Australian Dance Awards announced

Lucy Guerin The Dark ChorusCelebrating their 20th year, the winners of the 2017 Australian Dance Awards were announced last night (Sunday 24 September) at Arts Centre Melbourne.

“We warmly congratulate all the nominees and the winners of the 2017 Australian Dance Awards. These individuals and companies reflect the high calibre of dance being created in Australia,” said Michelle Silby, Executive Director of Ausdance Victoria.

“The Awards also give us an opportunity to celebrate those often-overlooked individuals, who have collaborated with the dance sector over a sustained period including costume designers and educators. We also wish to thank all the performers and presenters.”

Taking home the award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Dancer was Benjamin Hancock for his work in The Dark Chorus by Lucy Guerin Inc, while the award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Dancer went to The Australian Ballet’s Principal Artist, Ako Kondo for her starring role in Coppélia.

For the second year running Bangarra Dance Theatre picked up the award for Outstanding Performance by a Company for OUR Land People Stories. Also, receiving an Outstanding Achievement in Choreography for a second year running was Lucy Guerin who accepted the award for her work, The Dark Chorus.

Other winners included Jack Chambers (Singin’ in the Rain) for Outstanding Achievement in Commercial Dance, Musicals or Physical Theatre; Liesel Zink (The Stance) for Outstanding Achievement in Independent Dance; Catapult Dance – The Flipside Project (In Search of the Lost Things) for Outstanding Achievement in Youth Dance, The Samaya Wives (The Knowledge Between Us) for Outstanding Achievement in Dance on Film or New Media, and Liz Lea & collaborators (Great Sport!) for Outstanding Achievement in Community Dance.

Individual awards were presented to Jennifer Irwin (Services to Dance) and Kim Walker (Services to Dance Education), while awards previously announced were presented live on stage to Helen Herbertson (Lifetime Achievement), and Noel C Tovey AM (Hall of Fame).

Hosted by cabaret star Yana Alana and dancer Benjamin Hancock, the awards were complimented by performances from The Australian Ballet, Stephanie Lake Company, Yellow Wheel, Murmuration, Lehenda Ukrainian Dance Company, Raw and Rugged Dance Crew and Djirri Djirri Dance Group.

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Image: Lucy Guerin’s production of The Dark Chorus (supplied)