Phillip Adams
Artistic Director
Phillip Adams is the founder and Artistic Director of Phillip Adams BalletLab, forming the company upon his return home from New York in 1998.

Phillip Adams' career in dance and performance spans over 25 years as a vital contributor to the richness of Australian performing arts. Adams' works provide a crucial point of differentiation: an alternative modality, fearless choreographic practice and risk-taking approach to creation and presentation.

Adams’ process draws on collaboration through hybrid mediums of music, design, fashion, architecture, cinema, visual arts and photography engaging with the unorthodox, queer and popular culture. Phillip's process defines a model and a psychologically generative, collaborative environment that continually extends the parameters of dance and visual art-based practise to produce bold artistic choreography and artworks.

Adams graduated from the Victorian College of the Arts in 1988 and thereafter spent a decade performing and working in New York with many companies and independent choreographers. Adams returned to Australia in 1997 and established his company Phillip Adams BalletLab. Adams has created 18 major works for BalletLab, presented internationally and at leading festivals and venues in the USA, Europe and Asia. Commissions include: The Australian Ballet, Chunky Move, Back to Back Theatre, Lux Boreal (Mexico) Guongdong Modern Dance Company (China), Dance Works Rotterdam (Nederland’s), City Contemporary Dance Company (Hong Kong), Niteroi City Ballet (Brazil). Adams works have been presented by Museum of Old New Art, Heide Museum of Modern Art and the National Gallery of Victoria and awarded a design for the Melbourne Art Tram series. Recently Phillip won the 2018 Australia Council Award for Dance.


Established in 1998, Phillip Adams BalletLab is a visionary Melbourne-based dance company and leader in innovative and experimental Australian dance practice.

Led by seminal choreographer and artist Phillip Adams, winner of the 2018 Australia Council Award for Dance, Phillip Adams BalletLab has presented over 20 works in prestigious arts festivals and venues across Australia, Europe, North and South America, and Asia, and has a number of works in development or slated for festivals over the next five years.

Phillip Adams BalletLab embodies an absolute devotion to extending the boundaries of contemporary dance practice by stimulating new languages between art forms. The company has spearheaded critical connections between dance and the visual arts, shifting choreography into highly unexpected contexts. Adams has played a leading role in the curation of choreography into Australian museums and galleries including MONA, NGV, Heide Museum of Modern Art, Art Gallery of WA, Melbourne Museum and MPavilion.

In November 2016, Phillip Adams BalletLab stepped into a new phase, assuming its position as company in residence at South Melbourne’s historic Temperance Hall. Artistic Director Adams has extended his curatorship to programming experimental dance and performance works in the venue and leading advocacy for LGBTQIA+ artists and arts practices, employing and mentoring a significant number of queer artists annually.

Infrastructure funding through Creative Victoria has further allowed the BalletLab team to renew Temperance Hall to a thriving multipurpose arts venue hosting a variety of artistic and cultural programs and events across the complex. Phillip Adams BalletLab at Temperance Hall continues to develop and deepen the capacity of Temperance Hall to be a unique hub for artist development, residency, exchange, presentation and exhibition.


Image by Gregory Lorenzutti.