The winners of the 11th annual Sharp Short Dance festival, presented by FORM Dance Projects, were announced on Saturday 17th November following an impressive final event held at Riverside Theatres.

Sharp Short Dance aims to encourage youth participation in all genres of dance, and provide a platform for choreographers and dancers to showcase their talent and network with peers and industry experts.

The judging panel included members of the dance industry including Katina Olsen (former Bangarra Dance Theatre dancer), Cadi McCarthy (Catapult Dance), James Barry (Phly Crew), Omer Backley-Astrachan (coordinator of Sydney Dance Company’s Pre-Professional Year) and Emma Saunders (Independent Artist). Awards were presented by City of Parramatta Councillor Lorraine Wearne and the host of the event, dance artist Kay Armstrong.

A record number of 170 dancers competed in this year’s event. From a total of 53 dance works, 17 were selected to continue to the final.

Sophie Carathanassis, winner of Outstanding Female Dancer and the Sydney Dance Company Pre-Professional Year Secondment said, “A moment like this is a dream I thought would never come true. Sharp Short Dance has allowed me to see a new future for myself as a dancer.”

The 2018 Sharp Short Dance award winners are:

Most Innovative Choreography – Opal Russell (A Sigh)

Outstanding Male Dancer – Isaac Clark (Introvert Fractum)

Outstanding Female Dancer – Sophie Carathanassis (Dark Matter)

Outstanding Solo Performance – Karlia Cook (Tools of the Soul)

Outstanding Duet Performance – Myra Maree Tauei and Jasmene Arokapiti (Island for Edge)

Outstanding Ensemble Performance – Alex Mencinsky, Airu Matsuda, Lillian Grant, Brielle De Thomasis, Eliza Cooper, Katya Gray, Emalyn Knight, Mikayla Nangle, Jemima Smith, Georgia Adelt, and Joanne Hwang (Lazer Beams).

Audience Choice Award – Choreographer Brittney Webb and performers Amelie Pritchard, Brooke Cutler, Jade Mai, Nataly Fellew and Samya Kerde (Afterglow)

Sydney Dance Company, Pre-Professional Year Secondment – Sophie Carathanassis (Dark Matter), Zane Carr and Amber Jade Smith (Instead), and Annalise Malachowski (Opulence)

Catapult Dance Secondment – Opal Russell (A Sigh)

Catapult Dance Space Residency – Eliza Cooper (Lazer Beams)

Stalker Theatre Secondment – Karlia Cook (Tools of the Soul)

Phly Crew Secondment – Brittney Webb (Afterglow)

Dance Makers Collective Secondment – Nicola Ford and Sarah Goroch (Primation), and Alex Mencinsky (Opulence)

Teacher’s Recognition Award – Katie Duynhoven