Ausdance SA is thrilled to announce that Amanda Phillips is the recipient of the 2023 Ausdance SA Association Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Arts and Education. This industry honour was announced recently at the Educator’s SA Awards Ceremony held on World Teachers’ Day. The award recognises Phillips’ crucial contribution to culture and creativity as a choreographer, creative and educator. She has positively impacted the landscape through a significant body of artistic work, dedication to educate and mentor the next generation, and developing vital industry infrastructure to sustain and grow a thriving community.
Phillips is the creative producer of the production house, Felicity Arts, and the Artistic Director of Dance Hub SA, Adelaide’s home of Independent Dance.
Ausdance SA President Rebecca Wilson states, “This award recognises the vast work that Amanda delivers across industry as a creator, collaborator, facilitator and as a mentor.”
Long serving Ausdance SA Board Member Robyn Callan says, “Amanda’s watershed work within the industry and her perseverance and artistic vision, fundamentally enhances the Australian arts scene at the same time as creating development opportunities for others. Especially with the current Contemporary Dance Sector Consultation in South Australia, it’s important to celebrate those who have had the courage to create opportunities that have both sustained an industry and seen the Dance sector thriving.”
On accepting this accolade, Phillips says, “I am so incredibly honoured. Thank you, Ausdance SA, for this generous acknowledgement. It means so much to receive this award from Ausdance SA, an organisation that has been there throughout my career, and that I greatly admire for its vision and promotion of dance across Australia. Receiving this award provides timely introspection and the inspiration to continue sharing from a space that truly values the arts – the lifeforce and pulse of society.”
Many of her works are recognised as Australian firsts including the award-winning 3xperimentia: Live Cut in 3D, and the fulldome dance film Future Memory that premiered in the 2009 Adelaide Film Festival. This year, Phillips produced, and was a choreographer for, Dance Hub SA’s X for the Adelaide Fringe which received a weekly award for Best Dance. In 2022, she created Loom for The Mill’s Dance Launchpad and Spectral as part of the Feast Festival. Both works unite dance and live visuals in collaboration with media artist and composer Alexander Waite Mitchell.
Working in partnership with Mitchell, the duo’s artistic pursuits continue to both utilise and develop real-time and immersive technologies for stage, screen and installation. They created the Digital Moves filmmaking workshops in 2010, and deliver this annually for students and teachers in South Australia. In 2021, Digital Moves was part of the Youth Dance Festival at Canberra Theatre – delivered through workshops in schools and through a dedicated workshop for ACT independent artists.
Phillips says, “My passion for experimenting across artform practice aligns with the evolution of the digital age. To me, it’s not about the intention of innovating, but rather I see it as my responsibility as a contemporary practitioner to question, agitate and discover new scope. In this terrain, ideas are born that reframe and reinvent dance and performance-making. It’s been such an immense privilege to realise this work in partnership with Alexander Waite Mitchell over the last two decades. We began working together in 2004, as a choreographer and composer, and soon turned our attention to making and presenting outside of this convention because we were drawn to new formats.”
She continues, “Artistic risk creates new understanding and knowledge – and knowledge is one of the greatest gifts that any of us hold. Our human resource provides the opportunity to share, collaborate and learn with the next generation: to inspire process, dialogue and new perspectives.”