National Dance Forum 2017

The 2017 National Dance Forum will bring together makers, producers and presenters to discuss and share knowledge on current digital practices and technological developments. The two-day forum will focus on strengthening the dance sector’s capacity within the digital domain. It will engage artists in developing and sharing skills in this environment.

The fourth National Dance Forum (NDF2017) will take place from 25–26 September 2017 at the Victorian College of the Arts in Melbourne, Victoria.

Project Status

Artists are asking ‘how can I expand my audiences and get my work out there more? What are the mechanisms?’

We know the sector wants a chance to share, inspire, connect and to be inspired by the whole of dance industry—that includes the broader ecology, from independents to majors—and not remain isolated with static audience numbers.

In recent years, the NDF has been a key event for many artists to touch base with other artists from across Australia to discuss practice, keep up to date on industry trends and extend knowledge. Significantly, the forums have also provided a platform for artists to help understand their positioning within the larger Australian dance context, to strengthen ties across the dance industry, and to have a robust conversation about industry-wide issues. — Elizabeth Vilmanis, co-founder and moderator, Brisbane Dance Artists Hub 

Why attend? 

Make technology work for you, and your work will have greater reach.

Dance artists, companies and presenters looking for ways to grow meaningful audience relationships and understand the issues around making art in a digital environment, need to attend. You will learn about digital distribution, access skills and resources, and learn new ways to make your work accessible to audiences while maintaining artistic integrity.


A key deliverable of the NDF is the development of a digital futures agenda for the dance sector, using the NDF as the impetus and platform for sector-wide conversation and action, led by Ausdance National.

This central theme of NDF2017 investigates how we work in a digital age while exploring the best innovative practice possible to ‘make’ and distribute dance work to a wider audience. The digital age calls for a discussion on ways to provide more access to more Australians to see and experience dance in the virtual realm.

NDF 2017 will address four key questions:

  • How do we approach or adapt artistic practice to take advantage of new digital technology, and use it to create meaning? Or is technology an art form in its own right?
  • How is work curated and created for digital distribution?
  • How can artists expand their reach to new and existing audiences?
  • What can we take from other industries that have successfully (or unsuccessfully) navigated digital disruption and/or developed an effective digital futures agenda?

Apply to present

Call for expressions of interest: 10-minute presentation

We welcome your proposal to make a 10-minute presentation about your work that directly addresses one or all of the four key questions. The program will be shaped by these questions, and we will choose presentations based on innovative practice, relevance to the topics, and by hearing about some of the challenges faced in creating work in a digital environment.

Call for expressions of interest: 3-minute pitch presentation

We invite practitioners who use digital technology in, or for, their work to demonstrate innovation and/or digital distribution strategies in a 3-minute pitch session.


Wesley Enoch will give the keynote address, placing dance in a wide cultural context and providing provocation about the place of dance and dance makers in our cultural landscape.

Professor David Throsby AO is a Distinguished Professor in the Department of Economics at Macquarie University. He is internationally known for his work as an economist with specialist interests in the economics of the arts and culture.

Sue Healey is a Sydney-based choreographer, filmmaker and installation artist. Her work investigates the potential that lies at the shifting boundaries between disciplines, and the revelations that are sparked at those intersections. Critically, movement is at the heart of each of the works. 

The forum will be facilitated by Associate Professor Gene Moyle. 

Advisory panel

An advisory panel will assist in supporting Ausdance National and the NDF Curator in the development and delivery of this event. The advisory panel currently includes Gene Moyle (Ausdance National President), Shane Carroll (independent advisor), Michelle Silby (Executive Director, Ausdance VIC), Merindah Donnelly (CEO, BlakDance), Lizzie Vilmanis (Independent Artist/Ausdance QLD), Paul Selwyn-Norton (Director, STRUT Dance WA), Monica Stevens (independent artist/BlakDance Elder) and Julie Dyson (peak body representative, Ausdance National). 

Academic advisors and contributors include Professor Kim Vincs (Swinburne), Dr Jordan Beth Vincent (Deakin Motion Lab).


The program will be announced in July. Please contribute your ideas in the comments section below, or email Ausdance.

Project partners and funding

Ausdance Victoria will produce the NDF2017 event alongside the Australian Dance Awards in September. The NDF2017 will be supported by the Ausdance network. 

This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body.

News + Events

Recent News

National forum to explore dance practice in the digital age

Upcoming Events

There are currently no upcoming events for this project.

Related Projects

2013 National Dance Forum View this project

Exploring the unique qualities of dance as an artform and why we choose it as our mode of expression, communication or storytelling, this forum embraced views from multiple perspectives: maker, dancer, educator, audience member and the broader community, while focusing on a central question, 'Why dance?'

2011 National Dance Forum View this project

Some of Australia’s most exciting dancers, choreographers, curators, critics and collaborators met to discuss and reflect on the state of dance practice in Australia now, and to chart a course for the future.


Comment on this section
Jasbinder Kullar avatar

Jasbinder Kullar commented on

My daughter and I will be returning on July 27. Could she still be enrolled for the program?