Dancehouse comes ‘alive’ to celebrate 20 years

Dancehouse In 2012, Dancehouse celebrates 20 years of shaping contemporary Australian culture with a rare and fleeting glimpse into the anatomy of an art form. As an anniversary gift to Australian dance they are set to present Alive! 20 Years – 20 Choreographers.

Alive!, a celebration of the legacy of this premier centre for independent dance, will showcase 20 of the most significant works that Dancehouse has inspired and brought into being since 1992. It promises to be a look at the evolution of an art form.

In 1992, Dancehouse was formed as an “act of activism,” says co-founder Hellen Sky.

A group of Australian dancers  had wanted to start a revolution to change how the fundamentals of dance were nurtured, presented, and made in Melbourne. They transformed an abandoned council-owned building in Carlton into their new centre for dance. Securing support initially from the City of Melbourne and later from the City of Yarra, Dancehouse now stands as the only venue in Australia dedicated solely to dance. They have presented over 1000 performances, 4000 workshops, and have hosted more than 20,000 audience members.

Born In A Taxi. Image by Tomek Sokura
Born In A Taxi. Image by Tomek Sokura

Alive! presents a selection of works that hold particular significance and resonance for the four Artistic Directors who have steered Dancehouse through its 20 years. Leading established dancers and choreographers will present work alongside emerging artists. The works vary from contemporary dance to film to improvisation to physical theatre, inspired by themes that range from country and western music, the impact of HIV, Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird, the Dead Sea Scrolls and Calisthenics.

For three nights only, several generations of artists will raise their glasses, their toes and the roof.

Alive! from 20 – 22 June

Tickets and more information at

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Cassie is a theatre critic and arts writer in Sydney. She studied communication and media at the University of Newcastle, where she began honing her professional writing and critical analysis skills, as well as publishing creative works in several journals and magazines. She has previously reviewed music and theatre for numerous online hubs including LiveGuide, BroadwayWorld Australia, and Time Out Sydney. Cassie can usually be found in a theatre foyer somewhere soaking up the atmosphere.

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