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New study investigating injuries in Australia’s professional dancers

Safe Dance IV: Investigating injuries in Australia's professional dancers

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.

RealTime DanceWrite Workshop—applications now open

By Next Wave

Key information

  • For: 'able writers', fascinated by dance and open to new experiences
  • Workshop dates: 17–22 May 2016
  • Applications close 9 March 2016
  • Queries: Keith Gallasch 0410 664549
  • For information & application, download RealTime's Dancewrite PDF

If you’re fascinated by dance, open to new experiences and you’re an able writer, you’ll find this five-day workshop with mentors and the editors of leading Australian performing arts magazine RealTime an ideal introduction to the excitement, craft and responsibilities of reviewing.

Good reviewing is vital for the arts. It produces considered, constructive responses and encourages dialogue in the community. The best reviewing is well-researched, vivid and cliché free.

From Tue 17 May – Sat 22 May, five participants will attend Next Wave dance performances, discuss works in detail, write reviews, share them with each other and edit them in consultation with the RealTime Managing Editors [who have conducted workshops in the UK and Asia, Canada and across Australia since 1996] and mentors.

DanceWrite is presented as part of the Sharing Space program, conceived by curator Hannah Mathews. The RealTime DanceWrite Workshop is presented in partnership with Sharing Space and Next Wave and is supported by the Australia Council for the Arts, the Australian Government’s arts funding and advisory body.

FINE LINE—develop dance theatre writing skills

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.

Skills masterclass

  • 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

Script workshops

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.

Chunky Move’s NEXT MOVE 2016 EOIs now open

NEXT MOVE is our commitment to developing the next generation of leading dance makers. Since its inception, we have commissioned, produced and presented nine new works through the Next Move program, some of which have gone on to tour nationally and internationally.

In 2016, we will commission two artists to each create a new short work for the Next Move program as part of a double bill. The works will be presented over a two-week season in September 2016 at the Chunky Move Studios.

We are now calling for expressions of interest and invite Australian dance makers with a least 5 years of professional practice to apply.

For further information, download the information pack.

Expressions of Interest are due no later than midnight on Friday 29 January 2016.

Please send any questions to Ben Ryan at ben@chunkymove.com.au or call 03 9645 5188.

APAM 2016: Talking dance—meet the makers

In 2016 nine dance makers including Ausdance National members Australian Dance Theatre and Shaun Parker & Company will meet at the Australian Performing Arts Market (APAM) at the Brisbane Powerhouse Brisbane from 22 to 26 February, where among other contemporary performing arts makers, they will pitch their shows to presenters from Australia and across the world.

Ausdance will be there trying to cover all nine pitches and the showcase performances, tweeting and Facebooking live, and on 23 February we will host a cocktail party for the dance makers and the presenters to meet in a less formal atmosphere to chat and swap contact details.

APAM is Australia’s marketplace for dance makers to meet international and national dance producers and tourers. Every two years, performing companies make pitches, create showcase performances and arrange tours. It is a key event that complements the Playing Australia touring process.

Watch more from the selected APAM dance makers

Australian dance companies and artists chosen to showcase or pitch their work as part of the Australian Performing Arts Market 2016 program.

Kate McDonald, Ian Pidd and Bec Reid will showcase their large-scale, site-specific and participatory dance celebration 'The Inaugural Annual Dance Affair'. 

Challenging questions explored at Ausdance dance sector meetings

Ausdance coordinated a meeting of eight representatives of the nationally funded dance companies with the CEO of the Australia Council and senior staff on 12 December 2015.

The aim was multiple: to understand the further implications of the diversion of funds to the National Program for Excellence in the Arts (now Catalyst); to query the status of the vacant role of Chair of Dance, as an announcement had not been made about retaining this role; and to discuss the role of funding in sustaining the dance ecology so carefully developed over the past years.

The diversion of funds does challenge the current number of nationally funded small to medium dance companies, and the announcement of funding or otherwise in April 2016 will reveal the extent of the loss. We note the recent departure of the Australia Council Director Dance Carin Mistry and thank her for many years of dedicated championing of professional dance. We congratulate the new Arts Practice Director, Dance, Adrian Burnett, and look forward to a similarly productive relationship.

Other meetings attended include a teleconference with ArtsPeak; a teleconference convened by the MEAA at the request of freelance commercial dancers to consider minimum pay rates, which will result in a first-ever survey of this sector (think #paythedancers); and a teleconference to consult with youth theatre companies with the thought of learning for youth dance funding.

World Dance Alliance Asia Pacific 2016 conference: call for performances, choreolab and symposium

In 2016, the Korean chapter of World Dance Alliance Asia Pacific (WDAAP) will host the WDAAP Annual General Meeting and surrounding activities as the event Dance routes—danced roots: connecting the local and the global. It will include showcase performances, an international choreolab and a symposium.

Key information

  • Conference theme: Dance routes—danced roots: connecting the local and the global
  • Conference location and date: Seoul, Korea, 21–24 July 2016
  • Apply to present: performances, scholarly, performative and Pecha Kucha style presentations
  • Apply to participate in the Choreolab
  • Submission deadline: 10 January 2016
  • Acceptance notification: 28 February 2016
  • For detailed information and to apply, visit the World Dance Alliance website

Applications are now open for participation in the following events:

  • Showcase Performances
  • International Choreolab
  • Symposium—call for proposals

The Showcase provides a concert platform for professional choreographers and performers, and pre-professional artists training in dance academies. The performances will take place in the theaters located in the ShangShin Univeristy or Arko Theater and will be open to registered participants of the WDAAP event and the general public.

The International Choreolab is designed for four emerging and mid-career choreographers to work intensively for almost one week under the mentorship of one Korean established dance artist and one internationally known choreographers (to be announced) resulting in a public showing of works in progress. You can apply to participate in the Choreolab as a choreographer or as a dancer.

The Symposium theme focuses on the idea of global and local connectivity through dance, looking at roots as well as routes that dance and dancers negotiate in different cultures of the contemporary world. Presentation formats include scholarly, performative and Pecha Kucha style presentations.

Australian arts funding—September 2015 update

In 2013, 702,000 Australians attended a performance, workshop, or school activity facilitated by a national dance organisation (Key Arts Organisation (KAO) or Major Performing Arts company (MPA)). Australian dance continued to make a significant impact overseas, reaching an international audience of 69,000 through 122 performances by KAOs and MPAs across Europe, South America and the Middle East. From a small amount of funding support our dance companies are engaging audiences, sharing Australian cultural experiences and supporting developing artists.

However, this is all at risk due to the changes in funding being rolled out following the May 2015 Federal Budget. The Australia Council for the Arts has suffered a $34 million cut over the past two budgets, reducing overall funding from $218.7million to $184.5 million.

These reductions have been focused on initiatives and sector grants and the cessation of programs such as ArtStart, Australian Fellowships and Artists In Residence programs. 

$110 million over four years has been directed to the Ministry for the Arts to facilitate the National Program for Excellence in the Arts (NPEA). The guidelines for this program are being drafted, but initial indications show the NPEA will not support individual artists or organisational sustainability.

The arts sector, concerned about these changes, were successful in lobbying the Senate to inquire into these changes. The inquiry is being undertaken by the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Reference Committee and received over 2000 submissions from the public, many opposing the changes.

The inquiry is hearing from a diverse range of artists and organisations, including many dance focused groups. The Committee is due to report in November.

The arts broadly and the professional dance sector specifically contributes to the understanding of Australia’s culture and international profile. While MPA dance companies earn 73 percent of their income via box office and other non-government support, internal Australia Council reporting highlights the reliance small to medium companies have on government support to be able to deliver their creative output. In 2013, dance key organisations received 69 percent of all income from government sources, compared to 37 percent in music and 50 percent in theatre.

Despite a recent increased focus on growing private sector funding by KAO dance companies, it remains only approximately $1 million a year, spread across 13 organisations. While this focus has seen an increase on previous years (260 percent since 2008), private funding for the arts has predominately been directed at larger, more established arts organisations. Small to medium organisations need a growth in base capacity and ongoing stability to be able to harness such relationships.

This is a challenging time for all involved in making professional dance. Follow the debate at #freethearts on Twitter and Facebook and via the Ausdance advocacy page.

Job opportunity: Dancenorth General Manager

Are you an experienced arts administrator, a strategic and inspirational leader, an exceptional collaborator, communicator and networker?

Dancenorth, Australia’s leading regional contemporary dance company, have a dynamic new structure that enables Australia’s most talented choreographers to create new works.  Fresh from a national tour the company is gaining attention and is looking for a dynamic leader to maximise upon opportunities to take them to the next level.

This full-time position is based in Townsville, North Queensland.

In the first instance, please email chair@dancenorth.com.au for a full job description by 5 pm Sunday 19 September.

ArtsPeak’s response to the draft guidelines for the National Program for Excellence in the Arts

ArtsPeak's response to National Program for Excellence in the Arts draft guidelines (360KB PDF)

Dear Minister Brandis

Re: draft guidelines for the National Program for Excellence in the Arts (NPEA)

ArtsPeak (the confederation of Australian national peak arts organisations and arts industry councils) welcomes the opportunity to respond to the recently released draft guidelines for the Federal Government’s National Program for Excellence in the Arts (NPEA). ArtsPeak particularly welcomes the Government’s statement about the intrinsic value of the arts:

While valuing the many secondary benefits which flow from arts activities, the Program seeks to celebrate the intrinsic capacity of the arts to engage, inspire and make meaning for all Australians.

1. Sustainability

Call for Applications: Sydney Dance Company’s Pre-Professional Year 2016

Sydney Dance Company is pleased to invite applications from talented Australian and New Zealand dancers wishing to take part in its Pre-Professional Year program in 2016.

Key information

Applications close 13 August 2015
Course fee: $13,500
For advanced dance students aged 18 or older (or turning 18 in 2016) with a high level of training in Ballet and/or Contemporary dance.
Qualification awarded at completion: Certificate IV in Dance (CUA40113)
Course length: 1 year (Monday–Friday, 9 am – 4.30 pm)
Course location: Sydney Dance Company’s Walsh Bay studios
Application guidelines and FAQs: Apply for the 2016 Pre-Professional Year

Australian Dance Theatre’s Secondment Week 2015

Australian Dance Theatre’s Secondment Week is an unparalleled opportunity for graduating tertiary dance students to receive training in:

  • tumbling, choreographic tasking and stagecraft
  • current company repertoire
  • audition technique
  • forums on related topics like company life, diet, nutrition and marketing.

Key information

  • Dates 10–14 August 2015
  • Cost $300 per student.
  • Location Australian Dance Theatre (Adelaide), 126 Belair Rd, Hawthorn SA 5062
  • Applications Email to adt@adt.org.au your CV, two full-body dance photographs (files should not exceed 1MB, file saved as your first & last name), and up to two links to video footage.

Watch National Dance Forum 2015 panel discussions

National Dance Forum 2015 (19–21 March) addressed the inherent concerns and realities affecting current professional practice in Australia. It was framed by three specific lines of focus:

  • Transforming the form: changing structures and their effects
  • The subtleties and nuances of innovation.
  • Discourse: How is dance written about, spoken about and communicated?

A partnership between the Australia Council for the Arts and Ausdance National, the NDF is a biennial gathering for the Australian professional contemporary dance sector. It fosters the artistic development of dance in Australia by providing a platform for discussion between Australian choreographers, dancers, independent artists, artistic directors, educators, researchers and dance producers.

2015 Australian Dance Awards longlist

The long list of nominations is being shortlisted by the Australian Dance Awards selection panel.

The shortlist will be announced in July, with winners announced at the 2015 Australian Dance Awards in Adelaide on Saturday 12 September.

Image by Chris Herzfeld, Camlight Productions. Lina Limosani, Elizabeth Cameron-Dalman & Kimball Wong.Image by Chris Herzfeld, Camlight Productions. Lina Limosani, Elizabeth Cameron-Dalman & Kimball Wong.

Asia-Pacific Dance Bridge 2015: Connectivity through dance

16 – 18 October 2015

World Dance Alliance Singapore is proud to present the 2015 Annual General Meeting of World Dance Alliance Asia-Pacific alongside Asia-Pacific Dance Bridge 2015: Connectivity Through Dance.

Asia-Pacific Dance Bridge 2015: Connectivity through Dance aims to cultivate dance connectivity within Singapore’s own dance community as well as forge alliances between dancers, academics, educators and administrators throughout the Asia-Pacific region and beyond. The conference will consist of several events: Symposium, Choreolab, Community Showcase, Small Company and Independent Artist Showcase, Singapore Tertiary Showcase and Workshops.

These events will be presented in partnership with Singapore’s arts industry organisations located in Singapore’s arts & culture district including Esplanade Theatres on the Bay (Esplanade), Lasalle College of the Arts (Lasalle), Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA), National Library Building (NLB), and School of the Arts (SOTA).

The World Dance Alliance Asia-Pacific (WDAAP) Annual General Meeting, Network Meetings, Young Scholars Meeting as well as the World Dance Alliance Global Executive Meeting will also be hosted at NAFA.

Submissions deadlines

Call for Symposium: Closed
Call for Choreolab: 15 April 2015 Extended to 30 April 2015
Call for Community Showcase: 15 April 2015 Extended to 30 April 2015
Call for Small Company & Independent Artist Showcase: 15 April 2015 Extended to 30 April 2015
Call for Workshops: 15 April 2015 Extended to 30 April 2015

For further details of the event please visit the WDAS2015 website.

WDA members can register here now.

Tanja Liedtke Fellowship

The Tanja Liedtke Foundation is is pleased to announce South Australian dancer and choreographer Gabrielle Nankivell as the winner of the 2015 Tanja Liedtke Fellowship. Congratulations to Gabrielle!

Gabrielle was also the inaugural recipient of the Keith Bain Choreographic Travel Fellowship, presented at the 2014 Australian Dance Awards last November.

Read the Media Release.

Previous TLF recipients have been Joseph Simons (2013) Antony Hamilton (2009) and Katarzyna Sitarz (2011).

Announcing Jerril Rechter as keynote artist-in-conversation #2

Jerril Rechter is the CEO of VicHealth. She has extensive experience in leadership across the areas of government and not-for-profit sectors.

Jerril is a World Health Organization Advisor, a board member of the International Network of Health Promotion Foundations, a member of Victoria’s Justice Health Ministerial Advisory Council and a member of the Liquor Control Advisory Council.

She regularly presents at state, national and international conferences and events to share her experiences in health promotion, leadership, the arts, and the potential of innovations to improve health and wellbeing for everyone.

She has served on various state and national boards and committees, including VicHealth's, as Board Member from 2004 to 2010. Her Ministerial appointments have included the Victorian Eating Disorders Taskforce, Australia Day Committee Victoria, Australia Council for the Arts Deputy Chair Dance Board, Arts Tasmania Board, Brand Tasmania Board and the Community Leaders Group Tasmania.

Jerril is a recipient of a Centenary Medal, Tasmania Day Award, and Fellowships from the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust, Australia Council, Harvard Club of Australia, the Australian Davos Forum-Future Summit, and Williamson Community Leadership Program (Leadership Victoria).

Jerril holds a Master of Business Leadership from RMIT University. She has held executive positions at Leadership Victoria, Melbourne International Festival of the Arts, Footscray Community Arts Centre, and founded Stompin Youth Dance Company.

The National Forum is a partnership between the Australia Council for the Arts and Ausdance National.

Australian Government. Australia Council for the Arts

Announcing Lemi Ponifasio as keynote artist-in-conversation #1

National Dance Forum partners the Australia Council for the Arts and Ausdance National are thrilled to announce acclaimed New Zealand-based artist Lemi Ponifasio as the first keynote artist-in-conversation for NDF2015.

Lemi is a leading voice in contemporary dance and theatre making internationally, based in the Asia-Pacific, performing and collaborating worldwide. He will be in conversation with NDF2015 co-facilitator Fiona Winning on the afternoon of Thursday 19 March.

The second keynote and the full list of speakers will be unveiled in early February.

Lemi Ponifasio

Lemi PonifasioLemi Ponifasio. Photo: Christian Westerback

SMUDGE: Phillip Adams BalletLab project auditions

SMUDGE: an exciting new collaboration between Phillip Adams BalletLab and artist Brook Andrew.

Phillip Adams BalletLab is seeking professional and experimental industry individuals from the wider sector of performing arts, interdisciplinary and visual arts practitioners that include researchers, architects, musicians, designers, etc. The project will require a level of physical/movement practice and understanding of contemporary performance and/or creative collaborations, depending on the discipline of the applicant, (e.g. an architect may be utilised to perform physically and create ‘spaces’ through objects placed in the space for performers).

SMUDGE 2015 creative development project dates: 11–29 May (three weeks full time Monday to Friday)

New Artistic Director for Force Majeure

Jo Dyer, Chair of the Board of Force Majeure has announced the appointment of Danielle Micich as the incoming Artistic Director/CEO for the company, replacing founding Director Kate Champion. Jo said:

The Board of Directors is delighted that Danielle has accepted the role of Artistic Director of Force Majeure. Danielle’s body of work demonstrates an immensely talented and rigorous artist who has thought passionately and deeply about dance theatre and the role it occupies in the Australian and international arts landscape. We can think of no-one better to build on the wonderful legacy being left by Kate Champion. We believe that under Danielle’s leadership, Force Majeure will continue to flourish in the unique space Kate has carved out for us, a genuine cross-artform blend of theatre and dance, dedicated to exploring ideas and ourselves.

Motion capture

Edith Cowan University is excited to announce that WAAPA has a new motion capture facility that will be used to prevent injuries to dancers as well as a teaching and performance tool for its elite dancers.

This facility is the only motion capture setup of its kind to incorporate the skills of a biomechanist directly into a university dance program in the interest of preventing dance injuries.

What makes motion capture at Mount Lawley unique is that we have access to a large cohort of talented dancers, in addition to scientific and artistic academics who are willing and able to use the lab in the investigation of the prevention of dance injuries.

—Dr Luke Hopper, Biomechanist and health in performing arts specialist, ECU

Read the extended articles

Help us shape the NDF2015 program: submit your ideas, proposals and feedback

Submit your ideas and proposals

Please use the NDF2015 proposals form (1MB PDF) to submit your ideas and feedback. Email the form to NDF2015 by Friday 3 October 2014.

We welcome your suggestions for topics, speakers or proposals for sessions including but not limited to:

  • Five-minute presentations that may be thematically grouped with others to form the basis for longer sessions that will include both presentations and discussion
  • 'Pecha kucha' style presentations (20 slides x 20 seconds)
  • Studio-based sessions such as lecture demonstrations

Please note: proposals for showings and classes will not be eligible. NDF2015 is about fostering critical dialogue, and there will be other avenues for showings through Dance Massive managed by Ausdance Victoria. For more information visit Dance Massive.

Give us your feedback

We encourage any feedback you have about the proposed NDF2015 lines of focus:

  • Transforming the form: changing structures and their effects
  • The subtleties and nuances of innovation.
  • Discourse: How is dance written about, spoken about and communicated?

Please use the NDF2015 proposals form and complete the feedback section.

Keir Choreographic Award—winner announced

The inaugural Keir Choreographic Award has been awarded to Atlanta Eke. The People's Choice Award went to Sydney artist Jane McKernan, as selected by audience members at the grand final at Carriageworks.

Four of the eight commissioned artists—Sarah Aiken, Matthew Day, Atlanta Eke, Jane McKernan—competed for the inaugural award at Carriageworks in Sydney in July.

Dancehouse residency programs

The Housemate programs reflect Dancehouse's commitment to advancing innovative contemporary dance in Australia by instigating and nurturing rigorous discourse and encouraging wide-ranging, movement-based experimentation and innovative choreographic practices.

Both Performance and Research Housemate programs provide the artist with extensive time, generous financial support and a thoroughly mentored environment. The Housemate program is one of the very few fully paid artist-in-residence programs in the world. Artists are given between 8 and 14 weeks of free studio space, a salary package (or pro rata), and administrative, mentoring and production support. Housemates are selected by a peer advisory panel from a national call for applicants.

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