Our contributors—the talented people who research and write about dance—their work champions innovation, creativity and diversity in dance.

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Neil Adams View Full Bio

Neil Adams is a lecturer in contemporary dance at the Victorian College of the Arts. A graduate of Rusden College (now Deakin University) and a founding member of Tasdance, Neil made 23 works for the company and performed in over 50 works between 1981 and 1990. Neil has been a Lecturer in Contemporary Dance at WAAPA and Shanghai Theatre Academy and has been commissioned by many Australian contemporary dance companies as both choreographer and teacher. In 2000 he won the PUC Award for Outstanding Choreography from Arts Alliance WA for Triptych. In 2004 Neil won the AICD Sir Robert Helpmann Award for Professional Choreographers with his work Vapour Trail. In 2009 Neil presented his PhD research at the Time Transcendence Performance Conference, Monash University and at the Dance and Cognition Symposium at Macquarie University. In 2010 Neil presented his paper Performing the Past in the Present at the World Dance Alliance Global Event: In Time Together, in New York City.

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Anja Ali-Haapala View Full Bio

As an audience researcher, Anja specialises in behind-the-scenes enrichment programs in the dance industry. She is currently completing her PhD in Performance Studies (Queensland University of Technology) which explores how open rehearsals affect spectator-dancer relationships in the context of mainstream ballet and contemporary dance companies. Through her research, Anja has worked with The Australian Ballet, Sydney Dance Company, and Expressions Dance Company. She has presented her research findings at Australian and international dance and performance studies conferences. As a performer and maker, Anja has had the pleasure of developing and performing a character over a period of 8 years, with director and co-performer Kari, in an environmental-focused street theatre act entitled Frog-On. This act’s performance credits include Woodford Folk Festival, a residency at the Eumundi Markets and numerous Brisbane City Council public events. Anja has worked with many artists, including Tiina Alinen, Keith Hawley, Avril Huddy, Vanessa Mafe, Grant McLay, Courtney Scheu, and Jordin Steele. As a dance educator, Anja has coordinated and lectured into dance subjects at Queensland University of Technology, including dance history, analysis, world dance, commercial dance, music theatre skills, and dance audience studies. She also enjoys working in school and community contexts.

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Valerie Alpert View Full Bio

Valerie Alpert MFA (Ohio State University) is the director of VADCO/Valeria Alpert Dance Co. She has performed, choreographed and taught nationally and internationally, utilising digital technology in her art form. Alpert teaches at the College of Lake County in Grayslake, Illinois, and is pursuing a PhD at Texas Woman's University.

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Mary Elizabeth Anderson View Full Bio

Mary Elizabeth Anderson researches the ways in which paradigms of performance training are informed by perceptions of space and experiences of place. A PhD graduate from Wayne State university in Detroit, Michigen, she is now an assistant professor of theatre there. Currently she is at work on a book examining site-specific performance in Australia, based on fieldwork conducted in the Central Desert and Tasmania.

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Tamara Ashley View Full Bio

Linda Ashley started working at Auckland University of Technology in 2005. Her personal research interests include choreography as theoretical practice and cultural diversity in dance. Since 2003 the generic notion of cultural diversity has also included auto-ethnographic research on the ageing dancer.

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Linda Ashley View Full Bio

Linda Ashley (M.A. University of London): Senior Dance Lecturer and Research Stream Leader at Auckland University of Technology (AUT), New Zealand. Linda has extensive academic, choreographic and performing experience in dance. Currently, she is completing doctorate studies at the University of Auckland. Publications since 1996: Dance Sense (Northcote House Publishers, 2nd ed., 2005); Essential Guide to Dance (3rd ed., Hodder & Stoughton, 2008); and Dance Theory & Practice for Teachers: Physical and performing skills, (Essential Resources, 2005). She completed the New Zealand Ministry of Education curriculum materials development contract to produce the video Dancing the Long White Cloud (2002).

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Don Asker View Full Bio

Don has directed, performed and choreographed projects all over the world. His performance experience ranges from early work with the Australian Ballet and Nederlands Dans Theater to guest appearances with the Kibbutz Dance Company, Nucleodanza (Argentina) and Australian Dance Theatre. He was a house choreographer with Nederlands Dans Theater before founding the dance theatre ensemble Human Veins in Australia. He has PHD and Masters in Arts awards from the University of Melbourne. He supervises postgraduate research at the Victorian College of the Arts of the University of Melbourne and the Melbourne Institute of Experiential and Creative Arts Therapy .

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