Careers in dance

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    Creating Pathways keynote speech by Raymond Blanco

    What is contemporary Indigenous dance? When did this term become associated with our culture, our dance? Or is it Indigenous Contemporary? Have we an Historical Dance Culture or are we living a Dance Culture History? Do we make now from then or is it from then now? For some of us exposure to contemporary Indigenous dance came from television. If we were really lucky we had a group of dancers come to our town and teach and perform at our schools, and for the unlucky our only exposure came from Bangarra.

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    Sustainable careers for dance artists

    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.

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    Projects View all

    Investigating injuries in Australia’s professional dancers

    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.

    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.

    Creating Pathways National Indigenous Dance Forum

    Creating Pathways was a national Indigenous dance forum for mid-career dance artists held in October 2005 at the National Museum of Australia in Canberra. Participants came from all over Australia to discuss issues such as identity, training, the question of contemporary Indigenous dance, career opportunities and professional practice.

    As a result of recommendations made at Creating Pathways, a new position of National Indigenous Dance Coordinator was funded by the Australia Council.

    Creating Pathways was managed by Ausdance National and funded by the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Arts Board and the Dance Board of the Australia Council, and the Arts ministries of NSW, Queensland, Western Australia, South Australia and the Northern Territory.

    Keith Bain Choreographic Travel Fellowship

    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.

    Australian Dance Awards

    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.

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    Publications View all

    Ausdance National newsletter

    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.

    Brolga 40

    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.

    Dancehouse Diary

    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

    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.

    The Dame Peggy van Praagh memorial address

    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.

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    News / Blog / Press Releases / Events View all

    National Dance Forum 2017

    The 2017 National Dance Forum (NDF2017) 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. 

    NDF2017 will take place at the Victorian College of the Arts in Melbourne, 25–26 September 2017 and will follow the Australian Dance Awards (Arts Centre Melbourne, 24 September 2017).

    Dance artists, companies, presenters and researchers looking for ways to grow meaningful audience relationships and understand the issues around making art in a digital environment, need to attend. 

    The NDF2017 program will be released in July. For further details, updates and to contribute, visit the NDF2017 page on the Ausdance National website. Follow NDF 2017 on Twitter, #natdanceforum, and Ausdance National Facebook.

    National forum to explore dance practice in the digital age

    MEDIA RELEASE (90Kb PDF)

    16 May 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.

    Led by the dance sector’s advocate for 40 years—Ausdance National—the fourth National Dance Forum (NDF2017) will take place at the Victorian College of the Arts in Melbourne, 25–26 September 2017 and will follow the Australian Dance Awards (Arts Centre Melbourne, 24 September 2017).

    Dance artists, companies, presenters and researchers looking for ways to grow meaningful audience relationships and understand the issues around making art in a digital environment, need to attend.

    ‘The NDF2017 will facilitate the exchange of ideas, strengthen industry collaboration, and focus on the application of technical skills and resources—a tangible expression of Ausdance's 40th year of supporting, educating and inspiring Australia’s dance sector’, says Associate Professor Gene Moyle, who was recently appointed National President of the Australian Dance Council—Ausdance. 

    ‘We are very grateful to the Australia Council for the Arts for their support, and thank in advance the Ausdance network, Australian dance companies and service organisations that will work together to create this essential sector gathering', says Gene.

    The NDF2017 program will be developed in consultation with a curatorial panel, with keynotes given by Wesley Enoch, David Throsby and Sue Healey. Speakers from other organistions such as BlakDance, the Australian Major Performing Arts Group (AMPAG), the ABC, the Sydney Opera House, Carriageworks and Arts Front will be invited to participate. One section within the NDF program will focus on ‘the pitch’, with curated independent artists in 3-minute practitioner presentations focused on advocacting their work to new audiences.

    Ausdance Victoria will produce the event alongside the Australian Dance Awards in September. ‘We look forward to coming together at the 2017 National Dance Forum, for artists and companies to explore and discuss technological innovations that help to build new audiences across Australia and beyond’, says Michelle Silby, Executive Director, Ausdance Victoria and Director, Ausdance NSW. 

    ‘Forums such as these are essential for keeping dance practice and business both current and valid, and are vital for ensuring the longevity of the dance ecology’, says Elizabeth Vilmanis, Brisbane Dance Artists Hub co-founder and moderator.

    The NDF2017 program will be released in July. For further details, updates and to contribute, visit the NDF2017 page on the Ausdance National website. Follow NDF 2017 on Twitter @natdanceforum, #natdanceforum, and Ausdance National Facebook.

    Contact: Rachael Jennings, Communications & Publications Manager, Australian Dance Council—Ausdance Inc., Tel: +61 2 6182 0081, email

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

    National Dance Forum 2017, 25-26 September, Melbourne. visit ausdance.org.au

    National Indigenous Dance Forum

    BlakDance presents the National Indigenous Dance Forum (NIDF), 5–7 MAY 2017, Melbourne as part of the Bullarto Wonthaggi (everyone gathering together) program of Yirramboi First Nations Arts Festival.

    To attend, complete the Expression of Interest Form by Wednesday April 5.

    Ausdance welcomes return of Catalyst funds to the Australia Council

    Ausdance National and the Ausdance network welcome news today that the Arts Minister, Senator Mitch Fifield, has decided to return Catalyst funds to the Australia Council. 

    The sudden removal of funds from the Australia Council, the loss of transparent peer reviewed decision-making processes and uncertainty about the role of Catalyst have caused enormous disruption and distress across the sector.

    Ausdance National President-elect, Associate Professor Gene Moyle, said: ‘The Minister’s decision to return remaining Catalyst funds to the Australia Council is a very welcome step. The Minister is to be congratulated for acting on the strong messages he has received about the loss of highly-regarded dance companies and organisations, and has moved to address the ongoing concerns of the arts profession.

    ‘We now want to ensure that some funding balance will be returned to the small to medium dance sector in particular, so we welcome the Minister’s comment that “This will allow the Australia Council to continue to focus on supporting small to medium arts organisations.'

    We look forward to working with the Minister and the Australia Council to ensure that this goal is realised.

    Contact: Gene Moyle (0411 640 012) or Julie Dyson (041 2211 513)

    Media release, 18 March 2017 (84 Kb PDF)

    National Advocates for Arts Education report—March 2017

    The National Advocates for Arts Education (NAAE) has had a very productive start to 2017, with the NAAE paper advocating for inclusion of the Arts in the STEM agenda being submitted to the Federal Government’s Inquiry into Innovation and Creativity: Workforce for the new economy. The paper was co-authored by John Saunders and Sandra Gattenhof (Drama Australia), with input from all other artform members of NAAE, including dance educators Jeff Meiners (SA) and Sue Fox (Qld).

    While most people only refer to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) when discussing innovation and creativity, the Arts are considered in many countries to be an essential element of an innovative economy, hence the increasing advocacy for STEAM in Australia. We note with real concern that the arts were not included in the Federal Government’s original National Innovation & Science Agenda, nor do most submissions to the current inquiry mention the Arts.

    However, strong submissions were made for a STEAM agenda by several prominent organisations, including the Australian Major Performing Arts Group (AMPAG), the National Association for the Visual Arts (NAVA), the Australian Copyright Council, and Arts Educators, Practitioners & Researchers Australia, as well as several universities.

    NAAE wants to bring together all those advocates for STEAM and develop a new strategy for increasing the voice of the Arts in this country’s innovation agenda.

    To keep up with current NAAE agendas and discussions about future activities, go to our NAAE Facebook page and join the conversation.

    Julie Dyson – Chair

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