Dance Massive

Over ten years and six editions, Dance Massive (2009–2019) became an iconic biennial festival offering an intensive fortnight of dance works across venues in Melbourne.

75,000+ attendances
136 presentation seasons
64 world premiere seasons
2000+ artists, dancers, choreographers

Since 2009, Dance Massive existed as the simultaneous biennial programming of contemporary dance works and associated public and industry events by three Melbourne arts organisations – Arts House, Dancehouse and Malthouse Theatre in association with long-term associate partner Ausdance Victoria and in 2019 new associate partners Abbotsford Convent, Temperance Hall and THE SUBSTATION.

The sixth Dance Massive was presented in Melbourne from 12-24 March 2019.

In 2020 things are looking a little different. Dance Massive in March 2021 is no longer possible.

Arts House and Dancehouse recently held an online presentation to explain that Dance Massive as we knew it will not proceed in 2021. You can watch a recording of that session here or read the transcript here.

What we have learned over the last 12 years is that Dance Massive has created a legacy:

– There is a passionate, large audience for dance
– The ethos of Dance Massive – a partnership and affiliation of organisations – can create a great festival
– While Dance Massive proved year on year to be hugely successful, the old model is no longer sustainable

Arts House along with Dancehouse remain deeply committed to Australian dance artists, and a dance festival in Melbourne for audiences.

That said, we’ve got a lot of questions:

– What kind of festival is it?
– Who will be part of it?
– How does it work and how will it be resourced?
– What is the model that fits how the dance sector looks now?
– If Dance Massive 2009-19 built audiences for dance, what our ambition will be for the next 10 years?
– How might an artform festival begin through conversation with the dance sector?
– What is dance 10 years on from Dance Massive?
– What dance is now?

There is work to do. And things to discover.

Consultation and re-thinking is underway.

Artists, organisations, communities and Governments are undertaking research and taking pause to regroup, and discover new configurations, new potentials.

For more about Co-Design: Imagine a festival for dance in Melbourne read here.

Previous Dance Massive programs

2009 / 2011 /2013 / 2015 / 2017 / 2019

For all enquiries, please contact us via email.

Image: Cella –  Narelle Benjamin and Paul White as part of Dance Massive 2019. Image by Pippa Samaya