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Dance Rites 2019

More than 300 First Nations performers from across Australia descend on the Opera House for the annual dance competition.
By Jasmine Crittenden
November 22, 2019
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Dance Rites 2019

More than 300 First Nations performers from across Australia descend on the Opera House for the annual dance competition.
By Jasmine Crittenden
November 22, 2019
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On November 23-24, the Sydney Opera House forecourt will transform into an outdoor stage for Dance Rites. Now in its fifth year, this epic event is a First Nations dance competition starring more than 300 performers from all over the country. And it's free.

Held on Gadigal land at a meeting place formerly known as Tubowgule, Dance Rites was once part of the Opera House's Homeground Festival, but is now a stand-alone event. While watching the heats from 3pm each day, and the finals on Sunday evening, you'll see some of the best Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander dancers in action.

Just some of the acts on the program include 2018 Dance Rites champs Nunukul Yuggera; The Narli Ensemble, performing a cross-cultural celebration of the Kimberley; Ngemba, Muruwari and Filipino rapper Rhyan Clapman; and OKA — an international collective that combines dance, electro, reggae and jazz.

Pop-up food, drink and market stalls will cover the forecourt, too. You can read more about the lineup and the history of the event here.

Dance Rites runs from 3.30–10pm on Saturday and 3.30–8.30pm on Sunday, with doors opening at 2.30pm.

Images: Anna Kucera

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