Youth dance fest reboots

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After its cancellation last year due to the pandemic, the Australian Youth Dance Festival is stepping out again this year in Melbourne and is calling for applications.

A week of creation and collaboration is scheduled in July.

Applications are open for dancers aged 16-24 who would like to participate in the week-long program. An EOI can be submitted via the AYDF 2022 website: but hurry - they must be submitted before 12 May.

Internationally acclaimed Australian choreographers Caitlin Comerford and Kyall Shanks will co-direct this year’s festival. They have designed a program of excellence around three curatorial themes: (RE)GENERATE, (RE)IGNITE and, (RE)CONNECT.

“COVID has had a massive impact on our sector and the arts at large. I’m really looking forward to re-engaging nationally and using the festival to remind everyone about the importance of connection,” Comerford says.

Shanks says that during the COVID restrictions many young people had almost no say in how their lives were unfolding: “I’m looking forward to helping young dancers to find their voice again through their art and their community.”

The program will have four integrated streams of inquiry: professional practice, skills development, performance-making and performing, and the development of sector literacy. Daily technique classes and panel events will bring youth dancers together with leading dance practitioners to explore dance practice, training opportunities, career pathways, and more.

A series of workshops and an industry forum will facilitate professional development for dance leaders, artists, dance teachers, and education professionals. Full program details will be released shortly.

Youth dancers between 16 and 24 are encouraged to consider applying to attend AYDF to connect with their peers and industry professionals to explore contemporary dance practice. This is an incredible opportunity to collaborate with like-minded dancers from across Australia.

Applications welcome from all locations, however transport and accommodation in Melbourne are the dancer's responsibility. Submit your EOI here.

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