Established in 1991 by UK dance artist Sally Chance and Tania Rose, Restless Dance Theatre has evolved into a trailblazing force in the world of contemporary dance. The journey began with a transformative project supported by Carclew Youth Arts during Sally’s visit to Adelaide. Fueled by a vision to celebrate diversity, Sally laid the foundation for a unique working method that transcended traditional boundaries in the dance world.

From its inception, Restless Dance Theatre has been a pioneer in inclusivity, primarily engaging dancers with intellectual disabilities. It became a haven where disabled and non-disabled dancers collaborate seamlessly, producing high-quality work born out of their collective responses to creative challenges.

The legacy continued with a line of remarkable artistic directors. Kat Worth, a dramaturg, director, choreographer, and accredited teacher, led the company from 2001 to 2006. Ingrid Voorendt, a choreographer, director, and former Artistic Director of Restless Dance Theatre, furthered the company’s reach during her tenure from 2007 to 2008.

In 2009, Restless Dance Theatre made history by appointing Philip Channells as the first artistic director with a disability in any Australian dance company [Source]. This marked a significant milestone in the company’s commitment to breaking barriers and redefining norms in the dance industry. Following in Channells’ groundbreaking footsteps, Michelle Ryan, a dancer and choreographer with multiple sclerosis, assumed the role in 2013.

Michelle’s journey, from her early career with the Australian Dance Theatre to her triumphant return to dance after a diagnosis of MS, exemplifies the resilience and creativity embedded in Restless. Under Michelle’s leadership, the company underwent a transformative evolution.

In 2013, Michelle established “The Company,” a core performance ensemble comprising seven professional dancers. This ensemble not only undergoes rigorous training but also showcases major touring works from the repertoire in festivals and arts centers globally. Restless is committed to fair compensation, ensuring that its dancers receive full LPA rates for all performances.

The ensemble’s reach extends far and wide, with notable performances at prestigious events such as the Adelaide Festival, Sydney Festival at the Sydney Opera House, Brisbane Festival, and international collaborations, including a partnership with Chunky Move in Melbourne. Restless Dance Theatre continues to push boundaries, challenge perceptions, and redefine what is possible in the world of dance.

Join us on our journey as we celebrate diversity, foster inclusivity, and create innovative and captivating dance experiences for audiences worldwide.

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