Alinta Chidzey wins Australian Dance Award


Since 1997, the Australian Dance Awards have been recognising and honouring professional Australian dance artists who have made an outstanding contribution to the industry.


Alinta Chidzey Since 1997, the Australian Dance Awards have been recognising and honouring professional Australian dance artists who have made an outstanding contribution to the industry.

This year, Matt Lee (Mary Poppins), Verity Hunt-Ballard (Mary Poppins), Alinta Chidzey (West Side Story) and the entire cast of Hairspray were nominated in the ‘Outstanding Performance in a Stage Musical’ category.

Chidzey, who played the feisty Anita in the 2010 Australian production of West Side Story won the award this year, a title also won by Todd McKenney (2000, 2002), Caroline O’Connor (2010 1999), Chloe Dallimore (2004), the Australian Billys 2009 (Billy Elliot) and Hugh Jackman (2008). Chidzey has also appeared as Demeter Asian tour of Cats has just returned from an Australasian tour of The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber.

As well as honouring those who have raised the standards of dance in Australia, the event aims to raise the profile of the dance world and acknowledge the diversity of the dance profession in Australia today. 

For the first time in its 14 year history, the 2011 awards were presented last night in Brisbane at the Queensland Performing Arts Centre. The event showcased performances from some of Australia’s finest dance companies including Sydney Dance Company, Queensland Ballet, Expressions Dance Company, and Aboriginal Centre for Performing Arts. Also featured were Sue Peacock and Stefan Karlsson – both independent artists from Western Australia.

Initiated in 1986 by Keith Bain OAM, the dance community in NSW gathered each year at the Dancers’ Picnic to celebrate the International Dance Days Honours. In 1997, Ausdance NSW with support from the City of Sydney and The Australian Ballet, established the Australian Dance Awards at the Sydney Opera House. Over time, the Awards have evolved into the industry’s ‘night of nights.’

The full list of nominees and winners are below:

Services to Dance
    Gideon Obarzanek
    Ruth Osborne (winner)
    Lucinda Sharp
    Carl Vine

Services to Dance Education
    Valda Craig (winner)
    Marilyn Rowe OBE
    Paul Saliba

Outstanding Achievement in Youth or Community Dance
   Mirndiyan Gununa Aboriginal Corporation for Mornington Island Gulf Festival
    QL2 Dance for Hard Yards
    Steps Youth Dance Company for Phoenix
    Tracks for The Cook, The Queen & the Kelly

Outstanding Achievement in Choreography

    Rafael Bonachela for 6 Breaths [Sydney Dance Company] – (winner)
    Shaun Parker for Happy As Larry [Shaun Parker & Company]
    Garry Stewart for Be Your Self [Australian Dance Theatre]
    Natalie Weir for Where the Heart Is [Expressions Dance Company]

Outstanding Performance by a Company

    Australian Dance Theatre for Be Your Self
    Bangarra Dance Theatre for of earth & sky
    Expressions Dance Company for Where the Heart Is (winner)
    Sydney Dance Company for We Unfold

Outstanding Achievement in Independent Dance

    Narelle Benjamin for In Glass (winner)
    Katrina Lazaroff for Pomona Road
    Sue Peacock for Sprung
    Tony Yap with Madeleine Flynn, Tim Humphrey, Naomi Ota and Ben Rogan for Rasa Sayang

Outstanding Performance by a Female Dancer

    Kristina Chan for In Glass [Narelle Benjamin]
    Amy Hollingsworth for Irony of Fate [Sydney Dance Company] – (winner)
    Elise May for Where the Heart Is [Expressions Dance Company]
    Larissa McGowan for Be Your Self [Australian Dance Theatre]

Outstanding Performance by a Male Dancer

    Richard Causer for Where the Heart Is [Expressions Dance Company]
    Daniel Gaudiello for Coppelia [The Australian Ballet] – (winner)
    Paul White for In Glass [Narelle Benjamin]
    Kimball Wong for Be Yourself [Australian Dance Theatre]

Outstanding Performance in a Stage Musical

    The Cast of Hairspray
    Alinta Chidzey for West Side Story  (winner)
    Verity Hunt-Ballard for Mary Poppins                                                                       
    Matt Lee for Mary Poppins

Newest inductee to the Australian Dance Awards Hall of Fame

    Keith Bain

Lifetime Achievement Award

    Robina Beard OAM: dancer, performer, director, choreographer, teacher and adviser. Robina has been passionately committed to raising the standards of both performance and teaching and has a long-standing commitment to developing and supporting Indigenous dance.

Erin James

Erin James is's former Editor in Chief and a performer on both stage and screen. Credits include My Fair Lady, South Pacific and The King and I (Opera Australia), Love Never Dies and Cats (Really Useful Group), Blood Brothers (Enda Markey Presents), A Place To Call Home (Foxtel/Channel 7) and the feature film The Little Death (written and directed by Josh Lawson).

Erin James

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *