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.
The international and national line-up of judges includes a range of voices from the artistic community, from visual art through to dance from Australia and around the world including: Mårten Spångberg, the acclaimed 'bad boy' of contemporary dance pushing the boundaries of the art form in polite society; Matthew Lyons, curator at experimental cultural hub The Kitchen in New York; Josephine Ridge Creative Director of Melbourne Festival and one of Australia's most experienced arts identities, Becky Hilton a leading Australian choreographer, director and teacher and Phillip Keir, The Keir Foundation Director and visionary behind the Award.
Earlier this year, Carriageworks, Dancehouse and the Keir Foundation partnered for the first time to present the Keir Choreographic Award, dedicated to commissioning new choreographic works and to bringing significant support and increased profiling to the contemporary dance sector, both nationally and internationally.
Among the many benefits, the Award includes a cash prize of $30,000 for first prize and $10,000 for an audience choice prize.
Out of the 77 entries, the eight artists commissioned of this inaugural edition were:
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). Read more about their work .
The biennial Keir Choreographic Award is assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts.
Arts House in Melbourne and Taipei Arts Festival in Taiwan are bringing these two cities together in a major new project. Six independent dance-based artists—three from Melbourne, three from Taipei—will join a practice-led cultural exchange, spending time in both cities to each develop a new solo work.
These works will be presented in Melbourne and Taipei to local, national and international producers and audiences, with first developments shown at Dance Massive in March 2015.
Arts House is now calling for Expressions of Interest (EOIs) for three independent dance-based artists, at any stage in their career, to participate.
Visit the Arts House website for key dates and information on how to apply.
Deadline for EOIs: 28 July 2014 midnight
Sydney Dance Company is now calling for applications for its 2015 Pre-Professional training program, which is open to Australian and New Zealand dancers aged 18 or older (and those who are turning 18 in 2015.)
This nationally accredited one year intensive offers students the chance to work with some of Australia’s most successful and award winning choreographers and educators.
Students will develop their technique, artistry and performance skills alongside members of Sydney Dance Company led by Artistic Director, Rafael Bonachela.
SDC's Pre-Professional Year includes a nationally recognised outcome (qualification CUA40113 Certificate IV in Dance) through a partnering arrangement with ATOD (RTO 31624). As an approved course, students mou may be eligible to apply for New Start Allowance or Youth Allowance.
Apply online here.
Deadline for applications: 18 August 2014.
Successful applicants will be invited to attend an invitation only audition on 14 September at Sydney Dance Company Studios.
Applications are now open for 2015, offering up to $10,000 to individual artists who have completed an accredited creative arts course (Certificate IV or higher) in the past three years and are carving out a career in any of the Australia Council supported artforms.
An ArtStart grant can fund services, resources, skills development and equipment to help build an income-generating career in the arts practice you have studied. You could use it to:
- raise your profile
- set up a studio practice
- pay for business advice
- work with a mentor
- purchase tools of trade
- and lots more!
ArtStart is open to recently graduated dancers, writers, theatre directors, poets, musicians, ceramicists, visual artists, costume or set designers, jewelers, playwrights, opera singers, community and cultural development practitioners and composers (and more!). ArtStart is designed to help grow arts careers—not to fund the development or presentation of creative works. Take the online eligibility quiz to see if you qualify.
To find out more about ArtStart visit the Australia Council website.
Deadline for applications: 22 September 2014
4 – 16 August
Riley Watts is a soloist from the Forsythe Company and an official Forsythe Improvisation Teacher (FIT), engaged all over the world. He has also been working closely with the Catherine Stevens and MARCS Institute at UWS and scientists from University College of London, University of Bangor, University of Bielefeld, and Brunel University, analysing complex neurological tracking systems for the dancing body. Riley will be concentrating on improvisation and compositional technique, along with Forsythe's 'Duo'.
Ohad Naharin's Movement Language
1 – 12 September
This is a chance to engage with the phenomenon of Gaga training and the exuberant and luscious repertoire of Ohad Naharin. Gaga is also the movement language that the Batsheva Dance Company uses as its daily training and research. This master workshop will include both Gaga—Ohad Naharin's Movement Language as well as choreography from across Naharin's exquisite repertoire.
STRUT is very happy to announce that Rachael Osbourne, former dancer at Batsheva will be your teacher. Gaga and STRUT are aiming to build these master workshops towards a performance of Ohad Naharin’s choreography in 2016.
Closing dates are fast approaching for these 2014 Australia Council for the Arts grants for dance grants:
- 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.
- 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.
Visit the Australia Council website for more information.
For more information about funding for dance read our factsheet Funding Sources for Dance Artists.
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.
Housemate research program
August – December 2014
The Housemate Research program offered in the second half of each year concentrates on research and experimentation, with no imperative to present an outcome. It gives space to experimental, cutting-edge and sometimes even insular research, thus supporting the discovery of new ground in choreographic exploration.
Housemate performance program
March — July 2015
The Housemate Performance program in the first half of each year, focuses solely on creative development leading to a new work and formal performance season which is presented in one of the two Dancehouse theatres.
For more information and application forms visit Dancehouse website.
Here are just some of Cheryl's roles and achievements—
- Secretary General, World Dance Alliance (WDA), ongoing since 2009; Vice-President, WDA Asia-Pacific region, 2000–2008
- National President, Ausdance, 1996–2000; Vice-President, 1992–1995; Life Member
- Founding Artistic Director, Dance North, Townsville, 1984–1995
- Chairperson, Dance Board, Australia Council for the Arts, 1987–1989; Member, Theatre Board, 1983–1987
- Associate Professor in Dance, Creative Industries Faculty, Queensland University of Technology, since 2000. Head of Dance, 2000–2006. Director, Postgraduate Studies since 2012
- Author of various publications and peer reviewed papers
- Director and choreographer of over 40 dance/theatrical productions including Naik Naik (2013) Accented Body (2006) Here/There/Then/Now (2002)
- Initiated and directed 19 cultural exchange programs in Asia, particularly in Vietnam, through the Vietnam Opera Ballet, the National Dance School and the National Mime Company, 1988–2002
- Member, Australian Dance Awards Selection Panel, 2012–2014
- Member, Artistic Advisory Panel, Australian Choreographic Centre, 2000–2008
- Dancer and choreographer, Australian Dance Theatre, 1970–1975 and 1979
Cheryl's awards include
- Outstanding Alumni Award, Flinders University of South Australia, 2007
- Australian Artists Creative Fellow, 1994–1997
- Australian Dance Award for Lifetime Achievement, 2003
- Australian Dance Award for Services to Dance, 1994
Read more of Cheryl's achievements at Accented Body.
Each year our nation celebrates the achievement and contribution of eminent Australians through the Australian of the Year Awards by profiling leading citizens who are role models for us all.
Promote and support the dance profession by nominating outstanding dance artists. Read more on the Australian of the Year Awards website.
Deadline for nominations: midnight 1 August, 2014.
The financial year ends soon, so why not make a tax-deductible donation that supports your favourite art form.
Through givenow.com.au, some of Australia's best dance companies are now inviting you to help support new Australian work, choreographic development, kids dance activities, community dance and dance touring.
Imagine yourself attending a work you helped make happen! Here's your chance.
The art of good health and wellbeing
11–13 November 2014
National Gallery of Victoria
The Art of Good Health and Wellbeing—the 6th Annual International Arts and Health Conference—will present best practice and innovative arts and health programs, effective health promotion and prevention campaigns, methods of project evaluation and scientific research.
- Arts and health in primary and acute care
- Creative ageing and aged care
- Community arts and health
- Health promotion and the arts
- Education and training for health and arts professionals
- Arts and health research and evaluation
- Mental health and the arts
- Creative ageing
- Architecture and design in health settings
- Arts and health in rural and regional communities
- Medical humanities for health professionals
- International arts and health perspectives, collaborations and research
Deadline for abstracts and nominations: 31 July
Visit the Arts and Health Australia website for more information.
Sydney Dance Company is excited to announce that work has commenced on the editing and digitising of film and video recordings of some of the major works created by long-standing former Artistic Director, Graeme Murphy AO and his Creative Associate, Janet Vernon AM.
The Heritage Collection will include re-mastered films of many works created by Murphy on the Sydney Dance Company ensemble during his 31 year tenure from 1976–2007, in addition to a new documentary resource of Murphy in conversation, interweaving a myriad of interviews filmed over a period of three decades, with new footage in which he reflects on his body of work.
A free screening of a selection of works from the Collection is being planned for October. For a sneak peek, check out this teaser.
Download the full Media Release for more information.
Theme: ‘Transform: from inception to innovation in arts education’
We invite you to share your research evidence, innovations and best practices in arts education globally.
Participation in this summit is by invitation only. If you are successful you will be part of approximately 90 presentations from quality arts educators across the globe in dance, drama, media arts, music, visual arts and cross-arts education.
Abstracts due 30 June 2014.
Summit date and location
26–28 November 2014
Griffith University, School of Education and Professional Studies, Mt Gravatt Campus, Brisbane, Australia
The Federal Budget for 2014 was announced on 13 May with some big impacts for the arts sector.
The Government will look to achieve savings of $87.1 million over four years by reducing 'uncommitted funding to arts programmes' administered by the Attorney‑General's Department (the Ministry of Arts), the Australia Council for the Arts, and Screen Australia. In 2014-15 these cuts will be $9.6 million from the Australia Council specifically, with $6 million in 2015-16.
There are cuts to the Adelaide Festival Centre's support for Asian cultural activities program, and a raft of changes slated for the collecting institutions based in Canberra (including the National Library of Australia, National Gallery of Australia and others). There are also cuts in education, with the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) facing efficiencies and refocusing of its work.
However, the Government has supported the Australian Ballet School, with $1 million towards the purchase of a residence for boarding accommodation for students at the School. Funding has also been extended for Creative Partnerships Australia - $5.4 million over four years. However, the agency is being asked to manage efficiencies, with a halving of the staffing profile.
The Government is bringing back the Community Business Partnership to advise on philanthropy in Australia. The Community Business Partnership, to be chaired by the Prime Minister, will bring together prominent business and community leaders to provide leadership and high level advice for encouraging growth in volunteering and philanthropy and promote partners.
Gailene Stock AM CBE
28.1.1946 – 29.4.2014
Australian-born Gailene Stock, Director of the Royal Ballet School since 1999 and former Director of The Australian Ballet School, has passed away following a battle with cancer.
Gailene trained as a dancer in Australia and then at the Royal Ballet Upper School as a result of a scholarship awarded by the Royal Academy of Dance. As a principal artist with The Australian Ballet, the National Ballet of Canada and the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, she performed many leading roles in the major classics and twentieth century dramatic works, most notably John Butler's Sebastian and Antony Tudor's Pillar of Fire and The Divine Horsemen.
Following a sixteen year dancing career, Gailene accepted the position of director of the National Theatre Ballet School, Victoria, for eight years and The Australian Ballet School for nine years, before taking on the role of director of the Royal Ballet School in 1999.
Internationally acclaimed, Gailene's knowledge and experience was regularly sought in the dance community worldwide. She participated as a jury member in many international competitions including in the role of president of the Prix de Lausanne, Switzerland and the Youth America Grand Prix, New York.
Gailene was made a Member of the Order of Australia in 1997 and awarded a CBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours list in 2013.
The Ausdance networks pays tribute to Gailene for a lifetime of outstanding achievements in dance and dance education.
Read obituary by Valerie Lawson in the Sydney Morning Herald
On 29 April every year, the international dance community celebrates International Dance Day.
We celebrate our art form's ability to cross all political, cultural and ethnic barriers and bring people together with a common language—dance.
Mourad Merzouki's 2014 International Dance Day message
Every artist takes pride in his art.
Every artist will always defend the art form whose encounter has changed his life. For that which he has sought and lost and for that which he has the burning desire to share: be it the echo of a voice, the discovered word, the interpretation of a text for humanity, the music without which the universe will stop speaking to us, or the movement which opens the doors to grace.
I have, for dance, not only the pride of a dancer and choreographer, but profound gratitude. Dance gave me my lucky break. It has become my ethics by virtue of its discipline and provided the means through which I discover the world daily.
Closer to me than anything else, it gives me strength each day through the energy and generosity as only dance can. Its poetry comforts me.
Could I say that I wouldn’t exist without dance? Without the capacity for expression it has given me? Without the confidence I have found in it to overcome my fears, to avoid dead ends?
Thanks to dance, immersed in the beauty and complexity of the world, I have become a citizen. A peculiar citizen who reinvents the social codes in the course of his encounters, remaining true to the values of the hip-hop culture which transforms negative energy into a positive force.
I live and breathe dance daily as an honour. But I am living with this honour deeply concerned. I witness around me the loss of bearings and the inability of some of the youth from the working class, growing up in tension and frustration, to imagine their future. I am one of them; so are we all. I am driven, perhaps more than others, by setting an example, to help them fuel their lust for life.
For isn’t society richer with the richness of each of us?
Culture, more than any discourse, unites. So have courage and take risks despite the obstacles and the hatred with which you will no doubt be confronted; the beauty of the world will always be by your side. Like dance has been for me. With its singular force to eliminate social and ethnic distinctions, leaving but the movement of bodies in their essence, of human beings returning to their pure expression, unique and shared.
I would like to end by quoting René Char whose words remind me daily to not let anyone confine us to scripted roles.
“Push your luck, hold on tight to your good fortune, and take your risk. Watching you, they will get used to it.”
So try, fail, start all over again but above all, dance, never stop dancing!
Translation: Petya Hristova and Charlene Lim
Thank you to the International Theatre Insititute's international dance committee, and the World Dance Alliance, who select an outstanding choreographer or dancer to write the message.
To read more about the day, or download the message in other languages, visit the International Dance Day website.
The payment of professional dancers has been an important discussion over the last few days for independent performers in Australia. Following an initial call-out for performers to be part of a new video clip for Kylie Minogue filming on Friday 25 April, concerns were raised about remuneration for participating dancers.
Paul Malek of Dancechat and Jordan Beth Vincent, President of Ausdance Victoria have helped raised awareness of the ongoing problems associated with the valuing of performers in the commercial dance sector, noting this is not an isolated incident.
Ausdance believes that dancers are trained professionals who study and work hard to maintain their performance abilities. Like other artists, they deserve recognition and remuneration for the work they do. There may be times a dancer chooses to donate their skills and time, but we hope a professional video opportunity would come with professional remuneration.
The Media Entertainment Arts Alliance have been in negotiations with the production company since the filming was announced, resulting in award payments now being offered to performers under the Broadcast and Recorded Entertainment Award.
Ausdance and MEAA will continue discussions with dancers on how best to support dancers to access appropriate remuneration.
Ausdance Victoria is currently surveying free-lance and studio based teachers of dance on rates of pay and qualifications. Participate here before 30 June.
If you have any thoughts on this topic please leave them in the comments below.
You can read more about the issue here.
Contribute to the twitter discussion
Here is the long list of nominees for 2014 Australian Dance Awards.
This list, along with recorded excerpts of performances, will go to the Selection Panel who will vote on a shortlist of the top four contenders in each category.
The shortlist will be announced late July/early August. Shortlisted nominees will be notified directly before the public announcement.
The winners will be announced at the 2014 Australian Dance Awards in Sydney on Sunday 9 November.
The Ausdance National Council met in Canberra in late March for strategic discussion and our Annual General Meeting.
The Annual Report of activities for 2013 highlighted some great achievements over the year, including the National Dance Forum 2013, Australian Dance Awards and the Dance Education in Australian Schools roundtable.
The AGM also included election of the executive team for 2014–16. Congratulations and big thanks to President Brian Lucas, Vice-Presidents Claudia Alessi and Marilyn Miller and Treasurer Peter Bayliss. We appreciate your leadership, insights and dedication of volunteer time.
Motions of thanks were also adopted in recognition of long-time Ausdance SA Director Phil Callaghan, who finished up with Ausdance earlier this year, and Catherine Osborn – Ausdance WA President and National Council member who is finishing her term in May after six years in these roles.
The National Council also undertook some strategic discussions on the structure and focus of Ausdance National with Kristine Riethmiller of KMR Consulting. These discussions will continue across the year, please stay tuned for opportunities to include your thoughts.
BlakDance Australia & Footscray Community Arts Centre in association with Melbourne Festival presents BLAKDANCE 2014, an International showcase event to be held at Footscray Community Arts Centre in October.
BlakDance Australia will partner with Ausdance Victoria to deliver Professional Development training following the BlakDance 2014 performance season.
BLAKDANCE 2014 choreographers are:
- Ms Vicki Van Hout
- Mr Sani Townson
- Ms Henrietta Baird
- Mr Ian Colless
- Ms Mariaa Randall
BlakDance is excited to have these partners on board and look forward to working together to deliver an amazing, culturally rich and exciting Australian performance event.
Keith Bain—champion dancer, actor, choreographer and legendary teacher of movement at NIDA—was the first in Australia to create a comprehensive discipline in the study of movement for performance.
For over fifty years Keith profoundly influenced Australia's actors and dancers for stage and screen and his book is full of examples of the gentle wisdom recalled by many. With wit and simplicity he unveils the sources behind his belief in the infinite capacity of the human body to convey emotion and defy gravity.
Ausdance National has prepared a submision to the review of the Australian Curriculum. The review has been established by the Federal Government to examine the development and implementation of the Australian Curriculum.
In February the National Curriclum for the Arts was published and we are keen to see it implemented. Ausdance has long been an advocate for well-resourced and informed curricula for dance and the arts. The benefit of a consistent curriculum across jurisdictions allows teachers, educators and arts professionals to develop and share approaches to learning.
Arts for Peace
On 23 May 2012 Irina Bokova, Director General, United Nations Education, Science and Culture Organisation (UNESCO), launched the inaugural International Arts Education Week (IAEW) at UNESCO Headquarters, Paris.
Attended by leading international arts education scholars and practitioners, the shared vision was to define an integrated strategy that responds to a critical moment in human history: social fragmentation, a dominant global culture of competition, endemic urban and ecological violence, and the marginalization of key educational and cultural languages of transformation.
The launch and celebration drew attention to the role arts education plays in a global agenda of peace and cultural understanding (see UNESCO charter).
Read Sir Ken Robinson's inaugural International Arts Education Week message.
The World Alliance for Arts Education (WAAE) is pleased to launch an advocacy kit that celebrates the contributions of the arts to the lives and learning experiences of individuals and groups across the globe.
The advocacy kit has been developed by WAAE members A/Prof Ralph Buck (World Dance Alliance) and Dr Robin Pascoe (International Association for Drama/Theatre Education) in collaboration with representatives from InSEA and ISME.
The kit is intended to provide those involved in arts education in schools and communities with ideas and practical strategies to promote the arts disciplines as a fundamental human right. The kit also provides an historical overview of the WAAE and its organisation, and the contributions and partnerships that exist between the arts education sector, UNESCO and other key organisations.
Five art forms for all young Australians!
The Australian curriculum for the arts, health and physical education, technologies, economics and business, and civics and citizenship for Foundation – Year 10 is now available on the Australian Curriculum website.
The publication of The Australian Curriculum: The Arts represents a special moment in the history of Australian dance education, with dance now officially one of five art form subjects in the national curriculum. States and territories and education authorities will determine implementation timelines for schools. This is the result of many years of advocacy by Ausdance through the National Advocates for Arts Education (NAAE) and the Australia Council with teachers, associations, education departments and State and Territory education ministers.
However, the Education Minister has recently decided to review the National Curriculum and the NAAE has made a submission to this Review, calling for the implementation of the Arts curriculum in its present form. The NAAE is concerned about the prospect of more delays and tweaking that may result in a less-than-optimal curriculum. The NAAE acknowledges that there is some content that is still subject to further revision, but this revision must take place in the context of rigorous trials by classroom teachers.
The Chairman of the ACARA board, Professor Barry McGaw has made a clarifying statement about the cross-curriculum priorities noting that they are "options, not orders".
Sandra Gattenhof, Assoc. Professor, QUT Creative Industries Faculty, School of Media, Entertainment, Creative Arts, Drama said:
This is a historic moment in Australian arts curriculum. For the first time ever, and even internationally I would argue, we have a curriculum that provides an entitlement for young Australians to all five art forms. This will have enormous implication on the expectations of what can be achieved in secondary schools, in tertiary institutions and ultimately on the cultural life and heritage for Australia.
Listen to Sandra Gattenhof's keynote delivered at the Educators' Performing Arts Market.
Ausdance celebrates Australian dance makers at APAM 2014
In February 2014, Ausdance National and Ausdance Queensland hosted Talking dance—meet the makers, a networking event for the dance makers participating in the Australian Performing Arts Market (APAM).
The following slideshow, which was projected during the event, showcases the latest work of Australian dance companies and independent dance artists who were presenting work at APAM 2014.
The Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA), Sydney University and the Australia Council for the Arts have just released this video about how participation in the arts at school has valuable and long-term benefits for children of all ages and abilities, in terms of both academic and non-academic outcomes and achievements.
Studies have shown that students who frequently participate in the arts are "more academically engaged...and motivated...and also have higher self-esteem..and a greater sense of meaning in life."
Speakers are Associate Professor Michael Anderson (Sydney University) Dr David Sudmalis (Australia Council for the Arts) and Professor Andrew Martin (Sydney University)
Ausdance National congratulates all those from the dance community recognised in the Australia Day honours.
Co-Directors of Tracks Dance, David McMicken and Tim Newth, have been recognised by being made members (AM) in the General Division of the Order of Australia. David and Tim have been recognised for their tireless work with Tracks Dance and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in the Northern Territory. Tracks Dance were also recognised at the 2013 Australian Dance Awards for outstanding outstanding achievement in youth or community dance.
Ausdance National life member and former President Sue Street was made an Officer (AO) in the General Division for ‘distinguished service to the performing arts, particularly to dance education at a tertiary level, as a teacher and administrator, to professional organisations, and as a mentor’.
Professor David Throsby was also made an Officer (AO) in the General Division for ‘distinguished service to the community as a leading cultural economist, to the promotion and preservation of Australian arts and heritage, and to tertiary education'. David authored Dance in Australia - A Profile.
Lucinda Dunn, principal with The Australian Ballet, was recognised with an OAM for service to the performing arts through ballet. Entertainer Rhonda Burchmore also recieved an OAM for service to the performing arts and to the community.
Nominations for Australian honours can be made all year round here.
As World Dance Alliance is holding its Global Summit at Angers this July, there will be no 2014 International Young Choregrapher's Project (IYCP). The next event will be in 2015 and from then on IYCP will be held every two years.
Dance Massive is a biennial festival and a joint initiative of Dancehouse, Malthouse and Arts House in collaboration with Ausdance Victoria. The next festival is scheduled for March 2015.
This innovative and sustainable festival model provides its growing audiences with a concentration of dance programming with a focus on Australian artists. At the vanguard of contemporary dance, Dance Massive looks and feels like a national contemporary dance festival, albeit a geographically concentrated one.
Dancehouse will program a suite of choreographic works by Australian independent dance makers.
Applications for for Dance Massive 2015 have now closed. Visit the Dancehouse website for more information.
Dance Massive 2015 will be the primary focus for the Arts House 2015 Season 1 program. Visit the Arts House website for more information.
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.
Evolving Synergies: Celebrating Dance in Singapore
by Dr. Stephanie Burridge & Dr. Caren Cariño
It crosses into many fields that are offered at graduate and post-graduate level including anthropology, ethnography, philosophy and religion, social and cultural studies, arts criticism and aesthetics, theatre studies, women's studies, politics, inter-disciplinary arts, teaching pedagogy and many more.
West Australian dancer and choreographer Aimee Smith has received a 2013 Realise Your Dream Award through the British Council Australia. The award includes an individual professional development program based in the UK, return flights and $5000.
Aimee was recognised with the Award for Emerging Artist at the 2007 WA Dance Awards, after graduating from WAAPA in 2004. Aimee’s projects and performances have included working across the globe in places such as the Arctic Circle, India, Japan and Taiwan. She has recently completed a Masters in Sustainability. You can find out more about Aimee's work here.
Ausdance extends our sympathies to the family, former students and colleagues of Laurel Martyn OBE.
Laurel was awarded a lifetime achievement award at the 1997 Australian Dance Awards, in recognition of her years of choreography, performance and teaching. Born in Toowoomba, Queensland in 1916 Laurel was the first Australian woman to be accepted into Vic-Wells Ballet (later Sadler’s Wells Ballet) in 1936, and was a featured soloist by 1938.
The Australia Council for the Arts joined with University of Sydney to undertake a longitudinal study on the impact of school, home and commuity based arts participation. The study, available through the Journal of Education Psychology, found students who are involved in the arts have higher school motivation, engagement in class, self-esteem, and life satisfaction.
Over many years the National Library of Australia has been researching and archiving some of Australia's dance history, and in a nice twist, two of our leading researchers have had their stories captured by ABC radio.
As part of the Canberra Close-up series, produced by radio station ABC666, Michelle Potter, inaugural Curator of Dance at the National Library (2002 – 2006) and Lee Christofis, Curator (2006 – 2013), have shared their experiences capturing some important moments in dance history.
National Advocates for Arts Education (NAAE), have expressed concern UNESCO has recently voted to downgrade its cultural program (including arts education), thus risking the program's eventual elimination. Writing to the Australian National Commission for UNESCO, NAAE have outlined concerns about the possible downgrading of UNESCO's cultural program, and requesting Australia's representatives prioritise this program when it votes again at its November meeting. NAAE also acknowledges the leadership role UNESCO has played as an active advocate for Arts Education internationally.
Toshi Kawaguchi, Secretary-General of the Australian National Commission for UNESCO has recently responsed:
Australia is not a member of the Executive Board. As such, we were not involved in the decision. The Australian National Commission for UNESCO intends to participate in the General Conference, however, and has registered National Advocates for Arts Education’s (NAAE) views. We appreciate your input as the peak national arts education association.
Australia has much to offer in the cultural and arts education sphere and places value in arts education, including working to elevate creativity and cultural expression nationally. As you note, education ministers endorsed the Australian Curriculum for the arts in July 2013 so that for the first time, all Australian students from Foundation to Year Ten will have access to an arts education that covers five art forms of drama, dance, media arts, music and visual arts. To the credit of cultural bodies such as NAAE and Drama Australia, the Australian Curriculum for the arts recognises the opportunities that the arts learning area offers students in relation to further developing their general capabilities such as literacy, personal and social capability, and intercultural understanding.
NAAE will continue to monitor the progress of the decision and the outcome of the General Conference.
In schools there are some good dancers, some who are not. But it doesn’t matter. Dance should be accessible, enjoyable and shared.
These wise words from ACT teacher Mardi Roberts-Bolton underlined why Ausdance continues to focus on Dance Education in Australian Schools (DEAS). The 2013 DEAS forum, with a new national curriculum on the horizon, was focused on providing teachers and policy makers with the capacity to ensure dance is accessible and enjoyed by all. DEAS2013 took place in Melbourne from 26 to 27 September. Policy makers and professional dancers from across Australia joined together for two days of learning, sharing and practical skills development.
The Ausdance network celebrates and promotes dance in all its forms every year during Australian Dance Week (ADW).
The dates for the opening and closing of Australian Dance Week vary slightly from state to state according to local events, but it always takes place during the first week of May and follows International Dance Day which is 29 April. Each state and territory Ausdance coordinates a variety of events from book launches and forums to free performances and community classes, and encourages its dance community to promote their own activities throughout the week.
ADW2014 will run from 3 – 11 May.
Contact your local Ausdance to find out how you can get involved in Australian Dance Week 2014.
Here is a sample of some the ADW activities that happened in 2013...
Events in Perth and Western Australia included performances at the State Theatre Centre, WAAPA, King St Arts Centre and Forest Place; open rehearsals at the West Australian Ballet Centre; many and varied workshops, forums and films screenings. The Perth dance community had the privilege of working with Phillip Channells (Director of Dance Integrated Australia and former Artistic Director of Restless Dance Theatre) who shared his expertise in working with performers and dance-makers of all abilities/disabilities.
The second Oral Histories Project was launched with a gathering of celebrated WA dancers, choreographers, critics, arts managers and teachers on 29 April. This project, commenced in 2011 by Varnya Bromilow and Michelle Saunders, consists of 22 interviews of key WA dance artists and supporters. The first oral histories project was completed by Lynn Fisher and colleagues in 1990, and it was a real joy for Ausdance WA to launch the second installment to this important endeavour.
Ausdance SA presented it's annual free multicultural dance showcase for local dance groups in Rundle Mall featuring a diverse range of styles that included Bollywood, bellydance, hip hop, breakdance and more.
Every ADW Ausdance ACT presents free performances at the Belconnen Fresh Food markets, as well as coordinating dozens of free classes all over town for anyone to sample. ADW2013 was bigger than ever as Canberra celebrated its centenary. The Albert Hall was jumping with its Kick Up Your Heels swing dance party & workshop with Canberra’s own Jumptown! Swing and the wonderful Spectrum Big Band. The variety of dance on offer was impressive: salsa, hip hop, Hilal, clogging, bush dance, African, Bollywood, tap, zumba—you name it!
Ausdance QLD hosted an exciting 5-night showcase of short works from the Queensland's best independent dancers and choreographers. The work was cutting edge, passionate, daring and varied. There were two big performance events at the Judith Wright Centre: Big Dance Night Out was a showcase from the biggest and best crews, ensembles and troupes of Brisbane’s professional studios; Stay Up Later gave Brisbane’s dance schools and students an opportunity to come together and show their skills and creativity.
The 2013 Australian Dance Awards were presented and celebrated in a memorable night in Canberra on Monday 5 August.
and the winners are...
Registrations are now open for the 18th International Solo Dance Theatre Festival—a tribute to Tanja Liedtke, in Stuttgart 13 – 16 March 2014.
The festival provides a competitive platform for contemporary choreographers and young dancers. Choreographers and dancers from around the world are requested to perform a solo piece which is new, original, imaginative, unique and which displays unusual achievement.
The festival aims to provide an overall view of the latest trends in the solo dance-theatre scene. A respected jury will judge choreographic and dance skills as well as musicality, interpretation and performance.
For conditions of entry visit the TREFFPUNKT Rotebuehlplatz website.
The Boards of STEPS Youth Dance and Buzz Dance Theatre plan to create a new West Australian contemporary dance company.
The unanimous decision by both Boards has come after months of consultation. STEPS and Buzz will continue their respective operations until the end of 2014.
Pamela-Jayne Kinder, Chair of Buzz, said the State Government’s Future Moves investment of $1.6 million over four years has strengthened the contemporary dance sector in Western Australia, and the Boards see this as an important response in creating a more sustainable future for the dance sector.
The new company will continue to inspire young people, offer extraordinary dance experiences for young people, support dance in education, and maintain creative opportunities for choreographers.
Read the full Media Release.
The Australian Dance Awards committee is happy to announce that the Lifetime Achievement Award for 2013 will be presented to Ronne Arnold in recognition of a lifetime dedicated to dance.
Ronne has inspired generations of audiences and dancers as a stunning performer, a dynamic choreographer and teacher, and as an academic who has presented and published his research into Aboriginal dance.
Ronne was founder and Artistic Director of the Australian Contemporary Dance Company from 1967 – 72. The company made history by touring regional NSW and Queensland and bringing a new contemporary repertoire to audiences.
Passionate about Australia’s Indigenous dance, Ronne completed an MA in 1991, researching the dances of the Wanam people of Cape York Peninsula. He taught in various capacities at the National Aboriginal and Islander Skills Development Association (NAISDA College) from 1986 until 2003.
Ongoing partner of the Australian Dance Awards, Bloch Dance Australia is pleased to continue its support of the Awards. Bloch’s National Manager–Dance Products & Services Australasia, Sandie Windsor-Richards said
we are delighted that Ronne Arnold is this year's recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award and has been recognised for his generosity of spirit and love of dance.
Ronne is an outstanding pioneer who has made a major contribution to contemporary dance in Australia.
The Australian Dance Awards 2013 are presented by Harlequin Floors with Ausdance ACT.
Dr Alan Brissenden AM was inducted into the Hall of Fame at the 2013 Australian Dance Awards by Robyn Archer AO and David McAllister AM in recognition of his distinguished services to the dance profession.
Alan has made an enormous impact on how we view dance, with an extraordinary 60 years of dance criticism and scholarly writings. His acute perceptions, developed through an eager engagement with dance and all the other performing arts, have provided insightful reflections and commentaries on Australia's constantly changing dance landscape.
The winners of the inaugural Australian Arts in Asia Awards have been announced. These awards recognise, celebrate and promote the significant number of Australian artists contributing to stronger, deeper and broader cultural links with Asian nations.
Minister for Arts, The Hon Tony Burke MP said
Australia’s engagement in Asia isn’t simply about trade, business and foreign affairs, there is a dynamic creative engagement which allows Australian art to be experienced in Asia, great works from Asia to be available here and most importantly fresh creativity which is only possible because of the way we work together. This event is a celebration of diversity in Australia and across the region and how making connections through art promotes understanding and appreciation of all cultures.
Congratulations to these dance artists who made the list of finalists:
- Annalouise Paul Game On (India)
- Kyle Page Engi (Japan)
- Bangarra Dance Theatre Spirit (Mongolia, Thailand & Vietnam)
- Margie Medlin Time Frames (India)
- Steps Youth Dance Company & QL2 Scratch the Surface (Taiwan)
- Tony Yap Company & Multicultural Arts Victoria MAPFest (Indonesia & Malaysia)
- Tony Yap Company Kekkai–Beyond Fixed Boundaries (Republic of Korea, South Korea)
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.
This interview with Dr Boni Rietveld of the Netherlands Medical Centre for Dancers and Musicans discusses advice for younger dancers on how to prevent injuries, prevent current injuries from getting worse and provides encouragement for dancers recovering from injury.
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.
Congratulations to the all nominees who were shortlisted for a 2013 Australian Dance Award!
Here they are (in alphabetical order)—
Congratulations to Ausdance founding member Professor Shirley McKechnie AO and Head of Dance at WAAPA and former Chair of the Tertiary Dance Council of Australia, Nanette Hassall AM for their Queen's Birthday Honours.
Both Shirley and Nan have been recipients of an Australian Dance Award for Lifetime Achievement.
Congratulations also to Sydney Dance Company collaborator Iva Davies, and former Chair Rowan Ross.
Renie Allison-Matini of Victoria and Daryl Powell of the ACT were recognised with OAMs for their contributions to the broad dance community.
What would an international dance conference be if it did not include an array of performances? Even though Tanzkongress itself was only three days, there were a significant range of performance, workshop and class opportunities.
The opening celebrations included the staging of a movement choir entitled Tanz Aller (everyone dancing). Audience members became the performers, directed through individual radio sets with the staging led by the artists' collective Ligna. Movement choirs were popular in 1920s Germany and used at rallies of the working class. The experience was a rich one, a great opportunity to bond with strangers from around the world as we formed patterns and movements, while also hearing the history of the movement choirs.
The main stage opening was a performance of La Creation du monde 1923 – 2012. This performance included a re-staging of the original la creation du monde; a so-called 'ballet negre' originally presented in 1923, book-ended by modern interpretations and questions on the themes presented in the ballet. Colonialism and the appropriations of African cultures were passionately explored by Congolese choreographer Faustin Linyekula and CCN-Ballet de Lorraine.
Other highlights on the program included a 20th Anniversary presentation by Candoco Dance Company. From London UK, Candoco was formed to provide an artistic vehicle for performers with and without disability. They have gathered a strong international reputation including a starring role in the ceremonies of the London Olympics. Chunky Move artistic director Anouk van Dijk teamed up with longer term collaborator Falk Richter for Rausch (intoxication). Seven dancers and five actors explored themes of freedom and connection in spell-binding mix of high-powered theatre and dance.
Of course there were also less formal performances. Dutch choreographer Erik Kaiel has been working with students from St Benedikt school in Duesseldorf, resulting in some flash mob performances in amongst the Congress participants.
Tanzkongress encouraged participation in the creation of new works, as well as the re-staging of the old, through its dance and workshop program. It was a valuable opportunity to see a range of performances from outside Australia.
In 2006 Berlin staged the first Tanzkongress of modern times. Now in its third iteration, the conference has established itself as a vital part of European dance discussions. Supported by the German Federal Cultural Foundation, Tanzkongress draws participants from around the globe including New Zealand, USA, Australia, India and throughout Europe. Tanzkongress 2013 has the theme of 'performing translations' exploring commonalities and differences in dance and how we can work across communication forms.
Translation takes place not only between practices and competences, art forms and styles, ideologies and generations. Art meets politics, practice meets theory, dance meets technology. Tanzkongress program
Around 1000 participants worked with nearly 200 presenters—dancers, choreographers, academics and teachers, producers, and critics—covering areas such as choreography, education, journalism, dramaturgy, politics, architecture, sociology, philosophy, and medicine.
The Dance Congress is a congress for dance, yet one that treats the concept of dance in an extremely broad sense and thus proves the art form's relevance to other disciplines and the connectivity of its discourse beyond dance. Tanzkongress program
It was impossible to be everywhere and be part of everything, but highlights for me included the ‘On Mentoring’ discussion led by renowned choreographer Jonathan Burrows.
Jonathan presented his thoughts on the idea of mentoring, noting that any application for arts funding in the UK these days needs to include a mentoring component. The audience then broke into smaller groups to reflect and share experiences. Important in an international forum was the cultural implications of mentoring—in that some places only respect direct teacher-student relations rather than the cross-beneficial concepts understood in mentoring. There was also shared recognition that while mentoring can happen in quite fluid ways, there is benefit in formal mentoring relationships that bring with them time, commitment and patience.
East-Western Perspectives on Dance Journalism
A panel discussion titled 'The Contemporary and the Critical—East-Western Perspectives on Dance Journalism', explored the cultural understandings of dance performance and review. Session participants were witness to an interesting discussion on the need, or not, to have a cultural understanding on a dance piece being witnessed. Traditional and contemporary as dance forms were dissected, as was the overlap of ritual and entertainment. Indian based choreographer Anusha Lall commented "If I have been moved, shifted in my skin" then that moment of empathy is valuable, even if the cultural background or understanding isn't there.
The Renaissance of Dance Cities
Bureaucrats, ballet directors and former politicians gathered for a fiery debate about the place of dance within a city's development. The recognition that people of all walks of life enjoy living in a culturally rich community has supported the development of dance and arts hubs; however, recent economic pressures have seen programs across Europe rolled back. It is clear having infrastructure developed while economic times are good can help maintain connection and development in leaner times; however the priority needs to be supported across all levels of bureaucracy and government.
And outside the lectures and panel discussions...
Tanzkongress participants were able to take dance classes, be part of research, see performances and catch-up with colleagues from around the globe. The German Federal Cultural Foundation have indicated their commitment to Tanzkongress continuing, but in the meantime outcomes from the 2013 conference continue to be added to the Tanzkongress website.
There is so much we still have to learn about dance. Human bodies have been dancing for centuries and some of our training techniques have been passed on from generation to generation.
At Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, Dr Emma Redding, head of dance science, is leading a growing group of researchers and students applying scientific methods to the dance training we do every day, seeking to gain knowledge about the body and the impact of dance.
One of the key supporters of the Australian Dance Awards is Harlequin Dance Floors. Established in 1979, Harlequin supply dance floors around the world, so it was great to meet with them at the Harlequin HQ in Kent, England.
Mark Rasmussen, Global Group Marketing Manager, took the time to show me the main workshop and a presentation on how Harlequin are continually refining their knowledge and processes with the aim of ensuring dancers get the best support they can from a Harlequin dance floor. Harlequin supply a range of different floor types including portable and permanent floors. They have recently redone the stages at the Bolshi Ballet in Russia, and supply the floors for Sydney Dance Company and the Australian Ballet. Riverdance performances for the last ten years have been on a portable Harlequin floor.
Harlequin have been interested in research (being undertaken in the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and in Australia) looking at the scientific benefits and different impacts of floors on the dancers body. A lot has changed in the last few decades as dancers, teachers and choreographers have become more aware of safe dance practices. A good floor is just as vital to a dancer's wellbeing as a good diet and well-trained technique. Ten years ago research was based on sports floor models, but now we know what a basketballer is looking for out of a floor is significantly different to what a contemporary, classical or ballroom dancer needs. We have known for years that sports floors aren't ideal but research is still underway looking at what is right for dancers. And, of course one of the ongoing challenges is that what a classical dancer requires in a floor is different to what a hip-hop or tap dancer needs. While Harlequin have a growing range of floors available, studio owners, community dancers, performance facility directors and companies need to make an individual assessment about what will work best for their dancers.
Over the coming months DanceUK and Ausdance will be reviewing the recent research on dance floors and updating our dance floor information sheets.
Australian arts administrator Libby Christie has been announced as The Australian Ballet’s new Executive Director. Libby will commence the position in late July.
Libby has been acting CEO of the Australia Council since 1 January 2013, with Tony Grybowski recently appointed to take on that role. Ausdance thanks Libby for her leadership and dedication at the Australia Council, leading the Australia Council as the National Cultural Policy was launched, and the review of the Australia Council considered.
The Australian Ballet has issued a media statement with comments from Artistic Director David McAllister and Libby.
“I’m delighted to be working with Libby on realising the company’s vision. She’s a well-respected leader who values collaboration and understands the unique challenges of leading a high-profile and complex arts organisation. I look forward to partnering with her as we enter our next exciting chapter,” said Artistic Director David McAllister.
“I’ve long admired The Australian Ballet for its artistic integrity, progressive approach and strong business achievements behind the curtain. They are one of the world’s busiest ballet companies and lead the way in best practice across many areas,” said Libby Christie.
“I welcome the opportunity to work alongside David, the Board, talented dancers and resourceful administration staff who make up this wonderful organisation. I hope to encourage artistic risks, foster entrepreneurial thinking, promote digital and technological innovation and above all, deliver beautiful performances for a loyal and ever-growing ballet audience.”
Libby takes over from Valerie Wilder, who announced her depature at the completion of her five year contract in October last year. Valerie joined the company in June 2008 from the Boston Ballet and previously from the National Ballet of Canada.
Creative Australia Fellowships is a major initiative to support the professional development of outstanding artists working across the sector and Australia.
The Fellowships are the centrepiece of the Federal Government's Creative Australia Artist Grants initiative, with $10 million going to individual artists over five years, delivered by the Australia Council.
The Fellowships consist of two categories: established artists (each valued at $100,000 over one year) and early career artists (each valued at $60,000 over two years).
Ausdance is relieved to see the money promised at the launch of Creative Australia confirmed through inclusion in the Budget and estimates for the forward years, under the heading "a creative nation is a productive nation". The National Cultural Policy included a $235 million vision and strategy to place arts and culture at the centre of modern life.
As part of this commitment the Australia Council will receive $75.3 million over the next four years (from 1 July 2013), with $15m per year to be targeted to arts organisations to address the demand for "high quality creative content from established, emerging and hybrid art forms". $1.25m per year will be used to establish a funding pool for the major performing arts organisations, subject to matched funding from the states and territories.
The Creative Young Stars Progam will provide $8m over two years for financial assistance to young people (up to 25) to put towards the cost of representing their community in training, cultural, artisitc, academic or community based activities and events. Successful applicants will receive a grant of $500 (individuals) or $3000 (groups), with 23 individual and 4 group grants awarded in each federal electorate per year.
Other initiatives include the continuation of the ArtStart program for graduates, additional funding for Arts Training Organisations such as the Australian Ballet School and NAISDA, and additional funding for some major performing arts companies including Bangarra Dance Theatre and the West Australian Ballet.
Dance on Tour (DOT) is a joint initiative of four internationally acclaimed and award winning dance companies, Expressions Dance Company, Australian Dance Theatre, KAGE and Shaun Parker & Company.
This initiative has been created to maximise awareness, access and engagement with outstanding dance theatre in regional and remote areas of Australia.
The four dance companies will collectively tour to all eight Australian states, and visit a total of 55 venues, between March and September 2013 with their productions of Garry Stewart’s G (ADT), Natalie Weir’s R&J (EDC), KAGE’s Sundowner and Shaun Parker’s Happy as Larry.
All four companies have been supported to tour in 2013 by Playing Australia, the Australian Government’s national touring performing arts program.
Find out more on the Dance on Tour website.
Congratulations to Lisa Wilson who work Lake has been selected to tour in 2014 through Performing Lines' Mobile States program!
Performing Lines develops, produces and tours new and innovative Australian performing arts regionally, nationally and internationally.
For more information about touring opportunities through its various initiatives, visit Performing Lines website.
Ausdance National Honorary Life Member and former Vice-President Lee Christofis is retiring. After six and a half years as Curator of Dance at the National Library of Australia he will finish up on Friday 5 April.
Margy Burn, Assistant Director at the National Library notes Lee's significant contribution:
Notable new collections acquired for the Library arising from Lee’s work include the papers of Irina Baronova, Janet Vernon and Graeme Murphy, and the records of the NAISDA Dance College. Lee has completed more than fifty oral history interviews with dancers, choreographers, administrators and others associated with dance. Lee has selected beautiful photographs documenting the work of leading companies, choreographers and performers as well as designs for sets and costumes, including the archive of Kristian Fredrikson.
Two major projects which occupied Lee during his curatorship were the Ballets Russes project, a long running research collaboration with the University of Adelaide and the Australian Ballet and a project to document Indigenous contemporary dance. Both projects leave significant enduring research resources for the study, enjoyment and understanding of dance in Australia.
Dr Isobel Johnston, Lee's curatorial assistant, will be the initial contact for dance research, advice and assistance. Lee will continue to undertake Oral History interviews for the Library and support the acquisition of dance resources.
The position of Dance Curator will not be replaced, following a decade of special focus on dance at the NLA. It has been announced the next special focus area will be on Indigenous collections and a new Curator of Indigenous collections will continue to build on Lee’s work to document and collect resources for the study of Indigenous dance.
Dance First. Speak Later. With these apt words new Ausdance Victoria CEO Andy Howitt helped bring the 2013 National Dance Forum to a close. Working over two and a half days 170 delegates joined together to challenge, inspire and share. Andy’s vision of the natural order of things spoke to many and reminded delegates of why they were at the Forum in the first place!
The National Dance Forum was first held in 2011 looking to fill a long gap in dance dialogue conferences. With this follow-up Forum in 2013 the discussion centred around the question of ‘why dance?’
In contemporary Australia, what compels us to create and connect with dance? Is it social and political engagement? Is it creating a strong platform for the continuation of culture? How is dance communicating, and what is it doing in the world? Who are we dancing for, and how do we know what they see?
Speakers at the forum challenged participants to examine their dance practice, to reach out and engage and to view more broadly who is the ‘dance sector’. Education was a key topic for conversation, with delegates exploring the roll-out of the new arts curriculum, the need for professional development for artists and dance makers, and the opportunities offered by dance education to engage new groups across the community.
Over the coming weeks the input and messages gathered at the forum will be collated with more resources and outcomes being made available here. Five short videos from NDF2013 delegates responding to the issues and themes raised during the forum are ready for viewing now.
Congratulations to Joseph Simons of Dubbo who is this year's recipient of the Tanja Liedtke Fellowship (TLF).
The fellowship will take place in Berlin and Frankfurt in August/September of 2013. The two key objectives of the 2013 Fellowship are:
- To provide a program of opportunity for a developing Australian dancer/choreographer to expand and develop his/her creative boundaries,
- To enable young artists to meet and work collaboratively in the context of international exchange and experimentation.
Previous TLF recipients have been Antony Hamilton (2009) and Katarzyna Sitarz (2011).
Read full Media Release.
For more information visit Tanja Liedtke Foundation.
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.
The Australian Curriculum: The Arts
This has been an important year in the evolution of the new national dance curriculum.
One of five arts subject with its own body of knowledge, teaching strategies and learning outcomes, dance is soon to take its place in The Australian Curriculum: The Arts.
We have continued to work with the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) on various drafts of the curriculum throughout 2012, engaging with teachers where the tight timelines for consultation have allowed, and keeping dance educators up to date with regular email bulletins.
'Out There' is the unique dance education program of The Australian Ballet.
Designed by dance educator Helen Cameron, the program engages with primary schools, students and teachers, led by a team of dancer/educators who have been especially trained by Helen to deliver the program. It's proving that dance in the curriculum not only provides skill development and expressive opportunities, but supports other curriculum areas in the process.
The ABC's 7.30 program recently profiled the 'Out There' program and interviewed Helen about its success.
After a lifetime of research and design of innovative dance curricula for primary schools, Helen was awarded the Australian Dance Award for Services to Dance Education in 2008.
The Australian Dance Council – Ausdance is pleased to announce that Roslyn Dundas has been appointed as the new CEO of Ausdance National, commencing on 14 January 2013. Roslyn will replace long-standing National Director Julie Dyson AM, who will retire at the end of the year. Julie has been with the organisation, in both voluntary and paid capacities, since its inception in 1977.
Roslyn has extensive experience in the arts, and in government, strategy, policy development and advocacy. She was the Director of Ausdance ACT for almost three years from 2005, and prior to that appointment was the youngest woman elected to an Australian parliament when she joined the ACT Legislative Assembly in 2001.
On behalf of the Australian dance community, Ausdance wishes Alan and Elizabeth all the very best on this happy occasion.
Dr Alan Brissenden AM has a long association with Ausdance and a life-long association with the arts. He has been writing dance criticism since his student days in 1950, first in the University of Sydney student paper Honi Soit and then, while still a student in 1952 when he was invited to review for the Sydney Morning Herald. Throughout his long career as Reader in English, specialising in Shakespeare at Adelaide University, Alan has been a regular critic for The Australian, Dance Australia, the Adelaide Review and Radio Adelaide. He was for many years a member of the Board of Governors of the Adelaide Festival and President of the Friends of the State Library of South Australia.
At the recent meeting of the Tertiary Dance Council of Australia (TDCA), serious concerns were raised about the massive cuts to TAFE training in several eastern States.
In this article for Artshub, Tamara Winikoff, Executive Director of the National Association for the Visual Arts, also raises these concerns, and the broader issues of career pathways for artists. While Tamara focuses on the visual arts, much of her analysis could be applied to dance in the TAFE sector, especially with the imminent introduction of the new Australian Curriculum: The Arts.
We'll be making our concerns known to the Victorian, New South Wales, South Australian and Queensland governments about their proposals to so drastically cut TAFE funding. We suggest you read Tamara's article and respond to your own governments about the future of arts training in your State.
The latest Australia Council Snapshot of Major Performing Arts Company Key Trends shows that Australia’s major performing arts companies are robust, stable and have continued to expand their city audiences in line with population growth. They have also extended their reach and engagement in regional and remote communities.
Groundswell has published the final report on the Multicultural Arts Forum 2012 held in April this year. The forum brought together over 180 artists, arts workers, policy-makers, arts leaders and critical thinkers from NSW and across Australia to share ideas, perspectives and experiences on how to reap the benefits of our culturally diverse arts.
This report presents the main outcomes of the forum as well as a comprehensive evaluation of its results.
The 2012 Australian Dance Awards were presented in spectacular fashion at the beautiful new Heath Ledger Theatre in the State Theatre Centre of Western Australia on 1 September.
Nanette Hassall is the 2012 recipient of the Australian Dance Award for Lifetime Achievement. This Award honours the career and achievements of an outstanding senior figure in the Australian dance community who has dedicated at least 40 years to dance as a performer, choreographer, advocate, educator, administrator or visionary.
Congratulations to Stephanie Lake from Melbourne, who has been awarded the first Ausdance Peggy van Praagh Choreographic Fellowship. Stephanie was presented with a cheque for $10,000 at the Australian Dance Awards in Perth on Saturday 1 September.
On 22 August 2012, the Hon Simon Crean, MP, Minister for the Arts, announced that the administration of the regional touring programs and the Visual Arts and Craft Strategy is to be transferred to the Australia Council.
Thank you for a great weekend. The National Dance Research Forum was stimulating, energising and so well organised with great food and venues. (Dr Cheryl Stock)
Last weekend we had the pleasure of partnering with the Tertiary Dance Council of Australia to welcome 35 Australian and five international dance researchers to the first national dance research forum held for many years.
The forum provided a unique opportunity for everyone to hear some high-profile speakers, share their own research, join small discussion groups and make plans with potential collaborators.
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.
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.
The Australia Council for the Arts with its philanthropic arm, Artsupport Australia, has commenced its national crowdfunding roadshow as part of a strategy to explore the opportunities in crowdfunding for cultural and creative projects.
The roadshow is the culmination of a multi-stage strategy which included a pilot mentoring phase by Artsupport Australia for a group of crowdfunding projects, and the Australia Council commissioning the first piece of research in Australia into barriers and motivations of donors to crowdfunding projects in the cultural and creative sectors.
Caroline Vu, NSW Manager of Artsupport Australia said:
With crowdfunding reaching a tipping point in Australia, there’s huge potential to increase individual giving to arts and culture...the key to this is improving the understanding and skills of the sector; leading to better and more successful campaigns. As the success rate for crowdfunding projects increases, people will become more confident that crowdfunding truly enables creative ideas to become reality.
Brolga 35 (December, 2011) was the final print edition. From issue # 36 Brolga–an Australian journal about dance will be published on our website and available for purchase either as a complete volume (PDF) or as individual articles. All you need to do is create an account and become an Ausdance customer.
Brolga is pleased to welcome Professor Maggi Phillips from WAAPA, as its new editor.
By the end of 2013 we intend to have all back issues of Brolga online. We believe that this collection of articles will be a valuable resource for students, researchers and dance lovers all over.
The last few weeks have seen us engaged in quite a diverse range of advocacy activities across several states and territories.
We’ve chaired a National Advocates for Arts Education (NAAE) meeting in Sydney, attended the Arts & Health Forum at Parliament House in Canberra, discussed arts policy with Minister Crean’s arts adviser and the Secretary of the Office for the Arts in Canberra, and lobbied Schools Minister Peter Garrett about the implementation of The Australian Curriculum: The Arts.
In June we visited Darwin and participated in Monsoon Sessions, a professional development program for local artists. The two dance forums considered a range of issues of particular concern to NT artists, including Indigenous dance opportunities, career pathways, dance policy and the future of Ausdance NT.
The National Advocates for Arts Education (NAAE) have welcomed the release of The Australian Curriculum: The Arts for public consultation.
Launching the draft on Monday, Schools Minister Peter Garrett said that he had been "a passionate advocate of the importance of arts as part of a comprehensive, well-rounded education", and that learning in the arts "inspires creativity, encourages young people to think critically, helps develop their sense of identity and can provide great benefits for learning in other core areas".
The NAAE is now advocating for improved teacher education in the arts, and for the allocation of more resources to enable the arts curriculum to be properly implemented.
The NAAE has released a media statement today supporting the draft curriculum, while noting that 'there is still work to do'.
Ausdance welcomes the launch of the draft of The Australian Curriculum: The Arts for public consultation, announced yesterday by The Federal Minister for School Education, the Hon. Peter Garrett. The consultation period will be for three months, until 23 September.
The new curriculum will, for the first time, entitle all young people to learning in dance at school, a major breakthrough for students and dance educators. The four other subjects in the arts curriculum are drama, media arts, music and visual arts.
Ausdance has played a strong lobbying role in having dance included in The Australian Curriculum: The Arts, and has supported ACARA—the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority—in the development of the dance curriculum.
We encourage you, as dance teachers in schools, students and parents, to continue having your say throughout this next consultation stage.
The Ausdance team is pleased to welcome Peter Bayliss from Into Tomorrow on board as its Treasurer. Into Tomorrow is a Chartered Accounting firm that provides a variety of services to music, arts and community sector clients. The company was founded by Peter in 2009 to combine his passions for music, the arts and community services with his skills as an accountant and business manager.
Carriageworks will undertake a 3-year $300,000 Screen Dance initiative established by the dance board of the Australia Council for the Arts. The initiative has been developed in response to major shifts in the cross-disciplinary, collaborative nature of choreography, visual arts and film.
The forum at Parliament House on 27 June was an important step in developing a meaningful and effective arts and health policy framework. The forum media release gives you further details of speakers, topics and the outcomes of the meeting.
Until recently the forum was referred to as a one-off event. However, the organisers now see the need for it to continue, informing the advice that the Arts & Health Foundation provides to the Ministerial Working Group on Arts and Health.
We have been invited to be part of this ongoing process, and hope that our members will contribute their experiences and amazingly successful dance and health stories via the Arts and Health PlaceStories website. More resources will be posted on PlaceStories in the weeks ahead.
Keith Bain OAM passed away in Sydney on 4 July, 2012. He was much loved and repected by the Australian dance community and will be greatly missed. Keith's inspiration, insights, generosity, humour and vision were valued by many.
Keith's funeral was held at the Eastern Suburbs Crematorium on Tuesday 10 July.
Keith began as a ballroom dancer in the country town of his birth, Wauchope. He graduated as Dux of the year from Armidale Teachers College in 1945 and taught at Kogarah Boys High and Temora High where his students experienced quality music, drama and dance.
It was in Temora that he saw the Bodenwieser Dance Group perform, and after talking with the dancers, Keith said that he
...sensed that [he] had the eyes to analyse the work, the head to appreciate it and a body that might someday master it.
Keith moved to Sydney to begin his modern dance career.
On the weekend of 4 – 5 August 2012 Australian dance researchers will meet in Melbourne to share their work, ideas and develop their dance research networks. Participants include dance researchers working in choreographic cognition, technology, injury prevention and management, intercultural research, audience development and dance education.
The National Library of Australia has integrated the Australia Dancing service into the national discovery service Trove.
Trove is an exciting destination for dance researchers and expands the potential of finding new and rare materials in many diverse collections. Trove takes you to resources in libraries, archives, performing arts collections, galleries; to biographical databases and online collections including pictures, digitised newspapers and finding aids. Trove also incorporates the National Library's dance resources, which continue to grow each year.
The Australia Council Review was a comprehensive and complex document covering many facets of governance, funding, peer review and relationships with other agencies, plus important recommendations for additional arts funding.
Ausdance responded to the Review, as did many other arts organisations and individuals.
We then joined with ArtsPeak colleagues to make a joint statement where there was common agreement across art forms.
We now await the Government's response to this consultation, and the eventual release of the National Cultural Policy.
Congratulations to Graeme Murphy, who was yesterday appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) in the Queen's Birthday Honours list.
This year West Australian Ballet (WAB) celebrates its 60th birthday and The Australian Ballet (TAB) celebrates its 50th birthday. ABC TV presented a feature on the two companies on its 7.30 Report, 6 June. The segment includes brief interviews with David McAllister (Artistic Director of TAB since 2001), Barry Moreland (Artistic Director of WAB from 1983 – 97) and dancers Madeleine Eastoe and Kevin Jackson, both originally from WA and now principal artists with TAB.
Managing Arts in Community Settings (MMM796) addresses the knowledge and skills needed to engage diverse communities in arts projects and manage community based arts initiatives.
A range of community-based arts programs are examined and the characteristics of community creative processes are identified and analysed. Find out more on the Deakin University website.
Arts NT, which provides Ausdance NT’s operational funding, announced to the organisation its intention to “employ an outside consultant to examine the dance sector’s needs and determine the best model for dance support relevant to the NT.”
This review is expected to take place between July and September 2012 and will be a joint initiative of Arts NT and Ausdance NT, with Arts NT as the lead agency. Read more.
The Minister notes that 'the review makes 18 recommendations for reform of the Council and provides an opportunity to reflect on its success and to consider the major challenges ahead'.
We'll be commenting with our ArtsPeak colleagues, but we'd also like to hear from you. Please leave a comment when you've read the report.
In an announcement made by Arts Minister Simon Crean, last night's Federal Budget revealed some welcome new money for the arts, and a new income tax-free threshold of $18,000, which will be of great benefit to the many artists who live close to the poverty line.
As co-convenors of ArtsPeak, Tamara Winikoff and I met this morning with the Minister's arts adviser, Helen O'Neil, for a post-Budget briefing. We discussed many issues around the Budget, including the whole-of-government approach to arts funding, philanthropy and delivery which will be outlined when the National Cultural Policy and the Australia Council review are finally released.
Tamara and I have made an Artspeak statement which reiterates some of the issues already flagged in previous submissions to the National Cultural Policy, and welcoming the new funding in the Budget.
It's Federal Budget day, and we're all keen to see how the arts and cultural industries fare in the absence of the long-awaited National Cultural Policy.
We're off to the Arts Minister's office tomorrow morning to discuss the Budget outcomes and to hear about the Government's plans for the release of the National Cultural Policy later this year.
We've joined our colleages at ArtsPeak and the Council for Humanities, Arts & Social Sciences (CHASS) to comment on the delay in releasing the National Cultural Policy.
On a positive note, the delay will enable us to look more closely at the small to medium performing and visual arts sectors and prepare a more detailed submission to Government. We'll keep you posted about progress once next week's Federal Budget has been delivered.
It's been reported that the release of the long-awaited National Cultural Policy has been delayed by several months.
We've verified this report with the Office for the Arts in Canberra, and have been informed that full details of the NCP's release will be announced in next Tuesday's Federal Budget.
Ausdance, along with our ArtsPeak colleages, has been supporting the Minister's push for a new National Cultural Policy for several years now, and contribtuing to its development. We hope Arts Minister Simon Crean will continue his strong support for increased funding through the policy, and we'll respond more fully once we see what announcements are made in the Budget.
We understand that the National Cultural Policy is now only weeks away, so we've written to Arts Minister Simon Crean again, this time in response to the media release from the Arts & Cultural Ministers' meeting on 30 March.
This was our last opportunity to comment prior to the NCP's release, so we've reproduced the text here, following correspondence with the Office for the Arts after my colleague, Tamara Winikoff, and I visited the department on behalf of ArtsPeak.
ArtsPeak has also written to the Minister, particularly emphasising the importance of the small to medium arts sector in Federal Budget considerations. The letter reads as follows:
Good to see Michelle Ryan's recent appointment to the Dance Board of the Australia Council, adding to the practitioner base of the board.
Michelle has more than 20 years' experience as a performer, choreographer, rehearsal director and producer, and was a peer adviser at the board's November 2011 assessment meeting.
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.
The State and Territory Arts and Cultural Ministers have announced that they'll be working together on some important arts initiatives.
They've used the word 'accord' to describe this agreement, and we think this means they'll be cooperating on implementing the new National Cultural Policy, which is great news. But it's difficult to interpret some of the language in their media release, so we'll be writing to Arts Minister Simon Crean to investigate. We'll also suggest ways to broaden this commitment from a dance perspective.
If you want to read the Arts Ministers' report (PDF) and send us your ideas, please let us know in the next few days. You could also write to your own State or Territory Arts Minister and suggest ways to support dance in the National Cultural Policy, particularly in the small to medium performing arts sector.
Today I went with my ArtsPeak colleague, Tamara Winikoff, to visit the Office for the Arts in Canberra, where we continued the conversation about our work.
It was useful to share the ArtsPeak map that outlines the broad reach of arts service organisations, especially as we’d like to see it acknowleged as part of the bigger arts support picture in the National Cultural Policy .
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.
We’re not artists, dance companies, or funding bodies, but do we have a body of work?
With our ArtsPeak partners, we've mapped some of things we do.
The opening of the new NAISDA studios in Gosford, NSW last week was an occasion to be celebrated by the whole dance community after more than 35 years in temporary accommodation. The studios were opened by the Federal Minister for the Arts, the Hon. Simon Crean MP, at a ceremony that also honoured the founder of NAISDA, Carole Johnson.
Annalouise Paul has been awarded one of the WDA scholarships to attend the 2012 American Dance Festival in China in August. Congratulations!
The Ausdance National Council and network directors met for four days in Canberra last weekend, and elected a new National Executive at its Annual General Meeting.
We're meeting in Canberra this week with the Ausdance National Council and network directors.
We're discussing some of the big Ausdance projects such as the Australian Dance Awards, the Australian Youth Dance Festival and Australian Dance week, as well as next year's partnership with the Australia Council, when we'll produce another National Dance Forum. Dance Board Director, Carin Mistry, will be a guest speaker tomorrow.
We're also talking about advocating for dance, dance education and research, Indigenous dance and some of the critical issues around supporting independent dance.
It's a fantastic opportunity to share ideas, achievements and the critical issues that inspire all of us to keep working with and for Australia's dance artists, companies and communities.
The Harold Mitchell Review of Private Sector Support for the Arts has just been released by the Minister for the Arts as part of the wider consultation about the new National Cultural Policy.
The Mitchell review recommends several ideas that might help attract new donors to the arts, noting that “The limited funds available to many arts organisations creates a situation where they cannot afford dedicated staff to drive a strategic approach to fund-raising”.
Mitchell also recommends the merging of the Australian Business Arts Foundation with Artsupport Australia “under the auspices of a new body with responsibility for all private sector support for the arts in Australia”.
Today is also your last opportunity to respond to the Australia Council review, another important part of the Cultural Policy consultation process.
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.
ArtsPeak representatives met again with the ABC to lobby for more cultural content in ABC news and current affairs programs. General Manager Mark Scott had previously met with the group, and this time ArtsPeak met with Don Lang, the Head of News Programming, and Alan Sunderland, the Head of News Policy,
A process was agreed on to review arts content for news and current affairs programs, and on a process for arts representatives to contact appropriate reporters. The following strategies were suggested to ArtsPeak:
- Arts representatives should consider what the issues are and whether they are newsworthy.
- We should develop a central arts representatives contact register.
- We should focus on stories that utilise ABC research and archives.
We'll be working with our ArtsPeak colleagues to maximise this positive response from the ABC, and making sure dance is part of the story telling!
Arts curriculum writing for Foundation to Year 10 is well underway.
The draft rationale, aims and broad scope and sequence have already been reviewed by a state and territory national panel, and we joined other professional associations last week to review the drafts. We'd been invited to ask four teachers from across Australia to provide feedback, and Dr Katrina Rank, education and training manager for Ausdance Victoria, collated their feedback and led the discussion for dance.
We also represented the National Advocates for Arts Education (NAAE) in the teleconference, which was chaired by the general manager (curriculum) of the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA), Robert Randall.
We'll be calling for further dance commentary in the coming weeks as the drafts are developed by the writers, and ACARA will make the curriculum available for public comment in May. In the meantime, you can sign up for regular ACARA updates.
Following news last year that the ABC would axe several of its most successful arts programs, the national broadcaster has announced the appointment of a new head of TV arts, Katrina Sedgwick.
Formerly director of the Adelaide Film Festival, Katrina will commence work with the ABC in April.
Li Cunxin has been announced as the new Artistic Director of the Queensland Ballet. He will take up his appointment in July this year, six months before the departure of the current Director, François Klaus. His appointment follows an international search by the Queensland Ballet.
Li's autiobiography and the film Mao's Last Dancer have built his international reputation, not only as a fine dancer but as an inspirational leader. We congratulate Li on another great achievement!
Read about his ideas for the company in this interview with the Brisbane Courier Mail.
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.
When the President of MyDance Alliance, Bilqis Hiijas, visited Canberra from Malaysia this week, we took the opportunity to introduce her to several of Australia's leading cultural institutions. We also heard about the artists' residency program she helps to run at her family's compound, Rimbun Dahan in Kuala Lumpur.
Bilqis is the new editor of Asia Pacific Channels, the newsletter we produce on behalf of the World Dance Alliance Asia Pacific. It's exciting to be sharing the task with her, and her visit to Canberra gave us a chance to meet her in person for the first time.
Bilqis was very interested in our partnerships with the National Library of Australia and the National Film and Sound Archive, so we organised tours of both institutions to meet the curators and get an idea of the great range of dance materials held by both institutions. She's hoping to form similar relationships with archives in Malaysia.
In its 50th anniversary year, The Australian Ballet is celebrating a new rising star in its ranks, Chinese Australian dancer Chengwu Guo.
The ABC's 7.30 program profiles his work and interviews his mentor Li Cunxin, the teenage dancer Chen played in Mao's Last Dancer, the hugely successful film based on Li's autobiography.
Former balleriona Josephine Spaull, respected ballet teacher, Tanya Pearson, and Judith Anderson, formerly General Manager of The Queensland Ballet, have today been awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM).
Josephine was recognised for “for service to the performing arts, particularly dance, as a teacher and administrator". Tanya's citation was "for service to the performing arts, particularly ballet, as a teacher and mentor to young dancers". Judith's citation was "for service to the Queensland Ballet and to women". We congratulate Josephine, Tanya and Judith for their outstanding achievements.
The website It's an Honour has all the information you'll need to nominate more dance people for Australia's highest Honours!
There have been celebrations around the country today for our new Australian of the Year, actor Geoffrey Rush.
We congratulate him on his acceptance speech that placed the arts at the centre of Australian life and culture. He acknowledged the role of the First Australians, and said he was sure "that my colleagues will see this as an endorsement of our national story of creativity".
Senior Australian of the Year is Laurie Baymarrwangga, an extraordinary elder from the island of Murrungga in East Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory.
The Australian of the Year Awards were announced last night by the Prime Minister.
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.
Andrea Snyder is co-director of American Dance Abroad, a new initiative in the US that promotes the export of American dance. Andrea was formerly CEO of Dance USA, and is a valued colleague of Ausdance.
Andrea will be visiting Australia for the Australian Performing Arts Market (APAM) in February, so we’re putting her in touch with the Australia Council and dance producers in Sydney and Melbourne before she goes on to APAM. She'll see a lot of Australian dance while she's here and importantly will be establishing Australian networks for possible future exchanges.
This week there were some major ministerial announcements around the development of the National Cultural Policy (NCP), including a review of the Australia Council. It is widely expected that the Government will announce new ideas and programs that the Australia Council will deliver as part of the NCP.
One of the great advantages of working with Ausdance National is the opportunity to see performances and appreciate some of the excellent dance training we have in this country.
In Perth recently for the Ausdance directors’ meeting, I was lucky enough to catch Summerdance, the end-of-year performance by WAAPA students who premiered Balanchine’s great classic, Serenade, staged by Balanchine Trust repetiteur Eve Lawson. The work was beautifully performed, as WA’s 7.30 program reported, and the students also gave outstanding performances of works by Gabrielle Nankivell, Xiao-Xiong Zhang and Natalie Weir.
This week we’ve seen On Course in Canberra, QL2’s program of student work from a range of tertiary dance courses in Australia. Apart from exceptionally strong technique, the students’ maturity in communicating their ideas made for an entertaining and thought-provoking program.
I’d also been lucky enough to see the Paris Conservatoire student season in November in a program that included Noces by Angelin Preljocalj, and works by Hofesh Shechter and Thomas Lebrun. These students were also outstanding, but it's no surprise that it confirms Australian dance training as being up there with the world’s best!
This week we hosted Shannon Litzenberger in Canberra as part of her research into Australian cultural policy. Shannon is a Canadian dance artist, writer, director and advocate who we first met at the 2009 Dance Congress in Hamburg.
Shannon is particularly interested in the political process of developing a national cultural policy; the ways in which new funding models might be developed; the cultural diplomacy strategies of the government; the National Cultural Policy Discussion Paper and the various (and many) responses received by the government as part of its consultation.
In news that will particularly interest Australian dance researchers, educators and students, the Tanja Liedtke Foundation has announced that it has created the Tanja Liedtke digital archive, now freely accessible to anyone who is interested in knowing more about Tanja’s life and work.
The Foundation has also announced that one of Tanja's works, construct, has been voted by The Monthly magazine as one of 20 Australian masterpieces, across all art forms, since the year 2000. The work was declared the masterpiece in the category of contemporary dance, a great achievement!
Last week 25 dance support organisations met in Paris for three days of talks, presentations and performances. As we are members of the World Dance Alliance Asia Pacific, we had also organised for WDA people to provide this mainly European group with more information about its activities.
These annual meetings are an opportunity to share dance support strategies, ideas and visions for the future. We were invited on the first day to share this year’s achievements, a challenge for many European organisations that face severe funding cuts. Despite funding difficulties all round, presentations were inspirational and visionary for dance, and we came away with many ideas for collaborations and future planning with now-familiar colleagues such as Madeline Ritter and Ingo Diehl (Germany), Caroline Miller (Dance UK) and our French colleagues Agnès Wasserman and Frédéric Moreau.
Ausdance network directors usually meet twice a year to share ideas, update one another on projects and work toghether on plans for the future.
Last week it was Ausdance WA's turn to host the directors' meeting, and it was great to be back in the purpose built dance spaces at the King St Arts Centre where the meetings were held. While not all directors could be present this time, we heard about many excitinfg national projects, including plans for dance in the new Australian Curriculum, the 2012 Australian Youth Dance Festival to be held in Sydney next Easter, the launch of the Live Performance Training Package, the World Dance Alliance festival to be held in Taiwan next July, and, of course, the 2012 Australian Dance Awards to be held at the Heath Ledger Theatre in Perth on 1 September.
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.
Recent funding decisions across all sectors of the small to medium performing arts sector have highlighted the widening gap between what was considered to be 'adequate' funding for these companies five years ago, and the reality of their existence today. While we highlighted the issues in our contribution to the National Cultural Policy discussion paper, we also plan see the Arts Minister, Simon Crean, to again draw his attention to the parlous state of funding for smaller key organisations, especially in dance.
Junction is an artist exchange program initiated by Restless Dance Theatre to support and promote the development of new independent work. Piloting this program is independent artist Tobiah Booth-Remmers who is being mentored by Carol Wellman Kelly through the national JUMP mentoring program.
Hello. Thanks for joining us. Finally we're alive. Bet you were wondering what we've been doing!
Well, last year we talked to our dance partners and contributors about what information they wanted, needed and expected from our website. We also looked at the amazing work they had written and we'd published over the last 10+ years. A lot of it was very interesting and answered many questions, but it was trapped on paper collecting dust on the shelf. We also realised that we spent a lot of time making things happen with not much time left to tell you about it along the way.
We joined the many artists, companies and community organisations and made a submission to the National Cultural Policy discussion paper.
Because we think it’s important for the dance voice to be heard as part of the wider arts industry, we also coordinated the submissions from ArtsPeak and the National Advocates for Arts Education.
You can keep in touch with the development of the National Cultural Policy by joining the Arts Minister’s e-news.
Last week we joined other advisers and writers of the new Australian Curriculum in the Arts for a three-day induction meeting with ACARA (the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority). We worked intensively together to understand cross-curriculum, Indigenous and disability priorities, and in our own art forms to look at various aspects of the new curriculum.
Art form writers now have a tight timeline to complete first drafts, and advisers will have opportunities to review them in November and December. It’s anticipated that work will then continue into January and February before broader consultation begins.
When the National Advocates for Arts Education (NAAE) met in Sydney last month, we identified some of the things that all governments—Federal, State and Territory—will have to provide if they're to resource the Australian Curriculum in the Arts.
With the arts curriculum to begin trialling next year, we've lobbying for:
- Upgraded teacher training and professional development in each art form, especially for primary school teachers.
- Curriculum materials such as science's Primary Connections.
- Space within schools for safe learning environments.
- Clarification of the role of specialist teachers, artists in schools and arts companies.
We want dance artists to be able to diversify their careers, get more training if they need it and earn a realistic income.
Because we want to work with governments to reinvent a program that worked so well, we’ve commissioned Shane Carroll to review the SCOPE (Securing Career Opportunities and Professional Employment) program and provide us with the evidence we need to make the arguments. Shane has been one of the program’s leading advocates and drivers.
The Prime Minister, in her role as chair of the standing committee on the arts, today announced a significant program of research and development for dance that she said would provide Australia with a major advantage over France, its nearest rival in recognising dance as its most important cultural export. The ABC interrupted its sports broadcast to bring this contemporary dance update direct from the Prime Minister's office.
This was how we interpreted a request from ABC Radio National for a 'postcard from the future' during an interview about the arts and cultural policy in Australia. The program will go to air early next year, and the intention is to "reflect ... the broad policy shift from a vision about Australia developing and presenting a unique Australian cultural identity, to that of a sustainable arts and cultural industry or sector".
We'll let you know when the program is due to go to air.
This week I've been representing Ausdance at the Asia Pacific International Dance Conference and yesterday's World Dance Alliance AGM in Kuala Lumpur, where a new Executive Board was elected and the role of the networks reviewed.
The networks are a particularly valuable way for Australian dance people to get involved with WDA, so if you're interested in knowing more about them (see below), please contact us at Ausdance National. All Ausdance members are automatically members of WDA Asia Pacific and it's a great opportunity to extend your own networks and participate in new culturally diverse opportunities at the annual WDA conferences and festivals.
Shaping the Landscape: Celebrating Dance in Australia was launched by high profile Malaysian architect Hijjas Kasturi yesterday at the World Dance Alliance conference in Kuala Lumpur, in the presence of the Australian High Commissioner to Malaysia, Miles Kupa, and other dignatories. Read his speech.
This is a new Routledge publication which I've co-edited with Stephanie Burridge, so it was exciting to see it launched along with the Malaysian edition, Sharing Identities. These volumes are the third and fourth in the Celebrating dance in Asia and the Pacific series.
We've just signed a submission to the Senate Inquiry into recent ABC programming decisions, a move led by our ArtsPeak colleague NAVA (National Association for the Visual Arts).
We've been concerned by announcements lately that the ABC plans to axe some arts programs, but we're also keen to see regular arts news integrated across the news rather than as a token 'what's on' item at the end. ArtsPeak also made the point that the ABC's other arts programming should not be left under-resourced or dumbed down for the sake of ratings.
As SCOPE board members formally wound up the program in Sydney on Friday, we reflected that there was much to be proud of. We developed a model for dancers' career development and management and, with Australia Council support, we've been able to assist 99 artists to realise their dreams through professional career advice and small retraining scholarships.
We are continuing with online advice and support, and we're also planning an evaluation of the program to help us find new funding partners to bring back the scholarships and professional career guidance.
The Training Package will be launched in November, and the User Guide with the section on dance organisations and national qualifications is now available online. It will form the basis of the Innovation & Business Skills Australia (IBSA) free information sessions around Australia and online starting in November.
The information sessions will be advised by IBSA, but we'll keep everyone informed about the schedule.
The final version of the The Shape of the Australian Curriculum—The Arts was launched by School Education Minister Peter Garrett and Arts Minister Simon Crean in Sydney on 2 September, after more than two years of consultation by ACARA. It's so exciting to see dance there with the other art forms as part of the new Australian Curriculum!
Curriculum writers and an advisory panel have been appointed, and will meet with ACARA for an induction week on 18 October. We will be talking with teachers in schools as the writing progresses, but ACARA has said they will not be announcing publicly the names of the curriculum writers for privacy reasons.
WDA and daCi met for two days in August to plan for next year’s big event, and it was an impressive team that got together for the first time. Yunyu Wang is head of dance at the Taipei National University of the Arts, and she has assembled team of her colleagues, students and graduates to work on a festival that will welcome up to 1,000 young people, teachers, students and academics.
This partnership will be a first for daCi, an organisation that has never before met in an Asian country. Their team was equally impressive, and the two days were managed with skill and lots of patience by the planning committee of Yunyu, Ralph Buck, Jeff Meiners and Ann Kipling-Brown. We heard about the planned opening and closing events, and helped to plan an amazing program of masterclasses, workshops, keynote addresses and performances. There are also and plans for cultural tours of Taiwan before and after the festival, all of which will be available to groups wishing to come early or stay on afterwards.
Registrations, details of accommodation and the full program will be announced shortly. Keep an eye out on the WDA-daCi website.
What used to be referred to as "the WDA Presidents’ meeting" has now become the WDA Global Executive, a name change decided at the meeting headed by WDA Secretary-General Cheryl Stock. Others at the meeting included Jin-Wen Yu, President of WDA Americas, Yunyu Wang, President-elect of WDA Asia Pacific, Urmimala Sarkar, WDA Asia Pacific Vice-President elect, and Ralph Buck, Vice President of the Pacific region (and convenor of the 2012 Global Assembly in Taipei). I was also present as Secretary of the Asia-Pacific region, with apologies from current WDA AP President Anis Mohd Nor and WDA Europe President Joseph Fontano.
ABC Radio National is preparing a series of programs about the arts and cultural policy from 1968 to the present day in a series will go to air within Artworks, their Sunday morning arts program.
On Friday the ABC called us to discuss what's in the National Cultural Policy and how it might impact on the dance sector. They also asked about major historical moments in contemporary dance in the last 25 years, so it was good to be able to pinpoint several positive moments, and to say why we thought it was important to have a national cultural policy.
The World Dance Alliance Asia Pacific will be meeting in Taiwan this week to plan two major events. We'll be there, leading plans for the first meeting of international dance support organisations in November, and helping to plan the second – the WDA Global Summit in Taipei in July 2012 in partnership with dance and the Child international (daCi).
The meeting was facilitated by Ausdance National President, Professor Susan Street, and included organisations from a diverse range of the arts, education and creative industries. Sue worked with co-convenors of ArtsPeak, Julie Dyson (Ausdance) and Tamara Winikoff (National Association for the Visual Arts) to create a framework of four major principles from the National Cultural Policy that could be agreed to by all arts sectors and would be inclusive of their views. These were: 'Mainstreaming' the arts; the impact of technology; artists' career pathways, and Australia's position in the world, including the promotion of our cultural diversity. This framework gave voice to various views which were shared with the Minister.
With the recent release of the National Cultural Policy discussion paper, there has been a flurry of interest in understanding its content and the ways in which it might impact on artists and on Australian society generally. Ausdance National has organised a meeting between Arts Minister Simon Crean and the CEOs of 30 arts service organisations on August 17, an event that will see an extremely diverse group coming together in Canberra for a Ministerial briefing. They include members of ArtsPeak and the National Advocates for Arts Education (NAAE), and their portfolios range across copyright law, Indigenous arts, arts and disability, literature, publishing, visual and performing arts and arts education.