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Garry Stewart

Garry Stewart At the age of 20 Garry ceased his university studies in Social Work to commence training to become a dancer. Following initial studies in ballet and contemporary dance in Sydney he trained at the Australian Ballet School in Melbourne. Garry danced with a number of companies, including Australian Dance Theatre, Queensland Ballet and One Extra Company, before he began his career as a choreographer. From 1990 - 1998 Garry was based in Sydney operating as a freelance choreographer making works on some of Australia's notable contemporary dance companies, such as Chunky Move and Sydney Dance Company, as well as independent work presented at such venues as the Performance Space in Sydney. In this period he also created choreographies for most of Australia's major tertiary dance training institutions - the Victorian College of the Arts, Queensland University of Technology, the Centre for Performing Arts and the University of Western Sydney. In 1998, he set up the Sydney-based company, Thwack!, creating two dance works: Plastic Space, which premiered at the Melbourne Festival and subsequently toured Australia; and the first stage of Birdbrain, a deconstruction of Swan Lake. Housedance was Garry's first project for ADT. Commissioned for the International Millennium Broadcast it was performed on the outside of the main sail of the Sydney Opera House on New Year's Eve 1999 to an estimated television audience of two billion. His first full-length work with ADT was the hugely successful Birdbrain which was performed to audiences totalling ten of thousands across four continents. Other works for the company include Plastic Space, Monstrosity (made for the Australian Festival for Young People); The Age of Unbeauty, Nothing, HELD, Devolution and G. In 2005 he co-produced Vocabulary with Kat Worth from Restless Dance Company, a dance company for young people with and without a disability. In this year he also choreographed the dance film Nascent with U.K. film maker Gina Czarnecki in 2004. Nascent has won numerous awards including the IMZ Dance Screen Delegates' Award. HELD, which premiered at the 2004 Adelaide Bank Festival of Arts, is a unique collaboration with renowned U.S. dance photographer Lois Greenfield. Winner of three Helpmann and three Australian Dance awards, HELD has toured the globe extensively, including a sell out season in Paris' esteemed Théâtre de la Ville. Devolution won the 2006 Helpmann Award for Best New Australian Work. Garry's ambitious collaboration with renowned Canadian robotics artist Louis-Philippe Demers has picked up seven other awards since its premiere and was critically acclaimed during its 2007 season at Théâtre de la Ville (Paris). Garry co-produced and directed the dance gala UNIFIED for UNICEF Australia in April, 2006 which raised over $110,000 for the Gap Youth Centre for indigenous young people outside of Alice Springs and an HIV/AIDS program for children in Laos. His work with director Nigel Jamieson on Honour Bound - a dance, film, theatre and aerial performance exploring the experiences of Terry Hicks and his son David who was imprisoned at Guantanamo Bay - won the 2008 Australian Dance award for Outstanding Achievement in Choreography. Garry's extensive international reputation attracted significant support for his 2008 mainstage work, G. It was co-commissioned by The Joyce Theater's Stephen and Cathy Weinroth Fund for New Work (New York), Southbank Centre (London) and Merrigong Theatre Co. at Illawarra Performing Arts Centre (Wollongong) and co-produced by Théâtre de la Ville (Paris). Garry is currently working with renowned NYC architectural firm Diller Scofidio + Renfro (DS+R) on a new work titled Be Your Self which will debut in Adelaide in early 2010. Since 2007 Garry was invited to create work by international dance companies. As a guest international choreographer with Rambert Dance Company in 2007 he created Infinity. The work has now been seen throughout the U.K. In 2008 Garry was the International Artist in Residence for the inaugural International Dance Festival Birmingham in the UK. During his time in the role he created a new work Magnification for Bare Bones Dance Company and developed choreographic material with Birmingham Royal Ballet. Following his work the 2009 Sydney Festival for which he choreographed The Sydney which was performed by 300,000 people at the opening night event, Garry worked with the Royal New Zealand Ballet on a remount of one his older works Currently Under Investigation. In 2001 Garry was awarded a Centenary Medal from the Australian Government for his service to Australian society and dance. He has been awarded a number of fellowships and scholarships, including the biennial Sir Robert Helpmann Fellowship from the NSW Ministry for the Arts, which he used to study release technique at the Susan Klein School of Dance in New York and an Australia Council Fellowship to research dance and new media technologies. He has also been the recipient of two fellowships from the Australian Choreographic Centre in Canberra. Routledge Publishing included Garry's biography in the revised edition of Fifty Contemporary Choreographers which provides a unique guide to today's most important dance-makers. Throughout the mid 1990's Garry studied for a Bachelor of Arts in Communication at the University of Technology Sydney majoring in cultural theory and film, video and new media production.

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