2012 National Dance Research Forum

In 2012, Ausdance National, with the Tertiary Dance Council of Australia (TDCA), hosted a forum for dance researchers at Deakin University and Victorian College of the Arts in Melbourne.

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Following the success of previous Ausdance forums targeting dance education in schools, Ausdance and the Tertiary Dance Council of Australia (TDCA), convened this research forum to address the lack of opportunity for dance researchers to meet and share ideas, and to facilitate the establishment of specialised dance research networks.

Ausdance and TDCA were also keen to see how dance research could be better linked to policy development for dance in Australia. There seems to have been a large disconnect there. Dance researchers—from established to early-career—came together from all over the country to contribute their thoughts and expertise on this issue, to listen to high-profile professionals working in the field of dance and performance research, and to share their own research.

Keynote speakers

Dr Kim Vincs is a choreographer whose collaborations integrate scientific and artistic approaches and in 2012 was working on 'Capturing Dance: using motion capture to enhance the creation of innovative Australian dance', a three-year project to identify choreographic movement signatures using motion capture.

Ruth Gibson and Bruno Martelli, British artists from a company called igloo and 2012 Artists in Residence at Deakin University, examine the relationship between natural and the artificial, transposing sites to create ambiguous topographies. They create environments, installations and performances using a wide variety of media including print, video, and computer games.

Sue Healey's Never Be Stlll, a collaboration between UNSW Dance and Faculty of Built Environment 2013.

Choreographer, performer and teacher, Carol Brown is the Director of Choreographic Research Aotearoa and a senior lecturer in Dance Studies at the University of Auckland. Carol’s practice "takes place at the intersections between movement, architecture and performance and includes solos, group works for theatre, performance installations and site responsive works", and this keynote focused on recent work in Perth, Auckland and Christchurch.


  • Exchange information, ideas, expertise and resources
  • Provide leadership in dance education & dance research
  • Provide initiatives and opportunities for the industry
  • Strengthen relationships and networks
  • Facilitate links between the tertiary dance sector and the industry


Saturday 4 August

9.15am Registration, coffee
10.00am Welcome: Prof. Lee Astheimer, DVC (Research), Deakin University
10.15am Keynote: Ruth Gibson & Bruno Martelli (Igloo, UK)
Dance research directions from a UK perspective
10.45am Questions & discussion
11.15am  Morning tea
11.45am Studio demonstration by Dr Kim Vincs of Deakin’s interactive work.
(Includes embedded analysis, 3D scenography, demonstration of Indigenous work by Monica Stevens)
1.00pm Lunch
1.45pm Panel: Cheryl Stock (Chair), Kim Vincs, John McCormick, Kate Stevens, Shirley McKechnie & Garry Stewart
3.45pm Afternoon tea
4.00pm Keynote: Carol Brown Creative practice and artistic research
4.30pm Discussion
5.00pm End day

Sunday 5 August

8.30am Coffee
9.00am The research environment—each participant to give a 3-minute    introduction to their research
10.30am Morning tea
11.00am Continue presentations
1.15pm Lunch
2.00pm Research breakout groups (e.g. health sciences, psychology,cognitive science, technology, education etc).
3.30pm Afternoon tea
3.45pm Groups report back: Actions arising—one future action from each group: (including who, what, when, where?) Future of Tertiary Dance Council of Australia (e.g. opening up membership to individuals)
4.45pm Evaluation
5.15pm End day

See who attended the forum and read a bit about their work.

What's next?

The next dance research event, titled Tertiary Dance Research Symposium (TDRS), will be held towards the end of 2014.

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