Creating dance

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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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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Mature Movers Summer School

26 – 30 January, 2015
Canberra Dance Theatre cnr Barry Dr & Kingsley St Canberra

The Mature Movers Summer School is ideal for those over 50 who wish to enrich their experience through creative movement. In the Mature Movers Summer School you will experience firsthand the process of dance being created for performance. You will explore choreographic concepts and experience the process of the creation of choreography.

There will be an informal showing at Canberra Dance Theatre on the afternoon of Friday 30 January of the work created during the workshop or stay until the 1 February to participate in a performance of the work at the National Portrait Gallery.

Email CDT for an enrolment form or call Liz Lea for further information 0435 025 365.

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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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Touch Compass Dance Company seeks new dancers

New Zealand’s only professional inclusive dance company, Touch Compass is auditioning for 2015.

They are seeking disabled and non-disabled dancers to perform repertoire, new works and tour. All dancers are contracted and paid on a per project basis.

Applicants shold have a natural physicality, a passion for high quality performance and a commitment to fully participate in the company. Touch Compass celebrates individual difference and draws its company of dancers from all walks of life with or without dance/performance experience.

As well as learning works in the repertoire, company members will be involved in the creative process of developing new works. Touch Compass also provides mentoring and training for its performers.

For details on how to apply visit the Touch Compass website.

Deadline for applications: 19 December, 2014

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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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Bodies of Thought: 12 Australian Choreographers

This book on Australian contemporary dance focuses specifically on innovative choreographers, concentrating on a work by each with an accessible interview and an insightful essay by a leading dance writer. It is ideal for dance practitioners, students and researchers as well as seasoned dance audiences.

Beautifully designed and affordably priced, the book includes superb images of the dance works taken by Australia's best dance photographers.

Bodies of Thought: 12 Australian Choreographers features a generation of award-winning Australian choreographers with international reputations and legacies of influence: Kate Champion, Rosallnd Crisp, Tess De Quincey, Russell Dumas, Lucy Guerin, Sue Healey, Helen Herbertson, Gideon Obarzanek, Stephen Page, Garry Stewart, Meryl Tankard and Ros Warby.

The field of innovative dance in Australia is vibrant and diverse. With their extensive background as writers in the field, the aditors have created a collection of essays that offers a lucid account of a wide range of experimental dance work and conveys some of the excitement it generates in live performance.

—Jane Goodall, Adunct Professor, The University of Western Sydney.

Editors: Erin Brannigan, Senior Lecturer in Dance, School of Arts and Media, UNSW and Virginia Baxter, Managing Editor, RealTime.
Publishers: RealTime and Wakefield Press. RRP: $34.95

The RealTimeDance archive [1994-present] features a range of interviews, articles, reviews, video excerpts and links about the body of work of each of the twelve choreographers featured in this book, as well as providing information about those works and others which are available online or as DVDs or for loan. Visit the Dance Archive on the RealTime website to find out more. 

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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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Community dance conference—call for submissions

25–29 November 2015, University of Otago, New Zealand

Call for submissions

‘Moving Communities’ is an exciting four-day conference that will provide an opportunity to bring together practitioners, academics and students to celebrate and discuss themes and topics within the broad field of community dance.

The conference will be co-hosted by the Dance Studies Programme at the School of Physical Education, Sport and Exercise Sciences and the Caroline Plummer Fellowship Committee.

A special feature of the conference will be the reunion of the ten recipients of the Caroline Plummer Fellowship in Community Dance. This prestigious six-month Fellowship was made possible by the family of the late Caroline Plummer and was first offered in 2005.

The school is now inviting submissions for paper presentations, workshops, panel discussions and community performances from those who are engaged in Community Dance practice, education and research internationally.

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International Solo Dance/Theatre Festival

12 – 15 March 2015, Stuttgart

This international festival held in Germany provides the platform for an international choreographic competition for contemporary choreographers and young dancers (under 30 years).

Participants from all over the world are requested to perform a solo piece which is new, original, imaginative, unique and which displays unusual achievement. A respected jury will judge choreographic and dance skills as well as musicality, interpretation and performance.

Prizes to a total value of €16.000 are awarded.

To find out more visit the Treffpunkt Rotebuehlplatz website.

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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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Journal of Emerging Dance Scholarship

The Journal of Emerging Dance Scholarship (JEDS) is published annually in September by the World Dance Alliance (WDA). It is designed to serve the needs of international dance scholars who are currently enrolled in a graduate program or within 5 years of having graduated from a graduate program in dance or a related field.

JEDS is published online as an open resource. Articles are selected to assure dance scholarship from around the world is included in each publication.Each article submission is reviewed by two international dance scholars with no more than 16 submissions accepted for the annual publication. Articles are chosen based on originality of research and the contributions each makes to the future of dance praxis (theory and practice).

JEDS Vol. 2 will be published 1 September, 2014

JEDS 2015 Vol. 3, will be comprised only of blind-reviewed papers selected from those presented at the 2014 World Dance Alliance Global Summit in Angers, France.

Visit the JEDS website to find out more.

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Accessible Arts masterclasses 2013

Join leading choreographers, Sue Healey, Dean Walsh and Philip Channells in the Catalyst Dance Masterclass Series.

Accessible Arts is hosting a series of three masterclasses tailored to dancers with and without physical or sensory disability, and people with mental illness or acquired brain injury.

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New Asia–Pacific Channels edition

The latest edition of Channels is jam-packed with exciting new dance activity in Asia and the Pacific. There are new dance networks, events, research, journals, books and more.

Some of the highlights include a new Nepal chapter of World Dance Alliance; plans for the 2014 Global Dance Summit, which will be held at the beautiful Centre National de la Dance Contemporaine in Angers, France; and Our Roots Right Now—The Research Forum and Festival of Thai/ASEAN Contemporary Theatre, at Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand.

Collage of dance event highlights from the 2013 edition of Asia-Pacific Channels1] Ter Wei Lun from Lee Wushu Arts Theatre in Wushu Madness II–The Realm Between, choreographed by Lee Swee Seng, in the Showpiece Performances of MyDance Festival 2013, at Panggung Bandaraya on 31 May 2013. Photo: Huneid Tyeb. 2] Kathak dance performed by Kalanidhi Indira Sangeet Mahabidhayalaya at International Dance Day on 29 April 2013 at Yalam Maya Kendra in Kathmandu, organised by the newly inaugurated WDAAP Nepal chapter. Photo by Raju Shakya & Prabin Lal Singh. 3] A ceremonial dance from the West New Britain province of Papua New Guinea, performed during the Foundation Day Celebrations at Port Moresby Grammar School on 4 April 2013. Photo: Naomi Faik-Simmer 4] Dr Maya Krishna Rao in her performance Ravanama, during the seminar ‘The Moving Space: Women in Performance’ at the Rabindranath Tagore Centre, Kolkata, on 3 February 2013. Photo: Kolkata Sanved 5] Thai choreographer Pichet Klunchun in his section of the tripartite Fire Fire Fire, on 28 January 2013 in the ‘Our Roots Right Now’ research forum and festival at Sodsai Pantoomkomol Centre for Dramatic Arts. Photo: L. Skar 6] The Nora Thummanit Thaksin University Group who performed Nora: Klong Hong in January 2013 in the ‘Our Roots Right Now’ research forum and festival at Sodsai Pantoomkomol Centre for Dramatic Arts.

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NAAE welcomes new Arts Curriculum

The National Advocates for Arts Education (NAAE) has warmly welcomed news the ACARA Board has approved the new The Australian Curriculum: The Arts. NAAE, of which Ausdance is a member, has strongly supported the development of the arts curriculum and its central principle of the entitlement of every young Australian to an arts education, one that includes all five artforms – dance, drama, media arts, music and the visual arts.

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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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Dance, young people & change—diversity in action

The collaboration between World Dance Alliance (WDA) and dance and the Child international (daCi) produced one of the biggest global dance festivals ever held—Dance, Young People and Change. Hosted by the Taiwan National University of the Arts (TNUA) in Taipei, the event attracted young people from North and South America, Europe, the UK and most Asia-Pacific nations.

The festival/conference was a multi-layered event that included keynote addresses, ‘dance flavour’ taster classes, workshops, forums and paper presentations. It brought together young people, their parents, mentors and educators from across the world to reflect on key issues and future directions for dance in young people’s lives.

Ann Tai, Taiwan representative for daCI and teacher at TNUA, exuberant in the opening parade.

There was also a wonderful range of performances by young people, a festival of international dance academies, and an amazing program of Taiwanese dance performed by Taiwan’s professional companies and groups, including Cloud Gate 2 and Dance Forum. Teachers attended masterclasses and paper presentations and exchanged ideas about approaches to dance learning, teaching and curriculum for young people.

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BlakDance 2012 triumph

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

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

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‘Shades of us’—a stunning AYDF finale

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

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

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Communities making dance in Tasmania

Tasmanian Regional Arts (TRA) is leading The Dance Project in partnership with Mature Artists Dance Experience (MADE), Bust a Move and Tasdance.

This community dance project is happening in three Tasmanian regions—the North East, North West and the South—to develop and present three new contemporary dance works with, by and about communities. Evolving from the heart of each community, these works explore place, kinship and identity as experienced by the residents of these regions.

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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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More evidence that dance benefits the elderly

There are some startling new figures that support dancing as a protective strategy in preventing dementia. A Stanford University report Use It or Lose It: Dancing Makes You Smarter makes the following comparisons:

... almost none of the physical activities appeared to offer any protection against dementia. There can be cardiovascular benefits of course, but the focus of this study was the mind. There was one important exception: the only physical activity to offer protection against dementia was frequent dancing.

  • Reading—35% reduced risk of dementia
  • Bicycling and swimming—0%
  • Doing crossword puzzles at least four days a week—47%
  • Playing golf—0%
  • Dancing frequently—76%.

The same university offers other insights into the benefits of dance in Thoughts, philosophies and musings on social dance, a useful reference for community dance practitioners in Australia.

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New research with dance and the elderly

New research by the University of Western Sydney is demonstrating that folk dance has clear benefits for the health of the elderly. You may have missed this great report from the ABC’s 7.30 program on 4 January.

We’re very interested in research that proves the links between dance and health, and have been in touch with the researchers to find out more.

Want to know more?

On your toes: Is there a different approach to aging? Listen to Glen Murray from MADE (Mature Artists Dance Experience) and Beverley Giles, an expert in the care of people affected by dementia, talking about how dance provides the three elements essential to health and well-being in mature adults.

Read Glen's paper about how older people can bring great riches to art-making.

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Youth dance—where does it fit?

In responding to our suggestion of a campaign to support the smaller key dance organisations, Ruth Osborne, artistic director of QL2 Dance, came in to discuss some of the issues youth dance companies are experiencing.

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