Professor Garry Stewart, director of Flinders University’s Assemblage Centre for Creative Arts, won the SA Premier’s Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2021 Ruby Awards ceremony on Thursday 2 December.
As one of Australia’s most celebrated dancers and choreographers, Professor Stewart officially stepped down as Australian Dance Theatre’s creative director – a position he held for 22 years – at last Saturday’s gala performance of his work G.
The awards ceremony, which was held at Queen’s Theatre in Adelaide and livestreamed, recognises the best of South Australia’s arts and culture sector through the Ruby Awards (named in honour of esteemed Arts patron, Dame Ruby Litchfield).
Beyond the prestigious Premier’s Lifetime Achievement awards – presented to Professor Stewart and to Pat Rix, who founded disability group Tutti Arts – this year’s ceremony also saw Premier Steven Marshall pay tribute to actor, dancer, singer and painter David Dalaithngu, who died on 29 November.
The Premier praised Professor Stewart’s innovative work and leadership that has had global ramifications. “Garry’s acclaimed career has contributed to some of Australia’s most iconic dance works and under his direction placed Australian Dance Theatre at the forefront of dance around the world – having also nurtured the careers of some of the country’s leading artists,” Mr Marshall said.
Highlights of Professor Stewart’s career in dance have been featured in a major story published by ABC News online.