Tanya Liedtke, dancer, choreographer and newly appointed artistic director of the Sydney Dance Company, died Aug. 17 in Sydney as a result of a traffic accident. She was 29.
Liedtke was born in Stuttgart, Germany and took up ballet from an early age before moving with her family to London where she continued her dance studies.
Leidtke moved to Australia in her teens and began work as a choreographer and dancer with the Australian Dance Theater in Adelaide, remaining with the group until 2003 touring extensively Down Under and to Blighty, Asia and Stateside.
Soon after Leidtke went freelance and worked for Blighty’s DV8 Theatre in London; during this time she also produced her first full length work “Twelfth Floor” which won an Australian Dance Award for outstanding achievement in choreography.
But it was her appointment in May as artistic director of the Sydney Dance Company that brought her to prominence, an appointment that was considered a bold move. She was a young and fresh appointment to the group which had been steered by veteran choreographer Graeme Murphy for more than three decades and there was much anticipation about what direction the young director would take.
Liedtke was due to take up the position in early October, just before her 30th birthday.