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TASMANIA GETS A DREAM DANCE PROJECT

The Australia Council for the Arts is pleased to announce Tasmanian Regional Arts as the successful applicant for the Tasmanian Community Dance Project.

In Your Dreams is a two year initiative combining dance, multimedia and storytelling to bring to life the dreams of different Tasmanian communities. Tasmanian Regional Arts will develop a cross-generational, multi-media, community dance project culminating at the Regional Arts Australia (RAA) conference in 2012.

The project will see them partner with Tasdance, a vital force in Tasmania and a valuable part of the Australian dance community; Mature Artists Dance Experience (MADE), who view dance as the ultimate art form for Australia’s maturing population; ODC (Ogilvie Dance Collective), an emerging youth dance group based in Hobart led by dance educator Lesley Graham; plus a host of national and international collaborators.

“We’ll be working with communities from all over Tasmania, asking them what they’re thinking about in the community, whether that be health and wellbeing, ageing population, sustainable living, technology, concern about drugs and alcohol abuse, and so on,” says Paul Jenkins, CEO Tasmania Regional Arts.

“As the discussions develop, we’ll capture the themes and ideas in a mobile sound and image recording caravan, with media artist and ‘story catcher’ Jen Brown. This will be used in developing works for performance – intertwining oral history, electronic media, visual arts and music and dance.”

A standout aspect of the project is the range of age groups involved in every aspect of the work.

“The inclusion of both MADE and ODC is such a great part of this initiative,” says Chrissy Sharp, Chair of the Australia Council Dance Board. “It means we’ll see a project that truly spans the generations.”

“More broadly, the approach to community engagement is extensive. Meaningful and relevant community-driven engagement is a crucial part of any community arts and cultural development project. It really shines through here and we hope to have a new model for connections between dance and communities, allowing more opportunities for Australians to both see and participate in dance across the country.”

Mr Jenkins added, “The timing of this project flows on from the significant focus placed on dance at the RAA Junction 2010 arts conference and festival coming up this August in Launceston. Tasmania has a vibrant dance community with companies working closely with the broadest range of communities from the very young to the not-so-young.”

“Having such a significant project in Tasmania is recognition of the quality of the work we do and the way that Tasmanian artists go about engaging with their communities.”

The Tasmanian Community Dance Project is jointly funded by the Australia Council Dance Board and the Community Partnerships Committee, through the Federal Government’s Creative Community Partnerships Initiative (CCPI).

This Initiative supports opportunities for Australians to participate in meaningful arts and cultural activities in the places where they live, encouraging innovation and enhancing community wellbeing.

Media contact: Cameron Woods, 02 9215 9030, 0412 686 548   c.woods@australiacouncil.gov.au

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