News

Dance in Proximity: World Dance Alliance Asia Pacific Conference & AGM

Taipei National University of the Arts, 10–11 November 2017

There were some special moments at the Dance in Proximity conference, hosted in Taiwan by the Taipei National University of the Arts in November, and organised by a wonderful team of artists, choreographers and teachers, led by Yunyu Wang.

dancer spinningMunguntsetseg Munkhbadrakh demonstrating traditional Mongolian dance movements during the Cross-cultural Dance Education session. Photo Julie Dyson

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Fatigue identified as major contributor to injury in Australia’s professional dancers

The Safe Dance Report IV: Investigating injuries in Australia’s professional dancers, published today on the Ausdance National website, examines the Australian context and occurrence of injury in professional dancers and makes recommendations to support sustainable, healthy, and productive dancing careers.

A collaboration between The University of Sydney and Ausdance National, Safe Dance IV is the fourth in a series of Safe Dance research projects. It continues the important work started by Ausdance National almost 30 years ago.

The survey of 195 Australian professional dancers found 97% experienced at least one significant injury in their dance career, compared with 89% in 1999. And 73% of dancers reported experiencing a dance-related injury in the past 12 months.

Author and lead researcher Amy Jo Vassallo, a PhD candidate at the Faculty of Health Sciences at The University of Sydney, said the consequences of these injuries can be quite substantial and include missed performance opportunities and income, ongoing pain and disability, and expensive treatment including surgery. Serious injuries can even lead to early retirement from dance careers and lifelong disability.

‘The proportion of dancers reporting fatigue as a contributing factor to their injury has increased from 26% in 1990 and 33% in 1999 to 48% in 2017’ she said.

‘However, compared with previous Safe Dance survey results, fewer dancers reported poor technique or environment as a contributor to their injury. This demonstrates the benefits of education, policies and interventions regarding safe dancing practice for dancers and teachers at all stages of a dance career, including early teaching and pre-professional training’.

Ausdance National President, Professor Gene Moyle, said the Safe Dance Report IV continues an important lineage for the Australian dance community. Hearing the words “safe dance practice” being so much a part of our language and approach within the dance sector today is a testament to the impact and contribution of the collective Safe Dance reports within our industry.

Recommendations have outlined that access to dance-educated or dance-specialised healthcare services is essential; addressing the cultural aspects of injury reporting is critical; and that a better acknowledgement of the psychological and psychosocial aspects of injury is required.

Key findings

Survey respondents’ employment as a dance performer was most commonly with a dance company (66%) or as an independent dance artist (38%).

Injuries remain common in professional dance, with 73% of professional dancers reporting experiencing an injury in the past 12 months. The most common site of injury was the ankle (26%), followed by the knee (11%) and hip (10%).

The most common injury type was a strain (25%), followed by chronic inflammation (19%) and a sprain (18%).

There was one accidental or traumatic injury for every two overuse or gradual injuries. The most common responses regarding the self-reported contributor to injury were fatigue (48%), followed by new or difficult choreography (39%) and ignoring early warning signs (31%).

Despite 62% of respondents reporting belief that there is still stigma associated with sustaining injuries as a professional dancer, 75% of dancers did say they would seek professional opinion if they suspected an injury. However, only 50% stated they would tell someone within their dance employment and 49% said they would also take their own preventative steps to manage their injury.

Despite seeing a clinician for treatment of their injury, 40% of dancers whose injury was currently unresolved were unsure if their injury would resolve in the foreseeable future. This indicates that many dancers need to be provided with improved and realistic expectations of their injury, capacity to dance during their injury and likely return to full dance ability.

For interview contact:

Amy Vassallo | PhD Candidate
Faculty of Health Sciences
The University of Sydney
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 02 9351 9010 and 02 9351 9108

Professor Gene Moyle ARAD MAPS MCSEP GAICD SFHEA
President
Ausdance National Council – Ausdance Inc.
Email: [email protected]
Phone: +61 7 3138 3616

Download Safe Dance Report IV media release

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Ausdance National Council President’s update – Nov 2017

While it only feels like yesterday that the 2017 Australian Dance Award winners were announced, nominations for the 2018 ADAs have opened! You can find information on selection criteria, an eligible works list, and a link to the nominations page at Australian Dance Awards 2018. The awards ceremony will be produced by partner Ausdance QLD and held in Brisbane in August 2018. Stay tuned for the confirmed dates and further information on this important ‘night of nights’ for the Australian Dance community.

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ArtsPeak update—November 2017

After much consultation and discussion, the ArtsPeak Executive Committee has sent the following letter to all members. The committee will monitor any developments at national political level to ensure that there is still a voice, when, for example, a Federal election is called. The letter reads as follows:

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Dancer–makers: apply for Tasdance Makers Company

Expressions of interest are sought from contemporary dancer–makers for Tasdance professional ensemble 2018–20.

Tasdance has embarked on a daring new approach to the nature of the professional contemporary dance ensemble to become the Tasdance Makers Company.

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Ausdance National Council President’s update – October 2017

Well what a month it’s been! September saw the successful delivery of the Australian Dance Awards AND the National Dance Forum—in a fabulous partnership with our producing and presenting partners Ausdance Victoria.

The 2017 Australian Dance Awards was a truly wonderful evening of celebration of all things dance, particularly the winning artists, companies, choreographers, educators, and creatives announced. To give you a quick sense of what the night entailed, check out Ausdance Victoria’s Facebook page. Congratulations to all nominees and winners, and a big thank you to the sponsors—Arts Centre Melbourne, Harlequin Floors, Equity, Aon, Gaynor Minden and various Victorian-based supporters; the ADA Panel, and Ausdance National and Ausdance Victoria team members who made this event so successful.

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ArtsPeak update October 2017

The ArtsPeak executive is currently exploring possible restructuring and support for the new privately-funded arts advocacy team formed by the Myer Foundation, the Tim Fairfax Family Foundation and the Keir Foundation’s program called A New Approach. The foundation recently announced that the Australian Academy of the Humanities and Newgate Communications have been engaged to deliver the program, and that the foundation will provide $1.65m to establish the lobby group to ‘defend and promote the benefit of intellectual and creative life’.

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National Advocates for Arts Education October update

The NAAE will have its next meeting on 11 December, but NSW reps will in the meantime be meeting with NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) to discuss concerns about the way in which the Creative Arts K-6 Syllabus is being rewritten, and about the exclusion of Media Arts from the NSW curriculum, despite agreement by all Australian governments to adopt the Australian Curriculum: The Arts. It’s clear that NSW’s options clearly do not represent the agreement endorsed at COAG (which included the NSW Education Minister). (Minister’s response [PDF 2.9MB]

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World Dance Alliance October 2017 update

WDA has convened a small sub-committee to review the structure of the organisation in order to streamline membership and the role of the four networks: Creation & Presentation, Education & Training, Research & Documentation, and Support & Development). I will chair the review team, made up of Linda Caldwell (Americas), Fiona Bannon (Europe) and Urmimala Sarkar Munsi (Asia Pacific). We hope to report back to the Global Executive at the Joint Dance Congress, Panpapanpalya, in Adelaide next year.

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Call for papers—The Oxford Handbook of Contemporary Ballet

Edited Volume: The Oxford Handbook of Contemporary Ballet
Editors: Dr Kathrina Farrugia-Kriel (Faculty of Education, RAD) and Dr Jill Nunes Jensen (Loyola Marymount University)

We are seeking contributions to an edited volume on contemporary ballet. The book will posit ‘Contemporary Ballet’ as a new domain within the broader frameworks presently recognised by discourses in dance.  

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Great news—our fourth keynote speaker for National Dance Forum 2017 is ​Professor Kim Vincs

Kim will provide an exploration and scan of the creative technology intersection—from the beginnings of the digital age and beyond.

Kim VincsKim is Professor of Interactive Media, and Research Director within the Department of Film and Animation at Swinburne University of Technology. She is a leading creative arts researcher with 6 Australian Research Council grants, 35+ industry partnerships, and 20+ arts/science collaborations across fields including dance, motion capture, game development, robotics, haptics, app design, 3D stereoscopy, artificial intelligence, virtual reality, augmented reality, cognitive psychology, biomechanics, mathematics, architecture and exercise science. She has been a choreographer for over 20 years, has created 18 dance technology and digital artworks. Her industry partnerships include national and international companies such as Autodesk, Motion Analysis, Act3animation, Iloura, Alt.vfx, Arts Access Victoria, Victorian Opera and Australian Dance Theatre. She has commercial motion capture credits for several computer games, television commercials and film projects, including the Cannes Silver Lion winning Nocturnal Migration. She is currently developing a new centre for Transformative Media Technologies at Swinburne University of Technology with Professor Angela Ngdalianis.

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Ausdance National Council President’s Report – September 2017

It is all systems go at Ausdance National in light of the upcoming Australian Dance Awards and National Dance Forum—which are only a handful of weeks away! The shortlisted nominees, and the LIfetime Achievement and Hall of Fame recipients have been announced already. The invited speakers and presenters for the 2017 NDF are shaping up to be exceptionally exciting, and the announcement of the final program will be out very soon. Please ensure you book your ADA tickets and register for the NDF as soon as possible as tickets to both events are selling fast!

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Joint Dance Congress 2018: Panpapanpalya

Joint Dance Congress 2018: Panpapanpalya, Adelaide Australia, 8–13 July 2018
  • When: 8 to 13 July 2018
  • Where: Adelaide, South Australia
  • Registrations

Panpapanpalya 2018 will be one of the world’s largest gatherings of dancers, dance educators, and artists of all ages, generating new thoughts and ideas for dance learning and teaching in the 21st century. 

Panpapanpalya 2018 will be centered on four interwoven themes: dance, gathering, generations, learning.

These themes, summarised by the Aboriginal Kaurna word Panpapanpalya, honour Australia’s rich Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander dance practices, as well as indigenous dance cultures from around the world.

Babies, young children, school and university students, dance artists, community and cultural workers, parents and carers, as well as educators, will be involved as participants and presenters—coming from diverse backgrounds and countries all over the world.

The congress will include intercultural dance experiences across generations and new learning through presentations, social interaction and debate.

For more info, please visit the congress website.  

Panpapanpalya is the second joint Dance Congress organized by dance and the Child international (daCi) and World Dance Alliance (WDA)

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