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AUSTRALIAN PERFORMERS MUSCLE IN ON THE STREETS OF NEW YORK

Australian dance, circus and physical theatre is taking the world’s foremost performing arts showcase by storm, with the backing of the Australia Council for the Arts.

An Australian delegation is showcasing, pitching and networking to the world’s top presenters and agents at the 2008 Arts Presenters’ annual members conference between 11 and 15 January in New York under the banner OzArts: Australian Performance Now.

The delegation is being spearheaded by Geelong’s Back to Back Theatre, whose small metal objects will be performed at the Whitehall Ferry Terminal in Manhattan as part of Under the Radar! – the cutting-edge public festival connected to the conference.

Eight dance, circus and physical theatre companies form the delegation, with other highlights including a showcase of Strange Fruit’s Absolute Pearl and a panel discussion on Australian circus and outdoor performance.

Companies and artists taking part include The Candy Butchers, Company Clare Dyson, KAGE, Shaun Parker, Stalker Stilt Theatre and Ros Warby.

Australia Council chief executive officer Kathy Keele said that Australian artists created a buzz with US audiences.

‘The conference puts these outstanding Australian artists in the shop window in front of literally thousands of presenters – venues, producers and agents,’ she said.

‘It will give a kick along to companies such as Back to Back and Circa – with strong track records of international touring – and give others a foothold in the hard to crack US market.

‘The Australia Council has led a delegation to Arts Presenters’ conferences every year since 2004. Each is larger and creates more buzz than the last.

‘Our participation in previous years has forged relationships that led to events such as the recent Australia Festival in Pittsburgh and major pushes into the US market for companies such as Chunky Move and Balletlab.’

The 2008 Arts Presenters’ conference is expected to attract more than 4500 leading presenters and performing arts professionals from the United States and 28 other countries from around the world.

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