Philip Channells (creative director) began his dance training in 1998 at The Northern Rivers Conservatorium of Arts in Lismore before joining the CPA (Adelaide College of the Arts) and Link Dance Company (2003) at the Western Australia Academy of Performing Arts. Enmeshed in this training has been a commitment to developing disability arts, which he’s dedicated 15 years. He spent the first eight years of his career in Australia, gaining an understanding of contemporary dance, community cultural development and disability cultural practices, before moving to the UK in 2007. Philip worked with Candoco, StopGAP and Corali dance companies, Scottish Dance Theatre, East London Dance and Adam Benjamin (co-founder of Candoco Dance Company).
In Australia Channells has worked with Elizabeth Cameron-Dalman (The Universal Lake), Kay Armstrong (Leda), Dean Walsh (Back from Front – 1st stage development), Phillip Adams (Amplification and Self-encasing Trilogy #1: Endling) Michael Whaites, Ingrid Voorendt (Trees I’m Climbing) and Marc Brew, No Strings Attached Theatre of Disability, Tutti Arts and dFaces of Youth. He spent 10 years working with Restless Dance Theatre where he was Artistic Director (2009 – 2012). He directed Next of Kin – no ordinary status family (2010) for the Youth Ensemble and mentored Andrew Pandos in Debut 3 – the dancers direct. He was one of eight choreographers at the Australian Youth Dance Festival (2012) and showed inPerspective #1 at Australian Dance Theatre’s ‘Rough Draft’ and Ausdance SA’s ‘Choreolab’ (2012). Commissioned by DansiT in Norway, Philip choreographed and directed PERFECT (im)PERFECTIONS – stories untold for the Multiplié Dansefestival (2014) and the Sum of Us All at Zodiak – Centre for New Dance (2014).
He has acted as a Peer Advisor for the Australia Council for the Arts, sat on a selection panel for the Dancehouse (Melbourne) residency program ‘Housemate’ and was a dance judge at the Adelaide Fringe Festival in 2010 & 2013. Philip is the first dancer to be appointed by Bundanon Trust as Ambassador for the Artist in Residence program and with Gavin Webber (Animal Farm Collective) co-founded The Corner Dance Lab, a week-long dance residency program in Federal NSW.
Philip has presented his work at the Bundanon Trust, Sydney Opera House, Judith Wright Centre for Contemporary Art, National Dance Forum, Dance Your Heart Out, Arts Activated Conference, Don’t DIS my ABILITY, Dance Symposium NSW, Goldsmiths University of London, Global Dance and the Child International/World Dance Alliance Dance Summit Taipei, World Alliance for Arts Education Global Summit (Finland), Zodiak – Centre for New Dance (Helsinki) and ITAK – Regional Dance Center of Eastern Finland, and the Australia Week Celebrations in Port Moresby.
Through the JUMP National Mentoring program 2013 he worked closely with emerging artist Matt Shilcock for the first stage development of O s t e o g e n u i n e and was a personal assistant to Jianna Georgiou, Associate Artist of Dance Integrated Australia. In 2014 he will mentor Katina Olsen on the Perfect (im)Perfections project in Trondheim, Norway. He continues to act as a mentor for the DirtyFeet ‘Right Foot Project’ in Sydney and Studio Aperio in northern NSW.
Philip is fiercely committed to developing disability arts through redefining an artistic practice that integrates people from diverse backgrounds and life experience.
The Australian’s Sharon Verghis’ interview, Same, but different.
Photo: Sean Campbell