As a major champion of the arts in regional North Queensland, Dancenorth balances a dynamic regional presence with a commitment to creating compelling contemporary dance that tours the globe. Led by Artistic Director, Kyle Page (2017 Sidney Myer Creative Fellow), Executive Director Hillary Coyne and Associate Artistic Director Amber Haines, Dancenorth is an integral part of the Australian dance ecology making a significant contribution to the dance sector and building literacy around contemporary dance nationally.
Dancenorth is fast becoming one of Australia’s leading contemporary dance companies having presented work in over 35 International Arts Festivals and venues around Australia and the world. As a model for making outstanding art in a regional community, Dancenorth has received several accolades including the prestigious 2017 Sidney Myer Performing Arts Group Award, Australian Dance Award (Best Community Dance Award), Greenroom Award (Best Ensemble If_Was_), two Helpmann awards for the MFI Commissioned work Attractor (Best Dance Production and Best Choreography in a Ballet, Dance or Physical Theatre Production) and a Greenroom award for Composition / Sound Design for Attractor, along with numerous other nominations.
Dancenorth empowers and supports artists by providing a creative hub for many artistic voices including a diverse range of choreographers, guest collaborators, artists in residence and dancers. Alongside our professional ensemble and touring productions sits an equally vital pillar of focus, the Community Experience Projects. Driven by a dedicated team, Dancenorth works with diverse and minority communities across Queensland using dance to support, enhance, inspire and heal - bringing communities together.
OUR ARTISTIC PHILOSOPHY
Centered on an inclusive ethos of shared ownership, collective conscience, support, interconnection and empowerment, Dancenorth’s artistic philosophy provides a fertile framework which galvanises the company’s creative and administrative endeavours.
Deeply connected to place, to the vastness of the sky, the richness of the land and the saline breath of the ocean, we embrace our regional home base in Townsville as a source of inspiration and creative energy. We respond to isolation as enabling, enriching and facilitating a way of making that is responsive to these people in this place at this time.
Integration of body and mind, exploration, radical ambition and inclusivity anchor a suite of both internal and external artistic practices. We practice this artistic philosophy daily by incorporating mind/body techniques into our work that are designed to support the use of a full range of mental, emotional and sensorial processes in dance creation. The aim is to nurture technical virtuosity, intellectual rigour and emotional presence in equal measure.
We are creative people engaged in non-linear processes. Respectful disruption and agitation, emotion and empathy, vulnerability and grace are our tools.
To enact a culture of consciousness for our company and our community through the universal language of dance.
Our approach is built on the ethics of collaboration and collision, authenticity, collegiality, discipline, care and love.
With bravery we enmesh all that we do, which permits and permeates;
reimagining, reconciliation, reflection, shape-shifting, discomfort, generosity, experimentation, boldness, unravelling, transformation, agency, contestation, presence, possibility, ambiguity, volatility, honesty, attention, chaos, vulnerability, fragility, dissonance, disruption, consciousness, collaboration, collision, reaction and meaning.
OUR STRATEGIC GOALS
Create and share new work that is both remarkable and relevant, infused with authenticity, people and place.
Nurture and empower the practice and careers of artists and collaborators.
Create and share experiences that invite all people to connect with dance as simply, or seriously, as they desire.
Sustainably and ethically manage our resources for the benefit of future generations of artists and community.
We share a home with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples who have been existing and practicing their culture continuously on country for more than 60,000 years.
Dancenorth was founded on the ancestral lands of the Wulgurukaba of Gurambilbarra and Yunbenan when legendary Townsville dance personality Ann Roberts placed $100 on the table during a public meeting to establish the North Queensland Ballet and Dance Company. Ms Roberts was tired of seeing talented dancers move south and abroad to pursue their careers and from its first moments the company was a success.
From its debut performance at the Theatre Royal in April 1970, the company continued for the next 15 years with local and visiting professional choreographers working with Townsville’s finest dancing talent. In 1985, the company became professional under inaugural Artistic Director Cheryl Stock and General Manager Lorna Hempstead. Together these two extraordinary women worked tirelessly, with the help of many others in the community, to form the company now known as Dancenorth.
Over the next 30 years, Dancenorth achieved growing recognition from the cross-section of creators who collaborated on work in Townsville as well as throughout Australia and South East Asia. The company has given voice to the creativity of many artists who have gone on to become respected arts leaders.
In 2015, we began a new chapter that is continuing under the artistic leadership of Kyle Page and Amber Haines, with a bold new artistic structure aimed at developing programs, revitalising activities and diversifying performance.
“Dancenorth is fast becoming the most important contemporary dance company in Australia. With boundless energy and creative ideas the team of Dancenorth are carving out a national and international reputation for cutting edge dance and design. In many ways Dancenorth reflects the ingenuity and prosperity of Townsville itself - embracing the unique qualities of the landscape and marrying it with industry and creative thinking to be recognised as a leader.” — Wesley Enoch - Former Artistic Director, Sydney Festival