Industry news

Helene George joins the Ausdance National Board

The Australian Dance Council, the national peak body for dance, is pleased to announce its new board member, Helene George—a recognised specialist in sustainable development and the strategic development of cultural and creative industries.

Board President Professor Gene Moyle announced the board appointment this week and said, ‘Ms George started out in dance and has had an extensive career across the arts, cultural and creative sectors. Her leadership in the creative economy and specialist skill set in assisting organisations to reshape and transform to achieve sustainability is a great and timely addition to the Board’.

Helene George

Ms George is the Managing Director of Creative Economy, and has over 20 years’ experience in management and consulting throughout Australia and internationally. She held the position of Deputy Chair, Creative Industries Skills Council, is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Management, a graduate of the AICD Company Directors Course and holds a Graduate Diploma in Management and a Bachelor of Arts in Performing Arts (Dance).

Ms George commenced her appointment on 28 September 2018.

Media enquires: Professor Gene Moyle, President, Ausdance National, [email protected], 0411 640 012

Leave a comment

Change of leadership at Ausdance National

MEDIA RELEASE 24 September 2018

Ausdance National is pleased to announce the appointment of Kathy Baykitch as Executive Director following the resignation of Kerry Comerford.

Ausdance National is Australia’s peak body for dance advocacy, delivering national projects including the Australian Dance Awards and the biannual National Dance Forum. It represents the Australian dance sector on national policy issues including immigration, education and health.

Incoming Executive Director Ms Baykitch has extensive experience in dance as a producer, educator, practitioner and community artist in Australia and the United Kingdom. Appointed for her broad understanding of the Australian dance ecology, Ms Baykitch most recently held positions as Executive Producer for Shaun Parker & Company and Faculty of Education, Programs Manager for the Royal Academy of Dance, Australia. She was founding Director of FORM Dance Projects, formally Western Sydney Dance Action.

A recent Board Member of Ausdance National, Ms Baykitch has been part of significant changes occurring in the organisation over the past 18 months, including rebranding and restructuring.

Kathy BaykitchKathy Baykitch

On her appointment Ms Baykitch said ‘Ausdance National is an important voice for the Australian dance sector which provides support and advocacy for dance in its many forms. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to continue to lead and drive recent changes in partnership with the Board and the wider sector’.

Kerry Comerford is resigning to take up another position within the arts sector, yet to be announced.

Ms Comerford has worked closely with the Board to review and assess many of its current procedures and priorities. She has provided key leadership in the delivery of the 2018 Australian Dance Awards, active engagement with advocacy via industry lobbying, and facilitated a focus on health and wellbeing, with representation on the Australian Alliance for Wellbeing in Entertainment working party. The Board would like to take this opportunity to thank Kerry for contributions to-date, and wish her all the best for her new position.

Following on from Ms Comerford’s time, Ms Baykitch will work with the National Board to ensure capacity building across the dance sector. In particular, Ausdance National will continue to support professional development, encourage growth in the small to medium sector, and advance the agenda for gender diversity and leadership.

Ms Baykitch commences her appointment on 8 October 2018.

Ends - Media enquires: Professor Gene Moyle, President, Ausdance National, [email protected], 0411 640 012

Leave a comment

Exciting opportunity to lead the renowned VCA Dance Program at the University of Melbourne

Job title: Senior Lecturer / Associate Professor / Professor in Dance
Department: Victorian College of the Arts, Faculty of Fine Arts and Music
Institution: The University of Melbourne
Salary: Level C $116,901 - $134,792 p.a Level D $145,685 - $160,500 p.a. or Level E $187,654 p.a., plus 17% superannuation. Level of appointment is subject to the appointee's qualifications and experience.

The VCA Dance program is nationally recognised and has received much acclaim for the development of dancers, choreographers and contributors to the profession. We are seeking an experienced practitioner and academic to lead the artistic and pedagogical vision of the program.

This is a full-time, continuing appointment where it is expected the appointee will be offered the position of Head of Dance for a period of three years in the first instance.

Applicants must have a doctoral qualification (or equivalent artistic and academic standing) combined with demonstrated experience in leadership and management. Also essential are: significant standing as a practitioner; knowledge of curriculum creation and transformation; substantial understanding of a University research environment; demonstrated track record of contribution to the strategic development of an organisation; involvement in public outreach; and the ability to develop local, national and international engagement opportunities.

The position is based at the Southbank Campus, in the heart of Melbourne’s Arts Precinct.

Applications close: 8 October 2018

How to apply

Online applications are preferred. Go to the University of Melbourne Careers website.

Leave a comment

Lewis Major receives Keith Bain Choreographic Travel Fellowship

At the 21st Australian Dance Awards (8 September 2018), Ausdance National awarded the Keith Bain Choreographic Travel Fellowship to Lewis Major. The fellowship provides financial assistance for an emerging choreographer to travel internationally with the sole purpose of developing and extending their choreographic practice.

Lewis has designed a program of mentorship and career development activities designed to build his professional networks and further develop skills in dramaturgy, choreography and independent producing in an international context. The program includes activities to strengthen his choreographic and broader artistic development and practice by facilitating face-to-face dialogue and creative output with international artistic collaborators.

Lewis will travel to Israel, Taiwan and Europe.

Lewis Major

Being raised in the rural heart of the Antipodes, there was a scarcity of art being made available to regional audiences as I was growing up. Hence, as an emerging artist, I am passionate about making dance accessible; strongly believing that intelligence in art and its relevance to audiences is fundamental in its power to enact change.

View recent choreography from Lewis Major on Vimeo.

Lewis Major in performance

Lewis Major is an award-winning choreographer, dancer and creative entrepreneur based in the deep south of regional South Australia. Not having set foot in a theatre until his mid-teens, he finds it ironic to now be working in the most maligned and misunderstood sector of the arts industry: contemporary dance.

He is the only dance artist he’s ever heard of who can both shear a sheep, has danced with Hugh Jackman and travelled to all three axis-of-evil countries. His work is invested in the potential of choreography and performance to inform a cultural discourse of sorts and to enable affective experiences.

As a performer and dance maker, he has worked with and alongside Akram Khan, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, Russell Maliphant, Shaun Parker, Hans van Den Broeck/Cie Soit and Australian Dance Theatre. He was a founding member of Aakash Odedra Company. With an extensive back catalogue of choreographies, he has created and staged his own work on six continents.

Alongside his choreographic work, Lewis is dedicated to mentoring and supporting young male dancers from regional and less privileged areas of Australia. He has the sole rights in South Australia to Shaun Parker’s outdoor work, TROLLEYS, and has toured it to regional areas in the South East of SA, with a secondee program running alongside for regionally based dancers. He has also initiated collaborations and an exchange program between dance students in Taiwan and South Australia. He is currently setting up a not-for-profit artist in residence creative hub and art hotel in Adelaide, with the profits being funneled back into supporting creative practice in state.

Leave a comment

2018 Australian Dance Awards winners

The annual Australian Dance Awards recognise and honour professional Australian dance artists who have made an outstanding contribution to Australian dance. The Australian Dance Awards are produced by the Australian Dance Council—Ausdance National.

Presented by Ausdance National and Harlequin Floors, the 2018 Australian Dance Awards were held on Saturday 8 September at the Brisbane Powerhouse.

Congratulations to the winners and the shortlisted nominees! And the winners are....

Lifetime Achievement

The 2018 Australian Dance Award for Lifetime Achievement goes to Athol Willoughby, OAM, in recognition of his exceptional contribution to the dance profession in Australia for over 65 years.

Athol Willoughby Lifetime Achievement

Photo: Michela Dent-Causon

Outstanding Achievement in Community Dance

The 2018 Australian Dance Award for Outstanding Achievement in Community Dance goes to Tracks Dance Company for Man Made, an outstanding cross-generational work calling on a diverse range of movement skills to produce an engaging examination of the male psyche.

Tracks Dance Company

Photo: David Hancock

Outstanding Achievement in Youth Dance

The 2018 Australian Dance Award for Outstanding Achievement in Youth Dance goes to Co3 for Project NEXT, an outstanding production that demonstrated a high degree of collaboration and creativity, support for one another, and for their evident enthusiasm and commitment to the work.

Co3

Photo: Stefan Gosatti

Services to Dance Education

The 2018 Australian Dance Award for Services to Dance Education goes to Katrina Rank for outstanding leadership in dance education, in promoting dance for people with disabilities, the aged and young children, and for her curriculum support through online services, workshops and writing.

Katrina Rank, Services to Dance Education

Photo: Robert Wagner

Outstanding Achievement in Choreography

The Dance Australia 2018 Australian Dance Award for Outstanding Achievement in Choreography goes to Stephanie Lake for Pile of Bones (Stephanie Lake Company) for imaginative and visceral choreography that defied categorisation and that blended remarkably with its collaborative elements of music and design.

Stephanie Lake, Outstanding Achievement in Choreography for Pile of Bones

Photo: Bryony Jackson

Outstanding Achievement in Dance on Film or New Media

The Foxtel Arts 2018 Australian Dance Award for Outstanding Achievement in Dance on Film or New Media goes to Sue Healey for Eileen, a haunting short film about a senior dancer, respectfully produced with exceptional lighting and use of colour in costumes and props.

Sue Healey, Outstanding Achievement in Dance on Film or New Media

Photo: Cinematographer Judd Overton

Outstanding Achievement in Commercial Dance, Musicals or Physical Theatre

The 2018 Australian Dance Award for Outstanding Achievement in Commercial Dance, Musicals or Physical Theatre goes to Gravity & Other Myths for BACKBONE, an utterly exhilarating, skilled performance that demonstrates the cutting-edge evolution of circus/physical theatre as a form of dance that can tell so many more stories.

Gravity & Other Myths

Photo: Darcy Grant

Services to Dance

The AON 2018 Australian Dance Award for Services to Dance goes to Hilary Trotter for her work with Ausdance National, initiating Australian injury prevention and management research and inventing the now internationally-recognised term ‘Safe Dance’, with implications for dance practice world wide.

Hilary Trotter, Services to Dance

Photo: Moruya Photographics

Outstanding Achievement in Independent Dance

The QUT Creative Industries' 2018 Australian Dance Award for Outstanding Achievement in Independent Dance goes to Martin del Amo for CHAMPIONS, a joyously playful, expertly-crafted production that deftly positions 11 highly-skilled, independent female dancers into a football stadium to challenge pervasive notions of who qualifies as a champion.

Martin del Amo, Outstanding Achievement in Independent Dance for Champions

Photo: Heidrun Löhr

Outstanding Performance by a Female Dancer

The Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance 2018 Australian Dance Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Dancer goes to Jana Castillo for construct (Australian Dance Theatre), an astonishing performance fusing strength, flexibility and the ability to illustrate raw and empathic emotions in ways which left audiences and critics in awe.

Jana Castillo, Outstanding Performance by a Female Dancer for 'construct' (Australian Dance Theatre)

Photo: Chris Herzfeld Camlight Productions

Outstanding Performance by a Male Dancer

The 2018 Australian Dance Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Dancer goes to Beau Dean Riley Smith for Bennelong (2017) (Bangarra Dance Theatre) for a ravishingly beautiful, soul-stirring and career-defining performance that captured the conflict and pain endured by iconic Indigenous Eora elder, Bennelong, danced with extraordinary strength, grace and feeling.

Beau Dean Riley Smith, Outstanding Performance by a Male Dancer for Bennelong (Bangarra Dance Theatre)

Photo: Daniel Boud

Outstanding Performance by a Company

The Harlequin Floors 2018 Australian Dance Award for Outstanding Performance by a Company goes to Dancenorth for Attractor, mesmerising and ritualistic, with the choreographic and musical momentum sustained from beginning to end by an outstanding display of energetic dancing.

Dancenorth, Outstanding Performance by a Company for 'Attractor'

Leave a comment

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.

For further media information, images and information please contact:

Cinnamon Watson Publicity
0432 219 643

Book tickets to the Australian Dance Awards.

Leave a comment

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.

For further media information, images and information please contact:

Cinnamon Watson Publicity
0432 219 643

Book tickets to the Australian Dance Awards.

Leave a comment

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.

For further media information, images and information please contact:

Cinnamon Watson Publicity
0432 219 643

Book tickets to the Australian Dance Awards.

Leave a comment

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.

For further media information, images and information please contact:

Cinnamon Watson Publicity
0432 219 643

Book tickets to the Australian Dance Awards.

Leave a comment

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.

Leave a comment

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.

Leave a comment

We are launching our new branding across the Ausdance network!

Ausdance logo The new Ausdance visual brand has been designed by Brisbane-based design firm Designfront.

It is with great excitement that we announce the launch of our new branding across the Ausdance network! This new brand represents a strong and ambitious future for Ausdance. A future built on a legacy of national advocacy and the delivery of exceptional dance projects throughout Australia. 

Over the next few months you will start to notice that we will commence updating our websites and other publications to reflect the new visual brand. We look forward to continuing to support, represent, and advance the wonderful sector that is dance in Australia.

Professor Gene Moyle, President, Ausdance National.

Leave a comment

Congratulations to the shortlisted nominees of the 21st Australian Dance Awards

Celebrating 21 years, the Australian Dance Awards is one of the country’s most prestigious performing arts awards. The Awards acknowledge people working in the professional dance sector who have made innovative and exceptional work of national significance, or have made an outstanding and enduring contribution to the dance industry.

‘Arriving at the shortlist is a demanding job for the volunteer panel of 13 dance sector professionals representing all states and territories’, said Julie Dyson, nominations coordinator for the 2018 Australian Dance Awards.

‘Panel members include educators, independent artists, dance company directors, and writers/reviewers. We receive between 450 and 700 nominations each year. A thorough voting system is in place, with two, sometimes three rounds of voting.’

Presented by Ausdance National, the 2018 awards will take place on Saturday 8 September at the Brisbane Powerhouse, with tickets on sale from 9 July.

‘Ausdance National is honoured to present the 21st Australian Dance Awards in partnership with industry sponsors’, said Kerry Comerford, Executive Director of Ausdance National. ‘The Awards ceremony is the time we acknowledge and celebrate the dance profession’s depth and diversity, both on and off the stage.’

Presented in an afternoon of performances showcasing some of Australia’s best dance of the past year, the annual Australian Dance Awards rely on the generosity and goodwill of the dance sector. ‘It’s important that the event represents the excellence and diversity of dance in Australia’ said Sandi Woo, 2018 Award’s producer.

2018 Australian Dance Awards shortlist

Services to Dance

  • Philippe Charluet
  • Marilyn Miller
  • Philip Piggin
  • Hilary Trotter

Services to Dance Education

  • Paige Gordon
  • Raewyn Hill
  • Sinsa Mansell
  • Katrina Rank

Outstanding Achievement in Community Dance

  • Annette Carmichael (choreography), James Gentle (sound design) for The Beauty Index
  • Tracks Dance for Man Made
  • QPAC, The Royal Ballet and Community Groups for We All Dance
  • Sprung!! Integrated Dance Theatre for Share House

Outstanding Achievement in Youth Dance

  • Austinmer Dance Theatre for UNREAL
  • Co3 for Project next
  • QL2 Dance for This Poisoned Sea
  • Moorambilla Voices for Gundabooka

Outstanding Performance by a Company

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

Outstanding Achievement in Choreography

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

Outstanding Achievement in Independent Dance

  • Martin del Amo for CHAMPIONS
  • Australian Dance Artists for Restraint(s)
  • Michelle Heaven for In Plan
  • Nick Power (choreography), Jack Prest (sound design) for Between Tiny Cities រវាងទីក្រុងតូច

Outstanding Performance by a Female Dancer

  • Jana Castillo for construct (Australian Dance Theatre)
  • Amber Haines for Spectra (Dancenorth)
  • Ako Kondo for Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (The Australian Ballet)
  • Charmene Yap for Ocho (Sydney Dance Company)

Outstanding Performance by a Male Dancer

  • Richard Causer for Behind Closed Doors (Expressions Dance Company)
  • Nelson Earl for Ocho (Sydney Dance Company)
  • Beau Dean Riley Smith for Bennelong (2017) (Bangarra Dance Theatre)
  • Kimball Wong for construct (Australian Dance Theatre)

Outstanding Achievement in Commercial Dance, Musicals or Physical Theatre

  • Gravity & Other Myths for BACKBONE
  • Michael Ralph for SELF
  • Andrew Hallsworth for Muriel’s Wedding (Sydney Theatre Company and Global Creatures)
  • Nicola Gunn and Jo Lloyd for Piece for Person and Ghetto Blaster

Outstanding Achievement in Dance on Film or New Media

  • Richard James Allen for Enchant
  • Sophia Bender for Behind Barres
  • Sue Healey for Eileen
  • Catherine Moore & Jade Lowry for Unstilled

2018 Australian Dance Awards shortlist media release (50 KB PDF)

Leave a comment

Executive Director’s May update

Advocating for a sustainable and thriving dance sector was the theme of my first month as Ausdance National's Executive Director

We are currently representing the dance sector by contributing knowledge to three urgent issues that impact healthy growth in Australia’s creative economy:

  • Access to professional mental health support for those who work in the entertainment industry, because we can't tackle these issues in isolation. We need to support each other.
  • Access to education and training resources to prevent discrimination, harassment, sexual harassment and bullying, because these impact our mental health and wellbeing. Together we can create healthy work environments free from these threats.
  • Sustainable access to international expertise that transfers skills to Australian organisations and creatives, because this will stimulate innovation.

Congratulations to all who took part in BIG DANCE this year. It was wonderful to be part of the handover at Cathedral square on Sunday 29 April and fantastic to meet Jacqueline Rose, and learn of the Big Dance legacy. 

Our AGM took place on Sunday the 13 May, at Ausdance NSW meeting room. The Annual Report is now available. 2017 was a big year of activity, advocacy and change.

Read more…

Save the date: 2018 Australian Dance Awards

The 2018 Australian Dance Awards will take place on Saturday 8 September at 4.00 pm at the Brisbane Powerhouse.

We have appointed Sandi Woo as Producer. Sandi will work with local and interstate companies, independent dance artists and Ausdance Queensland to create a diverse program for the event. The late afternoon time slot has been selected so that everyone can enjoy Brisbane Festival’s Opening Celebrations, later that evening. 

We will announce more details in the coming weeks, including details of sector meetings set to take place over that weekend, ensuring wonderful networking opportunities.

Leave a comment

Archiving Ausdance National at the National Library of Australia

With about 250 Ausdance National archive boxes now housed at the National Library in Canberra, the work of cataloguing their contents continues.

This week marked a major milestone in this process, with Julie Dyson and Sandra Macarthur-Onslow reaching the 200-box mark in a collection that includes 40 years of Ausdance National’s achievements—submissions, funding applications, letters of support, reports, analysis of the dance sector, projects such as Safe Dance & Dancers’ Transition, strategic plans, minutes, publications, photographs, plus an impressive archive of Australian dance companies, large and small, and independent artists’ ephemera. It’s an amazing and impressive record of a 40-year period in Australian dance history between 1977 and 2017 which we are sure future researchers will find invaluable.

the joys of open plan office spacesJulie Dyson and Sandra Macarthur-Onslow at work at the National Library of Australia.

Read more…

World Dance Alliance prepares for Panpapanpalya

As Secretary of WDA Asia Pacific, I am preparing agendas and papers for the annual general meeting of WDA Asia Pacific, to be held in Adelaide on Wednesday 11 July. Ausdance National supports the WDA through publication of conference proceedings on the Ausdance website and I represent Ausdance through board membership of both the Global Executive and the Asia-Pacific region.

Read more…

Arts educators call for intervention in ‘flawed’ Arts curriculum review process

Following meetings in Canberra with politicians and the Secretary of the Department of Communications & the Arts in late February, the National Advocates for Arts Education (NAAE) has again focused on what it considers to be the flawed consultation process being undertaken by the NSW Education Syllabus Authority (NESA).

Read more…

2018 Australian Dance Awards nominations update

This year almost 200 nominations have made the 2018 long list. As acting nominations coordinator, I have been working with the panel to assess all nominations for eligibility, and we have been pleased to acknowledge the vast majority in the categories in which they were nominated.

The panel is about to begin work on the shortlisting process by reading each nomination and, where possible, viewing the work provided by the nominees. The panel will go through three rounds of voting, selecting their top four in each category in the first round, reviewing and voting again in the second round, and finally, if required, conferring by teleconference prior to the short list being announced. In this process the nominations coordinator tallies up the votes in each round, which also identifies the eventual winner in each category. The nominations for Lifetime Achievement are also considered, but nominees in this category are not published in advance.

Read more…