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Dance Rites 2020 will take place online in November. Registrations are now closed. 

Due to COVID-19 and the safety of our communities, artists and staff, it has been decided that Dance Rites 2020 will be an online digital competition.

Enter Dance Rites 2020

What is Dance Rites?

Dance Rites is Australia’s national Indigenous dance competition which aims to ensure important cultural knowledge including language, dance, skin markings and instruments is shared from one generation to the next. 

In 2020, a gathering of dance groups from across the nation will come together to share their traditional culture and compete for a $20,000 prize. 

The runner up will receive a prize of $5,000, and the group with the highest scored Wildcard Dance will receive a prize of $3,000. Finally, the Rites of Passage prize, acknowledges a groups commitment to revitalising knowledge and practice, and celebrates the transfer of knowledge between generations. The Rites of Passage Winner will receive a prize of $4,000.

Dance Rites celebrates the continued cultural dance practices of Australia’s first peoples. The competition is open to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities who have or would like to develop a dance group. Each group will record two performances, the first performance is the Traditional Welcome/Arrival or Farewell Dance which must include your local language/s. The second performance is a Wildcard Dance. This can be any kind of dance and is an opportunity to fuse the contemporary with the traditional!

As a result of nationwide measures to limit the spread of COVID-19 in the community, the 2020 festival will be presented as a digital event, broadcast on the Opera House’s social media channels in November. 

Presented by Sydney Opera House.


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