The International Association for Dance Medicine and Science (IADMS) 26th Annual Conference was held in Hong Kong on October 20–23 2016. A group of Australian academics, clinicians, dancers and students were thrilled to be able to travel to Hong Kong to present our work to the dance research community. Australia should be proud to be at the forefront of this field, and a presentation on bibliometric analysis of dance publications identified Australia as one of the top countries in the world for quality and collaborative dance research!
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
The Standing Committee on Employment, Education and Training invites you to make a submission to the inquiry into Innovation and Creativity: Workforce for the New Economy
'On Wednesday 9 November 2016 the Committee adopted an inquiry referred by the Minister for Employment, Education and Training, Senator the Hon Simon Birmingham, asking the Committee to inquire into and report on matters that ensure Australia’s tertiary system—including universities and public and private providers of vocational education and training—can meet the needs of a future labour force focused on innovation and creativity.'
Make your submission by addressing the terms of reference by 13 January 2017.
The National Indigenous Dance Forum (NIDF), in partnership with Yirramboi Festival (Melbourne Indigenous Arts Festival), will take place from 5–7 May 2017 in Melbourne.
It's time to get involved! Be part of the NIDF Curatorial, or Community, working groups (or join BOTH).
Curatorial Working Group
The group will meet and communicate independently via teleconference and email to decide on the forum:
- planning process
- be advocates of the forum
- be responsible for selecting speakers and final participants (if we get more than 250 expressions of interest).
Community Access Group
On your travels to communities, you will need to advocate for the NIDF and make sure everyone you are connected to knows about it. You will need to:
- explain to communities when the dance forum is and why it’s important to come
- explain that it’s for traditional, cultural and contemporary groups and individuals
- explain that it is a platform for the right discussions to happen. If people have issues, they need to come and raise them.
Contact BlakDance if you would like to join either, or BOTH, working groups.
The program offers four weeks stay in Berlin, with three weeks dedicated to a creative development residency at ada Studio
The Fellowship includes return flights, accommodation and financial support for the fellow and their creative development project.
The Tanja Liedtke Fellowship focuses on young emerging Australian dancer/choreographers between the ages of 20 and 35 years.
- Program dates—31 July to 27 August 2017.
- Applications close 16 December 2016.
Bold—celebrating the legacy of dance, 8–12 March 2017
Hosted by National Library of Australia, National Film and Sound Archive, National Portrait Gallery and QL2 Dance in association with Ausdance ACT. Directed by Liz Lea.
Bold invites practitioners, researchers and performers interested in sharing and creating dialogue about the legacy of professional and community dance and their interrelations to make submissions for
- Pecha Kuchas
- paper presentations
Proposals due 18 November 2016. For submission details, please visit The Bold Festival.
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'.