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DANCERITES Deadly Moments

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DANCERITES Deadly Moments

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that DANCERITES Deadly Moments may contain images and voices of deceased persons.

For almost 10 years, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have travelled to Sydney to take part in Sydney Opera House’s various First Nations Festivals and our principal Festival now known as Dancerites.

In 2020 due to COVID-19 Dancerites transferred with great success to a 100% digital event, but unfortunately with First Nation peoples being vulnerable, the Festival could take place in 2021.

To mark the original 2021 Dancerites November dates, SOH accessed the archives of previous festivals to create a digital piece that celebrates what this festival means for community and how much it has developed since its inception.

This content has been curated by Rhoda Roberts and presented by Beau James.

Thank you to our supporters.

DANCERITES Deadly Moments is enabled by the Alexandra & Lloyd Martin Family Foundation.

Thank you to our family of Corporate Partners and Donors for their support of Dancerites 2015-2021 - AMP Capital, EnergyAustralia, Westpac, Sydney Harbour Federation Trust,  The Alexandra & Lloyd Martin Family Foundation, Arrow Collective, and the Opera House’s donors.

What is Dancerites?

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

Since its inception in 2015, more than 1300 participants from 95 dance groups have joined the hallmark First Nations event that helps to revitalise Indigenous leadership, and showcase the richness and diversity of First Nations culture.

Dancerites 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, and performers of all levels of experience can participate.

Presented by Sydney Opera House.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why compete in Dancerites?

Dancerites is an opportunity to reclaim songlines, dance and other traditional practices. 

You can connect with elders in your community and continue intergenerational exchange of story and ceremony.

Dancerites will be fun, easy to join and a great way to get your community together.

It provides a platform for communities to showcase their rich and diverse culture through dance and song to a national and international audience.

Is there a maximum number of participants per group?

There is no maximum group size.

All members must fill in their details on the registration form. 

Dancerites participants need to be aged 12 years and over.

If your group has any participants under the age of 18, the Dancerites team will reach out and ask your group to fill out a guardian authorisation form.

What are the prizes?

The winning dance group will receive a cheque for $20,000.

The runner up will receive $5,000.

The Rites of Passage Winner will receive a prize of $4,000. There will be 2 Rites of Passage Awards, one for males and one for females. 

The group with the highest scored 'Wildcard' Dance will receive a prize of $3,000.

Why is Dancerites important?

The Dancerites competition is inspired by Pow Wow Circuit in North America and Canada, and by the Kapa Haka in New Zealand. 

Teaching and learning traditional practices is the best way to reclaim songlines, celebrate and enjoy culture. 

How will entries be judged?

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.

The judges will be looking for authenticity, reclamation work, use of costumes and props along with fusion of language and music.

Performances must consist of a Welcome/Arrival or Farewell Dance, and a 'Wildcard' Dance. 

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