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.
Philip Channells reflects on Singapore’s 2015 World Dance Alliance Asia–Pacific conference.
An original member of Garry Stewart's Australian Dance Theatre (ADT), Lina as been a choreographer since 2000. Her recent work, A Delicate Situation, was shortlisted for the 2015 Australian Dance Award for Outstanding Contribution to Independent Dance. Lina will use her Peggy van Praagh Choreographic Fellowship honing her theatrical devising practices including her approach to constructing narrative and characters and working with the voice, particularly techniques for warm-up, projection, endurance and dynamic range.
This panel features dynamic and diverse representation from some of Australia’s leading voices within the regional arts sector. They will engage you in a debate on notions of excellence, community engagement and being objectified as ‘regional'. Listen to the podcast and read the movement response.
Karen Veldhuizen shares her personal highlights from National Dance Forum 2015. 'I offer them to you as representative of the sense of belonging I found amongst the Australian dance community.'
Annette Carmichael responds to Andrew Morrish's National Dance Forum 2015 provocation.
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.
Before Keith Bain OAM passed away in 2012, he left a bequest to Ausdance National to provide financial assistance for an emerging choreographer to travel internationally with the sole purpose of developing and extending their choreographic practice.
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.
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.
The National Dance Forum 2015 focused on the inherent concerns and realities affecting current professional practice in Australia.
The Australian Youth Dance Festival provides creative development opportunities for young people at all skills levels. They work with some of the finest and most exciting dance makers in Australia.
The experience provides professional dance artists with creative challenges, professional development and opportunities to work alongside their peers and with Australia's rising youth dance talent.
Participants include school students, youth dance company members, full-time dance students and relative beginners in dance, as well as dance teachers, choreographers and youth dance leaders.
In 2012, Ausdance National, with the Tertiary Dance Council of Australia (TDCA), hosted a forum for dance researchers at Deakin University and Victorian College of the Arts in Melbourne.
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?'
This, the fourth book in the series Celebrating Dance in Asia and the Pacific, explores the current dance scene in Australia from a wide perspective that mirrors the creative engagement of artists with Australian culture and the landscape.
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.
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.
Moving on presents the findings of research into problems and prospects for career transition amongst professional dancers in Australia.
A report on the organisational structure of dance in Australia, the situation of individual dancers, the characteristics of audiences, funding issues, and dance education and training
This report presents some of the debate from a series of Dance Summits held in each State and Territory during February/March 2001. In 1991, under the auspices of the Australia Council, 148 members of the Australian dance community gathered in Canberra to debate the future of dance for the following decade. Much was achieved from those recommendations, but with a new decade about to begin, Ausdance assumed the role of facilitator and organised a series of State and Territory meetings, culminating in a national summit in Canberra on 26 March 2001. More than 220 members of the Australian dance community debated a wide range of issues during these consultations, and agreed on six priorities for action.
This report uses the experience of arts teachers to show how the key competencies may have a generic function across the five arts areas.
Apply now for the Caroline Plummer Fellowship in Community Dance. Applications close 1 June 2016.
The Caroline Plummer Fellowship in Community Dance is a six-month Fellowship offered by the University of Otago (School of Physical Education) in Dunedin, New Zealand. It is one of five prestigious Fellowships offered by the University and the only one offered internationally. Tenure is usually from 1 March to 31 August. It offers project costs and a salary equivalent with a Level One Lecturer at the University.
The Fellowship was set up by Caroline Plummer’s parents in memory of Caroline who died of cancer in 2004 at the age of 24.
Successful applicants will create and perform a community dance project. Projects can be wide-ranging and diverse but must embrace Caroline’s passion and vision for dance in the community.
Media Release, 16 May 2016
ArtsPeak, the national confederation of peak arts and cultural organisations, says the Australian arts ecology is under serious threat following the announcement of four-year funding decisions by the Australia Council.
Sixty-five previously funded organisations have lost funding for their core operations and of the 262 applications to the round, over half were not funded. It seems clear from these statistics that the jobs and growth mantra does not apply to the arts.
Nicole Beyer, ArtsPeak co-convenor and Director of Theatre Network Australia said: 'This is an incredibly tough time for the arts sector. We go from relief at the news of a company that has been successful to sadness when we hear of really vital and outstanding organisations that have missed out. We know that the Australia Council has been stretched. We know people will have been doing their very best in an incredibly difficult situation. There is a lot of support within the sector for those who missed out this time round and everyone understands it is no reflection on the quality or importance of their work'.
With the Federal election looming, ArtsPeak is calling for the restoration of Australia Council funding as a matter of urgency so that the Australian arts ecology can remain viable and vibrant. This call was made unanimously by 2700 individuals and organisations in submissions to last year’s Senate inquiry into arts funding, the largest ever response to such an inquiry.
Tamara Winikoff OAM, ArtsPeak co-convenor and Executive Director of the National Association for the Visual Arts (NAVA), said today: 'It couldn't be clearer that essential ingredients are missing: a national plan for growing and valuing Australian cultural ideas and expression; political courage to embrace experimentation and risk taking; celebration of the arts as core to our national character and achievement; and a real investment in building a vibrant, confident arts environment. It's time to stop tinkering at the edges. The arts has proved itself time and again to be an incredibly valuable investment. Please can we see all the political parties put this on the election agenda.'
ArtsPeak urges politicians to recognise the value of arts and culture to all Australians, to invest in it appropriately and to ensure that the arms-length approach to funding decisions in the arts is maintained.
Media release also available on the NAVA website: ArtsPeak calls for restoration of Australia Council Funding
For media comment please contact:
Tamara Winikoff OAM, Executive Director, National Association for the Visual Arts (NAVA) 0411 162 156 / 02 9368 1900
Nicole Beyer, Director, Theatre Network Australia 0432 609 658
13 May 2016 media release
The Australian Dance Council—Ausdance congratulates the 12 dance organisations which were successful in the four-year funding announcements by the Australia Council. There is a solid core of highly creative, inspiring and highly productive organisations to create and tour dance around Australia and overseas.
Regrettably, the Australian Dance Council—Ausdance Inc (Ausdance National) finds itself amongst the 62 previously funded organisations that have not been successful. Ausdance National has been notified by the Australia Council that it will not receive operational funding beyond 31 December this year. This brings to an end many years of operational support for the work of Ausdance National.
Ausdance National has supported the dance industry through development projects such as the National Dance Forum, the Australian Dance Awards, Safe Dance® research, organising the annual meeting of dance company managers, and publishing authoritative guidelines for teaching dance and academic articles about dance. It was the organisation the Royal Commission called on for consultation in private meetings. Ausdance also holds bequests from Dame Peggy van Praagh and Keith Bain to award to professional dancers each year.
Neil Roach, the Acting CEO of Ausdance National, said today: “Ausdance National has a 40 year legacy of solid support for the dance industry. While there are a number of associated State and Territory Ausdance offices supporting their local dance industry, as a peak body Ausdance National has had the overview of the entire sector and the national and global links to truly support the development of professional dance. This has now been put at risk.”
Ausdance National President, Brian Lucas, said today “Ausdance has been a key player in the development of the Australian dance sector over the past four decades. In that time, the organisation has adapted and grown, demonstrating both the ability to be responsive to the changing needs of its membership and a willingness to assist in driving the growth and strength of the sector through the implementation of key initiatives and programmes.
It would be virtually impossible to find a dancer, choreographer, dance teacher, dance student, dance academic, or dance audience member who has not been positively and substantially impacted by the activities of the organisation.
Now it is time for Ausdance National to draw on its substantial reserves of experience, knowledge and resourcefulness as we adapt and respond to our drastically changed circumstances.
The mission of the organisation—to educate, inspire and support the dance community to reach its potential as a dynamic force within local, national and international communities—remains steadfast and unchanged. Our challenge is to assess how best to ensure that this vital mission can be maintained and upheld during this difficult period in Australian arts history, and into the future.”
For media comment and enquiries please contact:
Neil Roach, Acting CEO, Australian Dance Council—Ausdance (Ausdance National) on
02 6248 8992. [email protected]
Welcome! ArtsPeak is producing a series of National Arts Sector Updates in the lead up to the Federal election in July.
This work picks up on last year's Free the Arts updates and is being delivered as part of our partnership with Feral Arts.
A National Election Strategy Group is coordinating the work. Membership is open to anyone. If you would like to get involved email [email protected]
Please share this update in your networks and with your members.
National Arts Election Debate 2016
- Where: Wheeler Centre, Melbourne
- When: 1.00 pm – 3.00 pm, 8 June
- Register for the National Arts Election Debate
ArtsPeak is organising a National Arts Election Debate in Melbourne on the 8 June. The debate will bring the arts leaders of each of the major parties together to share their big ideas and respond to the burning questions of industry leaders and commentators from across the industry.
Patricia Karvelas (ABC and Sky news) will moderate a three cornered contest. Arts Minister Senator Mitch Fifield has been invited, and Shadow Arts MinisterMark Dreyfus and Greens Arts Spokesperson, Adam Bandt are already confirmed.
Space is limited so book early.
The debate will be live streamed—details to follow in future updates.
Election debate questions
Ideas for questions for the debate are being gathered online. Everyone is invited to add their thoughts. The final list of questions will be distilled by a steering group of representatives from across the sector.
National Arts Sector Meeting
- Where: Arts House, North Melbourne Town Hall , Queensberry St, North Melbourne, Victoria
- When: 12.45 pm – 5.00 pm, 7 June
- Register for the National Arts Sector Meeting (Space is limited, so please book early.)
In conjunction with the National Arts Election Debate we are organising a National Arts Sector Meeting in Melbourne on h June—the day before the Debate.
We hope that sector reps from across the country will be able to make it Melbourne for the meeting (and the Debate the following day). An agenda will be developed closer to the day.
We need a group of Melbourne-based people to help out with the organisation of the day. If you can help, please visit our Google doc to connect.
Communications and social media
Collaborative Online Space
We have set up a Google docs folder to help people connect and work together during the campaign.
Media coverage has started to pick up again and we encourage everyone to start to speak up and make noise again.
Recent Media Highlights include:
- Arts funding is inconsistent and questionable —Esther Anatolitis
- It is a deal easier to eviscerate an arts sector than it is build one up —Julian Meyrick
- Arts sector's worst nightmare comes true as Catalyst is a smokescreen for pork —Ben Eltham
- The latest edition of Loudmouth —Dick Letts
We are continuing to post updates to the Free the Arts Facebook page.
It would be great to get some more active sharing and commenting on this page over the coming weeks.
We propose all using this one hashtag for the period leading up to the election.
Wherever possible it would good to also use #AusVotes with it to make sure the arts issue are part of the broader election sharing.
For more info or feedback
ArtsPeak Media Release (45 KB PDF)
9 May 2016
The arts sector is reeling today at news that an extraordinary $13m in Catalyst funds were secretly pushed out the door over the weekend just in advance of the election being called and caretaker mode beginning.
In total $23,317,301 has now been spent – nearly half the $48m allocated for the next 4 years of Catalyst operations. When Senate Estimates sat last Thursday evening the committee were only made aware of the $10m of grants announced by Arts Minister Mitch Fifield last week.
ArtsPeak spokeperson and CEO of the National Association of Visual Arts NAVA Tamara Winikoff said:
Our worst suspicions are now being confirmed that the government is using arts funding for thinly disguised political purposes. Of course we congratulate the successful applicants and we hope at least some of the cash splash lands in places that will help sustain artists who will be hit hard by this week’s Australia Council 4 year funding announcements. It just makes a complete mockery of all the hard work artists do in planning their programs and making applications. What is going to happen over the next four years now that half the Catalyst money is gone?
The arts and cultural sector has been further confused by the allocation of significant monies to capital works projects such as the $1m for the redevelopment of the Primrose Potter Australian Ballet Centre. This would appear to fall outside the remit and original intention of the Catalyst Fund.
It simply is not appropriate for Catalyst to fund things like this regardless of how important it might be. The capacity of the sector to be adventurous and innovative is being smothered in favour of government anointed programs. Funding for capital works should come from other sources – not cripple the already scant funding available to small to medium companies and individual artists who are actually innovating. This sends a terrible message to the arts community about the government’s priorities ahead of the election.
For further comment contact Tamara Winikoff – 0411 162156, [email protected]
ArtsPeak—Confederation of Peak National Arts Organisations
Hopes that the government would take the opportunity to fix the mess it created twelve months ago were dashed, with no mention of arts and culture in the pre-election Budget handed down in Canberra last night.
ArtsPeak spokesperson and Executive Director of the National Association for the Visual Arts, Tamara Winikoff OAM said, “Unfortunately when it comes to the arts, it seems this government is not concerned about forcing job losses and causing chaos, the very opposite of the PM’s mantra about jobs and growth. The 2016 Budget does nothing to redress the devastating impact of the cuts to the Australia Council and ongoing ‘efficiency dividend’ imposed by the government in 2014 and 2015. The cuts total more than $42 million/year. Massive destabilisation of the arts industry is resulting from decisions made by the current government, and without any policy framework, it looks set to continue.”
Media Release 7 March 2016
ArtsPeak (the confederation of Australian national peak arts organisations and state arts industry councils), at its meeting on Wednesday 2nd March, called on the Commonwealth Government to urgently provide a positive public response to the recommendations of the Senate Inquiry into the impact of the 2014 and 2015 Commonwealth Budget decisions on the Arts.
At the meeting ArtsPeak reaffirmed its full endorsement of all 13 recommendations made in the Inquiry report, highlighting two in particular that need an urgent response before the upcoming election: that the government develop and articulate an evidence-based, coherent and clear arts policy in consultation with the arts sector and that the Commonwealth government restore to the Australia Council the full amount of funds diverted from it in the 2014 MYEFO and 2014 and 15 Budgets (see full set of Senate Inquiry Recommendations attached).
Co-convenor of ArtsPeak, Nicole Beyer said today, “The time to act is now. It has been three months since the Senate Inquiry report was handed down and there has been no action from the government to implement any of the recommendations. Arts companies across the country are now starting to fail, tours are being cancelled and projects abandoned. The government needs to take responsibility, and to make clear public announcements about its intended actions in response the report.”
ArtsPeak Co-convenor Tamara Winikoff OAM agreed, 'What the Minister is being told loud and clear is that the Government’s funding cuts are destabilising the arts infrastructure to a major extent and this needs to be fixed urgently. Despite a token gesture by the Arts Minister, the cuts are incrementally crippling both small to medium arts organisations and major cultural institutions in Canberra.'
Winikoff continued, 'In an election year the arts sector is looking to the government to act quickly and decisively to properly fix the mess it has created over the last two years. Implementing the Senate Inquiry recommendations is a vital first step. The May budget is the government’s window of opportunity to restore arts funding and regain the trust of artists, organisations and arts audiences and supporters across the country.'
The Senate Inquiry recommendations encapsulated the sentiments of almost 3000 submissions from individuals and organisations as well as hundreds of people who spoke at the public hearings conducted in 10 cities around the country.
The volume of the Inquiry response and the weight and unanimity of opinion is unprecedented in the arts in Australia. It has led to a new mood of motivation and co-operation across the whole arts community to ensure that the stability and sustainability of the arts is restored.
For media comment please contact: Nicole Beyer, Director, Theatre Network Australia 0432 609 658 Tamara Winikoff OAM, Executive Director, National Association for the Visual Arts (NAVA) 0411 162 156 / 02 9368 1900
Recommendations of the Senate Inquiry into the impact of the 2014 and 2015
5.8 The committee recommends that the government develop and articulate, in consultation with the arts sector, a coherent and clear arts policy, including priorities for arts funding supported by evidence-based analysis, and greater clarity about the respective roles of the Ministry for the Arts and the Australia Council, as well as the other statutory arts bodies.
UNESCO International Arts Education Week is an arts education advocacy event that draws attention to the role arts education plays in a global agenda of peace and cultural understanding. This is a great time to focus on and advocate for your arts education programs with parents, teachers, the media and your arts associations.
We support International Arts Education Week because we believe that arts education promotes personal and social well-being. Arts education develops students’ self-esteem, social interactions and confidence.
Ausdance National has joined with the University of Sydney to conduct a research study about the different types of injuries in company and independent professional dancers across Australia, their contributing risk factors, access to health services and return to dance practices.
We are looking for professional dancers to participate in this research. For more information about the study, or to be involved, please visit Safe Dance IV—Investigating injuries in Australia's professional dancers.
Please help us in spreading the word about this study by forwarding this notice to any dancers you think may be interested in participating.
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to email Amy Vassallo, a PhD candidate at the Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Sydney.
Force Majeure and Australian Theatre for Young People (ATYP) have launched FINE LINE, a three-year partnership to discover the next generation of writers for dance. Led by Force Majeure's Danielle Micich and ATYP's Frasier Corfield, the program will give young writers the opportunity to develop skills in writing for the medium of dance theatre. In 2016, FINE LINE will kick off with a skills masterclass. Writers aged 18–26 interested in telling stories through dance theatre are encouraged to apply.
- Date: 5–6 March, 10 am – 4 pm at ATYP
- Expressions of interest: Complete the online application form by 5 pm Thursday 11 February.
- More info: bit.ly/1WOSt3f
Following on from the skills masterclass, a group of up to three young writers will be selected for a series of script workshops. Danielle Micich will mentor the selected writers on every aspect of writing for dance theatre – from research and development, to how to write for a devised work with performers, to delivering a text. These will run from 4–9 July 2016.
The final stage of the three-year FINE LINE program will be the full-scale production of one or two scripts at ATYP.