Critics' Choice: Maggie Tonkin
What was the dance highlight of 2022? Dance Australia asked top critics from around the country to nominate their choice. See this sneak preview and read all their findings in the current print issue.
Two things stood out in the Adelaide dance scene in 2022: the renewal of Australian Dance Theatre under the artistic directorship of Daniel Riley, and the flourishing of Restless Dance Theatre despite its defunding by the Australia Council. ADT’s history has been marked by repeated changes of artistic direction, and after 22 years of Garry Stewart’s brilliant custodianship, it was time to change course yet again. When Daniel Riley took over this year, his aim was to re-engage the company with Adelaide and South Australia, particularly with First Nations communities, and to make work that is intensely grounded in the here and now. With two successful Adelaide seasons now under his belt, and showings in Canberra and in the Australian Ballet’s DanceX program in Melbourne, Riley is clearly finding his feet and there’s a real sense of excitement and renewal around the company.
When the Australia Council withdrew funding for Restless in 2020, the company was in danger of folding. But just how much Adelaide treasures this unique company was immediately evident in the highly successful crowd funding campaign that followed, and in the past two years Restless has gone from strength to strength. A number of exciting new works have been produced, with seasons interstate and overseas, and new collaborations forged. A new training regime has been introduced and the company has never been stronger, either technically or artistically. Hats off to the triumvirate of Michelle Ryan, Roz Hervey and Julie Moralee who have steered the company through the defunding crisis to these successes!
- MAGGIE TONKIN