Creating dance

Keir Choreographic Award finalists announced

The Keir Choreographic Award is a new biennial award dedicated to the commissioning of new choreographic work and promoting innovation in contemporary dance.

The eight finalists for the prize include a mix of dancers, choreographers and visual artists: Sarah Aiken (VIC), James Batchelor (VIC), Tim Darbyshire (VIC), Matthew Day (VIC), Atlanta Eke (VIC), Shaun Gladwell (NSW), Jane McKernan (NSW), and Brooke Stamp (VIC).

The Keir Choreographic Award is supported and delivered jointly by Dancehouse in Melbourne and Carriageworks in Sydney. A two-week season of the commissioned works will be presented at Dancehouse in Melbourne to provide increased exposure for the artists. The jury will select four of the commissioned works to be presented at Carriageworks in Sydney for the finals. The winner will receive a $30,000 prize, with a further $10,000 prize in the hands of the voting audience. The impact of the Award is significantly enhanced by a new Australia Council initiative, which provides $80,000 worth of funding for the commissioning of new work by the finalists.

Congratualations to the eight finalists!

Read more about the Award and finalists on the Dancehouse website.

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Melbourne Fringe Festival 2014

The 2014 Melbourne Fringe Festival runs from 17 September – 5 October. General registration will open Friday 2 May, 2014.

If you are interested in presenting an event in the 2014 Festival, please sign up for the eNews to be notified about confirmed registration dates and details.

Expressions of Interest

North Melbourne's Errol St will once again be the home of the Fringe Hub—the beating heart of the Melbourne Fringe Festival. It's a special precinct of venues featuring work from all the presentation categories in the Festival and also houses the always-vibing Fringe Club. 

If you're interested in being programmed in a Fringe Hub venue this year, you must submit an Expression of Interest (EOI). Go to the Fringe website for forms and more information.

As a part of the Fringe Hub EOI process, it is recommended that you make a time soon to visit the office and speak in person with Producer, Felix Preval.

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fLiNG Physical Theatre Co. seeks dance director

An exciting position exists in Bega NSW with fLiNG Physical Theatre Inc. as Youth Company Director.

The position involves the creation of choreographic and project work with the company of fLiNG Physical Theatre and YfLiNG. A contract for a full-time position is currently on offer from July 2014 for a twelve-month period with the option of negotiating an additional twelve-month tenure.

The Youth Company Director will develop his/her role and responsibilities within the company whilst working with an experienced team including, the Artistic Director Lee Pemberton and Associate Director Gabrielle Rose.

This is a fantastic opportunity for the right person to develop their knowledge and skills of community arts practice whilst developing their choreographic and artistic work.

Email fLiNG or phone 0429 909 433 for a full job description.

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Australia Council dance grants 2014

Dance grants

Apply now for these Australia Council for the Arts grants for dance projects starting in 2014.

  • Artform Development: provides organisations with funding for programs and services that benefit a range of dance artists. Applications close 15 August 2014.
  • Fellowships: to support an established dance artist to undertake creative or professional development. Applications close 31 July 2014.
  • Projects—Presentation: support for dance works with a presentation outcome. Applications close 7 February 2014.
  • Projects—Creative Development: support for the research and creative development of new dance works. Applications close 7 February 2014.
  • Creative Australia—New Work: for the creative development of new artistic works in dance. Applications close 15 August 2014.
  • Cité Residency: three-month residency at the Australia Council's residential studio at the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris. Applications close 15 August 2014.

Leadership grants

Artistic Leaderships Grants Program invites proposals from artistic leaders (including emerging leaders) to undertake highly impactful professional development in artistic leadership that leads to a significant advancement of capabilities, knowledge and global awareness. Applications close 24 February 2014.

Executive Leadership Grants Program invites proposals from established senior arts leaders and managers for periods of professional development that would lead to new models of organisational capacity and leadership structures in the arts. Applications close 24 February 2014.

For more information about funding for dance read our factsheet Funding Sources for Dance Artists.

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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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Registrations open for the 2014 AYDF

Ausdance SA is pleased to launch the AYDF Renmark SA 2014 website, complete with artistic program, online payments and registration.

Australian Youth Dance Festival, Renmark SA, 2014 – theme Regeneration.

Book now to secure a place!

Young dancers from across Australia are getting ready to invade Renmark, in the South Australian Riverland for the 2014 Australian Youth Dance Festival (AYDF). Supported by the Australia Council for the Arts and Country Arts SA the festival enables young dancers to participate in a program of classes, screenings, performances and workshops. First held in 1997 the Festival has a strong regional focus and looks to engage young people from across the country.

Read more about the AYDF program and partner support in this media release

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2014 World Dance Alliance Global Summit—Contemporising the past: Envisaging the future

Contemporising the past: envisaging the future. World Dance Alliance global summit 2014. Angers, France.The 2014 World Dance Alliance Global Summit has the theme 'Contemporising the past: Envisaging the future'

When: 6 – 11 July 2014

Where: Centre National de Danse Contemporaine (CNDC) in Angers, France.

The week-long Summit will comprise six key elements, all of which embrace the theme Contemporising the past: Envisaging the future:

  • International conference of scholarly papers, panel discussions, performative presentations by artists and practitioners, and poster presentations by emerging scholars and postgraduate students. Refereed on-line proceedings will be published after the Summit.
  • Daily sunset showcase performances of short works by independent artists and tertiary dance students. 
  • International workshops catering for professional dance artists working in performance as well as education, community, youth and special interest areas.
  • Choreolab for emerging and mid-career choreographers to work intensively for one week under the mentorship of CNDC Director Robert Swinston resulting in a public showing of works in progress.
  • Evening performances by local and visiting companies.
  • WDA Global Assembly and Network Meetings—your opportunity to get involved and shape the future of WDA.

The main site for these dance explorations is the impressive contemporary Quai Forum des Arts Vivants theatre complex, situated on the banks of La Maine river and looking out on to the 13th Century fortress that houses the extraordinary Tapestry of the Apocalypse—an artistic endeavour that continues to enchant, intrigue and astonish. This juxtaposition of old and new culture is a fitting metaphor for our investigations into how we are shaping dance now and into the future.

For all WDA Global Summit enquiries, check the 2014 World Dance Alliance Global Summit website.

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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.

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.

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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.

Read more…