Dance Council help brings Ausdance back to life

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HAPPIER news is now to hand following the disappointing news in August that Ausdance National would close its door after 42 years. 

At a special general meeting of the Australian Dance Council last week (December 4) an alternative option to maintain the organisation was proposed and accepted.

The August announcement, made during the 2019 National Dance Forum in Darwin, was at the time widely lamented by the dance community, who praised the organisation’s long history of advocacy and its initiatives like the Australian Dance Awards and Safe Dance Project IV.

Ausdance National, based in Canberra, had been one of the 65 arts organisations to lose operational funding in 2016 following the onslaught on the Australia Council by then Arts Minister Senator Brandis.

Former national director of Ausdance, Julie Dyson

But at last week’s meeting, the membership agreed to maintain the association as a legal entity, establish a permanent executive and board at the next annual general meeting, support (but outsource) projects like the Australian Dance Awards and the National Dance Forum, maintain its website, continue to administer the Keith Bain and Peggy van Praagh bequests and build on its advocacy role together with the state and territory Ausdance networks, Ausdance ACT, Ausdance NSW, Ausdance QLD, Ausdance SA, Ausdance Victoria and Ausdance WA.

Among the interim board members were elected were Paul Summers from Victoria as president and as vice-president the former national director of Ausdance, Canberra’s Julie Dyson.

In August, Julie told “CityNews”: “It’s ironic that at a time when the sector needs a voice in the federal parliament more than ever, that voice has now been silenced.”

Curtain closes on 42 years of dance

 

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Helen Musa
“CityNews” arts editor

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