Australian Dance Theatre honours Dalman

IT was gratifying to see that the Australian Dance Theatre, in announcing its 2015/50th anniversary program has chosen to honour the role of the company’s founder, Elizabeth Cameron Dalman, who was present in Adelaide for the occasion.

Elizabeth Cameron Dalman, 1974,  photo Jan Dalman

Elizabeth Cameron Dalman, 1974, photo Jan Dalman

At a launch this evening artistic director Garry Stewart commented, “It’s certainly an honour to be the Artistic Director of Australia’s oldest contemporary dance company in its 50th year. Elizabeth Cameron Dalman started the company with an ambitious vision and it’s wonderful that she can join us to celebrate her legacy – a legacy which has made such a formidable impact on Australia and the world.”

Dalman, who founded the ADT in 1965 after she was inspired by her experience in New York and by the Australian environment, is best-known in the Canberra region for her Mirramu Dance Theatre.

She is also patron of the 50th anniversary celebrations and said, “The success of the Australian Dance Theatre is largely due to the artistic directors, who have worked tirelessly with their ensembles to make a difference.”

Among the highlights will be a 50th Anniversary Gala at the Adelaide Festival Centre’s Dunstan Playhouse in July paying tribute to the history of the company, and presenting a new work created by Stewart and co-choreographed with former dancer Larissa McGowan.

A segment of that new work for the gala was presented at the preview, at which Stewart, who has been director since the end of 1999, also introduced a major new work in development, “The Beginning of Nature,” which will premiere after 2015.

Other 50th anniversary events will include a founders’ celebration to be held in the Adelaide Arcade, the first home of the dance company, a commemorative book which will launch in November and Involvement with the 2015 Australian Dance Awards which will be held in Adelaide in September.

The company will also embark on a national tour of Stewart’s “Be Your Self” to WA, NSW & SA and his dance film, “Collision Course,” will play on the Big Screen at Melbourne’s Federation Square as part of the ‘Recharge: Experimenta Biennial of Media Art’ in February.

Two European tours of the company’s newest work “Multiverse” will take place in March & June to French and Spanish theatres and ADT will also tour to South America, a new market for the company.

A range of education activities and events are planned for the 50th year, including programs from secondary school students, tertiary dance students and professional artists.

The Research Project, “Thinking Brains and Bodies: Distributed Cognition and Dynamic Memory in Australian Dance Theatre”, supported by the Australian Research Council Linkage Project scheme will continue. AS well, “Adelaide Embedded,” an initiative by Stewart, will continue with pop-up performances around Adelaide.

For more information and or the full calendar visit adt.org.au.

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