Restless Dance Theatre

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Restless Dance Theatre is a dance theatre company based in the South Australian capital of Adelaide. Founded in 1991, Restless works with people with and without disability to collaboratively create inclusive dance theatre informed by disability. The company presents dance theatre works in multiple mediums to diverse audiences. Restless has an extensive workshop program for all ages. The company, originally called Restless Dance Company, changed its name to Restless Dance Theatre in 2008.[1]

The Company[edit]

The Restless Dance Company was founded in 1991 by Sally Chance and Tania Rose and was incorporated in 1996.[2] The current Artistic Director is Michelle Ryan who has been the Artistic Director since January 2013.[3]

As an inclusive dance company, the work is informed by disability but not about disability. Restless has developed a way of working where participants are given a series of creative challenges and asked to respond in movement. Dance sequences are then built up from their responses. This produces unique and distinctive dance through a process that nurtures the creative voices of the dancers.

The guiding values which underpin the company’s work are:

  • Vision: Restless artists enliven and diversify Australian dance.
  • Purpose: Restless Dance Theatre collaboratively creates inclusive work informed by disability.
  • Mission: Present unexpectedly real dance theatre works in multiple mediums to diverse audiences nationally and internationally.


The company received a Ruby Award in 2010 for sustained contribution by an organisation. Restless was nominated for an Australian Dance Award for "Salt" in 2015. The company won the award for Outstanding Achievement in Youth or Community Dance at the 2010 Australian Dance Awards for Bedroom Dancing.[4] The Necessary Games film triptych has received multiple awards both nationally and internationally.


"Restless Dance is one of a handful of Australian companies which defy pigeon-holing. The work they do with performers of differing physical and intellectual abilities is useful and heart-warming : but the point is that the work itself is exceptionally beautiful and highly skilled, often funny, and always moving." Robyn Archer

"Restless changes attitudes to disability every time it performs." Noel Jordan (Artistic Director, Imaginate Festival, Edinburgh)

"It’s an amazing company of dancers and performers. But what you don’t see on stage is disability, you just see an extraordinary group of human beings dancing with such heart and such talent." Neil Armfield (Adelaide Festival co-director)

“5 STARS. Innovative, potent, bold and beautiful, Intimate Space is an extraordinary and highly entertaining experience.” Limelight, March 2017

In The Balance…."Unbearably beautiful solos and duets." Peter Burdon, Advertiser, June 2016


  1. ^ Annual Report 2008, p. 4.
  2. ^ Annual Report 2008, p. 2.
  3. ^ "People". Restless Dance Theatre. Retrieved 26 February 2012. 
  4. ^ Northover, Kylie (21 June 2010). "Top honours for Bangarra". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 26 February 2012. 

External links[edit]