From Ilbijerri’s Blood on the Dance Floor, to Opera Australia’sRing Cycle, the awards highlighted the breadth of exciting and exceptional performance available in Australia.
In addition to the 63 category awards presented, three performing arts professionals received special awards recognising their exceptional contributions.
Richard Murphet received the Lifetime Achievement Award, for his diverse and comprehensive work spanning teaching, directing and writing work over many years.
Jenny Hector received the Technical Achievement Award for her outstanding set and lighting designs for works such as the Ilbijerri productionBlood on the Dance Floor and Jodee Mundy’sImagined Touch which were part of this year’s Sydney Festival.
And Japanese Butoh dancer and cabaret creator, Yumi Umiumare, received the 2017 Geoffrey Milne Memorial Award for her contribution to contemporary and experimental performance.
Most categories were dominated by the small to medium sector, for example, with Darebin Arts Speakeasy and Briefs Factory taking out the Best Cabaret Performance (Hot Brown Honey) and the redoubtable Ash Flanders picking up Best Cabaret Artiste with Playing to Win.
Australia's leading and longest running Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Theatre Company, Ilbijerri, won Best Independent Theatre Production withBlood on the Dancefloor.
Several of the major performing arts companies received either individual or joint awards for collaborations with smaller companies.
Melbourne Theatre Company claimed Best Production, Best Direction and Best Digital Media Design for a Theatre Company forMiss Julie but also was celebrated for its co-production with the Sisters GrimmLilith: The Jungle Girl(Best Ensemble, Best Set and Costume Design and Best New Writing/Adaptation for the Australian stage).
Malthouse Theatre won best Music Composition and Sound Design by a Theatre Company, for David Franzke’s work inPicnic at Hanging Rock.
Rose Riley won Best Female Performer in a Theatre Company for Belvoir’s production ofThe Glass Menagerie, presented by Malthouse.
One of the few awards in the Music Theatre category to escape theMatilda the Musical rollercoaster was Best Female in a Supporting Role, won by Naomi Price for Queensland Theatre Company’s production ofLadies in Black, presented by Melbourne Theatre Company.
Sydney Dance Company and Dancenorth jointly took out the Ensemble Performance award in the Dance category, withCounterMove by SDC andIf_Was_ by Dancenorth.
Opera Australia completely dominated the Opera category, winning all awards with various productions includingThe Ring Cycle,The Pearl Fishers andLuisa Miller.
AMPAG congratulates all winners and nominees for their brilliant work over the past year, where diversity and innovation ensures the sector’s ongoing success.