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Dancenorth – Winner of Harlequin Floors Award for Outstanding Performance by a Company.

Dancenorth – Winner of Harlequin Floors Award for Outstanding Performance by a Company.

The 21st Australian Dance Awards were held this year at the Brisbane Powerhouse recognising the amazing talent Australia has to offer. Mark Rasmussen, Head of Industry Relations for Harlequin Floors said, “Every year, the Australian Dance Awards act as a showcase for the amazing breadth of work produced in Australia from exquisitely produced classical to the most exciting experimental. Such work deserves to be celebrated and so it is with much pride that 2018 marks eight years that Harlequin Floors has supported its friends at Ausdance in the presentation of these awards, seven of those as its main sponsor.”

The Harlequin Floors Award for Most Outstanding Performance by a Company went to Dancenorth for Attractor, Mesmerising and ritualistic, with the choreographic and musical momentum sustained from beginning to end by an outstanding display of energetic dancing. Kyle Page, Artistic Director and Amber Haines, Associate Artistic Director, thanked the company’s dancers with Amber commenting “Not only are they incredible performers, they are thinkers and artists in their own right. It’s an honour to collaborate with them”.

The Lifetime Achievement Award was awarded to Athol Willoughby for his long and distinguished career and dedication to the dance industry. Hilary Trotter received the AON Award for Services to Dance with the now internationally recognized term ‘Safe Dance’.

Other winners from the night included Stephanie Lake receiving the Dance Australia Award for Most Outstanding Achievement in Choreography for Pile of Bones. Katrina Rank received the award for Services to Dance Education with Tracks Dance Company awarded Outstanding Achievement in Community Dance for Man Made. Co3 won the Outstanding Achievement in Youth Dance for Project NEXT.

The Foxtel Arts Award for Outstanding Achievement in Dance on Film or New Media went to Sue Healey for Eileen, a short film about a senior dancer, featuring 103-year-old Eileen Kramer produced with exceptional lighting and use of colour in costumes and props.

Outstanding Achievement in Commercial Dance, Musicals or Physical Theatre was won by Gravity and Other Myths for Backbone. QUT Creative Industries Award for Outstanding Achievement in Independent Dance was awarded to Martin del Amo for CHAMPIONS.

MEAA Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Dancer was won by Jana Castillo for Construct, sharing with the audience in her acceptance speech about her situation six years ago where she was not sure if she would be able to walk or talk properly let alone dance.

The winner of the Outstanding Performance by a Male Dancer was Beau Dean Riley Smith, for Bennelong which captured the conflict and pain endured by iconic Indigenous Eora elder, Bennelong, danced with extraordinary strength, grace and feeling.

 The Keith Bain Choreographic Travel Fellowship was awarded to Lewis Major.

Congratulations to all nominees and award winners.