Garry Stewart began his professional dance career at the age of 20. Following his work as a dancer in many notable Australian companies, including Australian Dance Theatre, he began his career as a freelance choreographer in 1990. For the next eight years he was based in Sydney, creating works for some of Australia’s most notable contemporary dance companies including Chunky Move and Sydney Dance Company, and presenting his independent works at venues such as The Performance Space (Sydney).
In 1998, Stewart established his own company, Thwack! He created two dance works: Plastic Space, which premiered at the Melbourne Festival and subsequently toured Australia, and the first stage development of Birdbrain, a deconstruction of Swan Lake.
Stewart was appointed Artistic Director of Australian Dance Theatre in late 1999. His first project for ADT, Housedance, was commissioned for the International Millennium Broadcast and performed on the outside of the main sail of the Sydney Opera House on New Year’s Eve 1999. Housedance was seen by an estimated global television audience of two billion.
Stewart's first full-length work for ADT was Birdbrain which has been performed to audiences totalling ten of thousands across four continents over five years. His repertoire of main stage works for ADT exemplifies his distinctive choreographic style and has been the foundation upon which the company has been able to rapidly grow its national and international reputation. The Age of Unbeauty, Nothing, HELD, Devolution, G and Be Your Self are tremendously varied thematically and in terms of their dance vocabularies.
Garry Stewart's growing influence on the international scene has led to invitations from prestigious international companies and dance festivals to create new works for them. Rambert Dance Company (UK), Bare Bones Dance Company (UK), the Birmingham Royal Ballet (UK), the Royal New Zealand Ballet (NZ) and Ballet de l’Opera National du Rhin have all requested Stewart as a guest choreographer. (Text courtesy of the artist and Australian Dance Theatre.)