Lucy Guerin’s choreography has grown from an interest in dance as a source of unique creativity and communication. Although her works incorporate diverse art forms, their genesis is always the physicality of the human body. Her choreographic methods juxtapose complex structures and ideas with an instinctive studio investigation into the possibilities of movement. It is the visceral and unfamiliar quality of her works, combined with a sharp investigation into ideas that has allowed them to resonate with audiences for more than 20 years.

Born in Adelaide, South Australia, Guerin graduated from the Centre for Performing Arts in 1982 before joining the companies of Russell Dumas (Dance Exchange) and Nanette Hassall (Danceworks). She moved to New York in 1989 for seven years where she danced with Tere O’Connor Dance, the Bebe Miller Company and Sara Rudner and began to produce her first choreographic works. She returned to Australia in 1996 and worked as an independent artist, creating dance works including Two Lies (1996) Robbery Waitress on Bail (1997), Heavy (1999) and The Ends of Things (2000). In 2002 she established Lucy Guerin Inc in Melbourne to support the development, creation and touring of new works with a focus on challenging and extending the concepts and practice of contemporary dance.

Works for Lucy Guerin Inc include Structure and Sadness (2006), Corridor (2008), Untrained (2009) and Human Interest Story (2010). She has choreographed several projects for visual artist David Rosetzky, including Portrait of Cate Blanchett (2008) and has been involved in productions with ACMI screen gallery, the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and the Australian Opera.

Guerin has toured her work extensively in the UK, Europe, Asia and North America as well as to most of Australia’s major festivals and venues. She has been commissioned by Chunky Move, Ros Warby, Dance Works Rotterdam, Ricochet (UK) and Mikhail Baryshnikov’s White Oak Dance Project (USA) among many other companies. Her awards include the Sidney Myer Performing Arts Award, a New York Dance and Performance Award (a ‘Bessie’), several Green Room Awards, a Helpmann and an Australian Dance Award. (Text courtesy of the artist.)
www.lucyguerininc.com

Kate Champion is the Artistic Director of Force Majeure, a dance theatre company based in Sydney that she established in 2002. Champion’s first professional engagement as a dancer was with the Munich-based Iwanson Dance Company at the age of 16. In 1985 she became a founding member of Dance North before moving to Adelaide to become part of the Australian Dance Theatre. In 1992 she travelled to London, where she spent an influential period with DV8 working as production assistant and then performer on Strange Fish in both stage and BBC film versions. In 1996, Champion was the recipient of Arts NSW’s Robert Helpmann Scholarship for choreographic excellence. That same year she created and performed her solo work Face Value, which toured Australia two years later. This production earned her a 1998 Green Room Award and a MO Award.

In 1997, Champion choreographed Neil Armfield’s internationally acclaimed production of Cloudstreet, and directed and devised Under the Influence for Legs on the Wall, which premiered at Belvoir Street in Sydney and toured internationally. The following year she re-joined DV8 in London where she worked as rehearsal director on a European tour of Lloyd Newson’s Enter Achilles and collaborator and performer on The Happiest Day Of My Life. In 2000 she was Newson’s assistant for the DV8/Sydney Olympic Arts Festival production of The Cost of Living.

In June 2001, the Sydney Opera House commissioned Champion’s solo show, About Face. In 2002 the Sydney and Melbourne Festivals co-commissioned Same, same But Different, the first performance by the newly created company Force Majeure. Champion went on to direct Force Majeure’s Already Elsewhere at the Drama Theatre, Sydney Opera House for the 2005 Sydney Festival as well as Tenebrae-Part 1 and 2 in collaboration with the Song Company at the Sydney Town Hall. Force Majeure performed Already Elsewhere at the Biennale de la Danse in Lyon in September 2006. In 2008 Champion directed Force Majeure’s The Age I’m In for the Sydney and Adelaide Festival, touring it to Dublin, Montreal and Seoul in 2009. Already Elsewhere was awarded Most Outstanding Performance by a Company at the Australian Dance Awards in 2006 as was The Age I’m In in 2008. In 2010 Kate Champion choreographed Sydney Theatre Company’s Spring Awakening and Opera Australia’s production of Bliss as well as directing Force Majeure’s production Not In A Million Years. (Text courtesy of the artist.)
www.forcemajeure.com.au

Tess De Quincey is a choreographer and dancer who has worked extensively in Europe, Japan and Australia as a performer, teacher and director. Trained in dance, graphics and sculpture in London and Copenhagen, she was formerly a dancer with butoh artist Min Tanaka and his Mai-Juku performance group for six years [1985-91] which has provided the strongest influence on her performance work to date. Her interdisciplinary performances are based in the Body Weather philosophy and methodology founded by Min Tanaka and Mai-Juku.

Her major solo works, Movement on the Edge (1988-89), Another Dust (1989-92) IS and IS.2 (1994-95) and NERVE 9 (2001 onwards), have toured widely in both Europe and Australia while a series of performance works created over five years in the ancient dry lake bed of Mungo, far western New South Wales, were the beginnings of her work in the Australian Outback. She has initiated a long term exchange entitled Embrace between Indian and Australian artists and is director of the Triple Alice Forum & Laboratories which bring together interdisciplinary practices of artists, scientists and thinkers in relation to the Central Desert of Australia.

Since introducing the Body Weather philosophy and methodology to Australia in 1989, De Quincey’s teaching and performance practice has had a far-reaching influence on numerous practitioners within the performing arts both here and abroad. In 2000 she formed De Quincey Co, Australia’s leading Body Weather company, presenting a range of dance-performance works and interactive environments in metropolitan and outback areas.

Works have ranged from The Scent Trilogy, a glamtrash series of interventions in nightclubs through to the intense and intimate suite of Five Short Solos in tiny, linked spaces, to Dictionary of Atmospheres drawing audiences through a kilometre of riverbed in Alice Springs. The site-specific work, The Stirring, led audiences through the newly opened CarriageWorks arts centre in Sydney, and Run unfolded a gigantically scaled three ton sculptural performance engine as an inquiry into energy and motion.

De Quincey has created an extensive body of artworks both nationally and internationally in different terrains—from from city to desert—and made a series of works concerned with inhabitation and the nature of place. Besides her interdisciplinary artworks, improvisational work with musicians and visual artists, her main emphasis is on intercultural, site-specific and durational performances. (Text courtesy of the artist.)

www.dequinceyco.net

Rosalind Crisp grew up on a sheep farm in East Gippsland, Victoria. She trained in classical and contemporary dance at the Victorian Ballet School, Melbourne, and in Contact Improvisation, release work and Body-mind centering® at the European Dance Development Centre, the Netherlands. In 1992 and 1993 she worked with different choreographers in Antwerp, Belgium (R. de Herdt, A. Baervoets, E. Raeves) and in Vancouver, Canada (P. Bingham, C. Fischer-Credo, H. Meller).

In 1995 she created and performed her first major solo work, The Cutting Room, with director Nigel Jamieson at The Performance Space, Sydney. In 1996 Rosalind established the Omeo Dance Studio in Sydney, a place of residence for her research and a site for the development of a community of dance artists in Sydney. There, she choreographed many works, including Accumulation 1-40, a work for 24 performers (1999). She also developed international artistic exchanges: BerlinXchange (2004) and Franco-Omeo-Exchange (2005), co-curated two editions of the international dance festival Antistatic (1997, 1999) and sat on the jury of the Zurich Theatre Spectakel (2003). Rosalind received a NSW Women and Arts Fellowship in 1996, a Mo award for Best Female Dancer of the Year in 1997, and a two-year choreographic fellowship from the Dance Fund of the Australia Council for the Arts (2000-2001).

Her works have been presented in galleries and theatres throughout Australia since 1987, and since 2000 her work has increasingly found its place in the European circuit. Invited to France in 2002 by Michel Caserta, director of the Biennale nationale de danse du Val-de-Marne, she worked between Australia and France from 2003 to 2005, establishing Rosalind Crisp/Association Omeo Dance in Paris in 2004. Since 2004, Rosalind has been a choreographic associate of the Atelier de Paris-Carolyn Carlson. There, she runs a regular informal performance event, les Crocodiles 2006-2008 and since 2009, les Courbatus, which invite the public into her ongoing research practice and exchange with visiting artists. In 2005 she launched d a n s e , a project of research and creation in collaboration with researcher Isabelle Ginot. This project has generated numerous works and events, some of which are covered in detail on this site. (Courtesy of the artist.)

www.omeodance.com

www.atelierdeparis.org

Sue Healey is a choreographer, educator and dance-film maker based in Sydney. With 25 years of experience she creates dance in many contexts as both a commissioned choreographer for Australian and international companies, and as an independent artist. A founding member of Nanette Hassall’s Dance Works, she performed and choreographed with the company from 1983 to 1988. As Artistic Director of Vis-à-Vis Dance Canberra (1993-96) and Sue Healey Company (from 1996), she has toured throughout the USA, UK and Asia.

Healey graduated from the Victorian College of the Arts, Melbourne with a BA (Dance Performance, 1984) and later gained her Masters Degree in Choreography (2000) from Melbourne University. She was awarded a Choreographic Fellowship from the Australia Council (1999-2000) and the Robert Helpmann Scholarship (2009-10). Experimenting with form and perception, Healey creates dance for diverse spaces: theatres, galleries, specific sites and the camera. She has an enduring connection with Japan, having made three major works for the Aichi Arts Centre in Nagoya and Red Brick Warehouse in Yokohama.

Works made in Sydney include three collections: Niche series (2002-04), In Time series (2005-07) and the current Curiosities series (2008-10). These encompass 16 works across live performance, dance-film, gallery installations and international collaborations. They have won awards nationally and internationally and the major works from each series have been presented by the Sydney Opera House and have toured to Melbourne, Canberra, New Zealand and Japan. The performance installation As You Take Time toured to the International Festival of Arts and Media, Yokohama, Japan in late 2009. Sue Healey also exhibited her installations and films at MIC Toi Rerehiko in Auckland, New Zealand, October 2010. The first stage of her work Variant was shown at the Performance Space season Liveworks in November 2010. [Text courtesy of the artist.]

 

www.suehealey.com

2007 recipient of the Kenneth Myer Medallion for Outstanding and Distinguished Contribution to the Performing Arts, Helen Herbertson has been crafting performance for over three decades in intimate non-theatre venues, traditional theatrical settings, large-scale outdoor sites, and for theatre and opera performances, educational projects and touring programs. “My work has focused on the dynamic flow between people and place—the interaction of body and landscape or situation—interior life with light, form, place—person and place. The approach fuses an expressive, physical language with a detailed exploration of the performance site, emphasizing the integration of lighting and design while working collaboratively, from inception with performers and creative teams.”

Herbertson’s choreographic work has received multiple Green Room Award Nominations, resulting in awards for Best Production, Original Choreography, Direction, Outstanding Creative Collaboration, and the 2003 Australian Dance Award for Independent Dance. Individual Awards include Australia/NZ Choreographic Courses (1972/2000), Australian Bicentennial Scholarship (1988), residency at The Paris Studio, Cite International des Arts (1994), Fellowship, Dance Fund, Australia Council (1997/98) and an Asialink Residency in Singapore (2000).

Helen Herbertson has been active in the development of Australian dance, dancers and choreographers through a variety of advisory and leadership roles including as Artistic Director, Danceworks (89-97), Artistic Director, Dancehouse (2001-03), Member of the Board of Green Mill Dance Project, Committee of Management—Moriarty’s Project, Member (1997), Deputy Chair of the Dance Fund, Australia Council (1998), member of course advisory groups, assessment panels, examiner (Masters and PhD), and Lecturer/Coordinator Graduate Dance Programs—School of Performing Arts, Faculty of VCA & Music, University of Melbourne (2005-).

A sought-after performance coach and mentor Herbertson’s touring work regularly presents in festivals (Melbourne, Adelaide, Singapore, Zurich, Paris, Dublin, Glasgow, Tokyo, Portland). [Text courtesy of the artist.]

Gideon Obarzanek became interested in dance towards the end of high school and after graduating deferred science at university to study at the Australian Ballet School. He later danced with the Queensland Ballet and the Sydney Dance Company before working as an independent performer and choreographer with various dance companies and independent projects within Australia and abroad.

Founded in Australia in 1995, Obarzanek’s company, Chunky Move, produces a distinct yet unpredictable brand of genre-defying dance performance. Obarzanek’s works have been diverse in form and content and include stage productions, installations, site-specific works and film. His multi-award winning works have been performed in many festivals and theatres around the world in the UK, Europe, Asia and the Americas.

Obarzanek’s film, Dance Like Your Old Man, co-directed with Edwina Throsby, won Best Short Documentary at the 2007 Melbourne International Film Festival, 2008 Flickerfest International Short Film Festival and Best Film at the Cinedans Festival in Amsterdam. In collaboration with Lucy Guerin and Michael Kantor, Obarzanek has eceived a New York Bessie award for outstanding choreography and creation for Chunky Move’s production Tense Dave. In 2008 he received two Australian Helpmann Awards for Glow and Mortal Engine. In 2009, Mortal Engine received an Honorary Mention in the Prix Ars Electronica awards in the Hybrid Arts category.

Gideon Obarzanek resigned as Artistic Director of Chunky Move late 2010. (Text courtesy of artist)

http://www.chunkymove.com/

Born in Brisbane, Stephen Page is a descendant of the Nunukul people and the Munaldjali clan of the Yugambeh tribe from southeast Queensland. He was appointed Artistic Director of Bangarra Dance Theatre in 1991 and has created 12 new dance theatre works for the company.

Page has developed Bangarra’s distinctive performance style drawing on over 60,000 years of Aboriginal culture and translating the traditional stories, music and dance into a contemporary theatrical experience. Memorable Bangarra works—Ochres, Skin (Best New Australian Work and Best Dance Work, 2001 Helpmann Awards), Bush (Best Dance Work, 2004 Helpmann Awards), and Mathinna (Best Dance Work and Best Choreography, 2009 Helpmann Awards) have become milestones in the Australian performing arts.

Stephen Page choreographed Rites to Stravinsky’s score for The Rite of Spring in a collaboration between Bangarra and the Australian Ballet. He also directed Indigenous sections for the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games Opening and Closing Ceremonies, was Artistic Director of the Adelaide Festival of the Arts in 2004, directed Page 8, the solo performance by his brother David Page for Company B and in 2010 choreographed Rachel Perkins’ film Bran Nue Dae.

In 2010, Stephen Page was also honoured at the prestigious Australian Dance Awards for his Services to Dance and accepted Bangarra Dance Theatre’s award for ‘Outstanding Performance by a Company’ for their 2009 work Fire: A Retrospective, presenting the signature works from Bangarra’s repertoire. He went on to accept the Helpmann Award for Best Choreography (Fire) and a further two awards for the company: Best Ballet/Dance Work (Fire) and Best Regional Touring Production (True Stories).

In 2008 Stephen was named NSW Australian of the Year in recognition of his efforts to bring cultures together through the performing arts and his commitment to mentoring young Indigenous artists. (Text courtesy of Bangarra Dance Theatre.)

www.bangarra.com.au

Brisbane-born Russell Dumas trained in a number of dance styles in Australia and overseas including classical ballet, and the Graham and Cunningham techniques. He began his performing career in musical comedy with the J.C Williamson organisation and later danced with a wide variety of English and European companies including the London Festival Ballet, Ballet Rambert, Nederlands Dans Theater, the Royal Ballet, Culberg Ballet, Strider and in the US with Trisha Brown and Twyla Tharp.

In 1976 Dumas founded the Sydney-based company Dance Exchange with Nanette Hassall, which he continues to direct. In 1985 he established the Dancelink program, bringing many dance teachers and artists to Australia. His interests have encompassed not only choreography, performance and film but critical analysis and writing as well. [Text from Australian National Library.]

More detailed information about the career and other works of Russell Dumas, one of Australia’s most respected and influential choreographers, will be added to this site in due course. Editors.

Garry Stewart began his professional dance career at the age of 20. Following his work as a dancer in many notable Australian companies, including Australian Dance Theatre, he began his career as a freelance choreographer in 1990. For the next eight years he was based in Sydney, creating works for some of Australia’s most notable contemporary dance companies including Chunky Move and Sydney Dance Company, and presenting his independent works at venues such as The Performance Space (Sydney).

In 1998, Stewart established his own company, Thwack! He created two dance works: Plastic Space, which premiered at the Melbourne Festival and subsequently toured Australia, and the first stage development of Birdbrain, a deconstruction of Swan Lake.

Stewart was appointed Artistic Director of Australian Dance Theatre in late 1999. His first project for ADT, Housedance, was commissioned for the International Millennium Broadcast and performed on the outside of the main sail of the Sydney Opera House on New Year’s Eve 1999. Housedance was seen by an estimated global television audience of two billion.

Stewart’s first full-length work for ADT was Birdbrain which has been performed to audiences totalling ten of thousands across four continents over five years. His repertoire of main stage works for ADT exemplifies his distinctive choreographic style and has been the foundation upon which the company has been able to rapidly grow its national and international reputation. The Age of Unbeauty, Nothing, HELD, Devolution, G and Be Your Self are tremendously varied thematically and in terms of their dance vocabularies.

Garry Stewart’s growing influence on the international scene has led to invitations from prestigious international companies and dance festivals to create new works for them. Rambert Dance Company (UK), Bare Bones Dance Company (UK), the Birmingham Royal Ballet (UK), the Royal New Zealand Ballet (NZ) and Ballet de l’Opera National du Rhin have all requested Stewart as a guest choreographer. (Text courtesy of the artist and Australian Dance Theatre.)

www.adt.org.au

Having leapt to fame in Europe with Pina Bausch, Meryl Tankard returned in 1984 to create a dance theatre aesthetic all her own. From 1989 -1993 she directed her own company in Canberra, then went on to lead The Australian Dance Theatre in Adelaide for the next six years. She created a dynamic versatile company and produced a succession of noteworthy full-length productions, touring extensively to high acclaim.

Tankard’s signature work, Furioso, packs the emotional and sensual punch that epitomises her work, being a nuanced, sometimes poetic, sometimes fierce production of dense choreographic invention.

Since 2000 Meryl has worked freelance and has been commissioned by some of the world’s finest companies to create ballet, musicals, opera and film, as well as large-scale productions, including the opening ceremony for the Sydney Olympics in 2000.

Co-productions with the Sydney Opera House include Kaidan, collaborating with Taikoz, one of Australia’s leading percussion groups, Wild Swans, a full length ballet for The Australian Ballet with a new commissioned score by Elena Kats Chernin, and most recently The Oracle, which she created for dancer Paul White. The Oracle won most Outstanding Performance by a Male Dancer and Outstanding Achievement in Choreography at the 2010 Australian Dance Awards.

Work in film accompanies her choreographic research and ongoing engagement with contemporary dance theatre on the world stage and last year Meryl graduated from the Australian Film TV and Radio School, making two short films Mad and Moth. She is currently working on a screenplay for a feature film.

Meryl has been the recipient of numerous awards including the Sidney Myer Music Award for Individual Achievement, Canberran of the Year, the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Australian Dance Awards. In London she was nominated for an Olivier Award and in Hamburg Sommer Festival she won Best Production for Inuk.

She has received a Helpmann Award and was awarded the Centenary Medal for her contribution to Australian Arts.

www.meryltankard.com

Ros Warby is one of Australia’s leading dancer/choreographers, creating and performing solo dance work since 1990. Born in Sydney in 1967, Warby finished her classical ballet training in Europe with Marika Besobrasova, Monte Carlo, Central School of Ballet, London and the Royal Danish Ballet School. She is also a certified teacher of the Alexander Technique. Other influences to her dance development and practice have included the teachings of Lisa Nelson, Dana Reitz, Eva Karczag and, since 1996, Deborah Hay. Warby continues her long association with Hay performing in, and assisting on, selected projects.

Her award winning works have been presented in Australia, Europe and the USA at numerous festivals and venues including the 2010 Venice Biennale, London’s Dance Umbrella, Royal Opera House, London, Melbourne International Arts Festivals, Adelaide Festival and Dance Theater Workshop, New York. Warby has also performed with numerous companies and artists including Lucy Guerin Inc, the Deborah Hay Company, Russell Dumas and Danceworks. Recognised for her unique performance work in all of these contexts, Warby has received the Robert Helpmann Award for Best Female Dancer (2007), Green Room Awards for Best Female Performer (2000, 2007) and Best Solo Performer (2001), an Australia Council Fellowship (2002-04) and the Sidney Myer Performing Arts Award (2007).

The creation of Warby’s work has benefited from the rapport she has nurtured with her long-standing creative team, designer Margie Medlin and composer Helen Mountfort, who have been pivotal in the development of the artist’s vision over the past decade. Together, in Warby’s critically acclaimed works Solos, Swift and Monumental, they have created environments for the solo dancer to exist, creating an elaborate interplay between the elements of dance, film, sound and light, and crafting a dialogue between these forms, where they coexist in a manner rarely achieved in multi-disciplinary work. In 2003 Warby was commissioned by ABC television to make a cinematic version of Swift with Medlin. [Text courtesy of the artist.]

www.roswarby.com