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Celebrating 20 years this year, the Australian Dance Awards have announced their 2017 nominees. Honouring dance artists, educators, and administrators in 12 categories of achievements, the Awards are one of the country’s most important performing arts awards. Presented by Ausdance Victoria and Arts Centre Melbourne, the Awards are judged by a panel of dance professionals representing numerous sectors of the industry following an open public nominations process.
“Ausdance Victoria is thrilled to be presenting the Australian Dance Awards in 2017," said Michelle Silby, Executive Director of Ausdance Victoria and New South Wales. "The Awards Ceremony is an important celebration of the astonishing work that occurs both on and off the stage in dance across Australia. We’re putting together an amazing array of performances and we can’t wait to welcome everyone to Melbourne. With the National Dance Forum following the Awards, September is the month to celebrate dance in Melbourne!”
Demonstrating the overall excellence of the national dance scene, nominations were spread across the country, with The Queensland Ballet and The Australian Ballet receiving three each. The former was recognised in the categories outstanding achievement in choreography (Natalie Weir's Who We Are Left), outstanding performance by a female dancer (Clare Morehen in Lest We Forget), and outstanding performance by a company (Strictly Gershwin). Meanwhile, The Australian Ballet also received a nomination for outstanding performance by a female dancer (Ako Kondo in Coppélia) and outstanding performance by a company (Nijinksy), as well as outstanding performance by a male dancer (Kevin Jackson in Nijinsky).
Melbourne’s Chunky Move and Lucy Guerin Inc, Townsville’s Dancenorth, and Darwin-based Tracks Dance Company each received two nominations, while Bangarra Dance Theatre and Sydney Dance Company were also shortlisted for outstanding performance by a company for the works OUR Land People Stories and Untamed respectively. Ben Cobham, Nicolette Fraillon AM, Jennifer Irwin, and Philip Piggin have all received nominations for services to dance.
Winners will be announced at the Australian Dance Awards ceremony on September 24.