The 4th Safe Dance® project, Safe Dance IV—Investigating injuries in Australia’s professional dancers, is about to be launched by the University of Sydney and Ausdance. This national survey of all professional dancers in Australia is being conducted by Amy Vassallo, a PhD candidate, and her supervisors Dr Claire Hiller, A/Prof Evangelos Pappas and A/Prof Emmanuel Stamatakis. It has been developed based on previous national and international dance injury studies, a comprehensive review of relevant literature in the field of sport medicine and epidemiological research and expert advice from the local dance community.
Australian choreographer Lewis Major was one of eight choreographers selected to participate in the International Young Choreographer Project (IYCP) held in southern Taiwan in July/August this year.
As you may know, the arts sector responded with overwhelming support for the role of The Australia Council when it responded to the Senate inquiry into the 'Impact of the 2014 and 2015 Commonwealth Budget decisions on the Arts', or, in other words, the sudden diversion of Australia Council funds to establish the National Program for Arts Excellence.
WDA is free to us at Ausdance, yet so few artists know about this amazing opportunity each year in different locations around the world. Each conference has been an eye-opener for my choreographic practice—understanding the links between it and academic research, studio practice, dance in the rest of the world and most significantly for me, intercultural dance. Every topic is covered: from dancer-choreographer relationships to education to the role of women in dance and politics. Many people have become good friends, and we have formed a strong bond. I love it.
A seven-year campaign on behalf of arts educators across the country came to an end this week with the final endorsement of The Australian Curriculum: The Arts! Thanks go to the National Advocates for Arts Education - NAAE, which represents the five art forms included as separate subjects in the curriculum. The Arts were not initially included in the national curriculum at all, and this week therefore marks a significant occasion, when The Arts are not only in the curriculum, but they include all five art forms: Dance, Drama, Media Arts, Music and the Visual Arts.
The dancer’s performing life is highly focused, demanding dedicated vocational training from an early age, and it depends on time-consuming creative and physical regimes. Dance artists, in contrast with other artists, are particularly challenged when it comes to professional career development.
Australia is at the forefront of dance injury epidemiology efforts; the Safe Dance Project Report on dance injury prevention and management in the Australian dance profession, known as Safe Dance®, was launched over 25 years ago. It was the first study of its kind conducted in Australia and showed an alarming prevalence of both chronic and acute injuries in Australian dancers. These findings led to a variety of recommendations and initiatives, including a recommendation to repeat the Safe Dance study regularly to evaluate the effect of these initiatives and provide further insight into dancer health and wellbeing.
The annual Australian Dance Awards recognise and honour professional Australian dance artists who have made an outstanding contribution to Australian dance. The event aims to publicly honour and reward those who have, through their achievements, raised the standards of dance in Australia; raise the profile and prestige of dance and acknowledge the depth and diversity of the dance profession in our society; and present a performance program representing excellence and diversity in the pinnacle of both innovative and established dance.
For the first time in a generation, the arts are claiming space in the lead-up to a federal election. While ‘jobs and growth’ and ‘putting people first’ are dominating the debate, after 18 months of cuts, despair and confusion, the arts community is coming together and calling for our voices to be heard.
Here's our guide to putting arts on the political agenda.
The Keith Bain bequest provides financial assistance for an emerging choreographer to travel internationally with the sole purpose of developing and extending their choreographic practice.
The Commonwealth Budget 2015–16 announced major changes to arts funding. With funds cut from the Australia Council, the Federal Minister for Arts established the National Program for Excellence in the Arts. This led to reduced funding programs across the professional dance sector, increased uncertainty about the sustainability of artists' careers, and the potential loss of arms’ length funding and genuine peer assessment.
We are working with our members and ArtsPeak to contribute policy direction and provide advice.
Articles in this issue explore ideas that relate to improvisation as it has been experienced in a practical, bodily way.
Marchant’s article Dance Improvisation: Why warm up at all? considers what takes place before improvising begins, while warming up. In Improcinemaniac, Reid describes her simultaneous practice of screendance and improvisation. Reid uses language that is deliberately poetic, and deconstructs and reassembles words in order to question or reconfigure meanings, particularly those of conventional dance language. Using improvisational play with light and lens is also described by Wilson who applies a deeply embodied approach, developed over years working as a dancer, to her visual art practice in experimental photography. Millard’s What’s the score? explores the use of scores or verbal propositions as supports for dance improvisation. In Gaps in the Body, Fraser writes of having arrived at an understanding of improvisation that, rather than being about moving, is about ‘attention’. McLeod’s article, The Ethos of the Mover/Witness Dyad, describes the response of an invited public to a performative Authentic Movement event over three evenings.
Published every two months, and themed around an event or popular dance topic, our email newsletter reflects on professional dance practice and shares ways for you to get involved.
The Dancehouse Diary aims to bring the independent dance makers’ thinking to wider audiences. It aims at developing rigorous content around their work and triggering new perspectives and connections around their research. It is a catalyst for provoking critical thinking, discourse and a poetic vision of dance and other related arts forms. It is Dancehouse’s mission to cultivate access and appreciation of this art form and for that, the Diary is a less ephemeral and a more in-depth attempt to make those connections.
Asia–Pacific Channels is the bi-annual newsletter of the World Dance Alliance (WDA), published by Ausdance National in collaboration with MyDance Alliance in Malaysia. It profiles dance events and activities from WDA members throughout the Asia–Pacific region.
Dame Peggy van Praagh, founding Artistic Director of The Australian Ballet, had a vision of developing a unique dance culture for Australian dance. The Ausdance memorial addresses pay tribute to, and acknowledge, her legacy in this country.
Senator the Hon. Simon Birmingham
Minister for Education and Training
PC Box 6100, Senate
Canberra ACT 2600
Ausdance is deeply concerned about your decision to include some of Australia's leading professional dance training courses in the crackdown on courses eligible for VET student loans.
We are particularly concerned about the statement that these professional dance training courses are being subsidised because they are 'used simply to boost enrolments, or provide 'lifestyle' choices, but don't lead to work'.
NAISDA Dance College is inviting young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people from around Australia to register their interest to audition for NAISDA’s 2017 intake.
The annual Australian Dance Awards recognise and honour professional Australian dance artists who have made an outstanding contribution to Australian dance.
Presented by Ausdance and Harlequin Floors, the 2016 Australian Dance Awards were held at The State Theatre Centre of Western Australia, Perth, Sunday 18 September at 6.30 pm as part of the MoveMe Festival 2016.
Ausdance thanks presenting partner Harlequin Floors; Gaynor-Minden, Equity, AON Risk Services; and other partners. Ausdance is assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body.
The Australian Dance Awards are produced by the Australian Dance Council—Ausdance.
Outstanding Performance by a Company
Bangarra Dance Theatre's Lore for an uplifting, intense and beautiful double bill, incorporating myriad choreographic styles performed by an ensemble of versatile and superb dancers.
Outstanding Performance by a Male Dancer
David Mack in Sydney Dance Company's Frame of Mind for a mesmerising and sensational performance, demonstrating exceptional technique and clarity of line, along with extraordinary focus, strength and fluidity.
Outstanding Performance by a Female Dancer
Elma Kris in Bangarra Dance Theatre's Lore for her charismatic and stand-out performance in a pivotal role that showed great wisdom, skill and ability to connect with an audience through her commanding and magnificent storytelling.
Outstanding Achievement in Independent Dance
Sue Healey for On View: Live Portraits—a sophisticated, perceptive and ingenious work that was entertaining, beautiful and powerful, with stunning, innovative choreography and photography throughout.
Services to Dance
Roy David Page (composer, performer, Nunukul Munaldjali man) for his many talents across multiple genres and art forms, and particularly for his prolific production of memorable and exceptional compositions for Bangarra Dance Theatre.
Outstanding Achievement in Commercial Dance, Musicals or Physical Theatre
Circa Contemporary Circus for Il Ritorno—a compelling and dramatic story presented via circus, acrobatics, opera and physical theatre with astounding vision, technique, design and music.
Outstanding Achievement in Youth Dance
Force Majeure & Powerhouse Youth Theatre (PYT) for Jump First, Ask Later—a brilliant and life-altering collaboration creating an urban choreographic portrait of the culturally diverse streets of Western Sydney as experienced by the young performers.
Outstanding Achievement in Dance on Film or New Media
Meryl Tankard for Michelle’s Story—an intimate and uplifting film about Meryl Tankard’s long-time friend and colleague Michelle Ryan—a testament to a dancer’s transformative ability to gather strength through her art.
Outstanding Achievement in Choreography
Lucy Guerin for Motion Picture (Lucy Guerin Inc.)—an innovative, sophisticated and surprising work inspired by the film noir aesthetic and meticulously crafted by a visionary choreographer.
Services to Dance Education
Dr Joan Pope OAM (teacher, Dalcroze Eurhythmics educator & researcher, community activist)—for more than 50 years of inspired and passionate leadership, for her commitment to education through dance and music and for a lasting impact on generations of young artists and communities.
Outstanding Achievement in Community Dance
Dancenorth for Twilight—Cheryl Stock’s spectacular, multi-site, intergenerational and culturally diverse dance and music journey from dusk to dark in a meaningful and memorable anniversary celebration of Dancenorth and Townsville.
The Australian Dance Awards citations are based on information provided by nominators and are written by Leanne Craig, Australian Dance Awards nominations coordinator, in consultation with the Australian Dance Awards nominations panel.
Congratulations to the shortlisted nominees.
Presented by Ausdance and Harlequin Floors, the 2016 Australian Dance Awards will be held at The State Theatre Centre of Western Australia, Perth, Sunday 18 September at 6.30 pm as part of the MoveMe Festival 2016.
Get your tickets from Ticketek.