About Big Dance

Big Dance is the largest free participatory festival that engages thousands of people in unifying choreographic pieces, performed across local regional and metropolitan communities. This biennial festival of dance commissions acclaimed choreographers to create a work that can be learnt by anyone in the world, through online tutorials and community workshops.

Big Dance Australia

In 2018, Big Dance UK passed on the legacy of hosting Big Dance worldwide to Australia, led by Ausdance NSW and Ausdance Victoria. The inaugural Big Dance 2018 - Big Heart Story is choreographed by Frances Rings and Craig Bary. Big Dance 2018:

  • Engaged over 4,200 individuals who joined the nationwide dance performances across five states

  • Ran 120+ free dance workshops across Australia in three months

  • Reached an audience of almost 1,000 during the event live stream on International Dance Day

Aims of Big Dance:

  • Raise participation in and appreciation of dance

  • Deliver a dance program that provides creative health and community benefits, and contributes to social interaction and cohesion

  • Enable people to be part of their ‘local’ community and ‘virtual community’

  • Engage with existing and develop new participants and audiences for dance

  • Promote on-going engagement with dance

History of Big Dance

Big Dance originated in London in 2006, led by the Mayor of London in partnership with People Dancing and the Big Dance Hubs, a network of leading dance organisations across the UK. This biennial celebration of dance has inspired thousands of people to get dancing in London, the UK and internationally. In 2016, London hosted their final Festival with over 42,000 people in 44 countries around the world learning or using the commissioned choreography to create their own spectacular performances. 

More info about Big Dance in UK. 

In 2014, Ausdance NSW was part of a partnership initiative led by the Greater London Authority, People Dancing, Sydney Dance Company, Get Scotland Dancing, Arts Council England and the British Council. Over 2000 participants learnt the choreography commissioned specifically for this event by Sydney Dance Company’s Rafael Bonachela. Big Dance was performed and filmed at Sydney Opera House, Bega and Port Macquarie, with live satellite links to London and Glasgow.

In 2016, Ausdance NSW worked with inter-state partners, Tracks Dance Company (Darwin, NT) and Ausdance QLD (Brisbane) to teach participants choreography by Akram Khan. In the Northern Territory, over 75 dancers performed in front of approximately 8,000 onlookers during the Territory Day festivities. Meanwhile, in Brisbane over 50 dancers performed at the Brisbane Powerhouse and footage was uploaded to the Big Dance UK website and screened at the 2016 Australian Dance Awards.

More info on 2014 and 2016 Big Dance.