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Sydney – Wednesday 13 April, 2022. The Sydney Opera House today announced a free site-specific work, ENCOUNTER SYDNEY, on the Opera House Forecourt this May, following a highly-acclaimed world premiere at Sydney Festival in 2020.

Enabled by the NSW Government initiative Culture Up Late, this fleeting and live dance work has been adapted for the Opera House Forecourt at dusk. Beneath the famous white sails, young dancers perform to a powerful soundtrack by the Western Sydney Youth Orchestra, in an exploration of the unrelenting spirit of youth.

Directed by dancer, choreographer and curator Emma Saunders, ENCOUNTER SYDNEY has been developed in collaboration with FORM Dance Projects and award-winning Australian artists, including writer Felicity Castagna and composers Amanda Brown (The Go-Betweens) and Jodi Phillis (The Clouds). Performed by young dancers from the Western Sydney-based WE ARE HERE Company, this exciting new iteration of the original 2020 work is part of the Opera House's UnWrapped program, which presents new and risk-taking work from independent artists and invites the public to celebrate the energy of the next generation.

“ENCOUNTER SYDNEY is an invigorating work that responds to the physical site and our contemporary world through movement, music and spoken word. Watch as they run, climb and make sense of where we are. Now you see them, now you don’t. Thanks to the NSW Government, this energetic performance puts the next generation of dancers front and centre using the Opera House’s sprawling steps as their stage,” said Sydney Opera House Director of Programming and UnWrapped Curator Fiona Winning.

I’m thrilled Culture Up Late is enabling this innovative presentation on the Opera House’s Monumental Steps, one of our city’s grandest stages. ENCOUNTER SYDNEY will give the public a new way to enjoy the bustling and creative spirit of Sydney’s nightlife, with one of the most picturesque harbours in the world as a backdrop,” said NSW Minister for the Arts Ben Franklin MLC.

ENCOUNTER SYDNEY is proudly funded by the NSW Government through the Culture Up Late initiative and is presented as part of the Opera House’s UnWrapped program.

ENCOUNTER and ENCOUNTER SOUTH were originally Commissioned and Produced by FORM Dance Projects, supported by Sydney Youth Orchestras and FLING Physical Theatre, for presentation in Four Winds SPRING Festival 2019 and Sydney Festival 2020.

When: 18-21 May 2022, daily from 4.30-5pm
Where: Monumental Steps, Sydney Opera House
Tickets: Free, registrations not required

For media information, please contact:

Alice Nguyen
Communications Specialist 
0418 413 145