The Australian Youth Dance Festival 2022 will reignite the creativity and confidence of young, emerging dance artists and the professional allies who work with them. AYDF 2021 was cancelled due to COVID-19 travel restrictions, but the event will dance back better and brighter this year.
Internationally acclaimed Australian choreographers Caitlin Comerford and Kyall Shanks will co-direct this year’s festival. They have designed a program of excellence around three curatorial themes (RE)GENERATE, (RE)IGNITE and, (RE)CONNECT.
“COVID has had a massive impact on our sector and the Arts at large. I’m really looking forward to re-engaging nationally and using the festival to remind everyone about the importance of connection,” says Caitlin.
Kyall says that during the COVID restrictions many young people had almost no say in how their lives were unfolding, “I’m looking forward to helping young dancers to find their voice again through their art and their community.”
Practice, Performance and Career Pathways
AYDF 2022 will stimulate participants’ passion for dance, focusing on building pathways for young artists, and encouraging this next generation of dance professionals.
“Our approach to curating this festival is to engage artists who understand youth dance and who can inspire the next generation. So, for us, diversity of process and artistry is important,” says Caitlin.
Kyall agrees, adding that young artists are too often overlooked, and their views dismissed even though they “are literally inheriting the industry from practicing artists”.
“This year, AYDF is an opportunity for them to reconnect and be inspired after two years in which they were isolated from each other,” said Shanks.
The youth dancer program will have four integrated streams of inquiry: professional practice, skills development, performance-making and performing, and the development of sector literacy.
Daily technique classes and panel events will bring youth dancers together with leading dance practitioners to explore dance practice, training opportunities, career pathways, and more.
A series of workshops and an industry forum will facilitate professional development for dance leaders, artists, dance teachers, and education professionals. Full program details will be released shortly.
Youth dancers between 16 and 24 are encouraged to consider applying to attend AYDF to connect with their peers and industry professionals to explore contemporary dance practice.
This is an incredible opportunity to collaborate with like-minded dancers from across Australia. Applications welcome from all locations, however transport and accommodation in Melbourne are the dancer’s responsibility.
The Australian Youth Dance Festival takes place 3 – 8 July 2022. Applications are open for dancers aged 16 – 24 who would like to participate in the week-long program. Expression of interests (EOI) close 12 May 2022. For more information and to submit an EOI, visit: www.ausdancevic.org.au for details.
Image: Australian Youth Dance Festival (supplied)