Australian Dance Theatre is one of the most influential dance companies in the country and has been producing consistently great repertoire in dance and dance theatre since it was formed in Adelaide in 1965.
Under the artistic direction of Garry Stewart since 1999, the company has taken a radically distinct trajectory. ADT dancers train in a number of specific physical disciplines. As well as contemporary dance techniques and classical ballet, they are also coached intensively in break dance, martial arts, gymnastics and contact improvisation. The result is a fusion of forms, which constitutes a unique choreographic palette, for which there is no equivalent in Australia. Stewart’s work is characterised by his ‘no-compromise’ attitude. It’s fast, aggressive, technically demanding, fraught with risk and charged with an urgency that is riveting to watch. It is extraordinary dance – critically acclaimed, award winning and thrilling audiences across the globe.
ADT actively promotes audience development and diversification, offering attractively priced tickets to ensure access and equity across the board. It also firmly believes in the importance of a strong youth policy as exemplified by the annual in-house season Ignition and youth dance workshops. ADT has an ongoing commitment to provide access to the company and its works for dance students and teachers across South Australia, and wherever it tours.ADT Held
ADT has developed new works by Garry, including the much acclaimed Housedance performed on the sails of the Sydney Opera House for International Millennium Broadcast, which was telecast across the globe to an estimated audience of two billion people; its ‘cygneture’ work Birdbrain; the multi award winning work The Age of Unbeauty; Nothing, the first half of which was staged at WOMADelaide 2003 to a rapt audience of over 15,000, and HELD, the ground breaking performance collaboration with internationally renowned photographer Lois Greenfield. HELD was a phenomenal critical and popular success in its debut season at the 2004 Adelaide Festival and has won six national awards, including the prestigious 2004 Helpmann Award for Best Choreography in a Ballet or Dance Work.
The company also tours extensively. ADT has performed local seasons at the Sydney Opera House, the Melbourne International Festival, Brisbane, Canberra and internationally at the Galway Arts Festival (Ireland), the Seoul Arts Festival (Korea), the Singapore Arts Festival, the National Centre for the Arts (Ottawa), Harbourfront Theatre (Toronto), Queen Elizabeth Hall (London), the Joyce Theater (New York) and the Holland Dance Festival. ADT’s tour of Birdbrain to London was heralded by the world’s best dance critics as ‘…one of the most hazardous explosions of movement seen in London in years’ and ‘…a slick and stylish masterpiece’.
In 2004/05 the company toured throughout Europe, the UK and the US, taking in 45 venues with 68 performances which were seen by over 40,000 people. Upon returning to Australia the company presented Vocabulary, a collaborative work with Restless Dance Company. (Restless Dance Company is Australia’s leading youth dance company for young people with and without a disability.) Following an extensive Australian regional tour of Birdbrain that took in Port Pirie, Whyalla, Port Lincoln, Darwin, Alice Springs, Parramatta and Wollongong.
Garry began creative development work on Devolution in 2005. As the largest and most challenging of Garry’s works, this innovative and demanding project was created in collaboration with a number of other artists including Canadian robotics artist Louis-Philippe Demers, film maker Gina Czarnecki, costume designer Georg Meyer-Wiel and sound designer Darrin Verhagen. Devolution premiered in Adelaide as part of the Adelaide Bank Festival of Arts in March 2006.
The company then undertook and extensive and successful tour of Europe with The Age Of Unbeauty and presented the most recent season of Ignition in seven metropolitan Adelaide venues.