Creating dance


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.

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.

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.

Extending Underscore Alchemy

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.

A Place and a Space

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.

Dancing the Design

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.

Our top 2014 moments in dance

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.

Dance for Parkinson’s in Australia

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.

Creating health, wellbeing and social change—see how Australian dance companies are doing it!

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.

Meet me at Kissing Point

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

Dancers and Communities book launch speech

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.

Accented Body

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.

The latest Australian dance thinking on show at the 2014 World Dance Alliance Global Summit

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.

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