Careers in dance

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    Safe Dance IV—Investigating injuries in Australia’s professional dancers

    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.

    The Catalyst fund—same diversion of funding, new name?

    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.

    Every World Dance Alliance conference is an eye-opener for my choreographic practice

    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.

    The Australian Curriculum: The Arts finally endorsed

    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.

    Lina Limosani awarded 2015 Dame Peggy van Praagh Choreographic Fellowship

    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.

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    Goals

    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.

    Projects View all

    Safe Dance IV—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.

    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.

    Vote for Arts – 2 July 2016

    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.

    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.

    2015 Commonwealth Budget decisions on the Arts

    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.

    National Dance Forum 2015

    The National Dance Forum 2015 focused on the inherent concerns and realities affecting current professional practice in Australia.

    Australian Youth Dance Festival

    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.

    2012 National Dance Research Forum

    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.

    2013 National Dance Forum

    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?'

    Shaping the landscape—celebrating dance in Australia

    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.

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    Publications

    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.

    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.

    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.

    Dance in Australia: a profile

    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

    Australian Dance Summits 2001

    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.

    News / Blog / Press Releases / Events View all

    2016 Australian Dance Awards recipients

    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 company: Bangarra Dance Theatre for Lore

    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.

    David Mack performing in Frame of Mind

    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.

    Elma Kris performing in Lore

    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.

    Performers in On View: Live Portraits

    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.

    Services to dance

    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.

    Circa performing Il Ritorno 

    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.

    Powerhouse Youth Theatre & Force Majeure performing Jump First, Ask Later

    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. 

    Performers in Michelle's Story dancing in front of white salt dunes

    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.

    Performer in Motion Picture

    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.

    Joan Pope teaching a movement class to primary school students

    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. 

    Performers in Twilight dance beside the ocean

    2016 Australian Dance Awards nominees’ citations

    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.

    Australian Dance Awards 2016 shortlist

    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.

    2016 Shortlist Australian Dance AwardsOchre Contemporary Dance Company performing at the 2014 Sculpture by the Sea at Cottesloe beach, WA. Photo: Dana Weeks Photography.

    International Association for Dance Medicine & Science conference

    Our 26th Annual Conference of the International Association for Dance Medicine & Science (IADMS) is in Wanchai, Hong Kong from 20–23 October 2016. On 21 October 2016, we will hold A Day For Teachers, and on 22 October, A Day For Medics, with special programs available.

    Key information

    • When: Thursday 20 October – Sunday 23 October 2016
    • Where: The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, Wanchai, Hong Kong
    • For program, registration, accommodation and travel information, visit IADMS 26th Annual Conference

    This four-day conference is for people involved in the health care, education, administration and supervision of dancers, including physicians, physical therapists, allied health professionals, alternative health care practitioners, psychologists, arts administrators, artistic directors, choreographers, educators, scientists, movement specialists, and dancers.

    Call for applications—Sydney Dance Company pre-professional year 2017

    We are pleased to announce that applications are now open for Sydney Dance Company's 2017 Pre-Professional Year. Australian and New Zealand dancers aged 18 or over are eligible to apply.

    Led by course Director Linda Gamblin, this nationally accredited one year intensive offers students the chance to work with some of Australia’s most renowned choreographers and dance educators. Students will develop their technique, artistry and performance skills alongside members of Sydney Dance Company led by Artistic Director Rafael Bonachela.

    Sir Matthew Bourne auditions male dancers for Melbourne production

    Arts Centre Melbourne, Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures and Re:Bourne, the charitable arm of New Adventures are working towards a major creative project that will culminate in a one week season at Arts Centre Melbourne’s State Theatre in Autumn 2017.

    This project offers an opportunity for Melbourne-based dancers to work for one month with choreographer Sir Matthew Bourne’s leading international dance company. 

    Sir Matthew Bourne and other members of the New Adventures team will be in Melbourne in August 2016 to audition six male dancers to join the company for this one-off project at Arts Centre Melbourne.

    Key information

    • Audition date: Saturday 6 August 2016 (applications required)
    • Recalls: Sunday 7 August 2016
    • Where: Auditions and recalls will be held in a centrally located venue in Melbourne
    • Rehearsals & season: Sunday, 14 August 2016 (workshop) & Monday 13 March – Sunday 9 April 2017
    • For Melbourne-based male dancers with at least three years of professional level training in classical or contemporary dance with a stage appearance age between 14–22.
    • Audition notice and application information on the Arts Centre Melbourne website.
    • Applications close COB Tuesday 12 July 2016.

    Arts Centre Melbourne seeks two community dance artists for one-off project

    Arts Centre Melbourne, Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures and Re:Bourne, the charitable arm of New Adventures are working towards a major creative project that will culminate in a one week season at Arts Centre Melbourne’s State Theatre in Autumn 2017.

    This project offers an opportunity for Melbourne-based dance artists and physical performers to work with a leading international dance company.

    Sir Matthew Bourne and other members of the New Adventures team will be in Melbourne in August 2016 to find two community dance artists to join the company for this one-off project at Arts Centre Melbourne.

    Key information

    • For artists with experience in classical or contemporary dance, physical performance, mentoring of young people and dance workshop delivery.
    • Interview & workshop date: Monday 8 August 2016
    • Training: Friday 12 – Monday 15 August 2016
    • Outreach workshops: Monday 3 October – Sunday 11 December 2016 (P/T) &  Saturday 18 February and Sunday 19 February 2017
    • Rehearsals & season: Monday 13 March – Sunday 9 April 2017 (P/T and F/T)
    • Further details and position description on the Arts Centre Melbourne website.
    • Applications close COB Tuesday 12 July 2016.

    Asia-Pacific Channels June 2016 issue out now

    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.

    Download the June 2016 issue (2 MB)

    Asia–Pacific ChannelsImages from the June 2016 issue.

    We produce and publish Channels as a contribution to the World Dance Alliance and dance in our region. It also helps us build the international networks that provide professional development opportunities for Australian dance artists.

    Our work producing this publication helps us contribute to the World Dance Alliance's goals, which are:

    • To promote the recognition, development and mutual understanding of all forms of dance.
    • To facilitate communication and exchange among dance individuals, institutions and organisations interested in dance.
    • To provide a forum for discussion of matters relating to dance.
    • To encourage and support the research, education, criticism, creation and performance of dance.
    • To liaise, co-ordinate and participate in activities with other dance organisations in the world.

    Apply for the Caroline Plummer Fellowship in Community Dance 2017

    Apply now for the Caroline Plummer Fellowship in Community Dance. Applications close 1 June 2016.

    Caroline Plummer Fellowship in Community Dance

    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. 

    For more information please visit the University of Otago Fellows website and the Caroline Plummer website.

    National Arts Sector Meeting

    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 7 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.

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