Creative leap brings sublime craft back into stepmore...
by DEBORAH JONES for the Australian
published: January 2, 2007
WHEN Melbourne writer and teacher Hilary Crampton was given the Australian Dance Award for services to dance in November at the Sydney Opera House, she didn't make the usual acceptance speech of thanks and gratitude. She called for a revolution. Dance in Australia badly needs one.
Zoom in for a tight shot and things look in reasonable shape. The dancers are excellent and, notably in contemporary dance, there are choreographers of imagination and intelligence creating memorable work.
Zoom out and dance slips into the shadows. It is funded by government and supported by audiences to the degree that three classical companies and a dozen or so contemporary ones have some security of tenure, but their grip on the public imagination is slender. Dance doesn't matter. It's thought of, outside its small circles, with indifference or bafflement and, at worst, derision of the footy-show kind.