Sydney Opera House has regretfully announced that Spring Dance, Sydney’s popular contemporary dance festival, will no longer be held.
Sydney Opera House created Spring Dance in 2009 as part of the centres annual dance program. For the first three years, it was curated from within the Opera House’s programming team. In 2012, the Artistic Director of Sydney Dance Company, Rafael Bonachela, led the program.
The 2012 festival was an outstanding success. Rafael’s inspiring leadership and varied, exciting program were whole-heartedly embraced, giving Spring Dance its most successful year ever. A special delight was the close Sydney Opera House/Sydney Dance Company collaboration that resulted in last year’s world premiere of Contemporary Women.
Unfortunately, even after such a successful year, Sydney Opera House has cancelled the Spring Dance program. As part of the Opera House’s current budget planning they have reviewed their projects and deemed Spring Dance as too expensive. Spring Dance was the most high-profile manifestation of the Opera House’s commitment to contemporary dance.
“While we have been happy to make this investment to support an art form that boasts a relatively small but passionate audience, we can no longer continue to commit the funds required to present it on its original scale. Rather than present a diminished festival, we have decided to end Spring Dance on the wildly successful note Rafael Bonachela achieved in 2012,” explains Louise Herron, CEO, Sydney Opera House.
“It goes without saying that this decision has been made for purely financial reasons. In no sense is it a reflection on the truly outstanding work of Rafael and our close friends at Sydney Dance Company.”
While the dance industry morns over the cancellation of one of the country’s most adored dance festivals, Sydney Dance Company and the Opera House plan to collaborate again in August of this year to present the Company in a new work.
“These collaborations are just one of the many ways we intend to continue to work together in the future. And we will continue to present international dance such as Sylvie Guillem and Nederlands Dans Theater,” says Herron.
Photo (top): Promotional image for Spring Dance 2012, courtesy of Sydney Opera House