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FIFTY by Maggie Tonkin
When Elizabeth Cameron Dalman founded Australian Dance Theatre in 1965, she set out to create a company that would be radical, daring and new. Fifty years later, ADT is not only Australia’s oldest continuously running contemporary dance company, but also one of Australia’s most recognised cultural exports.
To celebrate half a century of innovation in dance performance, Fifty traces the very different trajectories ADT has taken under the successive artistic direction of Elizabeth Cameron Dalman, Jonathan Taylor, Lenny Westerdijk and Anthony Steel, Leigh Warren, Meryl Tankard, Bill Pengelly and Garry Stewart. Each of these directors has pushed the boundaries of dance performance and explored new modes of movement, theatrical expression and artistic collaboration, creating a repertoire of groundbreaking works that have challenged and delighted audiences both in Australia and internationally. In Fifty Maggie Tonkin explores ADT’s fertile – and at times tumultuous – history through interviews and archival research, and showcases the company’s most noted works through stunning images.
Maggie Tonkin is a lecturer in the English Department at the University of Adelaide, where she publishes and teaches in the areas of nineteenth- and twentieth-century fiction. She has a background in dance and writes and reviews for the national dance press.