PALS Webinars in 2021 bring together the brightest and best dance minds from across the state to choreograph, discuss, perform, enlighten and reveal the state of play for dance now and the future bringing together communities of practice featuring curated panel discussions.
Watch this space for the announcements of our next webinars.
Centering People and Forms of Colour in Dance Spaces
In March (2021) Ausdance NSW held our first public forum on cultural equity in dance, Centering People and Forms of Colour in Dance Spaces presented as part of March Dance, supported by March Dance and the City of Sydney, and financially supported by Multicultural NSW. This free online event came in the wake of numerous consultations with dance professionals of Colour. Beginning with an audio-described slideshow highlighting the work of various dance professionals of Colour in NSW and beyond, living in Australia, the event then turned to a rich panel conversation. The forum was hosted by Laura Luna, Arts and Culture Program Manager, Settlement Services International with panellists, Rachael Jacobs, South Asian Dancer and Choreographer and Lecturer in Creative Arts Education at Western Sydney University and Charemaine Seet, Contemporary Dancer, Artist and Founder and Director of Seet Dance. The panel discussion explored panellists’ lived experiences as dancers of Colour, the additional labour that comes with being a person of Colour in dance spaces and tools and resources available for emerging or younger artists. With 41 registered attendees, many of whom chimed into the live chat, the forum proved to be a politically charged space with parallel experiences reflected from one person to another. It was also streamed live on Facebook, reaching 600 viewers. Thank you to our host, those involved and those of you who attended, asked questions and contributed to the discussion on the day. We would like to thank, in particular, our panellists, host, Multicultural NSW, March Dance and our consultant Annalouise Paul who also be presented the event as a podcast on Blue Mountains Radio program, ‘Dancing on Air’ a month after the event. The podcast is available on our Spotify account.
David Throsby AO Webinar – International Dance Day
In response to participants requests, Ausdance NSW hosted cultural economics Distinguished Professor David Throsby AO (Macquarie University) in a special webinar focussing on the post-corona funding landscape for the Australian arts industry, in particular Australian dance. Questions explored what role the dance sector can play in embracing the positive (eg. environmental impacts) of this crisis, the value of the data collection that’s happening across the country right now (including the Ausdance COVID-impact survey) and whether we will see an increase in federal government or a need to shift to entrepreneurial spaces. We heard from NSW arts organisations as well as local, interstate and international artists – thank you to those who submitted questions either in advance or during the rich conversation and also, to those who joined us to listen in. We look forward to more constructive sector exchanges like this in the months ahead.
Together with David, the group devised a list of advocacy points and learnings.
What is Access in Dance?
On Wednesday 29 July 2020, in a public virtual forum on ‘access’ in dance, Disabled Choreographer Caroline Bowditch, Musician/ Composer Liz Martin and Deaf Contemporary Dancer Anna Seymour spoke with our projects and programs manager and Performance Researcher Kate Maguire-Rosier. Together, Caroline, Liz and Anna addressed the notions of access and inclusion and what they really mean in dance contexts, let them be education and training or professional practice. The event began with a game where participants had to guess the names of two dozen screened Australian Deaf and/or Disabled dance artists and companies. Next was a presentation on facts and stats that make up the Australian disability arts scene in general. What followed was a rather open discussion driven by questions from participants submitted both in advance as well as during the event itself. Rather than sharing resources and tips on access, the presenters shared stories and anecdotes. For example, we learned, access is an attitude qualified by openness and curiosity, it’s about ensuring an access line in an organisational or project budget, it’s about asking ‘Amazonian-brave’ questions (a quote from Caroline verbatim!) and it’s about accepting that access is not optional. Perhaps – most of all – access is about witnessing and participating in a vibrant bilingual, multi-layered discussion or feeling struck by the realness of a lived experience where a dancer is told off for missing a beat by a teacher who failed to understand Deafness or simply failed to know they were Deaf.
Ausdance NSW is the key support & advocacy body, for the creation, presentation and practice of dance in NSW.
Ausdance NSW is part of the Ausdance National Network.
Ausdance acknowledges and respects the Traditional Custodians of the Lands on which we work and dance and pays respect to elders past, present and emerging.
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