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Innovative arts leader bound for Western Sydney.
The FORM Dance Projects Board is pleased to announce the appointment of a new Creative Director.
Paul Selwyn Norton will start as Creative Director on 1 May 2023. Paul’s tenure will build on the legacy of outgoing Director, Annette McLernon, who developed FORM into a dynamic presenter and producer of Australian contemporary dance.
FORM will continue to be proudly based in based in Parramatta, Western Sydney.
As an experienced senior arts leader, Norton will look to strengthen FORM’s role in supporting independent Australian dance artists and develop audiences for contemporary dance. The FORM Board is particularly drawn to Paul’s capability as a sector innovator, and his significant record of delivering acclaimed programs with both emerging and internationally acclaimed artists.
Norton has a particular take on independent arts practice, where he sees it more as a vehicle of creative entrepreneurship. He explains, “This is a very exciting time to be joining FORM Dance Projects. With the current development in both the business and cultural sectors in Parramatta, there is a real opportunity to plug FORM into that entrepreneurial energy and burgeoning local community.”
“As the incoming Creative Director, I am thrilled to be able to add agency, value and connectivity to FORM’s brilliant Board and dedicated team, and together co-create a vital future for contemporary dance in Western Sydney”, says Norton.
While at STRUT Dance Paul delivered acclaimed large-scale performances and venue activations through the Perth Festival, the Forrest’s Minderoo Foundation, WA Museum – Boola Bardip, and Fringeworld – the most notable being SUNSET, a creative reclamation of Claremont’s Old Men’s Hospital from Punchdrunk’s Maxine Dolye. Another project – One Flat Thing, Reproduced from William Forsythe – was situated outside in the courtyard of the State Theatre Centre of WA. Both included independent practitioners as the core creative, production and technical teams.
Paul also developed studio opportunities for dance makers nationally, delivered by locally and internationally recognised luminaries like Ohad Naharin, Stephanie Lake, Annette Carmichael, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui and Crystal Pite.
The Board is looking forward to working with Norton and draw on his extensive experience in developing a holistic program with and for dance makers, that is supported by audiences as well as private and public partners. FORM Dance Projects Chair, Mark Lillis explains, “Paul is a great fit for FORM because we both value innovation and risk-taking as a way to build robust partnerships. This approach fosters community engagement and delivers valuable outcomes for dance makers and audiences”.
Lillis continues, “FORM holds a well-established position…25 years strong in 2025…and is locally and nationally recognised for its work. This next phase will ensure that FORM is future-fit to deliver its mission and continue its critical support of independent dance in Western Sydney and beyond.”