The festival featured 28 Australian shows including 14 premieres, and welcomed companies from across the continent including Alice Springs, Broome and Perth alongside dancers and choreographers from every major city.
Dance Massive’s reach included over 11,000 ticket buyers, 7,100 attendees at free outdoor events, showings and lectures, and 364 participants in workshops, panels and masterclasses in a truly monumental celebration of dance in its diversity and vibrancy.
Critical reception for the festival was outstanding, with 16 shows by leading choreographers receiving four and five star reviews from a range of media outlets.
Festival highlights included BATTLE MASSIVE on the forecourt of Arts Centre Melbourne, featuring the city’s urban street dancers sharing their latest styles to an audience of 3,000 including Minister for Creative Industries Martin Foley, while SIMULCAST by Victoria’s and Tasmania’s flagship contemporary dance companies; Chunky Move, Yellow Wheel and Tasdance – saw 400 performers aged 8 – 80 perform on the river’s edge at Birrarung Marr.
A vital platform for the international touring and visibility of Australian dance, the 2019 Festival saw 40% increased attendance from festival directors and dance presenters from around the world, keen to offer future opportunities to Australian dancers, recognising a country’s dance scene that punches above its weight. Industry leaders Blakdance described the 2019 festival as “deadly massive” for its deep and profound diversity.
“Dance Massive 2019 featured the largest ever presentation of First Nations choreographers and dancers, sharing 120,000 years of the world’s oldest continuously practicing cultural tradition,” said Emily Sexton, Artistic Director of Arts House.
“Dance Massive 2019 saw the first of our cautious steps into growing the festival’s scope, with shows in Newport, Altona, Collingwood, Abbotsford and South Melbourne courtesy of our new Associate Partners The Substation, Abbotsford Convent and Temperance Hall,” said Sarah Neal, Executive Producer of Malthouse Theatre. “We are so excited that with this expanded footprint we saw increased attendance and enthusiasm from more people for this wonderful artform.”
“We were very proud in this edition to celebrate iconic Australian choreographers who have shaped Australian dance, creating the vibrant artform we see today, including Russell Dumas, Jill Orr, Hellen Sky, Rosalind Crisp, Lucy Guerin and Phillip Adams,” said Angela Conquet, Artistic Director/CEO of Dancehouse.
Dance Massive took place across Melbourne: 12 – 24 March 2019. For more information, visit: www.dancemassive.com.au for details.
Image: SIMULCAST – photo by Pippa Samaya