Nanette Hassall


Nanette Hassall 1992

After studying ballet and modern dance in Australia, in 1969 Nanette received a scholarship to the Juilliard School of Music in New York, where she majored in Dance. She studied with Anthony Tudor, Jose Limon and members of the Graham Company. She then joined the Merce Cunningham Company in New York, before moving to London to dance with Ballet Rambert and the innovative group Strider directed by Richard Alston. Nanette taught at taught Opleiding Moderne Dans School, Amsterdam and at Darlington College in England with Mary Fulkerson developing a foundation in Release work.

She returned to Australia to join the Dance Company NSW (later renamed Sydney Dance Company) under Jaap Flier and established Dance Exchange with Russell Dumas. She then taught at Deakin University and Rusden College before joining the Victorian College of the Arts as lecturer in Charge of Contemporary Studies. In January 1983 Nanette founded Dance Works in Melbourne, whose work was primarily directed towards the development of Australian choreography and choreographers. As Artistic Director from 1983 to 1989 she choreographed over forty new works for major public seasons both in Australia and overseas.

As a dance advocate, she has served on numerous panels and boards including The Australia Council, the Australia-New Zealand Choreographers and Composers Project, the Green Mill Dance Board and Buzz Dance Theatre. Nanette was awarded a choreographic fellowship in 1994 to research movement at RMIT in conjunction with a Masters program. Nanette was appointed Head of the Dance Department at The Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA) in 1995. In 1996 she choreographed a new work entitled The Ethereal Eye for the Adelaide Festival. In 2000 Nanette was appointed the Chair of the Tertiary Dance Council of Australia and has also been the Chair of the World Dance Alliance Choreography and Performance Committee for the Asia-Pacific Region. In 2002 Nanette received the Ausdance National Award for Services to Dance Education. She has made works for Dance Works, Tasdance, Dance North, Australian Dance Theatre and a number of works for the students at WAAPA. Tasdance has performed a number of Nanette's works including Silken Tent, Rainbow Bandit, Forcefield, Pyralis, Or Is It?, Trespassing on Borrowed Time, Faster Than Photos and As the Crow Flies.