The Australia Council for the Arts has announced a new partnership with the US-based New England Foundation for the Arts (NEFA), which will support the production and touring of Australian dance to the US for the next three years.
From 2006 to 2008, NEFA’s National Dance Project will support up to four tours of Australian dance productions to the US and the development of two new dance works to tour the US.
The partnership is the result of two-year negotiations initiated through the Australia Council’s Dance Down Under strategy, which promotes export-ready Australian contemporary dance to the US.
Executive director of the Australia Council’s community partnerships and market development division, Karilyn Brown says: ‘The US is a large market for the performing arts and, following the recent success in the US of companies such as Chunky Move (VIC), Sydney Dance Company (NSW), Bangarra Dance Theatre (NSW) and Australian Dance Theatre (SA), as well as individual choreographers such as Ros Warby (VIC) and Lucy Guerin (VIC), the interest in Australian dance companies and artists has been steadily growing over the last few years. Australian dance is seen as bold, fresh and dynamic, and there is a lot of interest from US presenters.
‘This partnership with NEFA and its National Dance Project will provide a financial framework for the production and touring of Australian dance to the US and will encourage US presenters to introduce Australian dance artists to their audiences.’
Rebecca Blunk, executive director of NEFA, says: ‘We are thrilled to be partnering with the Australia Council in the next stage of Australian dance creation and distribution. There are many ways this will open conversations for deep, lasting connections’.
The partnership will be officially launched at a reception in New York during the Association of Performing Arts Presenters (APAP) Conference in January 2006. The APAP Conference is the largest performing arts market in the world and, as part of the Dance Down Under strategy, the Australia Council has supported an Australian presence at the Conference for the last three years.
The first round of Australian dance artists to receive support to tour the US under this partnership are expected to be announced in the new year.