Australian dance: in search of a style

The contemporary dance sector is a vibrant one, but is there anything about its work that is distinctively Australian?

Prying Eye’s The Inquisition of the Big Bad Wolf at Supercell Festival of Contemporary Dance. Photo credit: Camile Nathania.

From Darwin to Launceston, and Townsville to Broome, Australia’s contemporary dance sector is united by its rigour, commitment, and talent. But what else defines Australian contemporary dance – is there a shared aesthetic? A particular approach to making work or a movement vocabulary one can point to and say “yes, this is distinctively Australian?”  

Unlock Padlock Icon

Like this content?

Become a Member and unlock unlimited Access today

Richard Watts is ArtsHub's National Performing Arts Editor; he also presents the weekly program SmartArts on Three Triple R FM, and serves as the Chair of La Mama Theatre's volunteer Committee of Management. Richard is a life member of the Melbourne Queer Film Festival, and was awarded the status of Melbourne Fringe Living Legend in 2017. In 2020 he was awarded the Sidney Myer Performing Arts Awards' Facilitator's Prize. Most recently, Richard was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Green Room Awards Association in June 2021. Follow him on Twitter: @richardthewatts