2012 Australian Dance Awards take centre stage

25 September 2012 Kiri Morcombe

The Australian Dance Awards were held in Perth at the State Theatre Centre on the 1 September, and were an opportunity for the Australian Dance community to gather and honour the best of the best in dance for 2012.

Framed beautifully in the wooden architecture of the Heath Ledger Theatre, the evening began with a dance film by photographer Ashley de Prazer and dancers Harrison Elliott and Zoe Wozniak (WAAPA), and a live performance by Ochre Contemporary Dance Company with an excerpt from Treading Lines by Simon Stewart.

Seizing a rare opportunity to peel off rehearsal gear and dust off some glad rags, the dance audience enjoyed live excerpts of some of the most exciting dance works from the year. Most importantly the event, coordinated by the Ausdance WA team, was to announce and celebrate recipients of dance awards for 2012, such as lifetime achievement, services to dance and dance Education, outstanding Achievement in:  Youth or Community Dance, Dance on Film, in choreography, Outstanding Performance: by a Company, by a male and female dancer.

Following a beautifully inclusive Welcome to Country by Whadjuck Baladong Nyungar Birdiyia Yogcka Elder Marie Taylor, the evening was punctuated with live performance treats, such as HELIX by Barry Moreland, performed by Daryl Brandwood, Briwyant by Vicki Van Hout and Shiver by Danielle Micich. LINK Dance company performed Twyla Tharp’s Sweet Fields with The Australian Ballet performing Don Quixote Act 3 Pas de Deux. KAGE’s Look Right Through Me by Kate Denborough, STEPS Youth Dance Company’s TRY HARD by Alice Lee Holland, Adam Wheeler, Shona Erskine and Eve Newton – Johnson and Australian Dance Theatre’s Proximity by Garry Stewart each took their turn at centre stage.

 Hosted by Vertiy James the awards were presented by a swathe of who’s who in the dance scene, including the Dance Board’s own Chrissy Sharp, who presented the award for ‘Most Outstanding Performance by a Company’. Nominees were nominated by the public, shortlisted and selected by the Australian Dance Awards selection panel, this year made up of a dance representative from each state.

Recipients included:

Lifetime Achievement Award
Nanette Hassall

Services to Dance
Lucinda Sharp

Services to Dance Education
Sarah Calver

Outstanding Achievement in Youth or Community Dance
Shaun Parker and Company for The Yard

Outstanding Achievement in Choreography
Natalie Weir for R&J, Expressions Dance Company

Outstanding Performance by a Company
Bangarra Dance Theatre for Belong

Outstanding Achievement in Independent Dance
Barry Moreland and Daryl Brandwood for HELIX

Outstanding Performance by a Female Dancer
Elise May for R&J, Expressions Dance Company

Outstanding Performance by a Male Dancer
Daryl Brandwood for HELIX

Outstanding Achievement in Dance on Film
Bryan Mason & Sophie Hyde for Life in Movement

Australia Council for the Arts Dance Board congratulates all recipients of the Australian Dance Awards for 2012, and celebrates another year of excellence in and dedication to the artform.

Image Credit: Bangarra Dance Theatre. Photo: Jeff Busby.