Taking place over the weekend of 23–24 November, Australia’s fifth annual national First Nations dance competition Dance Rites returns to the Sydney Opera House Forecourt over two days for a free, cross-generational celebration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander dance, language and culture for the whole family.
Dance Rites welcomes everyone to attend and is an opportunity for families and children to engage with, celebrate and immerse themselves in First Nations culture. Witness the powerful coming together of traditional customs, language and contemporary culture, with hundreds of First Nations dancers from all around Australia and performers from around the world.
The event is free, wheelchair accessible and suitable for all ages, and food and beverage pop-ups will appear across the Sydney Opera House Forecourt both days from 3pm. Families can also enjoy an array of professional music and dance performances staggered throughout the Dance Rites heats and finals.
Each year Dance Rites continues to grow and evolve, becoming a hallmark First Nations event. This year there is a particular focus on language in support of the UN Year of Indigenous Languages. This high-profile national event promotes cultural knowledge in First Nations communities, and increases confidence through custodial leadership at a grassroots and local level.
Groups representing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island nations from across the country will present three dances: a welcome and a farewell dance – one of which must include a chant in local language – and a ‘wildcard’ dance of the group’s choosing. The groups will be judged by our expert panel with the top 8 performances moving on to the Finals on Sunday evening.
What: Dance Rites
When: Saturday 23 – Sunday 24 November 2019, from 3pm
Where: Forecourt, Sydney Opera House