(b Darwin, 8 Sept. 1955)
Australian dancer, choreographer, and company director. She studied dance at the Australian Ballet School and joined the Australian Ballet in 1974. She danced with the company for three years and also made her first ballet, Birds Behind Bars (1977), part of a tribute programme to Dame Peggy van Praagh. In 1977 she joined Pina Bausch's Tanztheater Wuppertal and for the next six years was a leading soloist, featuring in important Bausch creations such as Le Sacre du printemps and Bluebeard. While in Germany she co-wrote and starred in an experimental film, Sydney on the Wupper, which was awarded a gold medal at the Berlin Film Festival in 1983. In 1984 she returned to Australia as a freelance choreographer and performer, while continuing to appear as a guest artist with Bausch's company on its international tours (1984–8). She was director of her own company in Canberra (1989–92) then director (1993–9) of Australian Dance Theatre, which was renamed the Meryl Tankard Australian Dance Theatre during her directorship. As a choreographer she has been greatly influenced by Bausch's brand of image-based dance theatre. Her works include Echo Point (1984), Travelling Light (1986), Two Feet (1988), Furioso (1993), Songs with Mara (1993), Banshee (1989), Nuti (1990), Aurora (1994), a post-modern version of The Sleeping Beauty, Possessed (1995), Rasa (1996), and Inuk (1997). She also choreographed Death in Venice (1989) and Orphée et Eurydice (1993) for the Australian Opera; The Deep End (a work set in and around a swimming pool, 1997) and Wild Swans (mus. Elena Kats-Chernin, 2003) for the Australian Ballet; @North (2004) for Berlin Opera Ballet, and Inuk2 (2008) for Sydney Dance Company.
http://www.meryltankard.com Official website for Meryl Tankard