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Big Dance 2018: Dance is for everyone; let’s get moving

Big Dance 2018 NAISDA Developing Artists. Photo by Jamie James.

Big Dance is the largest dance celebration in the world, and it’s hitting Australia on International Dance Day (29 April), when thousands of people will dance together in some of the most iconic places in the world.

Big Dance 2018 NAISDA Developing Artists. Photo by Jamie James.

Big Dance 2018 NAISDA Developing Artists. Photo by Jamie James.

Encouraging people to be active through dance, Big Dance is a free large-scale participatory celebration open to everyone of all ages, all abilities and all experiences.

In the months leading up to Big Dance, Ausdance Victoria and New South Wales will motivate aspiring dancers and community groups to learn the Big Dance 2018 routine in a series of fun, free dance workshops. 

The Big Dance 2018 routine includes versions to suit a variety of capabilities and circumstances, including standing, seated and suggestions on adapting the choreography for different abilities.

Online tutorials will be available where the Big Dance 2018 routines are guided and taught by developing dance college artists from National Aboriginal Islander Skills Development Association (NAISDA), and the dance cues will also be provided in an easy-to-follow learning guide.

Big Dance 2018 NAISDA Developing Artists. Photo by Jamie James.

Big Dance 2018 NAISDA Developing Artists. Photo by Jamie James.

Created by acclaimed Indigenous choreographer Frances Rings and New Zealand-born Craig Bary, and with an original score by Huey Benjamin, the Big Dance 2018 choreography is a five-minute contemporary Indigenous routine that anyone can learn. 

Rings explains that all Australians have a shared connection to this land. “We are lucky to live in an incredible country that still emits ancient energy and incredible living culture,” she says. “This year’s Big Dance choreography represents our bloodlines, our culture and everyone coming together as we acknowledge the red earth as our spiritual centre. Big Dance will connect everyone through movement and bring people together to share their stories and experiences with pride and from any dance form.”

Michelle Silby, executive director of Ausdance Victoria and New South Wales, add, “I believe dance is for everyone, and everyone can dance! Big Dance provides fantastic opportunities for people of all ages, cultures and abilities to come together to enjoy and celebrate dance through free workshops and events.” 

Big Dance 2018 NAISDA Developing Artists. Photo by Jamie James.

Big Dance 2018 NAISDA Developing Artists. Photo by Jamie James.

As people dance across the world on International Dance Day and with performances by local dance companies, the key Big Dance 2018 events will be hosted in Sydney, Federation Square in Melbourne, Castlemaine as part of the Regional Centre for Culture program and Lilydale, as well as other locations throughout Australia.

Founded in 2006, and led by the Mayor of London in partnership with People Dancing and a network of leading dance organisations, the Big Dance legacy has now been passed to Australia. In 2016, over 42,000 dancers from 44 countries across the globe participated in Big Dance (previous choreographers include Akram Khan and Wayne McGregor CBE).

For more information on Big Dance 2018, visit www.bigdance.org.au.

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