News: August 2018

Dance Australia sponsor the 2018 Australian Dance Award for Outstanding Achievement in Choreography

Ausdance National is pleased to announce Dance Australia as a 2018 sponsor of the Australian Dance Awards.

Dance Australia magazine is the most respected dance journal in the country, with articles and reviews written by the cream of Australia’s dance journalists.

This year Dance Australia will sponsor the award for Outstanding Achievement in Choreography while also continuing its supportive media coverage of the Australian Dance Awards, nominees and award recipients.

The 21st Australian Dance Awards is taking place at the Brisbane Powerhouse on 8 September 2018. The Awards recognise Australia’s outstanding dancers, choreographers and performances of the past year and honour individuals who have made significant contributions to the art form.

Dance Australia’s Co-editor, Karen Van Ulzen, will join Adrian Burnett, Director Dance at Australia Council for the Arts to present the award for Outstanding Achievement in Choreography.

The award, honouring innovative, excellent or exceptional composition and choreography, is highly competitive, with the 2018 nominees representing the small to medium and major dance companies.

Choreographers Lucy Guerin and Gideon Obarzanek are nominees for Attractor (Dancenorth and Lucy Guerin Inc), Raewyn Hill for The Zone (Co3), Stephanie Lake for Pile of Bones (Stephanie Lake Company), and Stephen Page for Bennelong (2017) (Bangarra Dance Theatre).

Ausdance National is proud to be associated with Australia's leading specialist magazine and website devoted to the art of dance.

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Foxtel Arts is a 2018 Australian Dance Awards sponsor!

Ausdance National is pleased to announce Foxtel Arts as a 2018 sponsor of the Australian Dance Awards.

Foxtel Arts (Channel 133 on Foxtel), a subscription television arts channel on the Foxtel platform, showcases arts performance and factual insights into art, artists and their creative achievements.

A first-time supporter of the Australian Dance Awards, Foxtel Arts has created an inspiring 30-second CTV for the Awards and has sponsored the award for Outstanding Achievement in Dance on Film or New Media.

The 21st Australian Dance Awards is taking place at the Brisbane Powerhouse on 8 September 2018. The Awards recognise Australia’s outstanding dancers, choreographers and performances of the past year and honour individuals who have made significant contributions to the art form.

Foxtel Arts will present the award to the 2018 recipient of Outstanding Achievement in Dance on Film or New Media. The award is for innovation, excellence or exceptional production and realisation. This year all four nominees are for works on film and all creators are from NSW. Nominees are Richard James Allen for Enchant, Sophia Bender for Behind Barres, Sue Healey for Eileen, and Catherine Moore & Jade Lowry for Unstilled.

‘Foxtel Arts and Ausdance’s Australian Dance Awards are a match made in heaven’, said Kerry Comerford, Executive Director of Ausdance National.

‘We are both dedicated to showcasing Australia’s finest performers and encouraging access to and understanding of dance. 2018 marks what we hope to be the beginning of a long relationship with Foxtel Arts’.

Ausdance National is proud to be associated with Foxtel Arts—an important member of Australia’s arts community, and one that assists in delivering access to arts and culture, and educating and inspiring audiences.

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AON sponsor the Australian Dance Award for Services to Dance

Ausdance National is pleased to announce the continued support of AON Australia as an Australian Dance Awards sponsor.

AON arrange insurance for thousands of dance studios, dance groups and dancers in Australia and are also proudly the approved insurance partner for Ausdance members.

A long-term supporter of the Australian Dance Awards, AON continue its relationship this year by sponsoring the award for Services to Dance.

The 21st Australian Dance Awards is taking place at the Brisbane Powerhouse on 8 September 2018. The Awards recognise Australia’s outstanding dancers, choreographers and performances of the past year and honour individuals who have made significant contributions to the art form.

AON Australia’s Client Executive, Veronika Karatovic, will present the award to the 2018 recipient of Services to Dance. The award acknowledges outstanding service by professionals who have collaborated with the dance sector over a sustained period (at least 20 years) in a dance-related field.

This year’s nominees include professionals who have made lasting and significant contributions to dancers’ heath and injury prevention, development of the small to medium Indigenous dance sector, and dance on film. Nominees are Philippe Charluet (Vic), Marilyn Miller (Qld), Philip Piggin (ACT) and Hilary Trotter (NSW/ACT).

Ausdance National is proud to be associated with Aon, a company that has worked beside Ausdance for over twenty-five years to ensure there are accessible and relevant insurance packages that meet the ever-changing needs of professional dancers, studio teachers and independent artists.

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MEAA sponsors Australian Dance Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Dancer

Ausdance National is pleased to announce the continued support of Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance (MEAA) as an Australian Dance Awards sponsor.

MEAA is the largest and most established union and industry advocate for Australia’s creative professionals, and this year it has sponsored the award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Dancer.

The 21st Australian Dance Awards is taking place at the Brisbane Powerhouse on 8 September 2018. The Awards recognise Australia’s outstanding dancers, choreographers and performances of the past year and honour individuals who have made significant contributions to the art form.

MEAA’s Queensland Equity Section President, Michael Balk, will present the award to the 2018 recipient of Outstanding Performance by a Female Dancer. Nominees are Jana Castillo for her performance in Australian Dance Theatre’s construct, Amber Haines in Dancenorth’s Spectra, Ako Kondo in The Australian Ballet’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, and Charmene Yap in Sydney Dance Company’s Ocho.

Ausdance National is proud to be associated with MEAA, an industry advocate that has campaigned to support the rights and interests of dance artists. Over the years, MEAA has negotiated on behalf of dancers for award payments and developed the Performers Collective Agreement to cover the minimum rates and conditions for performers working in live performance.

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Harlequin Floors continues to support the Australian dance community

Ausdance National is pleased to announce the continued support of Harlequin Floors as Principal Sponsor of the Australian Dance Awards (ADAs).

World leaders in advanced flooring technology for dance and the performing arts, Harlequin Floors supports (literally) thousands of Ausdance members on a daily basis.

Mark Rasmussen, Head of Industry Relations for Harlequin Floors said, ‘Every year, the Australian Dance Awards act as a showcase for the amazing breadth of work produced in Australia from exquisitely produced classical to the most exciting experimental. Such work deserves to be celebrated and so it is with much pride that 2018 marks eight years that Harlequin Floors has supported its friends at Ausdance in the presentation of these awards, seven of those as its main sponsor’.

The ADAs will be held at the Brisbane Powerhouse on 8 September 2018 and Mr Rasmussen will present the Outstanding Performance by a Company Award. This award acknowledges excellence in performance and production in any dance style or genre. 

This year’s nominees are Co3 for The Zone, Dancenorth for Attractor, STRUT Dance for William Forsythe’s One Flat Thing, Reproduced and Queensland Ballet for Raw (triple bill): No Man’s Land, Glass Concerto and Ghost Dances.

Harlequin Floors have been working closely with the dance community for many years to develop a range of floors suitable for all forms of dance. As the world leader in advanced technology flooring for dance and the performing arts, they work hard to develop floors that reduce dancer injury through collaboration with the dance and medical industries. Trust and innovation are at the heart of everything they do.

Harlequin's experience and reputation are founded on the manufacture and supply of a range of high quality portable and permanent sprung and vinyl floors and ballet barres for dance studios and performance spaces. 

For further media information, images and information please contact:

Cinnamon Watson Publicity
0432 219 643

Book tickets to the Australian Dance Awards.

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Athol Willoughby OAM to receive the 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award

The Australian Dance Awards committee has announced the Lifetime Achievement Award for 2018 will be presented to Athol Willoughby, OAM, in recognition of his exceptional contribution to the dance profession in Australia for over 65 years.

Willoughby has had a long and distinguished career as one of Australia’s leading ballet dancers and teachers, connecting him with significant developments in mid-century Australian ballet and with major figures such as Walter Gore and Valrene Tweedie, and as an adjudicator and examiner for Cecchetti Ballet Australia.

Athol WilloughbyAthol Willoughby, OAM. Photographer: Michela Dent-Causon

Willoughby’s introduction to dance came when, as a young boy, he had a job sweeping out a cinema in Hobart prior to weekend screenings. He can still recall the excitement of seeing the stars of Hollywood musicals on screen—Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly were among them. But the real start of his long and illustrious career as a dancer, teacher, examiner, adjudicator and mentor came when, by chance, he was sitting next to a priest in the Theatre Royal in Hobart during a performance by the Borovansky Ballet. The priest arranged a meeting for him with local ballet teacher Beattie Jordan. Willoughby never saw the priest again but Jordan accepted him as a pupil and set him on his career path.  

Later Willoughby was thrilled by performances in Hobart by the Melbourne-based National Theatre Ballet and made the decision to move to Melbourne where he was taught by esteemed Cecchetti teacher Lucie Saranova. He eventually joined National Theatre Ballet and performed with them, dancing in particular the repertoire of two directors of the company, Walter Gore and Valrene Tweedie. In 1958 Willoughby left for London where he joined Peter Darrell’s Western Theatre Ballet.

Dancers on stageValrene Tweedie and Athol Willoughby in Le coq d'or. National Theatre Ballet 1955. Photo: Walter Stringer.

In Melbourne Willoughby had begun teaching and, in the 1950s, had gained Cecchetti qualifications. On his return from England he took up teaching again, largely in regional Victoria. But his work as an educator and mentor began in earnest in 1963 when he bought the Essendon Academy of Ballet, where he was director until his retirement in 1997. He also returned to the stage as a guest artist with The Australian Ballet in Anne Woolliams’ Swan Lake and Graeme Murphy’s Nutcracker.

The students whose careers the charismatic Willoughby nurtured have gone on to dance across the world, have become teachers and examiners, and have had their lives enriched by his continued service to dance, in particular to the Cecchetti approach to ballet. But he is nevertheless humble enough to say, ‘I was just there to try to teach them classical ballet correctly—I like to see it done correctly—and with discipline.’

In 2017 Willoughby celebrated his 85th birthday and his Lifetime Achievement award is formal recognition by the dance community of his extraordinary contribution.

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