Australian Dance Theatre. (1965-)

Also known as
Australian Dance Theatre.
Libraries Australia
http://nla.gov.au/anbd.aut-an35099630
NLA Persistent Identifier
http://nla.gov.au/nla.party-471595

Biographies

In 1993 Meryl Tankard took over the role of artistic director of the Australian Dance Theatre in South Australia and renamed it the Meryl Tankard Australian Dance Theatre. In 1989 Tankard had become artistic director of the Canberra based Human Veins Theatre and renamed it the Meryl Tankard Company. She left Canberra in late 1992.

View the full record at Libraries Australia

Adelaide-based Australian Dance Theatre was founded in 1965 by Elizabeth Cameron Dalman. In Dalman's words, the company was created to 'open the horizons for provocative contemporary and cutting edge dance' and Dalman aimed to provide opportunities for Australian artists to collaborate in the production of new work. An important influence on the company's creativity in these early years was Eleo Pomare, with whom Dalman had worked in New York. Dalman was removed from the company in 1975 and Australian Dance Theatre went into recess for eighteen months. The company commenced operations again in 1977 under the directorship of Jonathan Taylor, who had danced extensively with the English company Ballet Rambert, and who was brought from England specifically to direct the reformed company. Taylor introduced the work of British choreographers including Norman Morrice and Christopher Bruce as well as choreographing for the company himself. In 1986 Australian Dance Theatre was once more looking to move in a new direction and Anthony Steel from the Adelaide Festival and ADT dancer Lenny Westerdijk jointly directed the company while a new artistic director was sought. During 1986 the repertoire of the company was expanded with works from Ross Coleman, Julia Cotton, Nigel Kellaway and Helen Herbertson.

In 1987 a new director, Leigh Warren, was appointed. The company again took a different direction and became a focus for Warren's own choreography. Warren directed the company until 1992. In 1993 another change saw Meryl Tankard take up the position of director and the company also underwent a name change to Meryl Tankard Australian Dance Theatre. Tankard reworked a number of pieces she had made while directing the Meryl Tankard Company in Canberra between 1989 and 1992. She also created a series of new works that included Furioso (1993), Aurora (1994), Possessed (1995), Rasa (1996), Seulle (1997) and Inuk (1997). Under Tankard the company toured extensively in Europe and America.

Following a series of acrimonius disputes, Tankard's contract as director came to an end in 1999. In the same year Garry Stewart was appointed to the position of artistic director and the company assumed its original name, Australian Dance Theatre. Under Stewart the company style has changed radically. His dancers train in a number of distinct, physically challenging disciplines. In addition to classical ballet and contemporary dance techniques they are coached in gymnastics, breakdance and the martial arts. The result is a fusion of forms generating fast, aggressive, risky dance. Stewart has also committed the company to the presentation of alternative work in alternative spaces.

Stewart's first work as artistic director was Housedance performed on the sails of the Sydney Opera House for the Millennium Broadcast in 2000. Since then Australian Dance Theatre has been seen nationally and internationally in a variety of venues in works that tie movement to soundscapes and video effects. Stewart's first full length work for the company was Birdbrain, a choreographic deconstruction of Swan Lake that premiered at the 2000 Adelaide Festival. His deconstruction of Giselle, entitled G, premiered at the 2008 Adelaide Bank Festival of Arts and then toured Europe.

Australian Dance Theatre was the recipient of the Australian Dance Award for outstanding performance by a company in 2002 for The Age of Unbeauty, in 2004 for HELD and in 2006 for Devolution, these works all choreographed by Stewart. The company repertoire under Stewart is listed on its website, available as a link at the top of this page

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  1. Internationale Tanzwochen Meryl Tan...
    Meryl Tankard A...
    [ Poster, chart, other : 1997 ]
  2. Meryl Tankard Australian Dance Thea...
    Meryl Tankard A...
    [ Poster, chart, other : 1996 ]
  3. Songs with Mara : Meryl Tankard Aus...
    Meryl Tankard A...
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  4. Fast and furious 'furioso' Meryl Ta...
    Meryl Tankard A...
    [ Poster, chart, other : 2000 ]
  5. Meryl Tankard Australian Dance Thea...
    Lansac, Regis, ...
    [ Poster, chart, other : 1998 ]
  6. Maison de la Danse Lyon Meryl Tanka...
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  1. Sutherland, M., (Margaret) (-1984)
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  1. Yugen (1965 - )
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  3. Giselle (Australian context)
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  1. AUSTRALIAN DANCE TROUPE
    Woroni (Canberra, ACT : 1950 - 2007) Wednesday 1 October 1969 p 16 Article Illustrated
    ... Committee. 'PARROTS' from ' LANDSCAPE ' Choreography: Elizabeth Dalman. Australian Dance Theatre ... AUSTRALIAN DANCE TROUPE During their brief tour of Canberra at the end of October, Elizabeth Batman ... 423 words
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  2. MODERN DANCE SEASON
    The Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 - 1995) Thursday 6 June 1974 p 17 Article Illustrated
    ... Australian Dance Theatre company was formed in 1965 by the choreographer Elizabeth Dalman and is based in ... will be presented ; by the Australian Dancc Theatre at the' Playhouse Crom July 10 to 13. : The ... 504 words
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  3. WORLD OF DANCE
    The Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 - 1995) Tuesday 8 March 1988 p 21 Article
    ... founded Australian Dance Theatre in Adelaide in 1965, will work with the company. Local dancer, teacher ... dance theatre. Several of the dancers in the company will also present new works. Visions will be shown ... 369 words
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  3. Clan : Bangarra Dance Theatre / Stephen Page + Greg Barrett
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  1. Website: Australian Dance Theatre
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