2016 Australian Dance Awards nominees’ citations

The Australian Dance Awards citations are based on information provided by nominators and are written by Leanne Craig, Australian Dance Awards nominations coordinator, in consultation with the Australian Dance Awards nominations panel.

Nominees for Outstanding Performance by a Company

Company collage

  • Bangarra Dance Theatre's Lore for an uplifting, intense and beautiful double bill, incorporating myriad choreographic styles performed by an ensemble of versatile and superb dancers. 
  • Sydney Dance Company's Frame of Mind for an exhilarating, engaging and thrilling double bill showcasing the technique, diversity and brilliance of both choreographers and this outstanding company of dancers.
  • Dancenorth's Spectra for a beautifully executed and immersive work fusing many styles and art forms in a fresh and captivating contemporary dance work.
  • West Australian Ballet's Ballet at the Quarry: Zip Zap Zoom for a visually delightful performance of an eclectic and entertaining program incorporating wonderful production elements and virtuosic dancing.

Nominees for Outstanding Performance by a Male Dancer

Male dancer collage

  • Chengwu Guo, in The Australian Ballet's The Dream, for his outstanding vibrancy, energy and athleticism, his charisma and characterisation, his magnificent technique and for his ability to command the stage. 
  • Kevin Jackson, in The Australian Ballet's Giselle, for a maturity beyond his years, his sense of gravitas and style, his extraordinary technique and an enthralling, authentic and sensitive performance. 
  • Alisdair Macindoe, in Lucy Guerin Inc.'s Motion Picture, for his graceful and intricate solo work, for his nuanced and clever partner work, and for his consistently theatrical and commanding performances.
  • David Mack, in Sydney Dance Company's Frame of Mind, for a mesmerising and sensational performance, demonstrating exceptional technique and clarity of line, along with extraordinary focus, strength and fluidity.

Nominees for Outstanding Performance by a Female Dancer

Female dance collage

  • Madeleine Eastoe, in The Australian Ballet's Giselle', for her exceptional beauty and technique, her deep understanding of character, and a memorable portrayal of an iconic role by an artist at the peak of her powers.
  • Amber Haines, in Dancenorth's Syncing Feeling, for a radiant, effortless and compelling performance, displaying maturity and control, and flawless execution of challenging choreography.
  • Elma Kris, in Bangarra Dance Theatre's Lore, for her charismatic and stand-out performance in a pivotal role that showed great wisdom, skill and ability to connect with an audience through her commanding and magnificent storytelling.
  • Brooke Widdison-Jacobs, in West Australian Ballet's Cinderella, for her sensitivity, grace, beauty, characterisation and impeccable technique in this much-loved role.

Nominees for Outstanding Achievement in Independent Dance

Independent dance collage

  • Gareth Belling & Collusion Music for Desirelines—an inventive and interesting fusion of contemporary ballet, live chamber music, high fashion and projected animation to create a fascinating and superbly executed performance.
  • Antony Hamilton for NYX—a compelling and complex large-scale contemporary work, cleverly crafted to create layers of sound and vision that are precise and powerfully rhythmic.
  • Sue Healey for On View: Live Portraits—a sophisticated, perceptive and ingenious work that was entertaining, beautiful and powerful, with stunning, innovative choreography and photography throughout.
  • Victoria Hunt for Tangi Wai…the cry of water—an innovative, collaborative work involving many artists to create a beautiful, seamless integration of choreography, sound, lighting and audio-visual imagery.

Nominees for Services to Dance

Services to dance collage

  • Geoff Cobham (lighting designer & producer)—for his memorable, creative and beautiful collaborations with choreographers as a lighting designer, and for his artistry, humour and team spirit as a producer and collaborator.
  • Jennifer Irwin (costume designer)—for dedicated service to the dance industry, creating hundreds of exceptional costume designs for major Australian dance companies and choreographers since 1980.
  • Roy David Page (composer, performer, Nunukul Munaldjali man)—for his many talents across multiple genres and art forms, and particularly for his prolific production of memorable and exceptional compositions for Bangarra Dance Theatre.
  • Djakapurra Munyarryun (dancer, songman, performer, cultural advisor)—for his dedication to Bangarra Dance Theatre as a founding member and cultural consultant, and for his outstanding career on the stage as a formidable, powerful and mesmerising storyteller.

Nominees for Outstanding Achievement in Commercial Dance, Musicals or Physical Theatre

Nominee collage for commercial dance, musicals or physical theatre 

  • Circa Contemporary Circus for Il Ritorno—a compelling and dramatic story presented via circus, acrobatics, opera and physical theatre with astounding vision, technique, design and music. 
  • The Dream Dance Company for Genesis— brilliant concept in direction, choreography and production, and for the exceptionally talented cast that made this premiere a resounding success in the commercial dance world.
  • Opera Australia and John Frost for Anything Goes—a tight, crisp production that left the audience wanting more, and for Andrew Hallsworth’s brilliant choreography, performed by a stellar cast led by the irrepressible Caroline O’Connor. 
  • Michael Ralph Choreography for Georgy Girl—for Michael Ralph’s choreography, Isaac Lummis’s stunning costumes and the unforgettable music of The Seekers performed by a strong cast.

Nominees for Outstanding Achievement in Youth Dance 

Nominee collage for Youth Dance

  • Catapult Dance for The Flipside Project—a six-month collaborative regional contemporary dance and multi-arts project for young people and emerging artists that created a high calibre full-length performance.
  • Force Majeure & Powerhouse Youth Theatre (PYT) for Jump First, Ask Later—a brilliant and life-altering collaboration creating an urban choreographic portrait of the culturally diverse streets of Western Sydney as experienced by the young performers.
  • QL2 Dance Inc (Canberra, Australia) for Reckless Valour—deeply moving dance theatre about the Anzac’s landing at Gallipoli, beautifully choreographed, produced and performed.
  • SLIDE Youth Dance Theatre Time—distinctive, topical and confronting dance theatre exploring teenage road death and the grief and loss that remains.

Nominees for Outstanding Achievement in Dance on Film or New Media

Nominee collage for Dance on film

  • Stephen Page for Spear—an evocative and inspiring film that tells an exhilarating story of beauty, tragedy and the painful realities of contemporary urban Indigenous lives. 
  • Pippa Samaya for Dancing in the Now—an insightful and engaging reflection on artistic practice and lives, sensitive and artful direction and cinematography, and for an authentic and captivating portrayal of highly skilled dancers at work.
  • Meryl Tankard for Michelle’s Story—an intimate and uplifting film about Meryl Tankard’s long-time friend and colleague Michelle Ryan—a testament to a dancer’s transformative ability to gather strength through her art. 
  • Stephen Tannos for The Process—a captivating and complex short film that follows the journey of a painter as he fuses his ideas of visual art through the worlds of dance, music and imagination.

Nominees for Outstanding Achievement in Choreography

Nominee collage for Choreography

  • Deborah Brown & Waangenga Blanco for I.B.I.S (Bangarra Dance Theatre)—assured and joyous choreography exploring the resilience and optimism of Torres Strait Islander communities through traditional and contemporary song and dance. 
  • Force Majeure, Kate Champion & Ghenoa Gela for Nothing to Lose (Force Majeure)—an unforgettable and confronting work that challenges prejudice and preconception, in a significant and provocative piece of dance theatre.
  • Lucy Guerin for Motion Picture (Lucy Guerin Inc.)—an innovative, sophisticated and surprising work inspired by the film noir aesthetic and meticulously crafted by a visionary choreographer.
  • Frances Rings for Sheoak (Bangarra Dance Theatre)—a powerfully dramatic work of unsettling darkness and beauty by a choreographer with great integrity, inspiration and depth.

Nominees for Services to Dance Education  

Nominee collage for Services to Dance Education

  • Sally Chance (dance artist, festival & company director)—for an outstanding career as founding artistic director of Restless Dance Theatre, a leader in community-based dance practice, a dance artist in schools and as artistic director of South Australia’s children’s festival.
  • Dr Joan Pope OAM (teacher, Dalcroze Eurhythmics educator & researcher, community activist)—for more than 50 years of inspired and passionate leadership, for her commitment to education through dance and music and for a lasting impact on generations of young artists and communities.
  • Dr Katrina Rank (dancer, community dance practitioner, education specialist)—for decades of exemplary work as an artist, performer, teacher, consultant, curriculum writer, community dance practitioner, and for her commitment to professional development for independent artists. 
  • Kim Walker (dancer, choreographer, director, teacher)—for his contribution to dance education as a choreographer, teacher, artistic director and, since 2007, through his inspired and caring leadership as Executive Director ofNAISDA Dance College.

Nominees for Outstanding Achievement in Community Dance

Nominee collage for Community Dance

  • Bangarra Dance Theatre for Rekindling Youth Program—an outstanding regional program for young people led by community members and local elders designed to inspire and develop the next generation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander storytellers.
  • Dancenorth for Twilight—Cheryl Stock’s spectacular, multi-site, intergenerational and culturally diverse dance and music journey from dusk to dark in a meaningful and memorable anniversary celebration of Dancenorth and Townsville. 
  • rawcus for Catalogue'—a surprising, funny and entertaining physical theatre experience exploring individuality, shared experience and diversity, with clever design and attention to detail. 
  • Tracksuit (DADAA WA) for Small Fortunes—outstanding performances using text, dance and improvisation complemented by an intriguing soundscape and evocative design, showing this unified ensemble at its best.