Creativity that connects
Deeply committed to the creation of adventurous, thoughtfully conceived, and highly acclaimed new work; Dancenorth has presented work in over 45 International Arts Festivals and venues around Australia and the world. As a model for making outstanding art in a regional community, Dancenorth has received several accolades including the prestigious 2017 Sidney Myer Performing Arts Group Award, Australian Dance Award (Best Community Dance Award), Greenroom Award (Best Ensemble If_Was_), two Helpmann awards for the MFI Commissioned work Attractor (Best Dance Production and Best Choreography in a Ballet, Dance or Physical Theatre Production) and a Greenroom award for Composition / Sound Design for Attractor, along with numerous other nominations.
An epicentre of cultural exchange, Dancenorth empowers and supports artists by providing a creative hub for many artistic voices including a diverse range of choreographers, guest collaborators, artists in residence and dancers.
Alongside the professional ensemble and touring productions sits an equally vital pillar of focus: Community Experience. Driven by a dedicated team, Dancenorth works with diverse and minority communities across Queensland using dance to support, enhance, inspire and heal - bringing communities together.
Led by Artistic Director, Kyle Page (2017 Sidney Myer Creative Fellow), Executive Director Hillary Coyne and Associate Artistic Director Amber Haines, Dancenorth is an integral part of the Australian dance ecology making a significant contribution to the dance sector and building literacy around contemporary dance nationally.
People are more isolated and disconnected than ever before. Dancenorth is an antidote to disconnection, a place of belonging. We are mobilising a community of engaged citizens by creating and sharing dance works and experiences that remind people of the essential qualities of life that arise when we connect with our bodies, hearts and minds, nature, and each other.
- Create new dance works that are virtuosic and relevant, made through our artistic process of enmeshing body, nature and community.
- Share compelling dance works and experiences with our community in Gurambilbarra and Thul Garrie Waja (Townsville) before taking them far and wide to people around Australia and the world.
- Invest in our national dance ecology by providing a creative hub for many artists and makers, and be known as an epicentre of dance research and innovation.
- Walk and work alongside First Nations artists and makers by building relationships, creating new work and sharing knowledge, skills and space.
We are curious and creative beings who believe that the body is central to all that we do, and we consciously loosen the grip of the mind to honour, cultivate, listen and know more deeply. We thoughtfully disrupt convention and provide a space in which connectivity between people and place nourishes the bodies, hearts and minds of our team, our collaborators and all those we encounter.
We collaborate and work according to our values and principles:
Robust friendship is central to our collective dance. We welcome difference, divergence and diverse points of view in celebration of our shared humanity.
Artistry is in everything we do. The liminal space between each and every human (heart, mind and body) is understood as the source of creativity and collaboration, where systems emerge via multiple perspectives and approaches.
Bravery is how we navigate the world. We embrace the not knowing as much as the knowing, and understand that systems are living, unfolding and evolving with new inputs shaping their course.
Integrity guides our relationships, decisions and approaches. When we listen, we listen deeply and actively. When we speak, we speak clearly. And when we move, we move with our whole being.
Balance is where we find harmony and strength amid change. We are creative beings who are not afraid of disruption, agitation and abrasion, and we choose to move towards openness, love and life.
The Wulgurukaba, Bindal, Gugu Badhun and Nywaigi peoples have nurtured a deep and respectful relationship with the land and sea in our region for millennia.
Dancenorth is committed to sustained Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander engagement. We do this through dedicated and engaged consultation with Elders and community leaders, respectful adherence to cultural protocols and a commitment to deepening our understanding and perspective of the Traditional Custodians of this country.
Guided by our First Nations friends and community in Gurambilbarra (Townsville) and its surrounds, we are working and walking together to generate previously unknown possibilities and ways of understanding and being with each other.
We continue to connect and collaborate in ways that are not always outcome-focused; to breathe life and build community strength in this wonderful place. In so doing, seeds are sown, and opportunities are identified – opportunities to create and collaborate. There are countless ways that we connect. Through gatherings, conversations, presentations, event hosting, and many cups of tea. In these exchanges we are afforded the time for reciprocity, learning and deep listening; listening to understand. We are invited to consider new ways of working together; deconstructing and dismantling familiar processes and approaches that can at times be stultifying and rigid.
Dancenorth was founded on the ancestral lands of the Wulgurukaba of Gurambilbarra and Yunbenun when legendary Townsville dance personality Ann Roberts placed $100 on the table during a public meeting to establish the North Queensland Ballet and Dance Company. Ms Roberts was tired of seeing talented dancers move south and abroad to pursue their careers and from its first moments the company was a success.
From its debut performance at the Theatre Royal in April 1970, the company continued for the next 15 years with local and visiting professional choreographers working with Townsville’s finest dancing talent. In 1985, the company became professional under inaugural Artistic Director Cheryl Stock and General Manager Lorna Hempstead. Together these two extraordinary women worked tirelessly, with the help of many others in the community, to form the company now known as Dancenorth. Following Cheryl’s ten-year tenure as Artistic Director Wendy Wallace took over the role (1995-1996), followed by Graeme Watson (1997), Jane Pirani (1998 - 2005), Gavin Webber (2005 - 2008), and Raewyn Hill (2010 -2014). Throughout this period Dancenorth achieved growing recognition from the cross-section of creators who collaborated on work in Townsville as well as throughout Australia and South East Asia. The company has given voice to the creativity of countless artists and collaborators who have gone on to become respected arts leaders.
In 2015, we began a new chapter that is continuing under the artistic leadership of Kyle Page and Amber Haines, with a bold new vision celebrating place and championing regional art-making, honouring the creative power of the many, and truly establishing the company as an epicentre of cultural exchange.