24 September 2017 was the 20th Australian Dance Awards, presented by Ausdance Victoria and Arts Centre Melbourne with principal event sponsor Harlequin Floors. The Australian Dance Awards recognise and honour dance artists, educators and administrators and feature 12 categories of achievement. The awards were complimented with a full performance program featuring performances by The Australian Ballet, Stephanie Lake Company, Yellow Wheel, Murmuration, Lehenda Ukrainian Dance Company, Raw and Rugged Dance Crew and Djirri Djirri Dance Group.
The high-profile list of presenters included David McAllister AM, Jonathan Holloway, Wesley Enoch, Jason Coleman, Lucy Guerin, Stephanie Lake, Jasmine Moseley, Sue Healy, Helen Simondson, Jerry Remkes, Jane Crawley, Tony Grybowski, Jenny Kinder, Emma Cochran, Paul Selwyn Norton, Angharad Wynne-Jones, Angela Conquet, Merindah Donnelly, Carla McGrath, Robina Beard OAM and Julie Dyson AM.
Awards previously announced and presented live onstage were the Lifetime Achievement award to Helen Herbertson and the Hall of Fame award to Noel C Tovey AM.
Taking home the award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Dancer was Benjamin Hancock (VIC) for his work in The Dark Chorus by Lucy Guerin Inc and for Outstanding Performance by a Female Dancer the award went to The Australian Ballet’s Principal Artist Ako Kondo (VIC) for her starring role in Coppélia.
For the second year running Bangarra Dance Theatre (NSW) picked up the award for Outstanding Performance by a Company for OUR Land People Stories. Also, receiving an Outstanding Achievement in Choreography for a second year running was Lucy Guerin who accepted the award for her work The Dark Chorus.
Other winners were Jack Chambers (NSW) for Outstanding Achievement in Commercial Dance, Musicals or Physical Theatre, Liesel Zink (QLD) for Outstanding Achievement in Independent Dance, Catapult Dance – The Flipside Project (NSW) for Outstanding Achievement in Youth Dance, The Samaya Wives (VIC) for Outstanding Achievement in Dance on Film or New Media, Liz Lea & collaborators (ACT) for Outstanding Achievement in Community Dance, Jennifer Irwin (NSW) for Services to Dance and Kim Walker (NSW) Services to Dance Education.
The awards were established in 1997 by Ausdance. Michelle Silby, Executive Director of Ausdance Victoria, who produced this year’s Awards said, “We warmly congratulate all the nominees and the winners of the 2017 Australian Dance Awards. These individuals and companies reflect the high calibre of dance being created in Australia. The Awards also give us an opportunity to celebrate those often-overlooked individuals, who have collaborated with the dance sector over a sustained period including costume designers and educators. We also wish to thank all the performers and presenters.”
Date: Sunday 24 September at 7pm
Venue: Playhouse, Arts Centre Melbourne
Tickets: $50 Adult
$38 Ausdance Member/ Group of 6 or more
(plus booking fees)
Image credits in order of appearance:
TRTH + FNTSY by Phantom Limbs and Luke George.
Photographer Gregory Lorenzutti.
iD by Bangarra Dance Theatre, choreographed by Stephen Page.
Photographer Jeff Busby.
Cypher featuring Bboy Blue, choreographed by Nick Power
Photographer Prudence Upton.
Faster by The Australian Ballet.
Photography by Justin Ridler