Leigh Warren & Dancers.jpg

Dance Hub SA, formerly Leigh Warren & Dancers or Leigh Warren + Dancers (LWD) and then LWDance Hub, is a contemporary dance company based in the South Australian capital of Adelaide. Formed in 1993 by Leigh Warren, the company toured internationally and won several awards.

In its 2019 incarnation as Dance Hub SA, it has increasingly taken on the role of peak body within the state, playing an advocacy and education role for dancers and choreographers. It is a community space for both emerging and established artists, with a program that includes artists-in-residence and an international exchange program.


1993: creation

The dance troupe was formed in 1993 by Leigh Warren (formerly of the Australian Dance Theatre), named Leigh Warren + Dancers, which moved into the loft studio of the newly-created Lion Arts Centre, on the corner of North Terrace and Morphett Street, Adelaide.[1]

2011: loss of funding

The company lost its funding from the Australia Council as well as a guarantee of similar funding from Arts SA in 2011, leaving it to rely on major sponsors and benefactors and smaller funding bodies.[2]

2014: New director?

In 2014, Warren handed over the reigns first as resident choreographer, then (in 2015) as artistic director to the 28-year-old dancer and choreographer Daniel Jaber, who, like Warren, had established his skills with the Australian Dance Theatre. His work was in contemporary ballet rather than contemporary dance, but he hoped to "present everything from super experimental work to the high gloss stuff". He had considered changing the company’s name from Leigh Warren Dance (sic) to Daniel Jaber Dance in the future, but thinks it is more likely that LWD would remain in any change of name.[2])

However, only a year later came the news that Jaber had departed for Los Angeles and that LWD would be transformed into a dance hub, "a dedicated dance arts venue and incubator that supports and develops mid career, independent and emerging artists". Jaber cited lack of funding as the main reason for his departure: the Australia Council triennial funding had expired in 2012, and the company had been surviving on project grants ever since. Only one out of nine of Jaber's applications for funding for 2015 had been successful: the SA government had contributed a grant of A$50,000, which was hardly enough to pay a single salary. There were other reasons too, some personal, but he was working on forming a new company which would work across international borders. Jaber pointed to some successful developments at the company under his management – workshops and masterclasses with some of the best dancers from around the country, and the establishment of an education and community program and the appointment of an education manager, Kialea-Nadine Williams.[3]

2016: LWDance Hub

In 2016, Warren reshaped the company to accommodate the reduced funding, rebranding it as LWDance Hub, relying on residencies, workshops and open house sessions for performers and choreographers to hone their skills.[1][4]

From early 2018 through to July 2019, the LWDance Hub supported 33 creative endeavours, presented 25 new works for the Adelaide Fringe and SALA Festival, and had 200 artists take part in its programs.[1]

2019: Dance Hub SA

In July 2019, Warren handed over the artistic directorship to choreographer and multimedia artist Amanda Phillips, at the same time renaming the company Dance Hub South Australia (later changing this to Dance Hub SA, with Warren staying on as patron[5]).

Dance Hub SA was officially launched in August 2019, with the rebranding reinforcing the organisation as the peak body for dance in the state. The Hub is intended as a community space for both emerging and established dancers and choreographers, with one of its goals being for it to be the bridge between formal education and "the real world", creating another pathway (outside of dance companies) for aspiring choreographers to hone their craft. The "Mind The Gap" residency program is a partnership with Tasmanian company , and the Artist in Residence program. The inaugural artist on a new international exchange program would be Wu Chien-Wei, from Taiwan’s Tussock Dance Theatre.[6]

Selected works

Works performed by Leigh Warren & Dancers include:[7]

  • Quiver (1997 in Adelaide and Canberra; 1998 in Brisbane)
  • Shimmer (1999 – toured widely in Australia; also filmed for ABC TV)
  • Masterpieces of the 20th C (1999)
  • Silent Cries (1999)
  • Wanderlust: a collaboration with Japanese choreographer Uno Man (2007)
  • Frame and Circle: Choreographers: Prue Lang Rubicon and Leigh Warren Meridian (2010 at The Space in the Adelaide Festival Centre)[8]
  • Dreamscape, consisting of two works: Dream Time: (previously choreographed by Jiri Kylian, premiered in 1983) and Escape (choreographed by Leigh Warren and (2011; part of the 5th OzAsia Festival, and with music by Simon Tedeschi)[9][10]


1997 – Inaugural Adelaide Critics' Circle Award[17]

  • Best Performance by a Group — LWD for Quiver

1999Australian Dance Awards[18]

  • Outstanding Performance by a Dance Company — for Masterpieces of the 20thC
  • Best Choreography — Leigh Warren for Shimmer
  • Outstanding Performance by an Individual Dance Artist — Delia Silvan for Silent Cries

2000 – The Sidney Myer Performing Arts Awards[19]

  • Group Award Winner

2001Green Room Award

  • Best Female Performer — Rachel Jenson for Quick Brown Fox
  • Best Male Performer — Peter Furness for Quick Brown Fox
  • Best Ensemble — Quick Brown Fox

2002 – Adelaide Critics' Circle

  • Commendation for Akhnaten[17]

2003 – Green Room Award

  • Best Dance Ensemble — for Akhnaten[20]

2004 – Adelaide Critics' Circle

  • Individual Award — Leigh Warren for Einstein on the Beach (Parts 3 & 4)[17]

2005 – Adelaide Critics' Circle

  • Innovation Award — Leigh Warren and for Petroglyphs — Signs of Life[13][17]

2010 – Australia Business Arts Foundation (AbaF) inaugural Arts & Health Foundation Award

In film

A number of dancers from the company performed in the film The Diaries of Vaslav Nijinsky (2001), made by Paul Cox.[22]


  1. ^ a b c d McDonald, Patrick (23 July 2019). "Acclaimed choreographer Leigh Warren hands over control of rebranded SA dance hub". Adelaide Now. The Advertiser. Retrieved 6 August 2019.
  2. ^ a b c d Lloyd, Tim (7 April 2014). "Historic changing of the guard at Leigh Warren Dancers". Adelaide Now. The Advertiser. Retrieved 6 August 2019.
  3. ^ "Why Daniel Jaber left Leigh Warren and Dancers". Dance Australia. 19 January 2016. Retrieved 6 August 2019.
  4. ^ Website here: LWDance Hub
  5. ^ "The board and staff". Dance Hub SA. Retrieved 6 August 2019.
  6. ^ 14 August 2019, Vanessa. "Dance Hub SA takes the next step". Adelaide Review. Retrieved 18 August 2019. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)>
  7. ^ "Leigh Warren and Dancers". AusStage. Retrieved 7 August 2019.
  8. ^ Louise Nunn (12 March 2010). "Frame and Circle: Leigh Warren and Dancers". The Advertiser. Retrieved 9 September 2010.
  9. ^ Alan Brissenden (8 September 2011). "Dreams of darkness and light". The Australian. Retrieved 8 September 2011.
  10. ^ Tonkin, Maggie (12 October 2011). "Leigh Warren & Dancers: 'Dreamscape'". Dance Australia. Retrieved 7 August 2019.
  11. ^ Interview with Leigh Warren, The Deep End, ABC Radio National, broadcast: 10 March 2003
  12. ^ 'Quick Brown Fox' a dense, difficult puzzle, The San Diego Union Tribune, 17 March 2006
  13. ^ a b Louise Nunn (21 October 2008). "Works of art spring to life". The Advertiser. Retrieved 9 September 2010.
  14. ^ Leigh Warren & Dancers past works Archived 16 February 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  15. ^ Kaleva, Daniela (19 October 2010). "Adelaide Reviews: Maria de Buenos Aires – State Opera of South Australia and Leigh Warren & Dancers". Australian Stage. Retrieved 6 August 2019.
  16. ^ Robin Usher (15 October 2003). "Song and dance man". The Age. Melbourne, Australia. ISSN 0312-6307. Retrieved 1 May 2011.
  17. ^ a b c d "Awards Archive". Adelaide Critics Circle. Retrieved 24 March 2008.
  18. ^ Australian Dance Council. "The Australian Dance Awards". Archived from the original on 8 October 2007. Retrieved 24 March 2008.
  19. ^ "Previous winners Sidney Myer Performing Arts Awards" (PDF). Myer Family Philanthropy. Archived from the original (PDF) on 29 August 2007.
  20. ^ "Cabaret streaks in at the 2003 Green Room Awards". State of the Arts. 19 April 2004. Archived from the original on 22 July 2008. Retrieved 24 March 2008.
  21. ^ Valerina Changarathil (3 September 2010). "Private sector is big boost to arts". The Advertiser. Retrieved 9 September 2010.
  22. ^ Andrew L. Urban, "Cox, Paul: NijinskY", Urban Cinefile, 25 April 2002 accessed 6 August 2019.

Further reading

External links