Media releases

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’.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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)

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Arts educators call for a visionary approach to arts education and creative work

Media release 27 February 2018

In meetings in Canberra yesterday with advisers from all political parties and senior staff from the federal education and arts departments, the National Advocates for Arts Education called for a rethinking of all political parties’ commitment to various key aspects of arts education, and made specific recommendations.

A delegation of members of the NAAE asserted yesterday that arts skills are at least as important as literacy and numeracy and should be prioritised alongside STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths).

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Dancenorth winners of a prestigious 2017 Sidney Myer Performing Arts Award

Five Dancenorth dancers walk out of the sea through rough waves.Photo: Amber Haines

North Queensland based and nationally renowned dance company Dancenorth have been awarded the 2017 Sidney Myer Group Award

The winners of the prestigious 2017 Sidney Myer Performing Arts Awards were announced by Carrillo Gantner AO, Chair of the Sidney Myer Fund at the Brisbane Powerhouse as part of the Australian Performing Arts Market on Wednesday 21 February 2018.

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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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National Dance Forum 2017: Dance in the Digital Domain

MEDIA RELEASE (84Kb PDF)

Tuesday 22 August 2017
For immediate release

Australia’s peak dance organisation, Ausdance National, will host a two-day forum next month bringing together dance makers, producers and presenters for a highly topical forum focusing on the future of dance within the digital domain. The National Dance Forum is Australia’s key platform for dance artists, industry professionals and educators in providing rich opportunities to discuss, debate and collaborate with some of the most influential individuals and organisations in the country.

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National forum to explore dance practice in the digital age

MEDIA RELEASE (90Kb PDF)

16 May 2017

The 2017 National Dance Forum will bring together makers, producers and presenters to discuss and share knowledge on current digital practices and technological developments. The two-day forum will focus on strengthening the dance sector’s capacity within the digital domain.

Led by the dance sector’s advocate for 40 years—Ausdance National—the fourth National Dance Forum (NDF2017) will take place at the Victorian College of the Arts in Melbourne, 25–26 September 2017 and will follow the Australian Dance Awards (Arts Centre Melbourne, 24 September 2017).

Dance artists, companies, presenters and researchers looking for ways to grow meaningful audience relationships and understand the issues around making art in a digital environment, need to attend.

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Ausdance welcomes return of Catalyst funds to the Australia Council

Ausdance National and the Ausdance network welcome news today that the Arts Minister, Senator Mitch Fifield, has decided to return Catalyst funds to the Australia Council. 

The sudden removal of funds from the Australia Council, the loss of transparent peer reviewed decision-making processes and uncertainty about the role of Catalyst have caused enormous disruption and distress across the sector.

Ausdance National President-elect, Associate Professor Gene Moyle, said: ‘The Minister’s decision to return remaining Catalyst funds to the Australia Council is a very welcome step. The Minister is to be congratulated for acting on the strong messages he has received about the loss of highly-regarded dance companies and organisations, and has moved to address the ongoing concerns of the arts profession.

‘We now want to ensure that some funding balance will be returned to the small to medium dance sector in particular, so we welcome the Minister’s comment that “This will allow the Australia Council to continue to focus on supporting small to medium arts organisations.'

We look forward to working with the Minister and the Australia Council to ensure that this goal is realised.

Contact: Gene Moyle (0411 640 012) or Julie Dyson (041 2211 513)

Media release, 18 March 2017 (84 Kb PDF)

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VET funding cuts—impact on professional dance training

VET funding cuts—impact on professional dance training—media release (246 KB PDF)

Senator the Hon. Simon Birmingham
Minister for Education and Training
PC Box 6100, Senate
Parliament House
Canberra ACT 2600

Dear Minister,

Ausdance is deeply concerned about your decision to include some of Australia's leading professional dance training courses in the crackdown on courses eligible for VET student loans.

We are particularly concerned about the statement that these professional dance training courses are being subsidised because they are 'used simply to boost enrolments, or provide 'lifestyle' choices, but don't lead to work'.

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