Australian artist Meryl Tankard has forged a stellar international career as a director and choreographer. She has created ballet, opera and music and dance theatre for the main stages of Australia, France, Germany, the UK and USA. Meryl's early career was spent in Europe performing with the renowned Pina Bausch Wuppertal Dance Theatre. Her return to Australia in the 1980's saw an out flow of unforgettable works that transcended the boundaries of dance, theatre and visual art. As Artistic Director of Australian Dance Theatre for six years her unique creative style saw the company rise to international acclaim. More recently Meryl has added film and screen culture as a medium for expressing her artistic vision and drive.
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Appointed Officer of the Order of Australia 2019
Awarded Jim Bettison and Helen James Award 2016 : enabling Meryl to develop MAD, a film about madness using music, song and dance and to digitise her previous work.
"Michelle's Story" : Screened at Adelaide Film Festival 2015 and ABC TV 2016 :
Winner Aust Dance Award for Outstanding Achievement in Film
Winner South Aust Screen Award : Best Documentary, Best Short Film, Best Music
Winner of Audience Choice Award for Best Short Film at Adelaide Film Festival.
"There was a tension between her fragility and her courage. Meryl had an understanding of measure, of boundaries; this instinct and experience gave her that edge" ... Pina Bausch
**** Stark, dangerous and beautiful. Stage Noise (review of Two Feet)
... an excruiating beauty unfolding before us. The Conversation (Two Feet)
... extraordinary and brilliant. The Age (Two Feet)
…The German premiere of her (M.T's) version was a great moment in the art of contemporary dance. Never has The Rite of Spring been so powerful. theaterpur , Dusseldorf ( The Oracle)
Tankard is back at her best with this visually ominous and aurally stunning piece. The Age, (The Oracle) Melbourne
"Furioso confirms Tankard's reputation as Australia's leading contemporary choreographer" ... International Herald Tribune
"...segments of tranquillity explode into dance eruptions of great passion and expressive force..dancers whisk past each other with great pace, as if taken over by madness: a witches' sabbath of brilliant twists and tricky grand jetes at lightening speed..flight is dance; with that insight Meryl Tankard takes her place amongst those International choreographers who are giving new life to dance..and amongst them she is right to the for" ... Jochen Schmidt Frankfurter Allegemeine (Furioso)
"We are rewarded by her superbly disciplined company and Ms Tankard's gift for digging deeper into basic instincts..raw physicality colours the choreographer." .. The New York Times (Furioso)
"One of Meryl Tankard's extraordinary talents, perhaps and her most essential one is her ability to express the ineffable tangibly. As with musical composition, her works are aesthetically and technically structured yet invoke deep emotional responses that evade expression in mere words..This was probably as close as you might get to the perfect collaboration between Japanese artform, Japanese legend and Tankard/Lansac choreography and design." ... Larry Ruffell.. Canberra Times (Kaidan)
"She is the humanistic of our choreographers and one of the most inventive" ... The Age Melbourne
" a progressive frenzy of shadow structured chaos in which all emotions collide, hurtling across the screen,from fear to jubilation. Hell and paradise in a fifteen minute vertigo'" ... Bernadette Bost ... Le Monde (Bolero)
"the Bolero created by Meryl Tankard is astonishing, superb, disconcerting. In 15 ravishing minutes , we see a blend of sensuality almost imperceptible images which play with one another.The shadows come and go, appear, disappear , unite. The atmosphere is passionate sometimes brutal ... Francois Deletraz ... Le Figaro Magazine
"the audience..celebrations are due to Meryl Tankard who has created an intense vision of Bolero ... Marie-Christine Vernay-Liberation
..a superbly original creation ... Rene Sirvin the Figaro (Bolero)