Philip Channells is the founder and Creative Director of Dance Integrated Australia and is an Ambassador to the Bundanon Trust Artist in Residence program. His knowledge, skills and experience of working in dance and the disability sectors in Australia and abroad during the past 15 years has gained him credibility as one of Australia’s leading disability-inclusive dance practitioners.
The ongoing relationship between Accessible Arts and Philip Channells has resulted in an influx of activity for integrated dance in NSW since 2010. In his former role as Artistic Director of Restless Dance Theatre, Channells led the Beyond Technique – searching for authenticity master class as part of the Arts Activated Conference in the same year. This was followed with his involvement in the Catalyst Dance Symposium 2011 where he was a panelist with Rafael Bonachela, Tim Podesta and Sarah-Vyne Vassallo and led the master class at this event with more than 35 participants from a range of age groups and dance experience.
As one of the key facilitators and choreographers of the Catalyst Dance Masterclass Series during the 2012 & 2013 programs, Channells directed 40 dancers with and without disability in the series finale, Second Skin and mentored four choreographic assistants throughout the creative process. The Second Skin theme was repeated again in the following year’s program with choreographers Sue Healey and Dean Walsh adding to the triple bill program with Channells and Vassallo’s expert overview of the proceedings.
In 2014 he interconnects the theme again throughout a week-long creative process with 18 selected dancers from around the country who are both emerging & established artists with and without disability. Channells will work collaboratively with all the artists to underpin the essential framework of a new work-in-development. Through their story telling, developing choreographic language derived from improvisational and writing tasks, drawing from and revisiting ideas of the 2012 & 2013 outcomes, the dancers will collectively uncover, engage in and discover dramaturgical possibilities for the next stage development of Second Skin.
Channells’ commitment to the development of dance in Australia has been a significant contribution to the success of the Catalyst program. His expertise in developing dancer’s individual strengths and drawing from their life experience to generate new dance theatre performances with a difference is an extraordinary talent. With this he continues to inform our perspectives of people living with disability and adds to the changing cultural landscape of dance in Australia with great success.
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