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Beau James standing in front of the Sydney Opera House

News about
Dancerites 2022

A letter from Beau James, the Head of First Nations programming to Dancerites participants

Beau James
Head of First Nations Programming

Dear cherished Dancerites participants and audiences,

It is with sadness that I announce Dancerites at the Sydney Opera House will not proceed in 2022.

This was not an easy decision. Over the last six months, the Opera House consulted extensively with you and your community about your experiences at Dancerites over the years. Thank you for your valuable feedback.

The biggest message we heard from you is that you value coming together to connect and share culture in a First Nations led and well supported environment.

To ensure we can adequately address this feedback and to meet the additional safety and logistical challenges of COVID-19, we have decided it is not possible to present Dancerites in 2022.

We will take the opportunity from August 2022 to continue to consult further with participating dance groups and communities to act on your suggestions and ideas. This will ensure that Dancerites continues to provide an opportunity for coming together in the spirit of acknowledging, maintaining, sharing and platforming culture, so we can deliver the event safely and respectfully in 2023 and beyond.

I remain committed to the legacy of Aunty Rhoda Roberts and the stage she created for culture through Dancerites. We remain as dedicated as ever to this significant national event that celebrates the ways in which the world’s oldest continuous culture continues to evolve and thrive.  

We look forward to presenting Dancerites in 2023 in the Opera House's 50th anniversary year and celebrating Tubowgule the land on which the Opera House sits as a significant space of First Nations song, art, dance and story.

Thank you for your understanding and we will be in touch soon to share more about Dancerites in 2023.

In the meantime if you have any questions or require any further information please don’t hesitate to contact us at

Beau James
Head of First Nations Programming, Sydney Opera House 

Dance Rites participants

Muggera, Dancerites 2019 Winners, Sydney Opera House. Photo: Daniel Boud

Beau James, Head of First Nations Programming

Leading First Nations curator, producer and performer Beau James, from the Mununjali clan of the Yugambeh Nation from South East Queensland with links to Stradbroke Island, is Sydney Opera House’s Head of First Nations Programming. Beau will lead a national and international cultural agenda, advancing and championing First Nations peoples, cultures, places, knowledge and narratives.

Beau has worked as a company director, circus artist, physical theatre and cabaret performer and was the co-founder and director of their own circus company, Circus Minimus, in Brisbane for 10 years. Circus Minimus worked with Queensland based community organisations such as Mununjali Jymbi housing, Access ArtsFlipside Circus and developed shows Outside the Square and Behind Closed Bars with the youth at risk through Sisters Inside

They have written and produced for Adelaide Fringe FestivalBrisbane FestivalInternational Magdalena Festival and Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras. In 2019 they performed in the sell-out season of Natives Go Wild at the Opera House, which was conceived and written by Rhoda Roberts.

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