Dancenorth is one of Australia’s leading contemporary dance-theatre companies who experiment with all art forms to create immersive and dynamic dance experiences for audiences locally, nationally and internationally. Located in Townsville amidst the picturesque tropical north of Australia, Dancenorth is testament that international quality dance can be produced in a regional setting by balancing a strong presence with a commitment to making art that tours the globe.


To create diverse, international standard, original dance-theatre productions which are responsive to community and enrich the lives of patrons, partners and participants


The North Queensland Ballet and Dance Company was founded in 1969 by Ann Roberts OAM FRAD (1923-2002) who worked tirelessly in the company’s early years to ensure that the company produced works of an exceptionally high standard. In 1985, Cheryl Stock was appointed the first Artistic Director of the professional company, changing the name to Dance North and instituting a policy of contemporary Australian dance works. In the following years, the company achieved national and international recognition, touring extensively throughout Australia and South East Asia. In 1995, Wendy Wallace was appointed as acting Artistic Director and was succeeded by Graeme Watson in 1996. In 1997, Jane Pirani was the fourth Artistic Director to be appointed and enjoyed eight years leading the company and touring to Japan, China and around Australia.

From May 2005 to February 2009, Gavin Webber was the fifth Artistic Director of the company. After the company’s sixth Artistic Director, Raewyn Hill, completed a five year stint, an Artistic Directorate was formed. The directorate works closely with the Artistic Executive, the Board and management to produce an exciting and diverse programme which preserves the aesthetic and philosophy of Dancenorth.


  • Ann Roberts
Assistant Directors/Resident Choreographers (1976 – 1982)
  • 1982: Maggi Sietsma (last director of amateur company)
  • 1981 Anthony Shearsmoth (Assistant Artistic Director/ Choreographer)
  • 1980 Merrilee Macourt (Assistant Artistic Director/Choreographer)
  • 1979 Gary Hill (Assistant Director/Choreographer)
  • 1978 Gary Hill (Associate Director/Choreographer)
  • 1976 Gerrard Sibbritt (Associate Director/Choreographer)

DANCE NORTH (1985 – present )

Artistic Directors
  • 2010 to 2014 – Raewyn Hill
  • 2005 – 2008 Gavin Webber
  • 1997 – 2005 Jane Pirani
  • 1996 – 1997 Graeme Watson
  • 1995 – Wendy Wallace
  • 1985 – 1994 Cheryl Stock (first director of professional company)
General Managers
  • 2012 to present Trevor Keeling
  • 2011 – Peter Helft
  • 2007-2010 Jo Fisher
  • 2005 – 2006 Trevor Keeling
  • 2000 – 2004 Henry Laska
  • 1997 – 1999 Joanne Keune
  • 1996 – Leanne Gunnelson/Alex Rhodes
  • 1985 – 1995 Lorna Hempstead (first general manager of professional company)
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