Tasdance is a vital force in Tasmania and is a valuable player in the national dance scene, providing an important professional development hub for dancers and choreographers and is a leader in audience development. As one of only two regionally-based contemporary dance companies in Australia, Tasdance balances the presentation of main-stage performances with an extensive range of community and education engagement programs.
The company provides unique opportunities for a range of choreographers to develop new work by offering them a talented ensemble of dancers and administrative, technical and artistic support. Tasdance maintains high standards and provides a benchmark for professional dance activity in Tasmania. It is a respected and valued presenter of highly original Australian contemporary dance; and a first-rate, acclaimed touring company.
In 2013, the company formalised some initiatives in the company’s development role, including Exposure and a range of residency programs. The company has a national profile, receiving a Sidney Myer Performing Arts Award in 2008, and nominations for Outstanding Achievement by a Company at both the 2005 and 2006 Australian Dance Awards.
“Passionate, committed and daring, Tasdance has worked with the ‘who’s who’ of contemporary Australian choreography … they are passionate ambassadors for the art form.” Sidney Myer Foundation
Founded in 1981, Tasdance was Australia’s first official dance-in-education company, commissioned to take contemporary dance into schools, conducting workshops and performances. It operated with a small ensemble of dancers and teachers who performed and worked with school students and staff, delivering on one of the key goals of arts funding – to create access to the arts.
Originally known as the Tasmanian Dance Company, it changed its name to Tasdance in 1987 while under the leadership of founding Artistic Director Jenny Kinder who served in that position from 1981 to 1994, followed by Karen Pearlman and Richard James Allen 1995–1996, then Annie Greig from 1997 to 2015 and Felicity Bott from 2015 to the present.
In 2011 to celebrate the 30 years milestone, Tasdance launched Vault, the Tasdance Archive, a digital record of the people and works that have defined the first three decades.
- Contribute to the development of contemporary dance nationally.
- Be a vital and successful regionally-based full-time professional dance company.
- Contribute to professional development and education in dance.
- Take a leading role in audience development, with particular emphasis on regional Australia.
- Develop international partners and collaborators for Tasdance’s unique program mix.