AusDance Awards Winners

Bangarra Dance Theatre: 30 Years of 65,000. Photo Daniel Boud

Congratulations to all the Winners of the 2020 Australian Dance Awards

Presented Online December 8

Held for the first time since 2018, the 2020 Australian Dance Awards recognised achievements in both 2018 and 2019.

Despite not being able to be held in person due to Covid19 this year, the awards were presented via a live-streamed Facebook event on Tuesday December 8. You can watch the full presentation now via the Ausdance NAtional’s YouTube channel at https://youtu.be/eRJ4UYke7BQ

The Australian Dance Awards celebrate the rich diversity and uniqueness of dance in Australia with national companies, performers and collaborating artists, dedicated studio, school and tertiary teachers, regional and remote artists, independents and astounding youth and community dance groups.  The annual Awards recognise and honour professional Australian dance artists who have made outstanding achievements that raise the profile and prestige of dance in Australia.

FLING Physical Theatre. Image courtesy Facebook @flingphysicaltheatre01

See all the short-listed nominations here. The award winners are:

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN COMMUNITY DANCE
2018: Tracks Dance for In Your Blood ⏤ a joyous and exceptionally realised dance work performed in the Darwin Botanic Gardens as an exquisite celebration of tradition, family and the collective.
2019: Fine Lines for The Right ⏤ an intergenerational mature dance collective that presented a serious work about sacrifice for the greater good, explored through the lens of contemporary politics.

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN YOUTH DANCE
2018: FLING Physical Theatre for Body & Environment ⏤ an ambitious and surprising new work showcasing a high level of performance skills in this group of young artists, demonstrating a sense of confidence and maturity.
2019: QL2 Youth Dance for Filling the Space ⏤ an exceptionally mature performance that explored dimensions of space and its potent significance to the world of dance – physically, emotionally, and architecturally.

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN CHOREOGRAPHY
2018: Narelle Benjamin & Paul White for Cella ⏤ a defining and moving work in a stunning meditation on the wonders of the human body.
2019: Garry Stewart for South ⏤ a theatrical work that evokes Mawson’s tragic Antarctic expedition of 1912 performed by nine dancers with Stewart’s virtuosic movement

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN DANCE ON FILM OR NEW MEDIA
2018: RIPE Dance for In a Different Space ⏤ an inspirational dance film combining beauty, humour, serenity, and cheekiness in equal measure.
2019: Samaya Wives for Oten ⏤ a film that speaks to an integral facet of human nature: our imperfections, yet the slow cadence and dreamy expressiveness of the text provide a moment of stillness, a chance to see the beauty in these so-called ‘flaws.’

STRUT Dance, ‘The Sunset’. Photo Simon Pynt/Anthony Tran

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN COMMERCIAL DANCE, MUSICALS, OR PHYSICAL THEATRE
2018: The Farm for The Tide ⏤ a work that explores the impact of climate change with two outstanding performers, Gavin Webber and Joshua Thomson, transforming a tough reality into a place of optimism and compassion.
2019: STRUT Dance for SUNSET ⏤ a major commissioned event that took audiences on a magical and haunting journey through one of Perth’s heritage listed buildings.

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN INDEPENDENT DANCE
2018:
Vicki Van Hout for plenty serious TALK TALK ⏤ a work that explores the consultative process in Indigenous art making, inviting the audience to appreciate the full complexity of negotiating culture across disciplines, genres, and eras.
2019: Laura Boynes for Wonder Woman ⏤ a work that draws attention to the potent presence of a solo female dancer whose less visible strengths and powers are celebrated in a staging of the ‘severalness’ of femininity.

Marlo Benjamin. Image courtesy Facebook @stephanielakecompany

OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE BY A FEMALE DANCER
2018: Narelle Benjamin for Cella ⏤ an extraordinarily moving and physically demanding performance with Paul White, in an exploration of how the human body can transform and evolve in the imagination.
2019: Marlo Benjamin for The Skeleton Tree with Stephanie Lake Co. ⏤ for a performance that was powerful and heartfelt with a rare combination of incredible technical prowess and a depth of feeling, strength and bravery.

OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE BY A MALE DANCER
2018: Kimball Wong for The Beginning of Nature with Australian Dance Theatre ⏤ for a brilliant demonstration of his innate ability to combine strength and technique with rich artistry and emotion in this symphony of overlapping rhythms of nature and life.
2019: Tyrel Dulvarie for 30 years of 65,000 by Bangarra Dance Theatre ⏤ in an outstanding performance celebrating Bangarra Dance Theatre’s thirtieth anniversary, especially for his transfixing dancing in Unaipon, the opening work on this triple bill program.

Kimball Wong. Photo Juan Diego Castillo

OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE BY A COMPANY
2018: Australian Dance Theatre for The Beginning of Nature
2019: Bangarra Dance Theatre for 30 Years of 65,000

SERVICES TO DANCE
2018: Valerie Lawson for her work as a Walkley Award-winning journalist who has devoted much of her life advocating for, and writing about, dance in Australia.
2019: Philippe Charluet for over 30 years of filming Australian dance productions from some of the country’s most outstanding companies and choreographers, in particular for his documentation of the work of Graeme Murphy and Janet Vernon in his Heritage Collection.

SERVICES TO DANCE EDUCATION
2018: Karen Malek for her inspirational work as a dance teacher for over 40 years, and as the President of the Australian Teachers of Dancing as a pivotal figure in dance education in Australia.
2019: Sue Fox for her role as co-writer of state and national arts curriculum documents, including The Australian Curriculum: The Arts, as a founder of the Ausdance Educators Queensland group, and as a key member of the National Advocates for Arts Education.

The Lifetime Achievement Awards for 2019 and 2020 went to Jill Sykes AM and Janet Karin OAM, and were announced prior.

Australian Dance Theatre’s ‘The Beginning of Nature’. Photo Juan Diego Castillo
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