Dalman, Elizabeth Cameron (1934--) By Fensham, Rachel
In a career that has spanned over sixty years, Elizabeth Cameron Dalman has been shaped by a politically progressive view of the role of dance and choreography in Australia and has created works inspired by contemporary paintings, music, political and artistic figures as well as the cosmologies of the natural world. Inspired by her involvement with European and American modern dance, she established Australian Dance Theatre, the first professional modern dance company in Australia in 1965, and developed dances that were engaged with social issues, such as Aboriginal and women’s rights. From her early works to the present, she has had a passion for the Australian landscape and used dance to celebrate its beauty and environmental fragility. As a modern dance ambassador, Dalman initiated the first tour of an Australian dance company to Southeast Asia in the 1970s and established an international profile for Australian dance. Always an educator, she continues her choreographic practice with Mirramu Dance Company, as well as her participation in international collaborations with artists from Taiwan, Japan, Singapore, Senegal, and Austria. She was awarded an Order of Australia for her contribution to contemporary dance in Australia, and in 2015 was appointed Patron of the fiftieth anniversary celebrations.