DanceRites 2023 Free Forecourt event
25 – 26 November 2023
On the Forecourt
DanceRites, Australia’s national First Nations dance competition, returns bigger and better than ever at Bennelong Point, a First Nations meeting place for tens of thousands of years.
Join hundreds of performers on the Forecourt for this free festival of live dance, music and community that celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture.
|Saturday 25 November 2023
|Sunday 26 November 2023
This is a free event. No registration is required.
This event is Auslan Interpreted. Experienced Auslan interpreters will translate what the host are saying into Auslan. No booking required. Reserved seating will be available for best view. For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org
Wheelchair accessible, no language barrier
Find out more about accessibility at Sydney Opera House
Saturday 25 Nov 2pm-9pm (7 hours)
Sunday 26 Nov 2pm-8pm (6 hours)
Gates open 1.30pm each day.
Event duration is a guide only and may be subject to change.
Suitable for all ages.
The Opera House is committed to the safety and wellbeing of children that visit or engage with us. Read our Child Safety Policy.
Saturday 25 November 2023
|Welcome to Country
|Cultural Dance & Song cycle
|Jannawi Dance Clan
Sunday 26 November 2023
|Wild Card Dance
|Jannawi Dance Clan
|Cultural Dance & Song cycle
|Jannawi Dance Clan
|Announcement of the Winners
Celebrating First Nations dance and culture
Since its inception in 2015, more than 1300 participants from 95 dance groups have joined this hallmark event that showcases the richness and diversity of First Nations culture.
Now returning after a four year hiatus, DanceRites is back for its biggest celebration yet with over 20 groups participating across two categories of ‘Cultural Dance and Song Cycle’, where groups will share their local storytelling and language, and a second optional ‘Wildcard’ category for groups to showcase their unique style.
Witness the powerful coming together of traditional customs and contemporary culture, as hundreds of First Nations dancers from more than 30 nations and clans around Australia perform on the Opera House Forecourt.
DanceRites Guest Performer, Hosts and Judging Panel
Fred Leone, one of the Butchulla Songmen, has developed a singular voice in Australian hip-hop, incorporating instruments such as the didgeridoo, boomerang and Emu egg into his performances. After performing at Vivid LIVE this year, Leone is returning with a headlining set at DanceRites, bringing his genre transcending style of hip-hop rhymescapes.
Luke, a multi-disciplinary artist, brings his insight as a previous DanceRites winner (Muggera, who won in 2019) and experience as a professional dancer with credits including Bangarra Dance Theatre.
Rhianna Patrick is a freelance Torres Strait Islander journalist, broadcaster and audio content creator with 25 years media experience.
Passionate about passing on the culture of the Sydney peoples through language, music, story, song and dance, Matthew is a songman, dancer, musician and educator.
2019 NAIDOC Artist of the Year, Elma’s career as a dancer, choreographer and teacher saw her become Bangarra Dance Theatre’s longest serving dancer to date.
Gina has been involved in the arts industry for over 30 years and began a professional career with Bangarra Dance Theatre. With extensive experience representing contemporary and traditional Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures through theatre, dance and film, Gina has worked as a dancer, choreographer, director, producer, and is currently a producer with Country Arts SA.
Founder and currently Artistic director of Jannawi Dance Clan. Peta is a professional Dancer,choreographer,teacher,costume and prop maker with 37 years experience in the industry and an Alumni of NAISDA, AIDT and Bangarra.
An award-winning dancer who trained with NAISDA Dance College, Sani has also worked as a choreographer, writer, theatre-maker, and teacher, and is currently Bangarra Dance Theatre’s Youth Program Coordinator.
Global Goals Partner
Event Media Partner
Thank you to our DanceRites Donors for their continuing support of the DanceRites Travel Fund since 2015, in particular, Jane Kift, The Alexandra & Lloyd Martin Family Foundation, Arrow Collective and Janne Ryan, Canny Quine Foundation, and Bronwyn Simons.
A very special thank you to Yuwaalaraay Wirringgaa artist Lucy Simpson for the creation of our DanceRites artwork.
The Sydney Opera House Car Park, operated by Wilson Parking, is open and available to use. Wilson Parking offer discounted parking if you book ahead. Please see their website for details.
Please check the Transport NSW website for the latest advice and information on travel. You can catch public transport (bus, train, ferry) to Circular Quay and enjoy a six min walk to the Opera House.
The health and wellbeing of everyone attending the Opera House is our top priority. We’re committed to making your experience safe, comfortable and enjoyable, with a number of measures in place including regular cleaning of high-touch areas, air conditioning systems that maximise ventilation, and hand sanitiser stations positioned in all paths of travel. We remind our audiences and visitors to please stay home if you feel unwell. If you need to discuss your ticketing or booking options, contact our Box Office team on 02 9250 7777.
The health and wellbeing of everyone attending the Opera House is our top priority. We have a number of safety measures in place including regular cleaning of high-touch areas, air conditioning systems that maximise ventilation, and hand sanitiser stations positioned in all paths of travel. While face masks are no longer required, we ask all our patrons and visitors to practise good hygiene. Please stay home if you feel unwell and read more about our flexible ticket options.
The Sydney Opera House no longer requires patrons to show that they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
Frequently asked questions
DanceRites runs from 2pm-9pm on Saturday and 2pm-8pm on Sunday with gates opening each day at 1:30pm, so you’re welcome to join us on the Forecourt at any point throughout the afternoon. With performances running throughout the day there’s always something to do.
If you are attending a particular performance, please arrive 30 minutes prior to your start time as there may be queues to enter the site.
Yes, if you’re taking a few snaps for personal use. Make sure to switch off your flash and be conscious of the people around you and the performers on stage. We’d love for you to tag #sydneyoperahouse on your social channels.
Your safety and security is our number one priority. As a safety precaution and condition of entry, mandatory visual bag inspections will be carried out by SOH venue security staff on all bags and personal belongings. Additionally, patrons may be subject to random electronic screening.
Please travel lightly, arrive early and allow additional time to access the venue.
There is no cloaking facility available for this event. Items that will not be permitted inside the venue include – but are not limited to – extra-large backpacks, umbrellas, briefcases, suitcases and other items that may be hazardous or restrict the movement of visitors. At the discretion of Opera House venue security staff, additional items of an irregular size may also be deemed a trip hazard or safety risk and will be prohibited from the venue footprint.
Find out more about venue security at Sydney Opera House.
DanceRites will takes place outdoors on the Opera House Forecourt so comfortable shoes and sun-safe clothing are recommended. Please wear a hat, bring sunscreen and a refillable water bottle. There is no shade cover available on site. Shade tents are not permitted.
Please bring a raincoat if rain is likely on the day. Rain umbrellas smaller than 125cm diameter are permitted.
Food and beverage pop-ups will appear across the Sydney Opera House Forecourt.
DanceRites food pop-ups will open from 3pm, Saturday and Sunday.
Small amounts of picnic food and soft drink are permitted – No glass containers & BYO alcohol.
Terms and conditions
Information on how to enter and the prizes form part of these Terms and Conditions of entry. Participation in this Competition is deemed acceptance of these Terms and Conditions. The Promoter of the Competition is Sydney Opera House Trust, Bennelong Point, Sydney NSW 2000. (ABN 69 712 101 035), (+61 2) 9250 7111.
- WHO MAY ENTER Entry is open to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community dance groups. Entrants must be over the age of 12. Entrants over 12 and under the age of 18 require the consent of their parent or legal guardian to enter. Entrants must enter as part of a Dance Group and each member of the Dance Group will be deemed to have accepted these Terms and Conditions. If any employees and their immediate families of the Promoter and agencies and companies associated with this Competition wish to enter the Competition, they must declare their relationship to the Promoter to ensure any conflicts can be appropriately managed.
- HOW DO I ENTER Registration for the Competition commenced on Wednesday 21st June 2023 at 9am Australian Eastern Standard time (AEST) and closed at midnight on Friday 25th August 2023 AEST. Each DanceGroups may only enter the Competition once for 2023. The Promoter reserves the right to disqualify any incomplete or automated entries.
To enter the Competition, you must:
Complete the registration form provided; and
Adhere to the criteria listed on the information sheet
- HOW WILL ENTRIES BE JUDGED Winners will be selected by a panel of judges at the DanceRites Competition on 25 and 26 November 2023 at Sydney Opera House. There may be multiple rounds of judging. All rounds of judging will be judged by a panel of Sydney Opera House Trust selected judges, which will consist of community dance and song line custodians, along with professional choreographers and dance practitioners. Judges may change between rounds. Entries will be judged on the criteria provided in the information sheet. The winners will be announced and notified on conclusion of the DanceRites Competition Final, and will be published on the Sydney Opera House website (www.sydneyoperahouse.com) The Judges decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into. The Promoter’s decision in relation to any aspects of the Competition is final and binding on every person who enters and no correspondence will be entered into.
- WHAT ARE THE PRIZES The winning dance group will receive a cheque for $20,000. Runner up will receive $5,000, and the highest scoring Wild Card dance will receive $3,000. The Rites of Passage prize winners will receive $4,000 each.
We reserve the right to award additional prizes or change the prizes, at our sole discretion, provided that the value of the prizes specified here shall not decrease. We are not responsible for any dispute regarding prize dispersal or use.
If you (and your team) are confirmed as a winner:
You may not designate someone else or another team as a winner.
You (and your team members) may be requested to participate in media interviews as requested by the Sydney Opera House Trust.
You (and your team members) will direct any media enquiries to the Sydney Opera House Trust’s Corporate Communications team in the first instance.
We will consult with the key contact nominated in the registration form as to the payee details for the prize. The prize must be made payable to a person over 18 years old. Prize monies and other prizes should be retained by individuals only in conformity with any applicable policies of his or her employers, academic institutions, or government regarding participation in, and receipt of, promotional consideration and receipt and retention of the prize. If a government, employer’s or school’s policies are applicable, it is the Participant’s sole and ultimate responsibility, in consultation with his or her government, employer or school, to determine how, and if, the prize will be retained and/or distributed and accounted for and we assume no responsibility for the decisions made by such entities regarding this issue.
- CANCELLATION If for any reason this Competition is cancelled or is not capable of running as planned, due to an intervention of any outside agent or event which naturally changes the result or prevents or hinders its determination, including but not limited to vandalism, power failures, tempests, natural disasters, acts of God, civil unrest, strikes; the Promoter may in its absolute discretion cancel the event and recommence it from the start on the same conditions.
- INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY You warrant that the entry is your dance group’s own work and that you are the custodian of all the material you submit as part of your performance entry into this Competition (Entry) and that your Entry does not infringe the intellectual property rights of any third party. If you are using any musical works as part of your performance, you must notify us in advance of the author and title of such musical works and we will advise as to whether or not their inclusion in your performance will be covered under our blanket licences with the relevant musical collecting society or whether you will be required to clear such musical works for inclusion in your Entry and for exercise of the rights set out in these terms and conditions.
- RECORDING By entering this Competition you agree that we can photograph, film or make any sound or audio-visual recording of your Entry for our own archival purposes and for use in any media. By entering thisCompetition, you grant us a worldwide, perpetual, non-exclusive, royalty free and transferrable licence to use, reproduce, segment, distribute, prepare derivative works of, display and communicate any recording of your Entry in any media. This includes the right to adapt or edit it and/or to juxtapose any recording of your Entry with other content, in consultation with the appropriate cultural advisor and/or body. You also grant us the right to sub-licence the rights under this licence to any third party deemed appropriate by us. If you allow us to record an interview, we may use it in any media. You grant us a licence to use any materials incorporated in the Entry to the extent necessary for us to exercise the rights set out herein, including to assign or sub-licence those rights as may be necessary. You acknowledge that, for practical reasons, we may be unable to credit the original creators. You retain any intellectual property in your Entry, subject to this licence, and may use it how you wish after conclusion of the Competition.
To the extent permitted by law, you consent to the Promoter doing anything in relation to the Entry or any recording of your Entry or the communication therein that (but for this consent) would otherwise infringe any moral right or performer’s rights that you might have anywhere in the world. We may promote the Competition, including your Entry, in any media during or after the Competition. Promotional material may include the use of all or part of your Entry or any recording of your Entry. AllEntries used by Promoter will be credited where appropriate.
We reserve the right not to permit you or any member of your Dance Group to participate in the Competition where we determine at our discretion that it would bring the Sydney Opera House into disrepute, cause damage or harm to any person, or if we have reason to believe that you have compromised the integrity or the legitimate operation of the Competition or if it is foreseeable that you will be in breach of these Terms and Conditions in any way.
- WORKING WITH CHILDREN You warrant that the Dance Group and each performer will comply with: the Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection)(Child Employment) Regulation 2010 if relevant; and will also hold a necessary working with children check clearance of a class applicable to the work and must not be prohibited from working with children and must not be “Prohibited Persons” under the Child Protection(Working with Children) Act 2012 (NSW). 10. INDEMNITYBy entering this Competition you agree to release and hold harmless the Promoter, its officers, employees, contractors and agents from any and all claims, liability or any injury, loss or damage of any kind arising from or in connection with this Competition, its promotion or any prize won.
- INDEMNITY By entering this Competition you agree to release and hold harmless the Promoter, its officers, employees, contractors and agents from any and all claims, liability or any injury, loss or damage of any kind arising from or in connection with this Competition, its promotion or any prize won.
You may also like
This is a show that treats the Beatles songs with the love and respect they deserve - four brilliant singers accompanied by The Day Tripper Band and Strawberry Fields rock orchestra.
Welcome to a sparkling world where the 1920’s parties with 2020’s in this reimagining of Fitzgerald’s classic novel The Great Gatsby, experienced through the prism of cabaret, variety and contemporary music.
Roll up! Roll up! Step back in time to the Golden Age of circus this Christmas. The acclaimed Circus 1903 makes its triumphant return to our stage, with magic and marvels bigger and better than ever before.