Devoted to the discipline

Nanette Hassall, head of WAAPA’s dance department and lifelong devotee of the art, has been appointed a member of the Order of Australia. Picture: Elle Borgward www.communitypix.com.au d402851
Nanette Hassall, head of WAAPA’s dance department and lifelong devotee of the art, has been appointed a member of the Order of Australia. Picture: Elle Borgward www.communitypix.com.au d402851

Ms Hassall was one of 39 West Australians named in the Queens Birthday Honour List and one of just eight West Australians named as an AM.

She has dedicated her career to growing her love for dance and helping others excel in the area with positions including the chair of the Tertiary Dance Council of Australia and Member of the Australia Council Dance Board.

She also founded the Dance Works Company, co-founded the Dance Exchange Company and is currently the Head of Dance at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts.

Ms Hassall said she has loved every minute of her life in the field.

‘I was lucky enough to have extraordinary and inspiring teachers who were truly passionate about the form,’ she said.

‘I worked with some of the great choreographers. Tudor and Limon were great influences on me at Juilliard and then working with Cunningham in New York.

‘The skills were physically difficult to achieve and it was exhilarating to find that physical capability in oneself and the increasing aesthetic awareness required to bring meaning to the movement so ultimately the discipline itself was seductive.’

She said the appointment was not only important for her, but for dance in general.

‘Traditionally considered the ‘Cinderella’ of the arts spectrum, advocacy on behalf of the field is important,’ she said.

‘It is also a field which educates, attracts and employs a large number of women and I think recognition is consequently event more significant in the society in which we live.

‘I work with a wonderful team of people and hope this award is a way of recognising them also.’

– FORMER Attorney General and East Fremantle resident Jim McGinty has also been appointed a member of the Order of Australia.

Mr McGinty was given the honour in recognition of his services to the WA Parliament, to law reform and to the community.