In news that will disappoint the Australian dance sector, Ausdance National has announced the cancellation of the 2019 Australian Dance Awards, originally scheduled to take place in Darwin on August 11, following the National Dance Forum.

Last Light, Tracks Dance Company. Photograph © Mark Marcelis

In a statement the organisation said: “Shrinking government funding for Ausdance National has resulted in reduced staffing and financial reserves that has led to this decision.”

The Awards, which recognise dance artists and industry professionals, have been produced by Ausdance National for 21 years. They began as a Dancers Picnic to celebrate International Dance Day, and grew into a significant event that has been hosted around the country.

The decision to cancel this year’s Awards is part of a larger review of Ausdance National, which is now reviewing the organisation’s priorities in light of the reduced funding. The decision “to suspend the Australian Dance Awards in their current form… will allow for a much-needed review of the current processes and systems and determine the on-going viability of the Awards program,” said the statement.

Gene Moyle, Ausdance National President, said: “Ausdance National will lead a process of collaboration with key stakeholders to develop the best model for a sustainable Ausdance Network across Australia.”

“While we understand the Dance Sector will be disappointed with the cancellation of the 2019 Australian Dance Awards, we are excited to continue our partnership with Tracks Dance Company to present the National Dance Forum in Darwin, 9 – 10 August 2019. We hope the Sector will come out in force for these important discussions,” added Moyle.

The National Dance Forum is a biennial gathering of the Dance Sector to inspire rigorous debate and reflection about dance in Australia.