Creating dance

Dance Massive 2015

Dance Massive

When: 10–22 March 2015
Where: Arts House, Dancehouse, Malthouse Theatre, Melbourne

Dance Massive 2015 presents over 40 curated dance shows, events and activities over 13 days, including a number of bold new works, workshops, networking opportunities and special events.

The program introduces new ways of thinking about contemporary dance. It will surprise, challenge, entice and dare artists and dance-lovers from all over Australia in what is set to be another sell-out program.

The National Dance Forum 2015 (19–21 March) takes place in conjuction with Dance Massive.

For progam and ticketing information visit Dance Massive.

Ausdance National members presenting work at Dance Massive

Lucy Guerin Inc

  • What: Motion Picture
  • When: Tue 17 – Sun 22 March
  • Where: Arts House, North Melbourne Town Hall

Chunky Move

  • What: Depth of Field
  • When: Fri 6 – Sat 14 March
  • Where: The Coopers Malthouse, Forecourt

Force Majeure

  • What: Nothing to Lose
  • When: Wed 11 – Sat 21 March
  • Where: The Coopers Malthouse, Merlyn Theatre

Ausdance Victoria

Leave a comment

Announcing Jerril Rechter as keynote artist-in-conversation #2

Jerril Rechter is the CEO of VicHealth. She has extensive experience in leadership across the areas of government and not-for-profit sectors.

Jerril is a World Health Organization Advisor, a board member of the International Network of Health Promotion Foundations, a member of Victoria’s Justice Health Ministerial Advisory Council and a member of the Liquor Control Advisory Council.

She regularly presents at state, national and international conferences and events to share her experiences in health promotion, leadership, the arts, and the potential of innovations to improve health and wellbeing for everyone.

She has served on various state and national boards and committees, including VicHealth's, as Board Member from 2004 to 2010. Her Ministerial appointments have included the Victorian Eating Disorders Taskforce, Australia Day Committee Victoria, Australia Council for the Arts Deputy Chair Dance Board, Arts Tasmania Board, Brand Tasmania Board and the Community Leaders Group Tasmania.

Jerril is a recipient of a Centenary Medal, Tasmania Day Award, and Fellowships from the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust, Australia Council, Harvard Club of Australia, the Australian Davos Forum-Future Summit, and Williamson Community Leadership Program (Leadership Victoria).

Jerril holds a Master of Business Leadership from RMIT University. She has held executive positions at Leadership Victoria, Melbourne International Festival of the Arts, Footscray Community Arts Centre, and founded Stompin Youth Dance Company.

The National Forum is a partnership between the Australia Council for the Arts and Ausdance National.

Australian Government. Australia Council for the Arts

Leave a comment

Learning Curve with Jennifer Lacey

7 -–12 April 2015, 10am – 2pm daily

Learning Curve is Dancehouse’s development program aiming to place emerging choreographers in an immersive and intimate environment with a prominent figure of dance making and thinking.

Paris-based American choreographer Jennifer Lacey is a much acclaimed award-winning artist and pedagogue. Over the past 15 years she has taught technique, improvisation and composition all over the globe, in institutions, studios, festivals and most recently and regularly at ImpulsTanz where she will be leading the danceWEB program this year.

As far afield from traditional dance performance as the work often goes, Jennifer Lacey’s choreographic practice is based on an interrogative development, producing aesthetic rules, body vocabulary, and behaviors specific to each piece or context. The form of the workshops she leads are often performative and capable of producing content rather than just transmitting it. With Learning Curve, she will be focusing on composition by using her or the participants’ existing material as the basis for generating critical analysis based on a working practice.

Learning Curve is open to 15 participants only. Only choreographers with a current professional practice can apply.

Deadline for EOIs: 8 March

Apply now

Leave a comment

2015 Winter Brisbane Contemporary Dance Intensive with Expressions Dance Company

Applications are now open

Brisbane Contemporary Dance Intensive: Winter 29 June – 3 July 2015 Apply Now

This biannual event is regarded as one of Australia’s best training programs in contemporary dance, led by a team of specially selected professional dancers and choreographers from around the country.

Join acclaimed guest teachers and EDC dancers as you participate in workshops with an intense focus on contemporary dance, its techniques and the industry, preparing you for a career in dance.

DATES | Monday 29 June – Friday 3 July 2015
VENUE | QUT Campus, Kelvin Grove, Brisbane
TIMES | 9 am – 5 pm Daily
COST | $570 per person

For more information email bcdi@expressionsdancecompany.org.au or call 07 3257 4222

Please Note: spaces are limited and entry is by application only.

Leave a comment

Brolga—call for submissions

Brolga an Australian Journal about dance #36

Brolga–an Australian journal about dance invites academics and writers to submit articles (either for refereeing or general circulation) for the 2015 issue of this online publication.

Issue #40 will focus broadly on the increasingly important theme of improvisation, and will be edited by Olivia Millard from Deakin University. Improvisation is quintessentially elusive, being and vanishing in each instant of impulse, so what might happen in its writing or attempts to capture its flights on the page?

Please email essays or articles to Olivia Millard.

If you wish your paper to be blind refereed for academic purposes, please make that clear in the submission.

Deadline for submissions: 31 May 2015 (for publication in September)

Guidelines for contributors.

If writers or publishers have books to review please send copies to:

Ausdance National
ATT: Brolga Editor
PO Box 45
Braddon ACT 2612

Leave a comment

Announcing Lemi Ponifasio as keynote artist-in-conversation #1

National Dance Forum partners the Australia Council for the Arts and Ausdance National are thrilled to announce acclaimed New Zealand-based artist Lemi Ponifasio as the first keynote artist-in-conversation for NDF2015.

Lemi is a leading voice in contemporary dance and theatre making internationally, based in the Asia-Pacific, performing and collaborating worldwide. He will be in conversation with NDF2015 co-facilitator Fiona Winning on the afternoon of Thursday 19 March.

The second keynote and the full list of speakers will be unveiled in early February.

Lemi Ponifasio

Lemi PonifasioLemi Ponifasio. Photo: Christian Westerback

Theatre artist Lemi Ponifasio founded the MAU in Auckland in 1995, a collaboration of communities and artists from all over the world.

MAU is a Samoan word that means a declaration to the truth of a matter or revolution as an effort to transform.

In his artistic universe, Ponifasio orients the modern individual towards other dimensions of consciousness by way of the decelerated rhythm of his strict aesthetic, making use of striking images, movement and dynamic interplay of light and darkness. A pioneer at the international frontier of dance and theatre art, his theatre vision transcends the barriers between genres and cultures and transmits the universal power of art. Lemi Ponifasio presents his productions in such places as the Avignon Festival, BAM, Ruhrtriennale, Edinburgh International Festival, Theatre de la Ville Paris, London's Southbank, Holland Festival, Luminato Festival, Vienna Festival and Berliner Festspiele.

I AM, Ponifasio’s most recent work, premiered at the Avignon Festival 2014 followed by seasons at the Edinburgh International Festival, the Ruhrtriennale, Germany, and I AM MAPUCHE for Festival Santiago a Mil, Chile. His other creations include Birds With Skymirrors responding to the disappearing Pacific Islands, homelands to most of his dancers and devastated by climate change; Tempest: Without A Body, concerning our collective paralysis in the face of truth, symbolized by increased and unlawful use of state power post 9/11; Le Savali: Berlin confronting the imperial City of Berlin with its own communities, the young generation of immigrant families in search of belonging and constrained by threat of deportation; The Crimson House probing the nature of power and subjectivity in our panoptic state – a world that sees all and no longer forgets; and Stones In Her Mouth, a work with Maori women as transmitters of a life force through oratory, ancient chants, choral-work and dance. In 2012 Ponifasio staged the epic opera Prometheus by Carl Orff for the Ruhrtriennale.

Watch some of Lemi's work with MAU

Stones in her mouth (2014)

Birds with sky mirrors

Tempest: without a body

The Crimson House

 
The National Forum is a partnership between the Australia Council for the Arts and Ausdance National.
 
Australian Government | Australia Council for the Arts

Leave a comment

2015 World Dance Alliance events in Singapore

When: 16–18 October 2015
Where: Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA), Singapore

World Dance Alliance Singapore is proud to present the 2015 Annual General Meeting, Network Meetings and Young Scholars Meeting of World Dance Alliance Asia-Pacific as well as the Global Executive Meeting alongside the conference Asia-Pacific Dance Bridge 2015: Connectivity through Dance. Coinciding with the da:ns festival organised by the Esplanade, Singapore, conference events at venues located in Singapore’s arts and culture district are outlined below.

The conference 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 conference will include scholarly papers, performative presentations and Pecha Kucha style presentations. Other conference events include showcases, a choreolab, masterclasses and workshops.

Asia-Pacific Dance Bridge 2015: Connectivity through Dance

Conference papers: call for abstracts

We now invite abstracts for presentations addressing the conference theme for the following categories by 2 March 2015. You will be notified of acceptance by 1 April 2015.

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 include lunchtime conversations with invited speakers.

Email your proposal to Stephanie Burridge and cc Secretariat Sarah Knox.

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.

Associated performance events

There will be an opportunity for members to participate in the following events. Chapter Heads and members will be advised about application processes by 1 March.

Performance showcases

  • The Small Company/Independent Artist Showcase, chaired by Susan Yeung, will be presented at the Recital Studio, Esplanade. The focus will be on cutting-edge contemporary dance works by choreographers from the Asia-Pacific region. The collection of works speaks of a new generation of dance-making that is uniquely contemporary Asian.
  • The Singapore Tertiary Showcase will feature Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (coordinated by Gillian Tan) and Lasalle College of the Arts (coordinated by Susan Yeung). Both institutions will present their own dance works as well as a collaborative dance work in the Next Generation platform of Esplanade’s da:ns festival.
  • The Community Showcase, chaired by Peter Gn, will be presented at the Plaza @ National Library. It aims to celebrate the diversity of dance through enjoyable dance performances of amateur groups from the Asia-Pacific region.

Choreolab

Melissa Quek will chair the Choreolab in consultation with the Creation & Presentation Network Chair, Nanette Hassall. Selected emerging choreographers from the Asia-Pacific region will be in an intensive residence prior to the conference and will present works-in-progress during the conference.

Masterclasses and workshops

Masterclasses will include traditional and contemporary dance forms with international artists and choreographers from the Asia-Pacific region. Workshops addressing one or more of the following WDA network areas may also be presented: Research & Documentation, Creation & Presentation, Education & Training, Support & Development.

Leave a comment

DANscienCE Festival 2015

21 – 23 August

Directed by Liz Lea and Associate Professor Gene Moyle, the 2015 DANscienCE Festival is a curated event that will provide an exciting oppportunity for scientists, artists, researchers and educators to explore and celebrate the synergies between these two fields of creativity.

DANscienCE focuses on the areas of cognitive psychology, applied dance science, technology, robotics and ecology/biology. The festival aims to foster partnerships between the community, research organisations and industry.

Participants will engage in panel discussions, present papers, observe demonstrations amd watch performances.DANscienCE will explore the breadth of the growing connections between dance and science, and the innovative approaches and projects that scientists and artists are already undertaking in both Australia and Internationally.

Leave a comment

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.

Leave a comment

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 16 – 18 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 dance 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.

Leave a comment

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.

Read more…

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. 

Leave a comment

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.

Read more…

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.

Leave a comment

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.

Read more…

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.

Read more…

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.

Leave a comment

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.

Read more…

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.

Leave a comment

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.

Read more…

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.

Read more…

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.

Read more…

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.

Read more…

‘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.

Read more…

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.

Read more…

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.

Leave a comment

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.

Leave a comment

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.

Leave a comment

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.

Read more…