Careers in dance

SMUDGE: Phillip Adams BalletLab project auditions

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)

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New Artistic Director for Force Majeure

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.

Danielle said:

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.

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Victorian dance artists: apply for Arts Victoria support to attend NDF2015

National Dance Forum, in partnership with Arts Victoria, is pleased to announce a first-time opportunity for Victoria-based dance artists to receive financial support to attend National Dance Forum 2015.

This opportunity is available to eligible Victorian dance artists who are interested in contributing to the most significant platform for dialogue across the Australian contemporary dance sector.

NDF2015 will take place in Melbourne 19–21 March 2015 at Footscray Community Arts Centre.

Criteria for eligibility

(Both 1 and 2 should apply)

  1. Any Victoria-based artist who is able to commit to attendance for the duration of NDF2015, March 19–21.
  2. Any Victoria-based artist who is considered independent or freelance and is working primarily in the field of contemporary dance

Eligible applicants can apply for the following expenses

  • NDF2015 full registration (the cost for independent artists in 2015 is $145)
  • travel to and from Melbourne (where an applicant does not reside within Melbourne or its surrounding suburbs)
  • 2 nights accommodation in Melbourne (where an applicant does not reside within Melbourne or it’s surrounding suburbs)

Eligible applications will be assessed by an industry panel consisting of representatives from National Dance Forum, Arts Victoria and Ausdance National. National Dance Forum particularly encourages artists who are based in regional Victoria, are of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Island descent and/or are in the first five years of their professional practice to apply.

Key dates

  • National Dance Forum: Thursday 19 – Saturday 21 March 2015
  • EOI open: Friday 12 December 2014
  • EOI close: Friday 30 January 2015
  • Successful applicants will be notified: week commencing 16 February 2015

To apply

  1. Download the EOI form.
  2. Return the form via email to National Dance Forum
  3. Please mark the subject line 'NDF2015 EOI VIC'

More information

For any further information please contact NDF2015 Co-Producer Kristy Ayre.

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Asia-Pacific Dance Bridge 2015: Connectivity through dance—call for abstracts

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, a major conference taking place in Singapore in October 2015.

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 three-day conference is proposed for October 2015 during or around the dates of the da:ns festival organized by the Esplanade, Singapore. For further general details of the event, please contact World Dance Alliance Singapore.

We now invite abstracts for presentations addressing the conference theme for the following categories by 22 February 2015. You will be notified of acceptance by 1 April 2015.

Scholarly papers

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.

Performative presentations

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.

Note: 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 included lunchtime Conversation panels with invited speakers and a Critics' Circle. Submit all proposals to Stephanie Burridge, WDAAP Singapore 2015 Symposium convener.

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Dancenorth Auditions

As it enters its 30th anniversary and implements a bold new artistic vision, Dancenorth is seeking to engage an ensemble of four experienced dancers (2M and 2F) to join the company for a 34-week contract commencing on the 24 March 2015 until 13 November 2015.

Artists must be curious, open-minded and highly creative, and have a keen interest in choreography in order to make valuable contributions towards the creation of new works by a range of choreographers and collaborators.

Successful applicants must be experienced contemporary dancers with strong technical proficiency, versatility, experience with floor work and improvisation, and high level partnering skills.

All company members will be required to participate in a range of cultural engagement projects in the community and education sectors, including working with young people and Indigenous initiatives. Interest and/or experience within this area will therefore be essential. Dancers will be expected to not only live in Townsville but to become an integral part of its vibrant cultural landscape.

Please submit CV or biography, current headshot, 2 – 5 minute video link (URL) and a response to the following questions (max of one A4 page):

  1. What attracts you to want to work with Dancenorth and what will define you as a valued member of this dynamic company?
  2. Describe your interest and /or experience in the creation and delivery of community and education projects.
  3. What experience do you have teaching dance or movement? (style/genre, age levels, context etc)

Application should be emailed to Kyle at Dancenorth.

Deadline for applications: 31 December 2014.

Shortlisted applicants who successfully meet the criteria above will be informed by the 10 January 2015 and invited to attend a full day audition in either of the following two cities:

Brisbane – 24 January
Melbourne – 25 January

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National Dance Forum 2015 early-bird registrations close 31 January 2015

National Dance Forum 2015 early-bird registrations close 31 Jan 2015.

Eventbrite - National Dance Forum 2015

We invite Australian dancers, makers, researchers, writers, directors, producers, advocates and educators to participate in the most significant platform for dialogue across the Australian contemporary dance sector.

Facilitated by Andrew Morrish, NDF2015 is framed by three 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

'The National Dance Forum is a vital opportunity for the dance community to meet for a conversation. My focus as facilitator for 2015 is to ensure that we have an energetic, vibrant and memorable time. The curatorial committee is organising an exciting range of presentations, but we should remember that these presentations are primarily designed to feed our conversation. It is the type of conversation where we perhaps have a sense of where and how it will begin but we have no idea of where it will go.

I myself am not interested this year in the idea of developing ‘policy’, or producing another set of point forms on butchers paper for the 'future of dance'. There are times when this is necessary, but for 2015 I primarily want us to have an experience of our community, its layers and textures, its colours and its voices.

I believe that a feeling of being part of the community of dance is an under-utilised resource for surviving as a dance artist'.

Andrew Morrish, NDF2015 facilitator

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National Indigenous Choreographers Residency—expressions of interest

Arts House is excited to present a new initiative: the National Indigenous Choreographers Residency.

Five established Indigenous choreographers from around Australia will work with Melbourne-based Indigenous choreographers in an intensive and immersive residency during Dance Massive 2015. Successful participants will work together in North Melbourne, Victoria in a development environment where they will explore and exchange choreographic language, technique, inspirations and skills.

As well as the residency, during Dance Massive the participants will be guided through a bespoke program of events including

  • an international market session
  • opening nights
  • studio showings
  • artists' breakfasts
  • networking opportunities
  • pitch sessions with the international and national delegations.

Victorians Jacob Boehme and Mariaa Randall will lead artists on the National Indigenous Choreographers' Residency.

Participants must be available for all of the residency from Sunday 8 March to Tuesday 17 March 2015.

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Motion capture

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

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Performing Arts Market NZ 2015

9 –11 March, Auckland 2015

The Performing Arts Market is run by the Performing Arts Network of New Zealand (PANNZ). It is New Zealand’s sole marketplace for the promotion of professional tour ready dance, theatre and music productions.

It is also an important forum for connecting artists and presenters, debating the issues facing our industry and building capacity within our sector. PANNZ is attended by festival directors, venue managers, artists, producers and industry stakeholders.

Important dates

29 Sep: Registrations/applications open
27 Oct: Producer submissions to Cyberpaddock close
 3  Nov: Presenter voting round opens
17 Nov: Presenter voting round closes
24 Nov: Pitches announced
20 Dec: Earlybird registrations close
30 Jan: Registrations close (late fees begin)
9 –11 Mar: PANNZ Market 2015

For more information visit the PANNZ website.

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The Corner Dance Lab 2015

16 – 24 January 2015

Dance Integrated Australia and The Farm is excited to be hosting the second Corner Dance Lab in beautiful Federal (northern New South Wales).

The artistic line up for The Corner Dance Lab 2015 is:

Phil Blackman, Sean Campbell, Philip Channells, Hsin-Ju Chiu (Raw), Ben Ely, Kate Harman, Julian Louis, Kimberly McKintyre, Lee-Anne Litton, Kellie O’Dempsey, Timothy Ohl, Sarah-Vyne Vassallo, Gavin Webber.

Participants at the inaugural Corner Dance Lab, January 2014. Photo: Tim Standing / Daylight Breaks

As an independent artist who grew up in Byron Bay, it was my immense pleasure in returning to the region to participate in The Corner Dance Lab. Having the opportunity to work with a number of world-renowned leaders in dance and physical theatre, amongst such an inspiring and rich natural landscape made this experience unbeatable. Working alongside such a diverse range of artists in such a collaborative manner was truly remarkable and the artistic connections created are invaluable. The intensive needs to exist as a mainstay annual event for both the local and Australian wide artistic community.—Harrison Hall, Independent Artist (Melbourne)

Early Bird Expressions of Interest are now open. Register now and save $100!

Request an EOI form or telephone Philip Channells on +61 432 073 304 for more information.

Read about The Corner Dance Lab 2014.

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Help us shape the NDF2015 program: submit your ideas, proposals and feedback

Submit your ideas and proposals

Please use the NDF2015 proposals form (1MB PDF) to submit your ideas and feedback. Email the form to NDF2015 by Friday 3 October 2014.

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.

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The Fourth Australian Dance Movement Therapy Conference

The Dance Movement Therapy Association of Australia (DTAA) turns 21 in 2015. To celebrate, the DTAA and the Hanny Exiner Memorial Foundation will present 'Broadening the spectrum: dance and other expressive arts therapies for health and healing' from 12–14 July 2015 at The Historic Abbotsford Convent, Abbotsford, Victoria.

Dr. Sherry Goodill, Chairperson of the Department of Creative Arts Therapies at Drexel University, USA, and President of the American Dance Therapy Association, is the first keynote speaker confirmed. Sherry, (PhD, BC-DMT, NCC, LPC), has been working as a dance/movement therapist and educator since 1980. She holds a Masters in creative arts therapy with a specialisation in dance/movement therapy from Hahnemann Medical College, and a PhD in medical psychology with a concentration in mind/body studies from The Union Institute and University. In 2005, Sherry published An Introduction to Medical Dance/Movement Therapy: Health Care in Motion. She also serves on the editorial panels for the Arts in Psychotherapy journal and the Journal of Creativity in Mental Health.

Pre and post conference workshops with local and international presenters will be offered.

A call for papers will be made later in 2014.

The DTAA Committee welcomes interest from members in contributing to the development of the conference. Please email Kim Dunphy.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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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Review of The Australian Curriculum: The Arts

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.

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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.

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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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