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National Dance Forum 2013 program unveiled

National Dance Forum 2013 (NDF2013) partners the Australia Council for the Arts and Ausdance National are delighted to announce this year’s packed discussion program.  A biennial industry event, the NDF is a dynamic conversation for the whole dance sector.  Providing a space for debate, discussion and ideas, the forum focuses on the central question, “Why dance?”

The second National Dance Forum takes place 15-17 March 2013 at Footscray Community Arts Centre in Melbourne and coincides with Dance Massive. The program includes interactive sessions, panels, roundtables, a full morning Open Space, and a rich and varied line-up of ‘all-in-together’ keynote sessions.

“The NDF helps to foster the professional development of Australian dance through reflection, critical dialogue and the exchange of ideas. This is a rare and exciting platform for artists from across Australia to come together to discuss their work from the makers’ perspective,” said Director, Dance at the Australia Council, Carin Mistry.

“Through NDF2013, we hope to privilege the voices of choreographers, dancers and other artists in the dance sector. Together artists explore the unique qualities of dance as an art form, considering why we choose it as our mode of expression, communication and storytelling, as well as wider questions surrounding the state of dance in Australia today,” she said.

The inaugural NDF in 2011 sold out weeks in advance and attracted over 170 dance professionals, including choreographers, dancers, artists, directors, producers and researchers.

This year the Forum is facilitated by Jeff Khan. Among the program highlights is a keynote artist-in-conversation session with Garry Stewart, acclaimed choreographer, Artistic Director of Australian Dance Theatre and Thinker in Residence at Deakin University. Garry is in conversation with Anne Thompson, dramaturge, director, reviewer and Head of Directing, Flinders Drama Centre. They join Dalisa Pigram (Gudirr Gudirr – Marrugeku, Dance Massive program)  in conversation with David Pledger (Artistic Director, not yet it’s difficult), completing a stimulating keynote line-up.

In 2013, Australia Council Dance Board Chair Elizabeth Walsh also leads a session asking the question ‘Whose responsibility is it to make sense of this?’ Joining Elizabeth in this highlight discussion is Malthouse Theatre Artistic Director, Marion Potts; critic, Lee Christofis; and Dancenorth Artistic Director Raewyn Hill.

The BlakDance First Nations Dance Panel chaired by Marilyn Miller includes Gary Lang, Tammy Gissell, and Eric Avery; while Associate Professor Cheryl Stock hosts a session of Asia-Pacific voices featuring Annalouise Paul, Julia Mageau Gray, Ade Suharto and Tony Yap.

NDF2013 also features a special Australian industry preview screening of Virtuosi, a feature length documentary by highly acclaimed filmmaker and choreographer Sue Healey.

To engage with NDF2013, follow on Twitter: @natdanceforum or hashtag #natdanceforum

The National Dance Forum is a partnership of the Australia Council for the Arts and Ausdance National, presented in association with Footscray Community Arts Centre.

The full NDF2013 program is online at

Also read an interview with Australia Council Director of Dance, Carin Mistry and forum facilitator, Jeff Khan on Artery at:



Brianna Roberts


(02) 9215 9030


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