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AMPAG Companies take top honours at the 2010 Australian Dance Awards

The 2010 Australian Dance Awards were announced on Sunday, 20th June in Melbourne with judges choosing from over 450 nominations received for the ten award categories for works presented in 2009.

Bangarra Dance Theatre’s Artistic Director, Stephen Page was honoured with the ‘Services to Dance’ Award. Bangarra also won “Outstanding Performance by a Company’ for Fire: A Retrospective described by judges as ‘a captivating and moving performance by dancers with wonderful integrity, intense dramatic power and great physical aplomb’.

The ‘Outstanding Performance by a Female Dancer’ was awarded to Lana Jones, a Senior Artist with The Australian Ballet. Ms Jones has already accepted many accolades for creating the role of the Firebird in Graeme Murphy’s Firebird, having been awarded both the Green Room and Helpmann Awards.

William (Bill) Akers AM was awarded the prestigious ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’, honouring his achievements as an outstanding figure in the Australian and international dance community. Bill has worked behind the scenes in Australian dance for years, predominantly as production manager and lighting designer, spending a major part of his career working for The Australian Ballet. He worked especially closely with Robert Helpmann when Helpmann was co-artistic director of the Australian Ballet and lit the works Helpmann created during his tenure of that position, including The Display, Yugen, Perisynthyon and Sun Music.

The Australian Dance Awards are decided by a panel of dance professionals including Robina Beard, Margaret Jolley, Rita Clarke, Margrete Helgeby, Deborah Jones, Patrick Harding-Irmer, Chris Boyd, David McAllister AM, Shaaron Boughen, Marilyn Miller, Annie Greig, Jeff Meiners, Dr Alan Brissenden AM, and Sarah Calver with advisors Valda Craig, Keith Bain OAM and Lee Christofis

Full list of the 2010 Australian Dance Award winners:

LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
William (Bill) Akers AM

SERVICES TO DANCE
Stephen Page

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN DANCE EDUCATION
Maggi Phillips

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN YOUTH OR COMMUNITY DANCE
Restless Dance Theatre for Bedroom Dancing

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN CHOREOGRAPHY
Meryl Tankard & Paul White, The Oracle

OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE BY A COMPANY
Bangarra Dance Theatre, Fire - A Retrospective

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN INDEPENDENT DANCE
Sue Peacock, Questions Without Notice

OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE BY A FEMALE DANCER
Lana Jones in Firebird (The Australian Ballet)

OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE BY A MALE DANCER
Paul White in The Oracle (Meryl Tankard and Paul White)

OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE IN A STAGE MUSICAL
Caroline O'Connor, Chicago