Dance Assessment meeting report for grants that closed in August 2011

Projects, Artform Development, Fellowship grants with closing dates 26 August 2011.


Chair's comments

The Dance Board met on 3 and 4 November in Sydney to assess applications to the 26 August closing date. At this meeting we assessed 67 applications, 54 in the Projects category, 8 in the Artform Development category and 5 in the Fellowships category. The Projects category was a particularly strong field and the Dance Board was pleased to be able to support 16 of these applications by allocating additional funds. The applications supported represent broad diversity: emerging and established artists, innovations in culturally diverse and Indigenous dance and a wide range of dance practice overall.

I would like to congratulate Sandra Parker on receiving the Dance Board Fellowship for 2011. Sandra is an Australian Choreographer/Director based in Melbourne. The focus of her Fellowship is the research and development of a dance installation practice through a series of creative explorations with Australian and international video and sound artists.

On the second day of the meeting a teleconference with the Theatre Board was held to discuss Managing and Performing Services (MAPS). The boards last met in November 2010 to discuss the MAPS initiative which operates currently in New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria and Western Australia. The MAPS projects provide independent theatre and dance artists with subsidised production, management, touring and marketing support.

I would like to acknowledge the contribution that Angharad Wynne-Jones (Vic) and Michelle Ryan (Qld) made as peer advisers in the meeting. Their extensive sector knowledge and experience provided valuable input to the Dance Board in assessing the applications.

The Dance Board held two meetings by teleconference in September to discuss their input in to the Australia Council’s response to the National Cultural Policy discussion paper. The contribution from the individual artform boards has received positive feedback and I would like to thank the Dance Board and Carin Mistry, Director Dance for their contribution to the development of the Australia Council submission.

National touring (including single interstate presentations) for dance is a continuing issue of concern for the sector and for the Australia Council. In September I chaired a roundtable discussion on issues impacting on national dance touring at the Wheeler Centre for Books, Writing and Ideas in Melbourne. Representatives from five dance producing companies participated to share their experiences of national touring, to examine the barriers and commence discussions about strategies to address these. We were joined by Carin Mistry Dance Director, Collette Brennan and Ellen Dwyer from Market Development and Adrian Burnett from Dance at the Australia Council.

I look forward to 2012 when the Dance Board will be developing a screen dance initiative, a contemporary dance initiative for WA and the second instalment of the Dance and Music initiative. These initiatives are designed to address important sector issues and will help to ensure that dance remains a vibrant and relevant part of our national culture.


Chrissy Sharp
Chair Dance Board


Other Initiatives

Dance Massive 2013

Dance Massive provides a platform to showcase new and existing Australian contemporary dance works to audiences and presenters (Australian and international), whilst enabling performance and professional development opportunities for dancers and choreographers.

The Dance Board will contribute $60,000 towards Dance Massive 2013.

The Dance Massive presenting partners are Arts House, Malthouse Theatre and Dancehouse in conjunction with Ausdance Victoria.


Managing and Producing Services (MAPS for Artists)

Managing and Producing Services (MAPS for Artists) in Victoria is a joint initiative between the Theatre and Dance Boards of the Australia Council for the Arts and Arts Victoria. Following a rigorous and competitive process, Insite Arts International has been appointed to deliver the Managing and Producing Services in Victoria.

Under a three-year agreement, Insite Arts International will receive funding to provide management and producing services to six Victorian theatre and dance groups and artists. Insite Arts International is an established company of performing arts managers and producers working creatively with Australian artists nationally and internationally to create, realise and tour innovative contemporary performance projects.

The Australia Council for the Arts is pleased to announce that Rick Heath and Harley Stumm have been awarded the tender to work with the Australia Council to develop a National Touring Framework for Australian arts. The framework will identify gaps, opportunities and connections to touring. Consultations will take place throughout Australia over the coming eight weeks. The completion date for the project is 30 April 2012.

You can find more information on the consultation by following this link:

The Australia Council for the Arts and IETM, the International Network for Contemporary Performing Arts, are delighted to announce Sophie Travers as the new Project Director for the IETM-Australia Council Collaboration Project based in the IETM’s office in Brussels. Sophie will develop a curated program of activities to increase engagement between Europe and Australia and support the Australian performing arts sector to develop its networks, contacts and partnerships within the European Union. An experienced arts producer with an extensive knowledge of the Australian and European performing arts sectors, Sophie’s focus in this role will be on two key program strands – Artistic Collaborations and Producing Producers.

Feedback on the round


General feedback


From 2012 the Projects category will be split into two separate categories. These will be:

  • Projects – Creative Development - to provide support for the research and creative development of new dance works; and
  • Projects – Presentation - to provide support for dance works with a presentation outcome.


More information about these categories will be available on the Australia Council website within the next few weeks.

The board would like to encourage all applicants to make their applications clear and concise. Please use straightforward and clear language- it does not need to be in an academic style. It is also useful to structure the application by using each question as a header. A number of applicants are failing to respond to all of the questions. These questions are designed to tease out your response to each criterion your application is assessed by, so it is important to respond to each of them.

Care should be taken when filling in the budget. All applicants are encouraged to double check the figures before submitting the application. Your application must present a break even budget where your income and expenditure balance with the inclusion of the grant you are applying for.

Many applicants are using the media form more successfully to strengthen the link between the application and visual material. The quality of moving image support material is very important. Applicants are able to make a direct address to the board through this material if they choose to and may also use title cards between clips if there are a number of works. Moving image material will only be accepted by vimeo link for future rounds. DVDs will no longer be accepted.

If you have any questions about applying to the Projects category please contact: 

Emma Johnson
Program Officer, Dance
Phone 02 9215 9179, Email


Artform Development:

There were a small number of applications this round. The category will not be open again until August 2012. The Dance Board encourages applicants to discuss which category is the best fit for their project/program with program staff well in advance of the closing date. Please give particular consideration to the purpose of the category by checking the web site. If you have any questions about applying to the Artform Development category please contact:

Adrian Burnett
Program Manager, Dance
Phone 02 9215 9164, Email



The Dance Board Fellowship aims to reward a mid-career/established artist who is recognised by the sector and their peers as having achieved artistic excellence. The Fellowship is one of the most valuable opportunities an artform board can give to an individual artist.

From 2012 applicants can apply for a fellowship over one or two years.

The Dance Board would like to clarify a number of points for applicants:

  • The primary objective of the grant is to advance the career of fellowship recipients, not skills development for others
  • The Dance Board would like to encourage applicants to consider what the benefits might be for their career over the next 5–10 years
  • The Fellowship is open to all mid-career/established dance artists, not only independent artists
  • Dance Board fellows can apply for other funding or complete other activities while on a fellowship
  • Fellowship recipients can earn other income within the year/s
  • We encourage potential applicants to discuss their application with program staff well before the closing date.

If you have any questions about applying to the Fellowship category please contact

Adrian Burnett
Program Manager, Dance
Phone 02 9215 9164, Email


Successful applicants


Projects Category, 26 August 2011 closing date


Animal Farm Collective, (NSW) $45,000

To create a new dance theatre work, “Cut Away”, by Animal Farm Collective (Gavin Webber, Grayson Millwood, Mark Howett, Iain Grandage). “Cut Away” will be developed in Berlin and Australia during 2012 before premiering at the Festpielhaus and Sophiensaele in November.


Blakdance, (Qld) $39,904

BLAKDANCE 2012 brings together Australian Indigenous contemporary choreographers Rita Pryce, Jacob Boehme and Tammi Gissell with Indigenous contemporary choreographers Sandra Laronde (Canada), and Jack Gray and Cathy Livermore (New Zealand). Each performance will feature five choreographic works, which are remounts of existing works. Australian Indigenous Choreographers and their dancers will rehearse for two weeks before the one-week performance season.


Matthew Day (Vic) $35,000

To develop and present a new solo dance work Intermission. Intermission is the final work, following Thousands and Cannibal in a solo series Trilogy. Development of the work will take place over a seven week period followed by presentation at PACT Theatre in June 2012.


Antony Hamilton (Vic) $35,000

To undertake the first development of a new full length dance work, Heresy. In Heresy Antony will continue to explore alternative viewing experiences of the audience as well as incorporating audience participation. Development will take place over five weeks.


Sue Healey (NSW) $45,000

Final Development and presentation of new performance project Variant. The final development and rehearsal will take place over three weeks with a two week performance season at the Seymour Centre, Sydney in March 2012. Performers are Narelle Benjamin, James Berlyn, Benjamin Hancock, Rachelle Hickson, Kiruna Stamell and Nalina Wait.


Michelle Heaven (Vic) $14,000

To research, storyboard, document and develop a score for a new work titled The Plan. The Plan is a new movement based performance work, exploring the relationship between the performer and audience. Development will take place over five weeks.


Helen Herbertson (Vic) $15,500

Concept development including storyboard, design experiments, physical explorations and presentation planning for a new performance work entitled Companion Pieces. Development will take place over four weeks in September 2012.


Daniel Jaber (SA) $14,640

Final development, presentation and touring of solo work Reassessment, choreographed and performed by Daniel Jaber. After a three week development period the work will premiere in Adelaide in January 2012. The work will then be remounted and presented in Austria in April 2012.


Ludwig (WA) $14,882

For the second stage development of a new work titled Fleck and Flecker by Cass Mortimer Eipper and Emma Sandall. The work uses an animated narrator, Fleck and Flecker to explore the subject of partnering and companionship. The development will take place over five weeks.


Larissa McGowan (SA) $25,000

To support the second stage development of Skeleton, inspired by the sculptural works of artist Ricky Swallow. The development will involve five dancers and will take place over a six week period.


Jane McKernan (NSW) $28,146

For the final development and presentation of OPENING AND CLOSING CEREMONY, a new dance solo created and performed by Jane McKernan with stage design by Agatha Gothe-Snape. Development will take place over three weeks with performances in Sydney and Melbourne in August 2012.


Marilyn Miller (Qld) $39,627

Development and presentation of a new Dance work titled Pop, Whistle, Crack. This will be a dance/theatre piece which will culminate in a three night public showing at the Centre of Contemporary Arts (CoCA) in Cairns, in January 2012. Performer are Rita Pryce, Hannah Scanlon, Teesha Onus-Brown, Warren Clements, Vicki Van Hout, Raghav Handa, Henrietta Baird and is choreographed by Marilyn Miller.


Next Wave (Vic) $45,000

To present works by seven emerging artists in the 2012 Next Wave Festival. The Next Wave Festival will take part between 19 and 27 May 2012. Next Wave will present a mixture of State and nationally based artists.


Annalouise Paul (NSW) $37,500

To support a second creative development of new dance music work Mother Tongue. Mother Tongue brings together body percussion dances and rhythms from Torres Strait Islands, Ghana, Polynesia, Kathak dance and North Indian vocal recitation, flamenco and contemporary body percussion. The eight artists involved are Annalouise Paul, Greg Sheehan, Bobby Singh, Albert David, Latai Taumoepeau, Shruti Ghosh, Patrick Lartey and Karen Therese.


Stalker (NSW) $27,947

To support a three-week creative development period for a new outdoor dance/physical theatre multimedia work entitled Encoded. Encoded draws on some of Australia’s leading movement artists in dance and physical theatre combined with cutting edge digital artists from Australia and New Zealand. Paul Selwyn Norton will be engaged as choreographer for this work.


Lee Wilson (NSW) $45,000

To support the second stage creative development of CONCRETE AND BONE SESSIONS, a new site specific work that takes place in a skate park in Dulwich Hill. Branch Nebula collaborates with a diverse range of artists, from contemporary performers and dancers, to professional street-style artists working in the mediums of skating, BMX, breaking and parkour.



Artform Development Category, 26 August 2011 closing date


Ausdance SA (SA) $50,000

Choreolab Research & Development Residency provides intensive support for two works selected via Choreolab

Ausdance SA will deliver two Choreolab Research and Development residencies for freelance works in 2012, selected via the Choreolab short works seasons. The two new dance works will be selected by an independent panel comprised of: Associate Artistic Director of the Australian Dance Theatre, Elizabeth Old, Country Arts SA Manager of Art-form Development, Craig Harrison and Director of Ausdance SA, Phil Callaghan.

The two works selected for the residencies will each receive financial support for artists and for an experienced mentor chosen by the artists and three weeks access to rehearsal space. A Coordinator position will be established at Ausdance SA to support the Choreolab Research and Development residencies and to coordinate a program of ongoing weekly professional freelance classes and regular master classes.


Campbelltown Arts Centre (NSW) $60,000

Campbelltown Arts Centre 2012 Dance Program

In 2012 Campbelltown Arts Centre will produce and present I Wanna Dance with Somebody. This curated dance event will examine where dance and community intersect and include commissions of new work, residencies, performances, workshops, a publication and a NSW/Australian Dance Forum. Each year Campbelltown Arts Centre will continue to produce and present a similar kind of dance event focusing on a curatorial rationale or theme that will include an annual NSW/Australian Dance Forum.

In 2012 Campbelltown Arts Centre will create important ongoing partnerships with Critical Path and Northern Rivers Performing Arts. This forms part of their new Regional Exchange Program, placing emphasis on touring their commissioned works, whilst also focusing on developing partnerships with dance artists and organisations across the Asia Pacific Region. This will lead into the introduction of the Asia Pacific International Dance Exchange for 2013 – 2015.


Critical Path Inc (NSW) $90,000

Eight professional projects to incubate the next generation of choreographic concepts & broaden practice

Critical Path will offer a two strand research and development program in 2012. The Facilitated Program: guided development of individual and collective practice (workshops, master classes, forums, presentations) and The Responsive Program: self directed blue sky research proposals from NSW choreographers. The programs work in tandem developing a diversity of dance forms by high calibre, innovative choreographers. The programs are structured to nurture choreographers at varying stages of their careers, creating multiple opportunities to learn from nationally and internationally respected choreographers.

Both strands of Critical Path’s programs are designed to encourage participation from a diverse range of artists, ensuring Critical Path’s incubation role to foster new works, supporting a vibrant and critically engaged dance sector.


STRUT Dance (WA) $100,000

UNWRAP, a world-class program focussed on critical debate and audience development for WA dance artists

In 2012 STRUT will celebrate its 10th anniversary and benchmark five consecutive years of successfully achieved annual programs. The program also signals the final stage of the four year State funded Future Moves initiative.

UNWRAP will invite Jonathan Burrows, Foofwa d’Imobilité, Garry Stewart, Andrew Morrish, Rosalind Crisp, Jean-Claude Gallotta and curator/ dramaturg Maria Magdalena Schwaegermann to unravel the “speaking dance”, the art of risk taking, questioning and revelation.

The program builds its strength from long term associated partners: Ausdance WA, Buzz, PICA, Artrage, STEPS, Critical Path, Performing Lines WA, the West Australian Academy of Performing Arts and LINK Dance Company.



Fellowships Category, 26 August 2011 closing date


Sandra Parker (Vic) $100,000

Two Year Fellowship in Dance Installation Practice

The focus of the Fellowship is on the research and development of a dance installation practice from the perspective of a choreographer. A series of creative explorations with Australian and international video and sound artists, underpinned by research with The Forsythe Company.

Sandra will develop new creative material and artistic networks, the outcomes of which will be shared nationally and internationally through showings of work-in-progress, discussion forums and documentation at: Dancehouse (Melbourne), Critical Path (Sydney), LaborGras (Berlin), the Centre for Performance Research (New York) and The Forsythe Company (Frankfurt).

From 1998-2006 Sandra was the Artistic Director of Melbourne’s Dance Works, creating innovative collaborations with many artists and arts organisations including Melbourne International Arts Festival. Sandra holds a Bachelor of Education, a Master of Choreography and a PhD from the University of Melbourne. In 2001 Sandra received the accolade of an Australian Government Centenary Medal for Services to Australian Society and Dance.


Funding statistics


Applications received: 54
Applications funded: 16
29% success rate
Amount requested: $1,629,021
Amount approved: $507,146


Artform development

Applications received: 8
Applications funded: 4
50% success rate
Amount requested: $477,875
Amount approved: $300,000



Applications received: 6
Applications funded: 1
17% success rate
Amount requested: $100,000
Amount approved: $100,000



Panel members

The following Board members and peer advisers attended the meeting:


Board members

Chrissy Sharp (Chair) (Vic)
Carol Wellman Kelly (SA)
Elizabeth Walsh (TAS)
Mathew Morse (NSW)
Michael Whaites (WA)
Sandra Collins (NSW)

You can read about the Dance Board members by following this link:


Peer Adviser

The following people were peer advisers at the meeting:

Angharad Wynne-Jones (Vic)
Angharad studied theatre at Dartington in the UK. In 1994 she became Director of the Performance Space in Sydney. In 1998 she (as Executive Producer) and Gideon Obarzanek established Chunky Move in Melbourne. Angharad joined Peter Sellars as Associate Director in the 2002 Adelaide Festival, and established an international independent production house, risingtideproductions in 2004. She was appointed Director of LIFT (London International Festival of Theatre) 2005 – 2008 and completed a post graduate diploma in cultural leadership at the City University, London.

Angharad returned to Melbourne - directing and curating the first Australian Theatre Forum in 2009, working as acting General Manager for Lucy Guerin Inc and producing the Marketing Summit 2010 for the Australia Council. She has been on a number of boards and panels: Australia Council Hybrid, New Media and Dance Boards, Lucy Guerin Inc, Real Time, Snuff Puppets and Total Theatre (UK).

Angharad is director of TippingPoint Australia and Creative Producer at Arts House which is a City of Melbourne contemporary arts initiative.

Michelle Ryan (Qld)
Michelle Ryan is an arts practitioner with over twenty years experience in the areas of film, performance, choreography and administration.

Michelle worked for Queensland Arts Council before joining Meryl Tankard in Canberra and Adelaide (Meryl Tankard’s Australian Dance Theatre). She was a performer with Tankard for seven and a half years followed by projects in Europe as Meryl Tankard’s assistant.

On returning to Australia, Michelle was founding member of Splintergroup. She was the Associate Artist and Rehearsal Director for lawn, roadkill and underneath. From 2005-2010 Michelle worked at Dancenorth in various capacities including Artistic Manager, Rehearsal Director, Choreographer and Assistant Producer.

In 2009 Michelle created the dance film Nerve Ending that has been screened nationally and internationally and in 2010 created Four Short Films about Juanita. She was recently the guest performer in the Brisbane season of Out of Context for Pina by Les Ballet C de la B. 

The following staff members were present at the meeting:


Australia Council staff

Carin Mistry, Director Dance
Atul Joshi, Director Key Organisations
Adrian Burnett, Program Manager Dance
Emma Johnson, Program Officer Dance
Karen Tait, Section Co-ordinator Dance and Literature
Eliora Malifa, Administration Officer Dance and Artstart

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