Canberra Dance Theatre (CDT) is Canberra's leading non-profit community dance company.
CDT began life in Canberra as the New University Dance Ensemble (NUDE) in 1977 under the leadership of Diana Shohet, Lorna Marshall and Graham Farquar. In 1978, NUDE became the Canberra Dance Ensemble, and the company was handed over to Artistic Director, Stephanie Burridge. A name change from the Canberra Dance Ensemble to the Canberra Dance Theatre occurred in 1983 as an indication of the wider and more theatrical vision the company wished to pursue in its performances.
The company has worked both with the local dance community and with many significant Australian dancers, choreographers, musicians and designers, including Stephanie Burridge, Elizabeth Cameron (Wilson) Dalman, Kai Tai Chan, Julia Cotton, Patrick Harding-Irmer, Anca Frankenhauser, Beth Shelton, Anna Smith, Cheryl Stock, Andris Toppe, Wendy Wallace, Bernadette Walong, Graeme Watson, Meg Millband and Amalia Horden. Many Canberra Dance Theatre company members have gone on to attain places in companies and productions, both in Australia and internationally.
CDT has provided dance opportunities and experiences for the local ACT and NSW recreational and tertiary-trained dance population, together with professional and interstate dance artists.
This integration of professional and community practice is a defining and unique aspect of the company’s history. It is also one that has enabled it to survive a long and often challenging arts environment.
To be a distinct and integral component of a vibrant, diverse and sustainable dance culture in the ACT region through the delivery of inclusive dance education and performance.
To contribute to the dance culture of the ACT region through quality dance education, dance performance, and engagement with local artists and organisations.