Category Archives: BDAH Meeting Summaries

New Year Action Plan Meeting

Minutes from the New Year Action Meeting on Saturday 25 January, 2014

This meeting held in the boardroom at Ausdance QLD 9:30am-11:30am (many thanks to Ausdance QLD for their support).

Attendance – Erica Rose Jeffrey (facilitated meeting), Casey Crockett (co-facilitated meeting), Anja Ali-Haapala (recorded minutes) Lizzie Vilmanis, Zaimon Vilmanis, Tiina Alinen, Jacob Williams, Rachael Walsh, Stephanie Do Rozario

Formal apologies: Gabe Comerford, Caitlin Mackenzie, Suzon Fuks

The purpose of this meeting was to continue the conversation from the last Action Plan Meeting (Saturday 30 November, 2013).


Tiina Alinen acknowledged the Cultural Custodians of the Land, the Turrbal People.

Erica Rose provided an overview of the last meeting which was about visioning for the independent dance landscape and thinking deeply about one proposed project. In this meeting the idea to hold a social gathering for independent dance artists developed.

Today’s agenda:

  • Begin planning for the social gathering
  • Continue working on project ideas


To help get ourselves into the right mind space we started by “checking in”.  We all contributed keywords relating to our (personal or broad) vision for the independent dance landscape.

Check ins included:

daring, optimising, access, education, home, identity, capture, manageable, recreation, challenging, interdisciplinary, collaboration, active, priorities, creating, sharing, productive, joyful, creative, remember, change, heritage, first step, foundation, obtainable, confidence



  • “Dabble and Dip: A Social Gathering for Dance Artists” (working title)
  • Social aspect
  • Primarily for connecting people and sharing ideas (more formalised gatherings will be later down the track)
  • Casual, fun, drop-in at any time
  • Live music (potentially)
  • Cultural inclusivity – e.g. bring a cultural dish


  • Either Sunday 2 or 9 March


  • Targeting independent artists, however the broader dance community is welcome to attend
  • How can we encourage young and/or emerging artists to attend?


  • Informal location
  • Kangaroo Point (sunset) or ACPA (outdoor space)
  • Tiina to contact venues


  • BYO  nibbles and beverages
  • Have a designated host from this action group to receive artists as they arrive and explain the various ways that they can engage in the social gathering
  • How do we communicate to the wider independent dance community that this is happening?
  • For artists who cannot attend – can we have something for them to read afterwards?


Brief explanation of the project ideas from the last meeting with a few new project additions from members at today’s meeting:

Metro Moves (online)

  • New/most cost-effective version
  • Putting independent work next to companies
  • Dancehouse’s paper magazine raised again as an example of a possible affordable format.

Daily professional classes

  • Professional level classes
  • Possibly subsidised?
  • Cheap price for artists (Free or $5-ish)
  • Ausdance QLD as a partner?

Stage 1 Festival

  • QDance 2015
  • Profiling dance in Queensland

Dance Debates

  • Comedy feel
  • Teams that must argue for or against the topic (regardless of personal opinion)

Share your practice sessions

  • Getting together with artists to share practice
  • Possibly with artists from other disciplines


  • A few different models to pick from
  • Regular (monthly?) events
  • Community approach – artists help with each other’s presentations
  • Feedback process

Transitions for young artists

  • Currently losing young Brisbane artists to other cities
  • How do we make what’s in Brisbane more visible?

Role of Ausdance QLD

  • How do we help to make Ausdance important to all sectors of dance in Queensland?


Guerrilla mash-ups

  • A take-over of either a derelict or disused building, or possibly a corporate building in order to bring attention to the arts, or work alongside an arts organisation like JWCoCA, Metro, QCA who have already hosted similar kinds of takeovers before.
  • Dance artists working with artists from other disciplines
  • Pull names out of a hat (to decide who works with who)
  • Not just contemporary dance – inclusive of other dance styles
  • Scope – independents
  • Accessible for students (as an audience), and emerging artists as creative participants

Documenting independent dance

  • Develop an online archive (most accessible)
  • Scope – dance in Brisbane (and expanding to Queensland) with an initial focus on independent dance
  • Recording the past (family tree)
  • Documenting the now and future as we go
  • Access for industry, students, researchers and wider community
  • Profile artists, works, artefacts, links to other resources, interviews
  • Knowledge partners – State Library, Ausdance, BlakDance, QUT, ACPA, Australia Council, Arts Queensland, Brisbane City Council, Judy, Powerhouse, Metro Arts, QPAC


Two types of meetings:

1. Super (‘general/broad) meetings, where we touch base on what’s happening. These meetings will be coordinated by a person nominated at Super meetings.

2. Small/project-based meetings, where the agenda is focused on a single project. These meetings will be coordinated by the people involved with each project.

Communicating what we’re doing:

Super and project-based meetings will have Facebook event pages created for them (and these are to be posted on the BDAH Facebook page). This way the community will be kept in the loop and will have the opportunity to link into what we’re doing.

*It was noted that there was a low ratio of Independent Dancers and Dance Makers attending the Action Plan meetings and it was suggested that we look at how to encourage more of these artists to attend.

Next Super meeting:

Tiina is coordinating the next SUPER meeting

When: 23 or 30 March

Where: Boardroom at Ausdance QLD – tentative (Lizzie to check availability) or EDC (Zaimon to check availability)


Action Plan Meeting #1

Minutes from the BDAH Action Meeting on Saturday 30 November, 2013

This meeting was organised by Lizzie Vilmanis after being called by some of the attendees from the meeting from the 9th of November 2013.  It was held in the ACPA Board Room from 9am-11:30am (many thanks to ACPA for their support).

Attendance – Lizzie Vilmanis, Zaimon Vilmanis, Erica Rose Jeffrey (facilitated meeting), Casey Crockett (co-facilitated meeting), Tiina Alinen, Elise May, Mariana Paraizo, Anja Ali-Haapala (recorded minutes)

Apologies – Nerida Matthaei, Liesel Zink

The purpose of this meeting was to continue the conversation from the last BDAH meeting (Saturday 9 November, 2013). The agenda included:

  1. 1.      Introductory visioning of the independent dance landscape
  2. 2.      Identification of this group’s desired actions
  3. 3.      Strategic planning to initiate momentum to implement these actions



Tiina Alinen acknowledged the Traditional Land Owners, the Nunukul and Yuggera people.

Erica Rose explained that today’s meeting was to be used as “visioning time” where we would begin to identify the direction that we would like to see Brisbane Independent Dance move towards. In 2014, we will look to include more voices in the conversation. There is the ongoing question of how to activate more voices in the Brisbane Independent Dance community.



Visions for Brisbane Independent Dance, what we value, and what excites us.

The dominant themes that came through:

  • More connection and communication within the community
  • Raising the Brisbane Independent Dance identity, visibility, profile
  • Partnerships and relationship-building

Fuller list of what was mentioned:

  • Inclusivity, visibility, transparency and diversity
  • Building exposure on local, national and international levels
  • Building a Brisbane Independent Dance identity that is recognisable for people who are not part of the community
  • Small initiatives developing into bigger things
  • Community building – connection between people
  • Physical community (as well as the online community)
  • More sharing of resources between funded companies and independent artists
  • Independent dance festival
  • Diversity of practice
  • Valuing these meetings
  • Recognition that failure is ok – this ‘Action Plan’ group might not get things right the first time, but at least we are trying.
  • Valuing the trust of the community
  • Cohesive community that supports each other




The dominant themes that came through:

  • Having a space/home for Brisbane Independent Dance.
  • Having a festival to help build identity and exposure on many levels.

Fuller list of what was mentioned:

  • Big studio centre that puts all dance organisations together
  • Arts centre
  • Arts precinct
  • Festival
  • A big arts networking thing
  • Central dance resource centre
  • Recognition of dance elders
  • Balance of the proportion of Australian arts funding with the population of states



Project ideas:

  • Recognition of dance elders
  • Stage 1 choreolab
  • A version of solo series
  • Play Date 2.0
  • Dance Debates
  • Share your practice sessions (cross-disciplinary)
  • Stage 1 festival building
  • Guerrilla mash-ups
  • Bring a friend gatherings
  • Snapshot research of the Brisbane Independent Dance landscape
  • Start a relationship with Brisbane City Council for big vision projects
  • Continuing/developing the online conversation/questions
  • Reintroduction of Metro Moves (perhaps in an online format)
  • Daily professional classes (perhaps subsidised by Ausdance)
  • Documenting all the Brisbane Independent Dance activities/events through a platform that is accessible to the public


(Note – Lizzie presented Nerida and Liesel’s emails that they had sent in prior to the meeting, their desired actions were added).



At this point in the meeting we focused the discussion on one of the short term project ideas and, essentially, brainstormed.

Short term project idea: GUERRILLA MASH UP

This project consists of bringing together approximately 15 dance-makers and 15 artists of other practices and randomly put them together for a one day intensive to explore that cross-disciplinary collaboration. The artists would work in spaces around the city (wherever is free) and would come together for an “evening takeover” of one building (e.g. an old warehouse, the Judy, etc.) where they would present their collaboration to a public audience. This presentation could be a performance, a pitch, a film, an installation, even just a discussion about what they have exploring during the day. There could be a prize along the lines of a “golden gorilla”. Non-dance artists could be notified/found through organisations like Arts Link, Play Lab, QUT CI and could include disciplines such as fashion, theatre, music, visual arts, circus.

This project could have three stages:

Stage 1 – all local artists and no money involved (all volunteer and in kind support).

Stage 2 – same format as Stage 1 but with government funding and/or business grants.

Stage 3 – applying for larger grants and opening it up to interstate crossovers where 15 Sydney-siders (for example) would come to work with Brisbane artists and 15 locals would go to work with Sydney artists.

Some considerations:

  • Due to no money, initially it would need to be a one day collaboration however as funding grows it could develop into a three day collaboration.
  • People could get involved as a collaborating artist, volunteer or audience member. Call outs could be online, in person and through the above mentioned organisations.
  • The “golden gorilla” (obviously a pun with the “guerrilla” nature of project) – is there a way of turning the gorilla into a more appropriate representation of QLD identity?
  • Documenting all stages of the project – filmmaker to capture the collaborations throughout the day/evening takeover?



At this point in the meeting some questions were raised about the role of “BDAH” and its branding – i.e. should these short term projects be under the BDAH brand? This led to a discussion that clarified the role of BDAH.


  • A platform for communication where newcomers can find the Brisbane Independent Dance community and where locals can stay in touch.
  • BDAH is a place where we can have discussions about projects happening around the place as well as brainstorm future projects (like today’s meeting).
  • BDAH is not about putting its brand on the projects that may develop from these meetings – i.e. the Guerrilla Mash Up won’t be “BDAH Guerrilla Mash Up”.
  • Independent Dance focus – perhaps need to rename BDAH to include the word “independent”?



Where do we go from here?

  • Something for the future – in order to continue to open up these meetings there will need to be a mailing list will need to be created (as not everyone is on facebook).
  • Coordinate a big Brisbane Independent Dance social gathering in February 2014 with three aspects:

1) Social aspect – getting the broader independent community together

2) Information aspect – clarifying BDAH as a communication tool

3) Action aspect – gathering the broader independent community’s ideas about potential projects and starting that action process

  • Who – as many people as possible (independents, producers, organisation representatives)
  • Venue – 1st preference Room 60, 2nd preference ACPA studio


  • Lizzie to approach Room 60 re: big social gathering (beginning of February 2014)
  • Zaimon/Lizzie to make an event page for planning meeting (in lead up to big social gathering) – Saturday 25 January, 9:00-11:30am.

BDAH Meeting #8

Minutes from the BDAH Meeting on Saturday 9 November, 2013

This meeting was called by Tiina Alinen and was held at 9am-11am in the ACPA Board Room (many thanks to ACPA for their support).

Attendance – Lizzie Vilmanis, Zaimon Vilmanis, Marcus Hughes, Adam Tucker, Erica Rose Jeffrey (chaired meeting), Nerida Matthaei, Liesel Zink, Peter Cook, Elise May, Anja Ali-Haapala (recorded minutes)

 The purpose of this meeting was to identify common values, discuss the Bell Tower (space and programs), and start discussing a long-term vision for the Brisbane independent dance sector. 


What was a time you felt empowered/supported in the independent dance community in the last year?

  • When a mind shift/change in approach was supported through opportunities to explore this.
  • When a situation made it easy to make work by providing resources and support (e.g. Fresh Ground, Kick Start Next Wave).
  • Being able to empower other people was empowering.
  • Being able to have own voice.

What is important to you in the independent dance community?

  • Role of artists being validated beyond audience numbers. Focus on the quality of work rather than bums on seats.
  • Engagement (deliberately vague about whether that’s audience or artist engagement).
  • Visibility on local, state and national levels within and outside of the dance community.
  • Artists finding where they sit within local, state and national contexts (developing networks).
  • Community building among the independents. Everyone sharing and working towards something together.
  • Building resilience in a tough environment for the arts.
  • Recognising diversity in the sector.
  • Willingness to work, see work, and be open to conversation.


  • Independent scene when Bell Tower started – There were spaces that had come before such as: Red Comb (?), CRAB Room, Cherry Herring. Artists around at the time include: the beginning of Polytoxic, Lisa O’Neill, Brides of Frank. An audit of the independent scene when Marcus started at Ausdance revealed that there was a need for access to space and resources, and that the sector needed somewhere for people to work and connect with each other. It took 1.5 years to get the support from funding bodies to get a space.
  • Choosing a space for the Bell Tower Space – Ausdance, at the time, was across the road from the Judy with no appropriate spaces for a dance space. It moved to the Judy because it had two possible spaces: the first did not have a great floor and the second is the existing location of the Bell Tower space. Ausdance was aware that it wasn’t an ideal space, but it was the best option at the time. Moving into the Judy provided an opportunity to building a relationship there. The Bell Tower Space was cheap which addressed issues about space availability.
  • Why did the Bell Tower Programs stop? Marcus left Ausdance before the Bell Tower Program stopped. May have been confusion about the Bell Tower Space and the programs that developed out of there. Ausdance board are better informed on this.
  • Funding – The Bell Tower Program was funded by local, state and national government. Each aspect of the Bell Tower Program was funded by different grants – Ausdance would match various grants to each aspect of the Bell Tower program. The program relied on Ausdance’s funding to enable the administrative side and therefore the Bell Tower became a core element of Ausdance’s work.
  • Administration – There was a LOT of administration (at least one person full time). Ausdance staff believed in what they were doing for the sector and therefore could justify the time spent on Bell Tower. The Bell Tower Program provided leverage/credibility for the artists that would go for grants from organisations such as Arts Queensland. Collecting data on the Bell Tower Programs was vital in supporting the argument for it.



  • There is the need for a strong base with flexibility to add funding for different add-ons, i.e. adaptability. This is always going to be the case.
  • Ausdance is a consistent organisation.
  • Bell Tower Space is still available and cheap.
  • There is a difference between a “space” and a “home”. The “home” discussion also happened 10 years ago.


  • Different government.
  • Fresh Ground now exists – providing free space.
  • EDC will consider providing in-kind support over quiet periods such as Christmas.
  • BDAH exists now.
  • The impetus to make change is coming from the community rather than an organisation.

Can the community make it happen, rather than relying on an organisation?

  • Need to be strategic about what we’re doing/asking for.
  • Bell Tower was an ongoing debate with Arts Queensland.
  • What can the community do internally, what resources do we have between us?

What’s the issue? What problem are we trying to solve?

  • We’re not hearing all voices of the community – community-building needed.
  • Need for clear pathways for progression of work.


  • Put some key questions out to the community so that we can understand the broader picture.
  • Take that information into a strategic planning phase.
  • Start taking action.

BDAH Meeting #7 Summary

Minutes from the BDAH Meeting on Friday 8th of March, 2013

This meeting was called by Ann McLean and was held at 6pm in the Board Room of the Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts.

Attendance – Zaimon Vilmanis, Tiina Alinen (Chaired the meeting), Anja Ali – Haapala, Rachelle Hickson, Gabe Comerford, Mariana Paraizo, Liz Vilmanis (Recorded minutes of the meeting), Ann McLean


Ann McLean is offering help for grant writing. It was asked what specific areas people were needing help with and budgeting was brought up as area of concern.  Specifically – how does one make a sexy budget for an application?  Another area raised requiring attention was applying for 2 grants – how do you tackle writing both applications? It was suggested for artists to also contact previously successful applicants and ask them for advice, to get what your being offered in kind written down so that you can submit it in your grant application. A current trend is obtaining partnerships  and these often look good in an application.  Regional is also a giant word in applications at the moment … Don’t forget the Gold Coast Arts Centre has rehearsal space also.  If you’re working regionally also remember to include travel costs/accommodation.  Consider what your investment is in the community – get a FAT/robust offer.  Note: Ann will be back on the 23rd of March and taking appointments for assistance with grant writing.


Still employers asking artists to teach for less than they are worth.  This seems to be a big problem still and ways to address this problem for individuals were discussed.  One option is to get savvy with communication with employers – let them know why are you charging what you’re charging.  There was concern that we are being undercut by bigger companies who can afford to teach for less.  Questions raised included what the current RAD teachers course fees are?  Does it take two years to be able to take students through exams – $12,000?  Is it true that QUT dancers can pay only $250 to get creditation?  Ausdance Queensland is continuing to back up teachers with teaching rates.  Suggested to look at relationship building with employers – give out flyers to educate teachers?  Try to build on the price you originally get when you start out.  Again it was raised that the problem with some teachers taking less is that it then undercuts the rest of the industry.  What are the penalty rates for teaching – do you need to be on a contract to get penalty rates?  Don’t forget the AIR – Artist In Residence with schools opportunity that was announced today.


Ausdance Queensland are going to try and offer 10 places for the workshop at half price – this offer will be open to Ausdance Members.  The capacity for the workshop is 25.  The workshop can be catered to those attending and be as much hands on or not as participants want.  Please remember that it can be tax deductible. The workshop is being promoted to QUT as well as interstate.  The concerns raised in relation to attendance to the workshops included that it is being held at a busy time of year, that 4 full days is a long time to commit to especially when Liz and John are not well known here in Brisbane, and that it would be difficult to afford the workshop for those who would need to take time off of paid work to attend it.  Are young dancers at a point in their careers to be interested in this type of workshop?  Do people actually know who Liz and John are and what they do?  It would be helpful to have a 1 page info sheet about what skills the participants could expect to get out of it. It was also raised that incentives to attend workshops could be useful – such as a per diem to attend the workshop like Critical Path offer with some of their workshops.  Ausdance Queensland weren’t successful with gaining the funding that they applied for to assist people with attending the workshop, otherwise they would be able to offer more.  Workshop worthwhile as one will gain the experience of understanding how to use new and existing skills to respond to other peoples work – it will be like gaining a toolkit for a professional artist.  It is hoped that artists recognise that these types of workshops offering the opportunity to gain these types of skills are not regularly available. It was stressed that part of life as an artist requires investment into ones practice.  It has been requested that there be more information provided about the process to expect within the workshops.  It was suggested that the idea of employing ambassadors to promote workshops in the future could be useful.


Ausdance Queensland aims to run 3 choreolabs for 3 days each this year. (Opportunity for 3 choreographers).  Dancers will be asked to commit to being employed for 3 full days. The choreographer will work with one group of dancers.  There will again be no demand of an outcome. The choreographer should be able to ask for as many dancers as they want (though this would obviously be capped due to funding restrictions to pay dancers). It could also be possible to apply for a choreolab with more than one choreographer.  Funding available to participants will need to be capped.  It is intended that there will be 3 separate choreolabs at 3 different times of year, not all happening at once.  Winter will probably see the first choreolab. Yet to decide what dates these choreolabs will take place on and there will be a call out for expressions of interest.  Need to find out who’s available and when and also when space will be available to run the choreolabs.


What happens with royalties for music? There will be no need to pay royalties but each choreographer must give a list of pieces of music and composers to Ann.  The Judith Wright Centre has a blanket licence to cover performances.

(Ann had to leave the meeting at this point).

Would the Judith Wright Centre be more willing to provide tarkett for the Independent Showcase if participants volunteered to help roll it out and roll it up?


A suggestion was put forward to make a deal with larger organisations to gain access to the visiting artists that they are bringing to Brisbane.  Could a deal be struck so that visiting artists are required to teach/contribute to the Independent sector when they are employed by the bigger companies?  Perhaps workshop/class fees could be paid to the visiting artist for their contribution to the Independents? Would it be possible for Ann to send BDAH a group email to release who’s expected to come to town six months in advance?

BDAH Meeting #6 Summary

The last BDAH meeting was held on Wednesday the 16th of May 2012 at the Ausdance QLD Belltower Studio.

The following is a summary of what was discussed at the meeting …

Introduction to the meeting – Liz Vilmanis, co-founder of BDAH: the reason for this meeting is to address the upcoming forums that Arts Queensland are planning to hold, we are hoping to generate discussion and try to address, or identify, some areas that the independent dance industry needs to present at these forums. Ausdance QLD is working with Arts Queensland to organize these forums.

Update from Ann Mclean, Director of Ausdance QLD:

Ann Mclean had been in touch with Jan Irvine about the planning process of the forums. Arts Queensland is waiting for administrative approval for some funds to channel through to Ausdance to employ someone to take on the work of organizing these forums for Ausdance Qld, this process will be happening in June. The forums will be open for dance related persons to attend, however Ausdance Qld would be happy to hear any thoughts prior to these forums.

Arts Queensland is interested in putting together an in depth study through the entire state, to find out the current trends in the sector at the moment, taking a fresh look at all the venues, and producers that are currently working and the new work that’s being made. They want to know how artists look at producing, marketing, making work, how they approach venues, and where they feel their own gaps and resources are. The idea is to pull together a plan where everyone is consulted, that we agree on, and that can work. There is a plan to ensure that there are three key foci. Arts Queensland wants to ensure, if artists are on the right track, that they are supported by a variety of avenues rather than having to go to one place for one thing, so that there is collaboration.

Choreographic Play Sessions:

A big thank you to Shaaron Boughen who kindly attended the meeting and generously shared her experiences of her involvement with the Cherry Herring.

In short summary, Cherry Herring:

  • Ran for 3-4 years, last show was in 1997
  • Was set up by artists because there was a need for affordable and regular space for networking sharing and choreographing.
  • Was set up by a group of professionally engaged artists who wanted to make work and where they could give critical feed back in a supported environment.
  • Originally consisted of about 8-9 artists who shared the rent on rented a space above a Renault Car Specialist, off Julieanne Hensen who lived in the space.
  • Ran as a collective where the artists made and performed work. They specifically ran it without Arts Queensland or Australia Council for the Arts coming, and without reviewers. However, there was a point where they attracted the attention of Arts Queensland and were encouraged to apply for funding but they were unsuccessful.
  • Recouped costs on rent by sub-renting out the space during the day at a very cheap cost as a studio space.
  • Evolved over the 4 years, due to changes in artists and commitments.
  • At one point built up to almost 15 artists renting the space, which became almost unworkable in terms of differing needs, keeping tabs on what everyone was doing, and the responsibilities like locking up, handing over the keys, sorting rent payments.
  • Received a community service grant to invest in floor and lights.
  • Gained interest even from Arts Queensland and towards the end of Cherry Herring the Powerhouse was then known as a venue, it was up and running and supportive too.
  • Had space which was flexible in terms of how to present your works.
  • Found that curating shows was hard because you had to put more work into finding out who wanted to present work and who didn’t and there was a fear of people’s noses getting put out of joint if they were forgotten about.
  • Found that graduating students wanted to become more involved and there became quite a learning divide between the more established artists and younger artists.
  • Eventually they lost the space due to redevelopment and the Cherry Herring folded due to loss of energy to continue and original artists needing to pursue their careers in new directions.
  • Had new “splinter shoots” that came out of the Collective like the “Angry Mime”. And a number of artists received grants off the back of the Cherry Herring to pursue other projects.

From Shaaron’s sharing it was recognized that such a process has a cycle of succession. It was noted that funding models even today haven’t shifted enough to support independent work individually. Choreographic sharings have proven to be an affordable way of test driving/experimenting with new work.

Another choreographic sharing platform mentioned in the meeting included the Crab Room (Clare Dyson, Rachael Jennings, Brian Lucas and Avril Huddy)

Please have a look at the articles below for more information …

Dance space discussion:

  • What do artists want studio space for, how do they want it to be run, who should be able to use, what terms of use are there?
  • Idea of building a “Grand Plan” model was raised to present to Arts Queensland or other organizations that want to support independent dance space. The ‘Grand Plan’ could be useful for a number of reasons:
  1. Keeping the space used for the right reasons (not for commercial use)
  2. So that the job of administration can easily be passed on
  3. So organizations can see that the collective group is organized and professional
  4. So if space is forced to move to another location, the model can be easily transferred and maintained.

Other options…

  • Dark Spaces Project:
  1. Ausdance Qld is compiling a calendar of available spaces, that are run by other organizations/Arts Centers. They hope opportunities can be sourced from these venues to provide access for artists for their projects/workshops. It would work similar to the Belltower calendar (see Ausdance QLD website); you would require your own insurance, and Ausdance would subsidise the hire cost.
  2. Ausdance would like to discuss/gain consultation from artist on how best to model the Dark Spaces Project.

Other points noted by Ausdance QLD –

  • Statistics of hire of the Belltower suggests that most artists tend to rehearse in the evenings.
  • Ausdance QLD is currently in discussions with the Judith Wright Centre to subsidise the Theatre Rehearsal Room for independents.

Points raised in open discussion:

  • There is an emphasis on taking work beyond Queensland, but the question was how do you sell work and get the financial support to tour beyond Queensland?
  • Could there be funding models for touring?
  1. It’s difficult to line up a number of venues to take a show beyond one or two venues. How does one go about giving the work a longer life?
  2. Where/How do you find independent Producers to take the load off of creators? Not for project to project, but for a sustained time period.
  3. Understanding how producers come together with artists, for example, in the music industry, producers find the musician, create a relationship. Are there enough independent dance producers out there?
  • MAPS for Artists – how do you access MAPS?
  • It was recognized that some Independents don’t have works that need producing yet, but could benefit from building skills to prepare. What are the skills that are necessary??
  • Where are the Peer networks for overseas touring?

Final note:

Zaimon and Liz raised that they feel they need to take a back step from running BDAH meetings, they’re concerned about monopolizing forums/events to cater towards their our own needs. They acknowledge that BDAH meetings should be able to be facilitated by any BDAH member on issues relevant to members. They also mentioned that they are very willing to volunteer their help in assisting others to initiate meetings if they want it.

BDAH Meeting 16th May 2012

The next BDAH meeting will be on

Wednesday, 16th of May 2012


Ausdance QLD Bell Tower

This meeting will look at compiling a list of important points that we would like to bring up at the upcoming Arts Queensland forums.   Arts Queensland really want to know what the QLD dance sector wants.  We think it’s worth having some open discussions/debates about the future we all want for the dance sector so then we can present these at the forums!

Please RSVP your attendance to the meeting by sending an email to brisbanedanceartistshub[at]

Some things that have already been brought up over the year are … (and Ausdance Qld are already addressing some of them – thanks)

  • Developing a Producers Package
  • Need for learning better production skills (ties into the above)
  • Need for an affordable and regular dance studio that can be used for
    • Long and short term residencies for artists to create works, research, collaborate ….
    • Professional classes – run at an affordable price for independents
    • A hub for networking, sharing…..
  • Need for boot camp style workshops for Grant Applications – specific to dance
  • Need for more critical feedback sessions and education on how to conduct critical feedback.
  • Need for mentorship opportunities.  Education on what mentoring is about and how to go about finding/approaching a mentor.
  • Need for healthy open debates on dance related subjects …

ie…When you have been given an opportunity to play in a studio there should be:

  1. A public presentation outcome only
  2. A public presentation outcome only
  3. A public discussion outcome only
  4. Both
  5. No public outcome at all
  • Defining teaching rates for independents.
  • Defining performance rates for dancers in projects  – What conditions are acceptable? What are not?
  • Need for choreographic play sessions – providing opportunities for dancers to dance too.

*Please add any other items to this list that you would like to see happen, or issues you think need addressing, or opportunities that you’d like to see more of, etc.

If you are not able to come along to the meeting, but you have something you’d like to see addressed, please let us know by sending an email to or by calling Liz Vilmanis on 0402018475.

Let’s gather together to strengthen our voice! Whether you are a student, a recent graduate, a professional, a long time professional, or a retired professional … your opinion counts.  BDAH acknowledges that there have been many people before us who have fought these battles, if you have, please let us know about  what has been tried/ tested/presented before as this will help us to make more informed decisions.

 “Defeat is not the worst of failures. Not to have tried is the true failure.
George Edward Woodberry

BDAH Meeting #5 Summary

The last BDAH meeting was held on Friday the 3rd of February 2012 at the Ausdance QLD Belltower Studio.

The following is a summary of what was discussed at the meeting for those of you who were unable to attend …

Ideas –

  • Creation of a guide for the new dancer/graduate dancer.  How does a dancer navigate the dance industry once they are out on their own?
  • A possible monthly project for dancers to partake in to help practice/build skills.
  • Creation of a register/database of BDAH members (for those who agree to be listed) so that other Independents can learn more about you as dancers, choreographers, teachers, producers etc.  Suggested that members provide a link for the BDAH website to their LinkedIn page so that they can maintain their own information and update it whenever they want to.
  • Access to templates for Budgets, Contracts, etc.
  • Possibility of holding BDAH meetings on alternative days.  (We know that Fridays do not suit everybody!)

Issues –

  • Need for more residencies.
  • Dance artists could improve their time management.
  • Need for more opportunities for Dancers – how can we create these?
  • Approaching mentorship – What is mentorship?  How does one go about it? Opportunities for mentorship.  Re-vamping of the Ausdance QLD Bell Jar.
  • Need for improved critical discussion not only around the works that we create but also about dance as an art form itself.
  • Need for new dance studio to replace the Belltower studio.

What is currently happening and being addressed –

  • Ausdance QLD is assisting with skills development for Dance Artists.  See their website for information on the upcoming Production Savvy Workshop.  They are also planning to run more workshops for skill development throughout the year.
  • Ausdance QLD will be doing a sector survey.  Important for artists to complete this survey as it will contribute to the next sector plan.
  • Survey being assembled BDAH to assist with constructing a proposal to QUT for a new residency/theatre season with a research basis.  This survey will help to identify the outcomes that dance artists would like to be able to achieve from a residency/theatre season.
  • Pro Dance Classes Brisbane is now holding the 7th block of classes.  It still needs your support to ensure that these classes continue to run. Please try to enroll before each block commences so that minimum numbers are confirmed and classes are able to go ahead.  Those who are participating regularly are noticing the benefits of doing regular classes!  PDCB aims to add more classes by the end of this year.  New class times will be decided after consultation with current PDCB participants and will also be dependent on studio availability.  If you have a class time that you would attend if it existed … please let PDCB know!  It has been decided that Evan will now receive payment for doing the bookkeeping and Zaimon will receive payment for some of the time he spends overseeing the running/organisation of PDCB.
  • BDAH/PDCB now has a website.  This now means that enrollment for classes is even easier.
  • Ausdance QLD and BDAH will be looking at existing models for Mentorship programs.  If you have any suggestions please forward them to BDAH.
  • The search is still on to find a suitable new space for a studio to replace the Belltower studio.  If you come across any places that you think might be suitable please let BDAH know.

Please if you have any comments, suggestions or issues (either new or in relation to what’s mentioned above), please contact BDAH.