On Sunday 29 April it was International Dance Day, also on this day it marked the start of Australian Dance Week Celebrations which runs from 29 April – 6 May, which gives you a bonus day of dance.
The afternoon commenced with ‘Big Dance’ a coming together of all lovers of dance ranging from trained professionals to first-time dancers out the front the National Portrait Gallery. The dance was choreographed by acclaimed indigenous choreographer Frances Rings and New Zealand-born Craig Bary. Dancers in Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne, Lilydale, Darwin and Castlemaine collectively performed this routine in a communal celebration of dance.
The action then moved inside of the NPG, starting with a dance performed by members of QL2, that sparked thought on world issues. Then the Australian Dance Week was formally launched by Minister for the Arts and Community Events, Gorman Ramsay MLA. He made a speech discussing the community benefits of dance, before announcing the week officially opened.
This was followed by a series of dances from different cultures, styles and abilities, showing how inclusive dance can be.
To finish off the afternoon, artists Olivia Fyfe, Michelle Norris, Gabriel Green, Alana Stenning and their leader Alison Plevey from the Australian Dance Party performed an unusual but entertaining contemporary dance piece swearing evening dresses and thongs.
They started outside the window of the foyer of the National Portrait Gallery leaving the crowd guessing what would happen next, before pressing themselves against the glass in various poses. They then ran inside to perform a second dance to ‘Happy Feet’ by Jack Hylton reminiscing the 1940s days.
Article by Alicia Keating, photos by Rob Keating. View more photos below, or even more at https://photos.keatingmedia.com.au/Canberra-Events/Launch-of-Australian-Dance-Week/