Liz Lea is a performer, choreographer and producer based in Canberra and NSW. Based in Europe for 20 years Liz worked for the Royal Opera House, Ranjabati Sircar, Imlata, Sankalpam, English National Opera and English Bach Festival. Her speciality is working with classical Indian dance and martial arts as a solo practitioner. She has been commissioned in India, UK, Australia, South Africa, Singapore and USA by companies including the Royal Opera House, Mavin Khoo, Intoto, Ballet Arabesque, QL2 Dance, Griffyn Ensemble and the ANU Music Society.
Under her company, Liz Lea Dance, she has created and toured a dozen shows including ‘120 Birds’, ‘InFlight’, ‘Magnificus Magnificus’ with Tammi Gissell, ‘Kapture’ (inspired by the South African freedom fighter, Ahmed Kathrada, imprisoned alongside Nelson Mandela for 26 years). Her choreographic work has received major project funding from Arts Council of England, British Council, Australia Council, Inspiring Australia, Arts NSW, artsACT and National Science Week.
From her residency with CSIRO, she inaugurated the DANscienCE Festival (Canberra 2013), a meeting of thought leaders across the dance and science communities. In 2015 the Festival ran Brisbane with Co-director Associate Professor Gene Moyle at QUT. In 2017 the event runs in association with UWS and Critical Path.
Liz’s producing work has included commissioning over 16 choreographers while directing Canberra Dance Theatre, where she was the Artistic Director for 7 years. She also founded The GOLD Company for dancers over 55 and developed collaborations with major cultural institutions including the National Library of Australia, National Portrait Gallery, National Gallery of Australia and National Museum of Australia, in addition to a European tour (2015).
For Ausdance ACT she curated their 2016 Dance Week festival and is working on 2017’s events. She is also project manager for their Escalate Mentoring program and a new Indigenous mentoring program to be launched in 2017.
For her own work in 2016 Liz has undertaken a Responsive Residency with Critical Path, created a film with SCREEN ACT funding and participated in the choreographic platform ‘Strange Attractor’. She produced a series of events for ACT National Science Week and performed with Australian Dance Party for a new work ‘Strings Attached’ with the Canberra Symphony Orchestra. In September she tour her two children’s science and dance shows to Queensland for Queensland Music Festival.
Liz is currently developing two new projects; ‘The Galaxy Project’ with Indigenous astronomers and staff from the Mt Stromlo Observatory; and ‘RED’, a one-woman show with solos commissioned from Martin del Amo, Kate Denborough, Vicki van Hout, and Brian Lucas.
The Indian documentary ‘On the Trail of Ruth St. Denis: India 1926’ (2011, Talal Al-Muhanna) was developed from Lea’s research into the non-Asian early modern dance pioneers inspired by Indian movement, such as Anna Pavlova and Ruth St Denis.
Legacy creates the foundations upon which we dance and from which we move forward
Cris Kennedy works as Education Manager for the National Film and Sound Archive in Canberra. Previously, across 15 years with CSIRO he has worked in Indigenous engagement, community engagement, internal communications, as a science communicator, and has been Director of the CSIRO Discovery Centre. Cris is also film critic for The Canberra Times and writes about film and the arts for various publications. He is a passionate advocate for collaborative opportunities between the arts and sciences, working as Artistic Director for the science film festival SCINEMA, and curating symposia on arts and science (SPECTRA, 2012) and dance and science (DANscienCE, 2013). For many years he ran Canberra’s arthouse cinema Electric Shadows, and he was the founding Director of the Canberra Short Film Festival, which celebrated its 19th birthday in 2014.
A graduate from the Australian Ballet School, QUT Dance and after having danced with the Australian Ballet Dancers Company and Queensland Ballet, Gene pursued further studies in psychology completing University degrees including a Masters and Doctorate in Sport and Exercise Psychology.
Working across the performing arts, elite sports and the corporate sector, Gene has focused upon the application of performance psychology and performance enhancement within these domains. Her involvement in the performing arts has included being a Lecturer in Performance Psychology at QUT Creative Industries from 2001 to‐date, a Career Development Advisor for the SCOPE and SCOPE for Artists Programs, a regular contributor to DANCE Australia magazine, the Head of Student Health & Welfare at the Australian Ballet School, in addition to consulting, servicing and providing workshops to various performing arts schools, associations, and individual students and professionals.
She has significant experience in working with and leading multidisciplinary teams within high performance settings, and possesses specific expertise in the area of career development and transition. Gene has supported a number of Olympic Winter sports programs across three Olympic cycles (Torino 2006, Vancouver 2010, Sochi 2014), and has worked extensively within the elite sporting system at both State and National level across Winter and Summer Sports in both service provision and leadership roles.
Gene’s research focus has centred upon studies across both dance and elite sporting domains, she is currently an Associate Editor of the Performance Enhancement & Health journal, previously on the Editorial Board of the Annals of Applied Sport Science, and regularly contributes to international and national journals and magazines including DANCE Australia.
During her career, Gene has developed a broad experience base cultivated within established and start up small-through-large public and private organisations operating across Australia, New Zealand, North America and the United Kingdom. Positions within these companies have included both consulting and internal roles across departments such as Learning and Development, Human Resources, and Health and Safety within the employment, mining, transport, energy, engineering, construction, allied health, education, training, Olympic sport and performing arts industries.
Gene has worked in Senior Executive and Management roles across a range of industries, including having held multiple positions on Boards and Advisory Committees. She is currently a Board Member of the Queensland Board of the Psychology Board of Australia, Non-Executive Director of the Queensland Ballet, Chair of the Tertiary Dance Council of Australia, a National Executive Committee Member of the Australian Society for Performing Arts Healthcare, a Performance Health Advisory Panel member for the Queensland Academy of Sport, and a National Executive Member of the APS College of Sport and Exercise Psychologists.
She joined QUT Creative Industries faculty in the role as Head of Discipline – Dance in November 2012, as was appointed the inaugural Head of School – School of Creative Practice in January 2017. Further details – Gene Moyle | LinkedIn
Stephanie Burridge (PhD) lectures at LASALLE College of the Arts and Singapore Management University and is the Research and Documentation Network Co-Chair for World Dance Alliance Asia Pacific. She was Artistic Director of Canberra Dance Theater (1978-2001) and was awarded the first Fellowship at the Australian Choreographic Center. She is a dance critic, educator and the Series Editor for Routledge Celebrating Dance in Asia and the Pacific commissioning anthologies from Cambodia, India, Malaysia, Australia, Taiwan, Singapore and the South Pacific. Other books include Routledge, Dance Education around the World: Perspectives on Dance, Young People and Change (Editors: Charlotte Svendler Nielsen and Stephanie Burridge, Foreword: Ken Robinson) 2015, and Dance Access and Inclusion: Perspectives on Dance, Young People and Change (in press). Her choreographic and research projects have been supported by the Singapore National Arts Council, Singapore International Foundation, the Australia Council, Arts ACT and more.
Tammi Gissell is a dancer, performance artist and choreographer as well as being a published poetess and performance theorist. She proudly descends from the Murruwarri nation – quite literally the ‘Back of Bourke’ in North-Western NSW. Since 1996, she has toured regionally, nationally and internationally in a range of performance genres from contemporary, contemporary-Indigenous, musical and physical theatre, cabaret, pantomime, endurance & performance art.
She holds a Bachelor of Performance: Theory and Practice from the University of Western Sydney (UWS) and was inducted into the Golden Key International Honour Society for achievements in performance theory In 2004; and later graduated Deans’ Medallist and Reconciliation Scholar in 2005. This same year, Tammi began her mentorship with revered Australian dance master Graeme Watson which continues today. From 2007 to 2011 Tammi was Course Coordinator at NAISDA Dance College. She has also appeared with leading Australian dance and theatre makers including Mirramu Dance Co., The Physical TV Company, Branch Nebula, Kinetic Energy Theatre Co., Liz Lea and Co., Graeme Watson, Bernadette Walong-Sene, Deon Hastie, Jason Pitt, Deborah Pollard, Sani Townson, and Lina Limosani. In 2010 Tammi was invited by the World Dance Alliance to present her research paper ‘Dancing the Dreaming: Temporality and Contemporary-Indigenous Dance Practice’ and solo work ‘WHERE’ (Choreographed by Graeme Watson) at the World Dance Alliance Global Dance Event held in New York City. She was also awarded an Inaugural Guillermo Keys-Arenas Scholarship to create her first major ensemble work ‘A VELIKOVSKY AFFAIR’.
Tammi has taught, lectured or held residency at the Queensland University of Technology, Victorian College of the Arts (Wilin Centre), University of Newcastle, NAISDA Dance College, Aboriginal Centre for the Performing Arts (ACPA), McDonald College, Quantum Leap (QL2), Canberra Dance Theatre, National Institute for Youth Performing Arts and National Youth Dance Theatre. She has additionally sat on the Australian Tertiary Dance Council (2008-2011), been a panellist the BlakDance First Nations Dance Panel in 2012. In 2013 Tammi has been an advisor to Quantum Leap Youth Dance Company for the ‘HIT THE FLOOR TOGETHER’ production and a speaker at the National Dance Forum. While artist in residence at ACPA (2011) she created FEATHER + TAR, which was re-developed into ‘FEATHER & TAR: A CABARET OF SORROWS’ and presented in the Australian Dance Award nominated production BLAKDANCE 2012.
Also in 2011, she was commissioned to write ‘A Powerful Pride: Reflections upon dance and performance of the Torres Strait Islands’ for THE TORRES STRAIT, a reference book to accompany the 2011 ‘AWAKENING’ season and celebration of Torres Strait Islander culture; held in conjunction with Queensland Museum, Queensland Performing Arts Centre and the Art Gallery of Queensland. She has completed choreographic commissions for OCHRE Dance Company in 2012, Canberra Dance Theatre for the National Gallery of Australia in 2013 as well as presenting her short solo work A DIP FOR NARCISSUS at Lineage (FORM Dance Projects) in May 2013. In 2012, Tammi began research and development of a full-length solo work around the Red-Tailed Black Cockatoo with Liz Lea & Co. entitled MAGNIFICUS MAGNIFICUS, which will premiere at the Street Theatre, Canberra in October 2013. She remounted GIN.WOMAN.DISTRESS with Elizabeth Cameron-Dalman in Taiwan and New Zealand in November 2013 and October 2016