Australian Dance Awards night-of-nights!

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 Raw and Rugged Crew

It’s less than a month to go to the Australian Dance Awards, the national dance equivalent of the Oscars! It promises to be a glittering occasion, with dancers from all over Australia gathering at the State Theatre in Melbourne for the event on Sunday September 24.

One of the two hosts for this year’s awards will be Sarah Ward – better known as her alter ego, the cabaret artist Yana Alana. She is no stranger to awards, having received a Helpmann and 10 Green Room Awards herself, alongside her band Tha Paranas. She has performed with Circus Oz, La Soiree, Finucane and Smith, Arena, Melbourne Workers and is in the Dee & Cornelius play, SHIT. Sarah was one half of hip-hop act Sista She.

She will share the hosting responsibilities with the extraordinarily flexible Benjamin Hancock, known for both his appearances as a solo artist and with leading companies and choreographers.

Also appearing is a line-up of guest artists which prove the wide diversity of Australian dance. Confirmed at present is the Stephanie Lake Company, which will perform its latest creation, Pile of Bones (recently premiered in Melbourne), with dancers Marlo Benjamin, Samantha Hines, Harrison Ritchie-Jones and Jack Ziesing.

The Australian Ballet’s principal artists, Amber Scott and Ty King-Wall, will perform the pas de deux from David McAllister’s Sleeping Beauty. And the Raw and Rugged Dance Crew will leap onto the stage fresh from representing Ausralia in the finals of the Hip Hop International Dance Championship in Phoenix, US.

 The stars of the night, however, are the award winners themselves. Four finalists have been chosen in each of 11 categories narrowed down from hundreds of nominations after an exhaustive Australia-wide process. (See here for the complete list.)

Noel Tovey, Australia’s first male ballet dancer of Indigenous heritage, will be inducted into the Hall of Fame. Most recently on stage performing his one-man play Little Black Bastard (originally a book), his extraordinary and colourful life includes 30 years as a dancer with Sadlers Wells in London as well as choreographing and performing in musical theatre. (See his full story here.)  

Helen Herbertson will be honoured with a life-time achievement award for her four decades as a highly-regarded and multi-faceted career as a performer, choreographer, artistic director, creative collaborator, independent producer, project manager, teacher, performance coach, arts adviser and academic. (See her full citation here)

Don’t miss out on this night-of-nights honouring our profession and those within it. Book now here.

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