2013 Tanja Liedtke Fellowship

Joseph Simons www.josephsimonsdance.com

The Tanja Liedtke Foundation is pleased to announce that Joseph Simons is the winner of the 2013 Tanja Liedtke Fellowship. Simons, a 25 year old dancer and choreographer from Dubbo in NSW was chosen by the Foundation’s Board of Trustees from an exceptional field of candidates from all over Australia.

A graduate of the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts, Simons is very aware of the uniqueness of this award. “What Tanja did was extraordinary. Her body of work was extremely inspiring to me when I was a student at WAAPA, and I’m so thrilled to be entrusted with this Fellowship that honours her legacy,” said Simons. “I’m also very grateful to the Trustees for giving me such an opportunity. I look forward to experiencing it all but, more importantly, I can’t wait to bring my discoveries back to Australia and continuing work as a more informed creator.”

The Fellowship, now being awarded for the third time, is a unique international exchange program and Simons receives the Fellowship knowing that the program he will embark upon will be challenging, rich in artistic exchange and likely to have a huge impact on his career.

The program starts with a three week creative residency at ada Studios in Berlin, where Simons will work with local artists and have the chance to show his work to an invited audience. The residency coincides with Berlin’s international contemporary dance festival, Tanz im August. Following the residency, Simons will travel to Frankfurt to take up a place in the International Summer Lab presented and facilitated by Tanzlabor_21, Frankfurt’s central hub for independent contemporary dance theatre.

Gerlinde Liedtke, chair of the board of Trustees of the Tanja Liedtke Foundation, said, ”The Board of Trustees is delighted to award the 2013 Tanja Liedtke Fellowship to Joseph Simons.
Joseph impressed us with his talent and commitment to contemporary dance, as well as presenting a convincing concept for his dance work to be developed in Berlin. We are confident that Joseph will benefit from the artistic environment of Berlin and Frankfurt and gain the necessary inspiration for his choreographic development. I am sure he will be a good ambassador for the arts and Australia”.

When the dance world lost Tanja Liedtke in 2007 in a tragic accident, it lost one of its brightest and most talented stars. The recent release of the documentary Life in Movement, about Liedtke’s creative life, reinforced the speculation regarding her potential to enrich the contemporary dance landscape in Australia, and how the dance theatre genre would have found a whole new invigoration.  Not only was Liedtke talented, she lived and breathed the need for artistic adventure and collaboration, with an unwavering commitment to what she wanted to say with her art and how she wanted to say it. The Fellowship that bears her name is designed and offered to encourage that same set of objectives.

Joseph Simons follows previous Fellowship winners Antony Hamilton (2009) and Katarzyna Sitarz (2011) in winning this prestigious award.