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.
Vahri MacKenzie takes the framework of Nancy Stark Smith’s Underscore—a contact improvisation program developed in the US to promote a “deepening/releasing and sensitising to gravity and support” in bodies that pass and meet each other—to a multi-disciplinary gathering of artists.
20 years on, Paige Gordon speaks about her work title Shed—A place where men can dance which premiered in Canberra in 1994 and prompted some wonderful post-show discussions.
This article is an account of Sela Kiek-Callan’s postgraduate research journey in “Dancing Design”, an exploration of affinities between architecture and dancing bodies which become manifest in embodied responses of weight, rhythm and intensity when dancers pay attention to the built environment in which they are encased.
What better way to wrap up our year in dance than to recall some of the big 2014 moments in dance.
This year dance gave us much celebrating—what a wonderful way to spend a year! We honoured the discipline and dedication of our professional dance artists. We danced to make us happier and healthier. We saw dance used for rehabilitation. We made dance that celebrated all bodies. We watched dance that challenged our ideas about what dance should be. We were excited by new choreographic talent. We were inspired by the latest Australian dance thinking on show at the 2014 World Dance Alliance Global Summit. We celebrated big birthdays and said goodbye to old friends.
As part of developing the 2015 National Dance Forum's 'lines of focus', curatorial panel members shared their thoughts about the inherent concerns and realities affecting current professional practice in Australia. This is Matthew Day's response.
For people with Parkinson's disease, high quality dance classes led by trained professional teaching artists are becoming internationally acknowledged and valued as both a creative activity and an evidence-based therapeutic intervention. From my own dancer’s perspective, these classes are a beautiful and satisfying way to authentically share my own experience and passion for the art form in way that also connects to community.
In 2014, our Australian dance companies have been working on some brave and surprising collaborations that foster health, wellbeing and social change. In 2014 KAGE will premiereTeam of Life at the Melbourne Festival, Bangarra collaborated with beyondblue to create the short film Stories for Keeping Strong—Bangarra Rekindling, Shaun Parker collaborated with multicultural urban youth to create The Yard, which tackles loneliness, competition, survival and bullying, Australian Dance Theatre's work Proximity inspired a new approach to stroke rehabilitation, and BalletLab created a work about AIDS with community participants and the Victorian AIDs Council.
Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival, which takes place every summer in Massachusetts USA, is lauded worldwide as a "hub and mecca of dancing"..."one of America's most precious cultural assets"....and "the dance center of the nation." Phoebe Barnes, Australian dancer & teacher, talks about her exciting experience at the 2014 Festival.
All Ausdance members are automatically members of the World Dance Alliance Asia Pacific and it's a great opportunity to extend your own networks and participate in new culturally diverse opportunities at the annual WDA conferences and festivals.
Julie Dyson and Cheryl Stock discuss Australian Dance in Shifting Sands: Dance in Asia and the Pacific.
Recent Asia–Australia dance theatre collaborations.
Cheryl Stock, Artistic Director of Dancenorth (1984–1995) talks about a large-scale site-specific community dance project specially devised for the Townsville community in 1994. Originally published in Dancers and communities: a collection of writings about dance as a community art
This book tells us about some of the ways community dance evolves. I couldn't put it down. Like a good novel, its characters are fascinating, the stories captivating, and the twists and turns keep one interested, for it's as Shirley McKechnie says in the preface, 'a many faceted story of places, people and artists working together in partnerships concerned with discovery and celebration' (p.vii).
And yet there is no formula for being a successful community artist; every project requires a different approach. Flexibility, sensitivity, spontaneity, enthusiasm, honour, commitment, patience, exhaustion, resilience and pride permeate these pages, as do stories of ordinary people creating magic moments for themselves and others, through the facilitation of this person called a community dancer.
Arguably the largest and most complex independent project of this nature staged in Australia, Dr Cheryl Stock's accented body was a project of small break-through discoveries and ongoing creative partnerships.
More than 25 Australian’s will travel to the 2014 World Dance Alliance Global Summit to talk, perform and share the latest in dance thinking and practice-led research. You’ll find some terrific tools and ideas that might change the way you approach your own creative or teaching practice, or inspire you to try something new.
Australian participants in International Young Choreographer Project share the challenges and surprises of producing a work in unknown circumstances, in a limited time-frame, and with unfamiliar dancers. Learn how it changed their choreographic and artistic processes.
Creative Director of Dance Integrated Australia talks about Corner Dance Lab and New Works Forum in Hong Kong, which will explore ways of producing inclusive performances for artists with diverse backgrounds and physical abilities.
Ausdance National CEO Roslyn Dundas shares her 2014 Australian Youth Dance Festival experience. Held in Renmark on the border of South Australia and Victoria, this was the eighth Australian Youth Dance Festival (AYDF).
Choreographer Kay Armstong, the 2013 recipient of the Ausdance Peggy van Praagh Choreographic Fellowship, talks about "three synergistic professional development activities" that have been enabled by this Fellowship.
Stephen Page's 2004 International Dance Day message and the 2012–13 video messages.
Jacqueline Simmonds interviews David McMicken at Tracks Dance Collective, Brown's Mart Community Arts Project, Darwin, November 1995.
Humanoid robots performing a surprisingly emotive performance, emerging global street-dance culture, revved up by the Internet, a choreographer's creative process in real time, Angela Patton: A father-daughter dance ... in prison and Matt Cornell demonstrates the power of movement and its effect on our state of being.
Shirely McKechnie tells us why this collection of writing about community dance is so valuable: 'They speak of the human need to give expression to deeply felt connections and unique situations; but they also ask questions. Whose dances? What is their purpose? Can everyone participate? They convey the diversity of the dance experience and a reassurance of its power to enter individual lives in significant ways.'
Elizabeth Cameron Dalman, Artistic Director of Mirramu Dance Company talks about her current collaboration with Dancecology from Taiwan and the DPAC Dance Company from Malaysia.