Creating dance

Write for Brolga—an Australian journal about dance

Submissions are open for Brolga #41 under the broad theme 'A place for dance'.

Key information

Brolga covers

The art and community ecology in which dance exists is delicate and complex. As with the fight for survival by animals in compromised environments perhaps it is the ‘charismatic’ or ‘innovative’ artists who survive. If so, where is the place for the dancers and dance makers who exist outside the realm of publically notable; who eschew spectacle or even notoriety? And how is it possible for a dancer to find their dance place in the rich history of skill and experimentation?

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Big Dance Australia 2016 update

Big Dance is a biennial festival of people dancing led by the Mayor of London in partnership with People Dancing and the Big Dance Hubs, a network of leading dance organisations across the UK.

Big Dance Week ran from 2 to 10 July 2016 and Ausdance Queensland and Tracks Dance in Darwin hosted Big Dance events.

Michelle Silby, Director of Ausdance NSW and Executive Director Ausdance Victoria, said

I firmly believe dance is for everyone and everyone can dance! Big Dance UK is a wonderful opportunity to participate in dance for free. We in Australia have really enjoyed the opportunity to join in, and be part of the global dance community. Working with choreography by Akram Khan has been a dream, inspiring young and old alike all over the country. We will aim to tie Big Dance in with the 2018 Commonwealth Games and Commonwealth Youth/Arts Festival.

Big Dance Australia started in 2014 in Sydney and regional NSW, led by Ausdance NSW, Sydney Dance Company and Sydney Opera House. 2016 see’s two major Big Dance events with Ausdance NSW working with inter-state partners, in Darwin, Northern Territory, with Tracks Dance Company 01 July and in Brisbane, Queensland working with Ausdance QLD on 10 July. We are also encouraging people to use the choreography to inspire their own Big Dance.”

The Big Dance Film will be featured at this year's Australian Dance Awards in September!

Catch up on Big Dance

Read the Ausdance NSW Big Dance update.

Big Dance Darwin 

Visit the Tracks Dance Company Big Dance page.

Big Dance Queensland

Ausdance Queensland presented their Big Dance event on 10 July 2016.

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daCi and WDA announce World Dance Congress for 2018

How can dance help in transforming society? This and many more questions will be a focus in 2018 at one of the world’s largest gatherings of dance educators and young artists in Adelaide, Australia. 

During the week of 11–15 July 2016, delegates from daCi (dance and the Child international) and WDA (World Dance Alliance Education and Training Network) met in Adelaide, Australia to collaborate in planning for a joint congress to be held from 8–13 July 2018. How to connect with UNESCO and initiate global advocacy informed our planning. 

Read more…

Apply for the 2017 Pina Bausch Fellowship for Dance and Choreography

The Pina Bausch Fellowship supports professional dancers or choreographers to undertake their own development project with a partnering institution, choreographer, or dance/choreographic training institution. Possible projects could be collaboration in the form of an externship with a choreographer or a stay at a renowned training institution as a visiting student. Each applicant has to contact their cooperating partner themselves and have the planned project confirmed in a 'letter of intent'.

Up to four fellowships are granted each year.

Key information

  • Fellowship length: 3–6 months
  • Location: North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
  • Allowance: 2.500 Euros /month and one-time travel expenses.
  • Age: no age restrictions.
  • Applications close 15 September 2016
  • To apply, visit the Pina Bausch Fellowship website.

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Sir Matthew Bourne auditions male dancers for Melbourne production

Arts Centre Melbourne, Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures and Re:Bourne, the charitable arm of New Adventures are working towards a major creative project that will culminate in a one week season at Arts Centre Melbourne’s State Theatre in Autumn 2017.

This project offers an opportunity for Melbourne-based dancers to work for one month with choreographer Sir Matthew Bourne’s leading international dance company. 

Sir Matthew Bourne and other members of the New Adventures team will be in Melbourne in August 2016 to audition six male dancers to join the company for this one-off project at Arts Centre Melbourne.

Key information

  • Audition date: Saturday 6 August 2016 (applications required)
  • Recalls: Sunday 7 August 2016
  • Where: Auditions and recalls will be held in a centrally located venue in Melbourne
  • Rehearsals & season: Sunday, 14 August 2016 (workshop) & Monday 13 March – Sunday 9 April 2017
  • For Melbourne-based male dancers with at least three years of professional level training in classical or contemporary dance with a stage appearance age between 14–22.
  • Audition notice and application information on the Arts Centre Melbourne website.
  • Applications close COB Tuesday 12 July 2016.

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Asia-Pacific Channels June 2016 issue out now

Asia–Pacific Channels is the bi-annual newsletter of the World Dance Alliance (WDA), published by Ausdance National in collaboration with MyDance Alliance in Malaysia. It profiles dance events and activities from WDA members throughout the Asia–Pacific region.

Download the June 2016 issue (2 MB)

Asia–Pacific ChannelsImages from the June 2016 issue.

We produce and publish Channels as a contribution to the World Dance Alliance and dance in our region. It also helps us build the international networks that provide professional development opportunities for Australian dance artists.

Our work producing this publication helps us contribute to the World Dance Alliance's goals, which are:

  • To promote the recognition, development and mutual understanding of all forms of dance.
  • To facilitate communication and exchange among dance individuals, institutions and organisations interested in dance.
  • To provide a forum for discussion of matters relating to dance.
  • To encourage and support the research, education, criticism, creation and performance of dance.
  • To liaise, co-ordinate and participate in activities with other dance organisations in the world.

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Australian Dance Awards 2016

The annual Australian Dance Awards recognise and honour professional Australian dance artists who have made an outstanding contribution to Australian dance. 

When: 6.30 pm Sunday 18 September 2016
Where: Heath Ledger Theatre, State Theatre Centre of Western Australia, Perth
Tickets: Ticketek

Presented by Harlequin Floors and Ausdance as part of the MoveMe Festival 2016.

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WA hosts the 2016 Australian Dance Awards

Australian Dance Awards 2016 key information

  • 6.30 pm Sunday 18 September 2016
  • Heath Ledger Theatre, State Theatre Centre of Western Australia, Perth
  • Tickets: ticketek
Ochre Contemporary Dance CompanyThe 2016 Australian Dance Awards image is from WA-based Ochre Contemporary Dance Company. Photo: Dana Weeks

The dance community in Western Australia is gearing up to host the 2016 Australian Dance Awards at the Heath Ledger Theatre, State Theatre Centre of Western Australia, Perth, on Sunday 18 September. Ausdance WA is working with Claudia Alesssi, creative producer of this year’s event, to curate a truly memorable evening, showcasing Western Australian dance companies, and more.

Read more…

Dancenorth experiment fills in the blanks

Media release

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

Tour performance dates and locations

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

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

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Be part of Tasdance’s Dark Mofo performance

Odeon Theatre, 20–21 June 2016, 4.45 pm – 7.40 am (sunset to sunrise)

an older woman with bare arms and chest stands with arms raised

Participate in Tasdance's Dark Mofo project on the night of the winter solstice. We need around 100 dancers to join Tasdance company members as we keep a 'collective solo' going across the 14 hours between sunset and sunrise. Registration is very simple and can be done via the Dark Mofo and Tasdance websites.

Dancers of all ages, backgrounds and ability levels are invited to become performers in this piece. There will be a series of workshops around the state leading up to the performance, which you are welcome to attend.

To register your interest, submit your details on the Tasdance website or call 03 6331 6644. Tasdance will contact you directly with information about preparation, participation and workshop dates.

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Apply for the Caroline Plummer Fellowship in Community Dance 2017

Apply now for the Caroline Plummer Fellowship in Community Dance. Applications close 1 June 2016.

Caroline Plummer Fellowship in Community Dance

The Caroline Plummer Fellowship in Community Dance is a six-month Fellowship offered by the University of Otago (School of Physical Education) in Dunedin, New Zealand. It is one of five prestigious Fellowships offered by the University and the only one offered internationally. Tenure is usually from 1 March to 31 August. It offers project costs and a salary equivalent with a Level One Lecturer at the University. 

The Fellowship was set up by Caroline Plummer’s parents in memory of Caroline who died of cancer in 2004 at the age of 24.

Successful applicants will create and perform a community dance project. Projects can be wide-ranging and diverse but must embrace Caroline’s passion and vision for dance in the community. 

For more information please visit the University of Otago Fellows website and the Caroline Plummer website.

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Dancenorth hosts inclusive professional dance exchange

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

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

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

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

"When I come here we do workshops and I make friends with the Dancenorth team, then we work on my choreography. Working with Kyle is my dream. My other dream is to create a 3D film with live dance for me to perform in SA, Sydney, Townsville, NYC and the world. I want to put my dance film on TV, YouTube and all over Facebook.”

Chris’ mentor Kyle said it is vital to have these opportunities and to highlight the immense benefit for not only Chris but also the Dancenorth Ensemble.

“Chris is a very talented dancer who inspires me daily, I actually can’t be sure who gets the most out of this exchange, him or me. That is the magic of mentoring—it is a two-way street.”

“Chris is extraordinarily creative, passionate, calm and generous; it is this combined with immense talent that led me to want to work with him in an ongoing exchange of ideas and movement” he said.

“Dancenorth is currently developing a proactive disability action plan ensuring we offer an inclusive environment filled with genuine collaboration and opportunities for all abilities,” he said.

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ArtsPeak calls for restoration of Australia Council Funding

Media Release, 16 May 2016

ArtsPeak, the national confederation of peak arts and cultural organisations, says the Australian arts ecology is under serious threat following the announcement of four-year funding decisions by the Australia Council.

Sixty-five previously funded organisations have lost funding for their core operations and of the 262 applications to the round, over half were not funded. It seems clear from these statistics that the jobs and growth mantra does not apply to the arts.

Nicole Beyer, ArtsPeak co-convenor and Director of Theatre Network Australia said: 'This is an incredibly tough time for the arts sector. We go from relief at the news of a company that has been successful to sadness when we hear of really vital and outstanding organisations that have missed out. We know that the Australia Council has been stretched. We know people will have been doing their very best in an incredibly difficult situation. There is a lot of support within the sector for those who missed out this time round and everyone understands it is no reflection on the quality or importance of their work'. 

With the Federal election looming, ArtsPeak is calling for the restoration of Australia Council funding as a matter of urgency so that the Australian arts ecology can remain viable and vibrant. This call was made unanimously by 2700 individuals and organisations in submissions to last year’s Senate inquiry into arts funding, the largest ever response to such an inquiry.

Tamara Winikoff OAM, ArtsPeak co-convenor and Executive Director of the National Association for the Visual Arts (NAVA), said today: 'It couldn't be clearer that essential ingredients are missing: a national plan for growing and valuing Australian cultural ideas and expression; political courage to embrace experimentation and risk taking; celebration of the arts as core to our national character and achievement; and a real investment in building a vibrant, confident arts environment. It's time to stop tinkering at the edges. The arts has proved itself time and again to be an incredibly valuable investment. Please can we see all the political parties put this on the election agenda.'

ArtsPeak urges politicians to recognise the value of arts and culture to all Australians, to invest in it appropriately and to ensure that the arms-length approach to funding decisions in the arts is maintained.

Media release also available on the NAVA website: ArtsPeak calls for restoration of Australia Council Funding

For media comment please contact:

Tamara Winikoff OAM, Executive Director, National Association for the Visual Arts (NAVA) 0411 162 156 / 02 9368 1900

Nicole Beyer, Director, Theatre Network Australia 0432 609 658

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Ausdance National faces challenge

13 May 2016 media release

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

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

Ausdance National has supported the dance industry through development projects such as the National Dance Forum, the Australian Dance Awards, Safe Dance® research, organising the annual meeting of dance company managers, and publishing authoritative guidelines for teaching dance and academic articles about dance. It was the organisation the Royal Commission called on for consultation in private meetings. Ausdance also holds bequests from Dame Peggy van Praagh and Keith Bain to award to professional dancers each year.  

Neil Roach, the Acting CEO of Ausdance National, said today: “Ausdance National has a 40 year legacy of solid support for the dance industry. While there are a number of associated State and Territory Ausdance offices supporting their local dance industry, as a peak body Ausdance National has had the overview of the entire sector and the national and global links to truly support the development of professional dance. This has now been put at risk.”

Ausdance National President, Brian Lucas, said today “Ausdance has been a key player in the development of the Australian dance sector over the past four decades. In that time, the organisation has adapted and grown, demonstrating both the ability to be responsive to the changing needs of its membership and a willingness to assist in driving the growth and strength of the sector through the implementation of key initiatives and programmes. 

It would be virtually impossible to find a dancer, choreographer, dance teacher, dance student, dance academic, or dance audience member who has not been positively and substantially impacted by the activities of the organisation.

Now it is time for Ausdance National to draw on its substantial reserves of experience, knowledge and resourcefulness as we adapt and respond to our drastically changed circumstances. 

The mission of the organisation—to educate, inspire and support the dance community to reach its potential as a dynamic force within local, national and international communities—remains steadfast and unchanged. Our challenge is to assess how best to ensure that this vital mission can be maintained and upheld during this difficult period in Australian arts history, and into the future.”

For media comment and enquiries please contact:

Neil Roach, Acting CEO, Australian Dance Council—Ausdance (Ausdance National) on
02 6248 8992. [email protected]

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Choreographic Practices journal: call for contributions

Key information

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

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

Read more…

Chunky Move’s NEXT MOVE 2016 EOIs now open

NEXT MOVE is our commitment to developing the next generation of leading dance makers. Since its inception, we have commissioned, produced and presented nine new works through the Next Move program, some of which have gone on to tour nationally and internationally.

In 2016, we will commission two artists to each create a new short work for the Next Move program as part of a double bill. The works will be presented over a two-week season in September 2016 at the Chunky Move Studios.

We are now calling for expressions of interest and invite Australian dance makers with a least 5 years of professional practice to apply.

For further information, download the information pack.

Expressions of Interest are due no later than midnight on Friday 29 January 2016.

Please send any questions to Ben Ryan at [email protected] or call 03 9645 5188.

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2016 Keir Choreographic Award finalists announced

Congratulations to the eight commissioned artists Sarah Aiken, James Batchelor, Chloe Chignell, Ghenoa Gela, Martin Hansen, Alice Heyward, Rebecca Jensen and Paea Leach.

The Award increases the profile of and cultivates new audiences for contemporary dance within Australia by commissioning and presenting new choreographic works in a competitive context.

For more information, visit Carriageworks.

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World Dance Alliance Asia Pacific 2016 conference: call for performances, choreolab and symposium

In 2016, the Korean chapter of World Dance Alliance Asia Pacific (WDAAP) will host the WDAAP Annual General Meeting and surrounding activities as the event Dance routes—danced roots: connecting the local and the global. It will include showcase performances, an international choreolab and a symposium.

Key information

  • Conference theme: Dance routes—danced roots: connecting the local and the global
  • Conference location and date: Seoul, Korea, 21–24 July 2016
  • Apply to present: performances, scholarly, performative and Pecha Kucha style presentations
  • Apply to participate in the Choreolab
  • Submission deadline: 10 January 2016
  • Acceptance notification: 28 February 2016
  • For detailed information and to apply, visit the World Dance Alliance website

Applications are now open for participation in the following events:

  • Showcase Performances
  • International Choreolab
  • Symposium—call for proposals

The Showcase provides a concert platform for professional choreographers and performers, and pre-professional artists training in dance academies. The performances will take place in the theaters located in the ShangShin Univeristy or Arko Theater and will be open to registered participants of the WDAAP event and the general public.

The International Choreolab is designed for four emerging and mid-career choreographers to work intensively for almost one week under the mentorship of one Korean established dance artist and one internationally known choreographers (to be announced) resulting in a public showing of works in progress. You can apply to participate in the Choreolab as a choreographer or as a dancer.

The Symposium theme focuses on the idea of global and local connectivity through dance, looking at roots as well as routes that dance and dancers negotiate in different cultures of the contemporary world. Presentation formats include scholarly, performative and Pecha Kucha style presentations.

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Call for applicants—a secondment/professional development program with Shaun Parker

Shaun Parker & Company is calling for applicants for its annual TRIGGER program, which will take place in December 2015.

Key information

  • What: TRIGGER secondment program.
  • Where: IO MYERS Theatre, University of NSW, Sydney.
  • When: 9.30 am – 6.00 pm, 7–18 Dec 2015
  • Who: We are looking for five dancers who were born with the XY male chromosome. ie. Male dancers or dancers born with the male XY chromosome, but who identify as being female.
  • Cost: Free.
  • Deadline for application: 19 October 2015

The five chosen applicants will join our company of nine dancers who will be working on the creative development of our new work XY.

The program will include a daily technique class in yoga and contemporary dance, followed by task-based improvisation processes with artistic director and award-winning choreographer Shaun Parker. This two-week workshop is free of charge and is invitation only, so please ensure that you submit a strong application for selection.

Shaun Parker will be using this time to develop the skills of the applicants, as well as looking for dancers for various projects for 2016 and 2017.

To apply

Please email the following material to the General Manager Sonia Grebenshikoff at: [email protected]

  • 1-page CV
  • Headshot
  • Link to edited footage of your performance work.

(Please choose carefully the footage you include, as this will be what the artistic director will be basing selection upon.)

Successful applicants notified by early November.

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Watch National Dance Forum 2015 panel discussions

National Dance Forum 2015 (19–21 March) addressed the inherent concerns and realities affecting current professional practice in Australia. It was framed by three specific 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?

A partnership between the Australia Council for the Arts and Ausdance National, the NDF is a biennial gathering for the Australian professional contemporary dance sector. It fosters the artistic development of dance in Australia by providing a platform for discussion between Australian choreographers, dancers, independent artists, artistic directors, educators, researchers and dance producers.

Read more…

Apply now for the Ausdance Peggy van Praagh Choreographic Fellowship

The Ausdance Peggy van Praagh Choreographic Fellowship of $10,000 will be awarded to a mid-career artist, 35 years or over with at least 10 years’ professional experience working as a choreographer.

We invite eligible choreographers who can demonstrate the value of the fellowship to their own choreographic development, practice or career to submit an expression of interest.

Key information

Applications close 3 August 2015
Fellowship amount: $10,000
For mid-career choreographers (35 years and over)
Purpose: supporting choreographic development that advances the profession
Eligibility criteria and application guidelines: Ausdance Peggy van Praagh Choreographic Fellowship.

Read more…

2015 Australian Dance Awards longlist

The long list of nominations is being shortlisted by the Australian Dance Awards selection panel.

The shortlist will be announced in July, with winners announced at the 2015 Australian Dance Awards in Adelaide on Saturday 12 September.

Image by Chris Herzfeld, Camlight Productions. Lina Limosani, Elizabeth Cameron-Dalman & Kimball Wong.Image by Chris Herzfeld, Camlight Productions. Lina Limosani, Elizabeth Cameron-Dalman & Kimball Wong.

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DANscienCE Festival 2015 call for presentations

DANscienCE bings together dance artists and scientists in an exploratory celebration of two fields of creative excellence.

  • Date: 21–23 August 2015
  • Venue: QUT Creative Industries

DANscienCE Festival

Directed by Liz Lea and Associate Professor Gene Moyle.

DANscienCE 2015 will explore themes of cognitive psychology, applied dance science, technology, neuroscience, ecology, robotics, and the ageing body. We want to hear from the Australian and international dance and science communities, researchers, educators, practitioners and artists to contribute to the program and the publication that will follow.

You are invited to submit paper presentations (standard, Pecha Kucha, posters), performative works (live and film), workshops, forums and panels.

Visit DANscienCE Festival 2015 for full program and submission details.

Submissions due 15 May 2015 to [email protected]

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Vale Maggi Phillips

It is with great sadness that Ausdance National farewells Maggi Phillips. Dr Phillips was an extraordinary contributor to dance in Australia, as a teacher, researcher and dance scholar. Maggi passed away in Perth on the evening of 31 March, surrounded by family and friends. Her dedication to dance practice and scholarship is well known and our heartfelt sympathy goes out to her family, colleagues and students.

Most recently Maggi was Associate Professor and the Coordinator of Research and Creative Practice at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts, a position that fused her disparate influences and her desire to privilege such diversity in scholarship and access. She was a much-loved supervisor in the school’s postgraduate program and wrote on dance from numerous perspectives, including cultural distinctiveness, singular knowledge and danced thought. Together with colleagues from QUT and Deakin University, Maggi led the Australian Learning and Teaching Council project, Dancing between Diversity and Consistency: Refining Assessment in Post Graduate Degrees in Dance, which highlighted the particularities of multi-modal artistic research.

In 2010, Maggi received an Australian Dance Award for her Services to Dance Education, and in 2013 took on the role of Editor of Brolga—an Australian journal about dance, overseeing editions about education and dialogues. She was also a great contributor to the World Dance Alliance, presenting at many forums and serving on review and editorial committees.

Maggie Phillips at her 70th birthdayMaggi's 70th birthday.

Last year friends from around Australia and the world sent messages in celebration of Maggi's 70th birthday—paying tribute to her broad contribution in developing artists, academics and dance in all corners of the globe, particulary through the World Dance Alliance. Secretary-General of the World Dance Alliance and long-time friend and colleague Cheryl Stock wrote at that time

Maggi, you are the ultimate quiet achiever – an extraordinary life in dance, some of which is well known and some of which is tantalisingly unknown. What we clearly see from your academic work is someone with a passion for knowledge (of which you have prodigious amounts), an ever enquiring mind that takes you on all kinds of literary, cultural and fantastical journeys and an intellectual capacity that is awe-inspiring and which you generously share with colleagues and students alike.  A workaholic with a zest for life, a voyager who is a wonderful travel companion, a researcher who knows what questions to investigate, I consider you a long-time and dear friend.

I remember first hanging out with you in the early ’80s in Darwin, where you were at the time a mover and shaker at Brown’s Mart Community Arts Centre and also Artistic Director of Feats. You invited me several times to undertake projects there. What fun-filled crazy times I enjoyed with you during the Darwin days! I recall those beautiful ballet feet and legs and expressive arms. We worked together on a large community project, Backtracks, involving over 100 people from all sorts of backgrounds and skills bases – I even persuaded you to dance, in a ball gown I recall. You were very accommodating of my sometimes crazy eclectic ideas (as long as they were interesting!) What I mostly remember of those steamy troppo days and evenings was your infectious deep throated laugh (still wonderfully frequent) and the stories – ah the stories! – around the kitchen table – of your days in the circus dancing bareback on elephants (or were they horses?).

That you are a great shopper is well known, seeking out the most amazing treasures, mainly to wear in exotic combinations which look just fantastic on your slim body.  From pottery in the Atherton Tablelands to the markets in Taiwan, to the most exquisite fabrics in India, you always find that special something. Your forensic ability to find such purchases are more than matched by your forensic ability in research to go deeply into your research topics. I feel privileged to have worked with you and Kim Vincs on the 3-year research project you led – such a collegial, pleasurable and rewarding experience.

Despite your challenging health problems, you bear them with such dignity, lack of complaint and good spirits, that I always feel uplifted in your company. Even though we do not see much of each other, your support and friendship is treasured. Thank you Maggi.

Today Cheryl noted

Maggi in her quiet manner, inspired us with her insightful musings, extraordinary intellect, imaginative and scholarly writings, witty humour and throaty laugh, and above all with her non-judgmental and always positive support and unconditional friendship.

Tracks Dance Company have published an overview of Maggi's time in Darwin and her early training, in her own words.

Vale Maggi Phillips, by Nina Levy. Dance Australia

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2015 Hotbed #1 with Martin Nachbar—applications open

Hotbed is Lucy Guerin Inc’s workshop program for professional dancers and dance-makers. Workshops are led by local and international choreographers to encourage a broad understanding of the local dance community of current contemporary dance thinking and practice.

Dates: Monday 4 – Friday 9 May 2015
Times: Mon, Wed, Fri 11.30 am – 4.30 pm / Tues & Thurs 10.00 am – 3.00 pm
Venue: Lucy Guerin Inc studio, 28 Batman Street, West Melbourne
Price: $75 for the full week

Applications for workshop #1 with Martin Nachbar (Germany) close 15 April 2015.

Places are limited and by application only. Visit Lucy Guerin's website for more information and to apply online.

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Asia-Pacific Dance Bridge 2015: Connectivity through dance

16 – 18 October 2015

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.

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 conference will consist of several events: Symposium, Choreolab, Community Showcase, Small Company and Independent Artist Showcase, Singapore Tertiary Showcase and Workshops.

These events will be presented in partnership with Singapore’s arts industry organisations located in Singapore’s arts & culture district including Esplanade Theatres on the Bay (Esplanade), Lasalle College of the Arts (Lasalle), Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA), National Library Building (NLB), and School of the Arts (SOTA).

The World Dance Alliance Asia-Pacific (WDAAP) Annual General Meeting, Network Meetings, Young Scholars Meeting as well as the World Dance Alliance Global Executive Meeting will also be hosted at NAFA.

Submissions deadlines

Call for Symposium: Closed
Call for Choreolab: 15 April 2015 Extended to 30 April 2015
Call for Community Showcase: 15 April 2015 Extended to 30 April 2015
Call for Small Company & Independent Artist Showcase: 15 April 2015 Extended to 30 April 2015
Call for Workshops: 15 April 2015 Extended to 30 April 2015

For further details of the event please visit the WDAS2015 website.

WDA members can register here now.

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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

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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 [email protected] or call 07 3257 4222

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

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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

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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.

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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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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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