Creating dance

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    Fusion of Australian contemporary dance and Mobius Kiryuho

    This paper discusses the exploration of cultural diversity and the creation of common ground and understanding through choreographic practice in a cross-cultural, international collaboration between Mirramu Dance Company (Australia) and Kyoko Sato from the Mobius Kiryuho Institute (Japan). The paper explores the differences and the similarities discovered in each of our culturally specific movement practices, during the creative process of a dance production, Silk, and discusses how these discoveries influenced the choreographic content of the performance.

    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.

    Creating Pathways—a collective vision and direction for the future of Indigenous dance

    Lydia Miller discusses ongoing vision of successive generations of Indigenous artists. The cultural renaissance in Indigenous arts and culture began in the 1980s with the emergence of a critical mass of young, vibrant Indigenous artists who took to the stages and the galleries with the electric energy that is synonymous with Indigenous artists. Dance, theatre, music and visual arts emerged onto the national arts landscape with the edginess, candour, vibrancy and challenge of these young Indigenous minds, bodies, and spirits.

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    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.

    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.

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    Australian guidelines for teaching dance

    The Australian guidelines for teaching dance outlines codes of ethical and professional behaviour and emphasises the importance of safe dance practice and teaching methodology.

    We designed it to help dance teachers and students by providing minimum standards, and by suggesting ways teachers can maintain or upgrade their teaching skills. Parents can use the Guidelines  to help choose a dancing school or group for their children.

    Exploring identities in dance

    Proceedings from the 13th World Congress of Dance and the Child International—exploring the theme of identity in dance as it is experienced in formal, non-formal and informal settings of education.

    Dance is part of four recognised artistic areas within arts education, which is acknowledged as a key area within UNESCO’s 21st Century Skills. Dance education in particular puts an emphasis on the role of the body in artistic processes, and the body is in current research in educational studies, psychology and neurophysiology highlighted as being the ‘place’ where experiences, cognition and identity processes are grounded. A person’s identity is multi-faceted and believed to be constantly developing in intertwinement with embodied and cultural experiences, social relations and the various situations that the human being experiences.

    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.

    Contemporising the past: envisaging the future

    This publication of 31 papers with authors from 13 countries takes as its focus the theme that was the title and driving force of the activities comprising the 2014 WDA Global Summit. The Summit embraced Contemporising the past: envisaging the future in an interconnection between theory and practice, as echoed in the Proceedings through papers by artist/scholars and artist/teachers. The Summit program featured 346 presenters across 38 countries and included: an international conference of 197 presentations; 31 showcase performances featuring 83 dancers; 34 masterclasses with 24 teachers and 650 participants; and a choreolab with mentors Robert Swinston and Germaine Acogny working with 4 emerging international choreographers and 38 dancers. In addition there were evening performances featuring the work of French companies including Robert Swinston’s Event and Olivier Dubois with his controversial work Tragedie. The principal aim of the Summit was to provide a supportive platform for sharing research and creative work, as well as nurturing professional development opportunities. Importantly this gathering was a networking opportunity to forge new partnerships, potential collaborations and to strengthen existing relationships.

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    Call for expressions of interest—present at National Dance Forum 2017

    2017 National Dance Forum

    25–26 September, Victorian College of the Arts

    Dance in the digital domainPhoto: Sydney Dance Company. Gideon Obarzanek’s L’Chaim! Photo by Wendell Teodoro.

    NDF 2017 will address four key questions:

    • How do we approach or adapt artistic practice to take advantage of new digital technology, and use it to create meaning? Or is technology an art form in its own right?
    • How is work curated and created for digital distribution?
    • How can artists expand their reach to new and existing audiences?
    • What can we take from other industries that have successfully (or unsuccessfully) navigated digital disruption and/or developed an effective digital futures agenda?

    Expressions of interest: 10-minute presentation

    We welcome your proposal to make a 10-minute presentation about your work that directly addresses one or all of the four key questions. The program will be shaped by these questions, and we will choose presentations based on innovative practice, relevance to the topics, and by hearing about some of the challenges faced in creating work in a digital environment.

    Expressions of interest: 3-minute pitch presentation

    We invite practitioners who use digital technology in, or for, their work to demonstrate innovation and/or digital distribution strategies in a 3-minute pitch session.

    World Dance Alliance update March 2017

    This year’s WDA Global Summit will be held from 23–28 July in St John’s, Newfoundland, a beautiful Canadian city on the east coast. Titled ‘Dancing from the Grassroots’, there will be many exciting events—performances, a conference including Pecha Kucha presentations, panel discussions and papers, and of course a Choreolab and master classes. We hope many Australians have made submissions to participate and look forward to once again having great representation from Australia at all events. Registrations will be open shortly.

    Another wonderful opportunity available to Australian Ausdance members is the International Young Choreographer Program (ICYP), which offers fellowships to eight young artists: three from Taiwan, three from other Asia Pacific countries, and one each from WDA Europe and WDA Americas.

    This year another Australian, Scott Ewen, has been selected ICYP in Taiwan, to be held in July this year. Scott also attended the WDA Choreolab as a a highly regarded choreographer last year in Seoul. Congratulations Scott!

    Ausdance members are automatically members of the WDA through Ausdance National’s partnership arrangement that includes publication of Asia Pacific Channels, access to choreographic fellowships, and discounted event attendance. Make sure you’re an Ausdance member before applying for any of these events.

    2016 Choreolab participantsScott Ewen (front) with dancers and choreographers from the 2016 Choreolab at the WDA festival in Seoul. Choreolab convenor Jin-Wen Yu is kneeling, on the right. Photo: Suling Chou.
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