foundation with Artsupport Australia “under the auspices of a new body with responsibility for all private sector support for the arts in Australia”.

Today is also your last opportunity to respond to the Australia Council review, another important part of the Cultural Policy consultation process.

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Building the Indigenous contemporary dance collection

Ever since we convened the 2005 Creating Pathways national Indigenous dance forum in Canberra, Lee Christofis—one of the keynote speakers, and now curator of dance at the National Library of Australia—has been keen to develop the NLA's Indigenous dance collection.

In the March 2012 edition of National Library News, Lee discusses some of the material now held in the collection and outlines the importance of its provenance.

Building the Indigenous contemporary dance collection makes fascinating reading for anyone interested in the development of Australian contemporary Indigenous dance.

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ArtsPeak again lobbies the ABC

ArtsPeak representatives met again with the ABC to lobby for more cultural content in ABC news and current affairs programs. General Manager Mark Scott had previously met with the group, and this time ArtsPeak met with Don Lang, the Head of News Programming, and Alan Sunderland, the Head of News Policy,

A process was agreed on to review arts content for news and current affairs programs, and on a process for arts representatives to contact appropriate reporters. The following strategies were suggested to ArtsPeak:

  • Arts representatives should consider what the issues are and whether they are newsworthy.
  • We should develop a central arts representatives contact register.
  • We should focus on stories that utilise ABC research and archives.

We'll be working with our ArtsPeak colleagues to maximise this positive response from the ABC, and making sure dance is part of the story telling!

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Reviewing the new Australian arts curriculum

Arts curriculum writing for Foundation to Year 10 is well underway.

The draft rationale, aims and broad scope and sequence have already been reviewed by a state and territory national panel, and we joined other professional associations last week to review the drafts. We'd been invited to ask four teachers from across Australia to provide feedback, and Dr Katrina Rank, education and training manager for Ausdance Victoria, collated their feedback and led the discussion for dance.

We also represented the National Advocates for Arts Education (NAAE) in the teleconference, which was chaired by the general manager (curriculum) of the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA), Robert Randall.

We'll be calling for further dance commentary in the coming weeks as the drafts are developed by the writers, and ACARA will make the curriculum available for public comment in May. In the meantime, you can sign up for regular ACARA updates.

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Dance people receive Australia Day Honours

Former balleriona Josephine Spaull, respected ballet teacher, Tanya Pearson, and Judith Anderson, formerly General Manager of The Queensland Ballet, have today been awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM).

Josephine was recognised for “for service to the performing arts, particularly dance, as a teacher and administrator". Tanya's citation was "for service to the performing arts, particularly ballet, as a teacher and mentor to young dancers". Judith's citation was "for service to the Queensland Ballet and to women". We congratulate Josephine, Tanya and Judith for their outstanding achievements.

The website It's an Honour has all the information you'll need to nominate more dance people for Australia's highest Honours!

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Celebrating our Australian of the Year

There have been celebrations around the country today for our new Australian of the Year, actor Geoffrey Rush.

We congratulate him on his acceptance speech that placed the arts at the centre of Australian life and culture. He acknowledged the role of the First Australians, and said he was sure "that my colleagues will see this as an endorsement of our national story of creativity".

Senior Australian of the Year is Laurie Baymarrwangga, an extraordinary elder from the island of Murrungga in East Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory.

The Australian of the Year Awards were announced last night by the Prime Minister.

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Visit by American Dance Abroad director

Andrea Snyder is co-director of American Dance Abroad, a new initiative in the US that promotes the export of American dance. Andrea was formerly CEO of Dance USA, and is a valued colleague of Ausdance.

Andrea will be visiting Australia for the Australian Performing Arts Market (APAM) in February, so we’re putting her in touch with the Australia Council and dance producers in Sydney and Melbourne before she goes on to APAM. She'll see a lot of Australian dance while she's here and importantly will be establishing Australian networks for possible future exchanges.

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Canadian cultural policy researcher visits

This week we hosted Shannon Litzenberger in Canberra as part of her research into Australian cultural policy. Shannon is a Canadian dance artist, writer, director and advocate who we first met at the 2009 Dance Congress in Hamburg.

Shannon is particularly interested in the political process of developing a national cultural policy; the ways in which new funding models might be developed; the cultural diplomacy strategies of the government; the National Cultural Policy Discussion Paper and the various (and many) responses received by the government as part of its consultation.

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Time for a funding review of smaller dance companies

Recent funding decisions across all sectors of the small to medium performing arts sector have highlighted the widening gap between what was considered to be 'adequate' funding for these companies five years ago, and the reality of their existence today. While we highlighted the issues in our contribution to the National Cultural Policy discussion paper, we also plan see the Arts Minister, Simon Crean, to again draw his attention to the parlous state of funding for smaller key organisations, especially in dance.

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Our contribution to the National Cultural Policy discussion paper

We joined the many artists, companies and community organisations and made a submission to the National Cultural Policy discussion paper.

Because we think it’s important for the dance voice to be heard as part of the wider arts industry, we also coordinated the submissions from ArtsPeak and the National Advocates for Arts Education.

You can keep in touch with the development of the National Cultural Policy by joining the Arts Minister’s e-news.

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SCOPE wound up

As SCOPE board members formally wound up the program in Sydney on Friday, we reflected that there was much to be proud of. We developed a model for dancers' career development and management and, with Australia Council support, we've been able to assist 99 artists to realise their dreams through professional career advice and small retraining scholarships.

We are continuing with online advice and support, and we're also planning an evaluation of the program to help us find new funding partners to bring back the scholarships and professional career guidance.

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