A new broom is sweeping through Australia's theatre and dance companies.

This week's announcement that the artistic director of Melbourne dance company Chunky Move, Gideon Obazanek, will step down in 2011 is just the latest in a series of major transitions for Australia's medium-sized theatre and dance companies. In the past year alone, half a dozen key figures in Australia's tightly-knit performance community scene have retired or moved on, making way for a fresh crop of younger artistic directors.