Director February 2011- March 2023
Annette McLernon was the Director of FORM Dance Projects 2011 – 2023 and in this time steered the company to be a leading presenter and producer of independent contemporary dance in Sydney.
Annette was responsible for the artistic vision and direction of FORM Dance Projects for over a decade including curating and presenting the signature Dance Bites (2011-2017), building the annual youth dance festival Sharp Short Dance into a popular, diverse and inclusive community event on a national platform, fostering and significantly supporting the emergence of new Western Sydney collectives of dance artists such as the We Are Here Company and Dance Makers Collective, and creatively producing new Australian dance productions.
As Executive Producer at FORM, Annette commissioned and produced 4 large scale genre-defying festival projects including PUNCTURE, directed by Patrick Nolan, co-produced by FORM, Legs On The Wall and VOX, Sydney Philharmonia Choirs for Sydney Festival 2015; the award winning CHAMPIONS, directed by Martin del Amo, featuring a stellar female cast of Australian contemporary dancers, presented in Sydney Festival 2017 at Carriageworks. CHAMPIONS received the Australian Dance Awards 2018, Outstanding Achievement in Independent Dance; and ENCOUNTER, a large scale site-specific work of joy, directed by Emma Saunders, featuring 75 artists, young Western Sydney dancers and musicians, presented at Four Winds Spring Festival 2019 and Sydney Festival 2020. Currently, Annette is Executive Producer of Kairos, directed by Meryl Tankard AO, with composer Elena Kats-Chernin AO, visual artist, Regis Lansac OAM, collaborating with the next generation of Australian dance makers, presented in Sydney Festival 2023.
Prior to FORM Annette worked for major arts organisations and festivals in Australia. Annette has worked as Film Program Manager for Perth International Arts Festival (WA) and Program Manager for Bundanon Trust (NSW). At Bundanon Trust, Annette was responsible for curating and developing the multi-disciplinary international and national artist-in-residence program and the public event program featuring many of Australia’s leading visual artists, writers, musicians and performers.
As Bundanon Program Manager, Annette reached out to the local Yuin-Wodi Wodi indigenous community in Nowra to forge stronger connections between Bundanon Trust and the Nowra Land Council, Donooch Dancers and the Aboriginal teachers at local public schools. During this time, the inaugural Bundanon Indigenous Reference Group was established which included Frances Rings and Brook Andrew. The community outreach culminated in a very significant Welcome to Country at Bundanon, with 110 participants predominantly First Nations, welcoming the participants of the inaugural Indigenous Performance Lab facilitated by Lily Shearer for Performance Space. The ceremony included Elders from the Nowra Local Aboriginal Land Council, Boolarng Nangamia artists, and visiting guest artists from Papunya Tula including Michael Tjakamarra. These initiatives led to successful funding by the Australia Council for the Arts of Bundanon Blak, a mentored visual and performing arts skills program for local indigenous young people. There was also a significant increase in renowned professional Indigenous artists participating in the curated Bundanon artist in residence program and public events which continues to this day. Annette was the producer of Bundanon’s 15th Birthday celebration, 2008, celebrating the legacy of Arthur Boyd’s gift to Australia, featuring Jimmy Little, Kate-Miller Heidke and William Barton.
While at PIAF Annette curated and presented the international art house film festival and a new program Somerville Live 2005 featuring films with live soundtracks performed by Slava Grigoryan (The Widower), Jen Anderson (The Sentimental Bloke) and Ed Kuepper and Jeffrey Wegener (Len Lye animations) in the Somerville cathedral of pines.
Annette has 20 years experience in strategic planning, marketing, partnership and philanthropic development for art organisations and not-for-profits.
Annette has a Master of Arts in Film and TV from the Australian Film Television and Radio School, 1999, and has worked as a producer and editor on documentaries and animations in Australia and Europe.
Program Manager (September 2017 – March 2023)
Agnes Michelet has been Program Manager at FORM Dance Projects since 2017. Agnes migrated from France to Australia in 2000. Over the past 30 years, she has worked with a broad range of performing arts companies, including in France the European Centre for Contemporary Mimodrama (L’oeil du Silence), multimedia dance artist Jean-Marc Matos and physical theatre company Friches Theatre Urbain. The latter brought her to the Perth International Arts Festival in 1998 and 1999. Her passion for contemporary dance led her to join Ausdance WA as administrator, then special projects manager. In 2005, she was appointed Director of STRUT dance, which she developed into an established choreographic development centre over eight years working alongside Sue Peacock. In 2012, she inaugurated with Michelle Saunders of Ausdance WA the Perth contemporary dance festival MoveMe. She holds an MBA with French First Business School HEC-Paris. In 2016 she graduated from a Master’s degree in Cross-disciplinary Art and Design with the University of New South Wales (former College of Fine Arts). She received a WA Award for services to dance in 2008 and was granted an Asialink Residency in Jakarta in 2010. She was the General Manager of Tracks Dance Company directed by David McMicken and Tim Newth from 2015 till 2017. A classically trained pianist and contemporary dancer in her early twenties, she continues to this day her exploration of the breadth of Australian dance expression.