For the first time in its 17-year history the Australian Youth Dance Festival (AYDF) comes to South Australia and the Riverland. Ausdance SA, the leading provider of dance services in SA, will host this biennial development and celebration festival. Registrations for the AYDF are now open.
This unique event, with a focus on regional Australia, will see up to 150 young people between the ages of 15 and 26 from across Australia taking part in a week of classes, screenings, performances and workshops throughout the picturesque Riverland over the Easter holidays 10-16 April, 2014.
“The theme for the 2014 festival is ‘regeneration,’” said Roslyn Dundas, CEO of Ausdance National. “This celebration of youth dance is in recognition of the power of young people and the arts to re-envision and awaken communities.”
Renmark’s Chaffey Theatre will act as the centre point for the 9th Australian Youth Dance Festival with a performance of Lake for the opening night and the staging of the Australian Youth Dance Showcase two days later.
“Leading youth dance companies from around the country will come together to showcase the excellence, breadth and cultural diversity of our youth dance practice. ‘Regeneration’ will be explored in all its forms – recovery, regrowth and intergenerational connection,” continued Ms. Dundas.
Another highlight of the AYDF Renmark SA 2014 will be an outdoor Riverbank Promenade Performance for, by and with the regional community on the final night of the festival.
Artistic Director Adam Wheeler said, “The Australian Youth Dance Festival is such a fantastic opportunity for dancers all over the country to come together in a non-competitive environment where they can meet other people, share their passion and learn from the country’s best. In 2014, Renmark aims to be the best youth dance festival yet. I can’t wait to see you all there!”
Emily Bliss, a 16-year-old dancer who attended the last festival, shared, “The week I spent at the AYDF 2012 was by far the highlight of my dancing career. The entire week was filled with some great learning experiences I’d never even dreamed of having the opportunity to take. I met so many amazing people and had the opportunity to work with a fantastic choreographer. It was great to meet so many young dancers like myself from all over Australia, and to see their styles and levels and listen to their stories. The festival gave me a completely unique performance experience and it was wonderful to be able to get to know the people in my group, as well as those I travelled with. I am so thankful to have been given the chance of this trip and will be able to reflect on an amazing week for the rest of my life.”
Dancer Callan Fleming, who is now 23 years of age with a Bachelor of Performance Dance, agreed that AYDF is a life-changing experience. “From the AYDF 2006, I was able to meet and be involved in the dance community; being in a regional community enhances the sense of community within the festival environment. Looking back on my time at the AYDF, it cultivated connections with young dancers around Australia. Without AYDF it wouldn’t have been possible.”
Ausdance SA is working in partnership with Carclew Youth Arts, Ausdance National and Country Arts SA to present AYDF 2014. Dance Informa is the proud media sponsor for AYDF. For more information on AYDF, visit www.ausdancesa.org.au/australian-youth-dance-festival-renmark-sa-2014.
To find out more and register to attend, visit www.ausdancesa.org.au/aydf2014.
Photo (top): Dancer Oshay Everus from Riverland Youth Theatre. Photo by Italo Vardaro. Movement Direction by Olivia Allen.