Meryl Tankard

Meryl Tankard’s global career as a director, choreographer and writer has seen her bold and innovative works staged in Europe, the UK, USA, Asia and Australia. Her work ranges widely from co-productions with the Sydney Opera House, a full-length ballet Wild Swans for The Australian Ballet, to Disney on Broadway and Andrew Lloyd Webber. Tankard created the opening section ‘Deep Sea Dreaming’ for the Sydney Olympics Games Ceremony 2000 and has been commissioned by some of the world’s most dynamic companies including Lyon Opera Ballet, Nederland Dans Theater and Gothenburg Ballet.


Beginning her career as a dancer with the Australian Ballet, Tankard went on to become one of Pina Bausch's principal soloists with the ground-breaking Wuppertaler Tanztheater, creating roles in Café Muller, Kontakthof, Arien, 1980, Walzer, Bandoneon and more.

In 1989 she founded her own dance company in Canberra, synthesising a range of influences and styles to create her own unique dance theatre style.

As Artistic Director of Adelaide-based Australian Dance Theatre (1993-1999) Tankard transformed the company into a leading International company with her diverse range of full-length works including Furioso, Possessed, Aurora, Rasa, Inuk, and Songs with Mara. In 1995 ADT became the first Australian company to be invited to Brooklyn Academy of Music, New York.

In 2010 Tankard graduated in film directing from the Australian Film, Television and Radio School. Her documentary Michelle's Story, commissioned by ABC TV and the 2015 Adelaide International Film Festival, won the Audience Award for Best Short Film and Screen SA awards for Best Short Film, Best Documentary and Best Soundtrack.

Tankard recently remounted Furioso for Sidi Larbi Chekaoui’s Royal Ballet of Flanders in Belgium and she is currently developing a feature length film script.


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