Shirley McKechnie

Australia, 1988

A still image from Shirley McKechnie

Episode of Series “Dance: Videos of Australian dancers and choreographers”.
Shirley McKechnie trained in the Bodenweiser technique with Hanny Kolm and Daisy Pirnitzer. McKechnie speaks about her formative years and her desire to develop a philosophy of art and, through that, a philosophy of life. McKechnie started the “Contemporary Dance Theatre of Melbourne” with a group of her students and together they explored a range of techniques in order to develop a style relevant to the Australian experience. McKechnie played a pivotal role in establishing dance training at a tertiary level in Australia and was a co-founder of the “Australian Association of Dance Education”. McKechnie recalls her relationship with Dame Peggy van Praagh and their shared desire to develop the intellectual ability of dance artists. Through her involvement with education departments, arts organisations and performing companies, McKechnie has had a profound influence on the direction of dance training in Australia. Researched and interviewed by James Murdoch.

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Peter Campbell

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Australia Council



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Dance: Videos of Australian dancers and choreographers


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