15 February 2016

Meryl Tankard, Canberra Citizen of the Year 1992

Meryl Tankard arrived in Canberra in 1989 and established the city's first professional dance company, The Human Veins Theatre.

Having worked in Australian and Europe as as a professional freelance dancer and with companies including Nimrod, the Sydney Theatre Company and the National Institute of Dramatic Art.

It was here that Meryl’s distinctive style crystallised in dance theatre. She used actors as well as dancers to create characterisation through movement. Australian themes and Canberra landscapes were combined with European dance traditions. She met photographer RĂ©gis Lansac and began to use his photographic and video projections in her productions. In four years she created nine performance pieces, made four overseas and six interstate tours, contributed to Floriade and Dance Week programs, worked with the National Gallery, visited schools and put on performances for the aged.

Meryl Tankard was named Canberra Citizen of the Year in 1992 for her dedication to the arts community in Canberra and lifting the profile both nationally and internationally.

Further biographical detail about Meryl Tankard is available on our website, as is a history of the Canberra Citizen of the Year Award and a full list of awardees.

The 40th consecutive Canberra Citizen of the Year will be announced by the Chief Minister during Canberra Day Celebrations in March 2016.

Image Source: ACT Heritage Library image 007264 , Canberra Theatre Trust Collection.  Photographer Regis Lansac