Philip Channells // Bachelor of Dance Performance
Fiercely committed to the development of disability arts and dance in Australia, he has been described as… “a compact, powerfully built man with an air of vitality and a healthy, country boy’s face”.
After he travelled the world searching for new experiences in Canada, USA, Europe, UK and South East Asia, he starting his dance career in his late 20’s. Philip trained at the Northern Rivers Conservatorium of Arts (The Con), the Centre for the Performing Arts (AC Arts) and the Western Australia Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA). As a member of Link Dance Company he toured to France performing at the Avignon Off Festival 2003 in works by choreographers Chrissie Parrott, Phillip Adams (Balletlab), Anna Smith, and Kim McCarthy.
Philip was one of eight guest choreographers at the Australian Youth Dance Festival 2012 where he directed a cast of 19 dancers with and without a disability in Lithophytes and Epiphytes for an outdoor performance at the Mt Penang Gardens. He taught aspects of his class, ‘Beyond Technique’ in daily taster sessions to more than 150 students and dance teachers from around Australia. He has also been described by South Australian arts critic Peter Burdon, as… ‘a true community leader.’ Philip has recently been working with emerging artist with a disability, Lorcan Hopper through the JUMP national mentorship program with Peter Sheedy at the Adelaide College of the Arts.
Before moving to the United Kingdom to work with Candoco Dance Company’s Foundation Course and the Cultural Shift project for emerging disabled choreographers at East London Dance, Philip spent seven years working with Restless Dance Company as a dancer, workshop leader and assistant director. In 2009 he returned to Restless as the first artistic director with a disability of an Australian dance company. Holding onto its purpose, mission and guiding principles, (exploration, collaboration and calibre) he continued to lead the company with the dynamism, relevance, sustainability and evolution that is very much a part of the foundations of Restless Dance Theatre.
In 2009 Philip produced a season of choreographic works called Debut 2 by four emerging disabled artists from the Restless Youth Ensemble collaborating with Tutti Inc. and the Adelaide College of the Arts. He led a series of dance workshops at the Riverland Special School for the Creative Education Partnerships Artist in Residence program where he directed From The Ground Up for the Chafey Theatre, Renmark. In 2010 Philip made his directorial debut for Restless, creating Next of Kin with an intergenerational cast of 24 performers including family and friends of the dancers. In 2011 he produced Debut 3 and mentored Andrew Pandos before touring Lorcan Hopper’s work High Voltage to Papua New Guinea for the Australia Week Celebrations. Under his artistic leadership he produced a spike of activity for the Company for three years through appearances and public speaking engagements, workshops and masterclasses, film screenings, productions and touring.
While based in London (2007 – 2009), Philip worked with StopGAP Dance Company as the Community & Health Artist. He toured with the company throughout the UK, Spain and Sweden teaching technique and company repertoire. He was the Project Manager for Corali Dance Company where he toured work to Ireland and established the upstart program at Oval House and Sadler’s Wells for emerging disabled dancers. He founded The Age of Unreason – a company of dancers over 60 and his own company cargogreen focusing on dance education. Before returning to Australia in 2009 Philip collaborated with disabled artists Kaz Langley, Jenny Sealey (Graeae Theatre Company) and co-founder of Candoco Dance Company, Adam Benjamin on the first stage development of The Fascination of Endurance.
Philip will now focus on developing dance education within both schools and community organisations. p h i l i p c h a n n e l l s // d a n c e i n t e g r a t e d and his team will continue to support the development of the dance landscape working with people of different backgrounds and life experience (including people with disabilities but not exclusively) across Australia and internationally.