Dance Sector Uplift

Dance Sector Uplift

In 2023 Arts Northern Rivers undertook three streams of focus to support the region’s activation, recovery and renewal in response to the devastating 2022 Floods. These project streams arose from the outcomes of the Creative Industries Recovery Forum where Public Art, First Nations Arts, and Dance/Physical Theatre were identified as areas of focus.

The Dance Sector Uplift project was designed to reactivate dance, physical theatre and experimental performance across the region.

In consultation with local artists, Arts Northern Rivers was committed to stimulating the region with a revitalisation of the dance sector by supporting activities which nourish and promote the region as a creative, thriving and growing centre of diverse embodied practice.

Local dance maker and producer, Philip Channells managed the delivery of the project. Philip works across art forms including dance/theatre, film, performance installation, community art projects, site-specific work and artist residencies with collaborators who value, challenge, redefine and inform our different perspectives of contemporary life.

“Approaching the Dance Sector Uplift (DSU) research project through a broad lens of diversity and inclusion enabled conversations amongst the sector, acknowledging the diverse cultural influences, creative practices and lived experiences of practising artists.

This conversational approach led us to realise the need for various stages of research to ensure a broad set of important voices were caught in the process.” Philip Channells

This project was informed by a multiplicity of consultation methodologies with members of the Northern Rivers performing arts sector, including local Bundjalung, Yaegl and Gumbaynggirr leaders, knowledge keepers of dance, dance makers and performers and global Indigenous and CALD artists living in the region.

Arts Northern Rivers conducted a survey inviting all artists working across an embodied practice to contribute to the research and design process for the reactivation of dance.

The results of these surveys and consultations results were analysed and complied into a full report by research agency Patternmakers in order to inform the direction and outcomes of the project. The full report is available to download here. This can be downloaded and used as a resource for all those in the dance sector.

The findings from the report were presented as a webinar to all the participants from the local dance sector, it was a valuable and interactive way to share this research with the sector. You can also listen to it below.



We would like to thank all the dancers, industry stakeholders, companies, agencies, artists and arts workers who participated in this long research project and hope that you find the report and recommendations useful in all your future work and participation in the dance sector, both locally, nationally and internationally.

Arts Northern Rivers contact

Image | Dancers: Omer Backley-Astrachan, Kirsty Kiloh, Charemaine Seet in The Draw IN by Geraldine Balcazar. Photograph by Shane Rozario.


This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body, with financial and in-kind support from Arts Northern Rivers, Lismore Quadrangle, Northern Rivers Conservatorium and Lismore Regional Gallery.