DANCE, feature -

Dance comp has ‘Homeground’ advantage

Australia’s biggest Indigenous dance competition, the Sydney Opera House’s Dance Rites, is looking for entrants as it enters its third year.

Registrations are now open for the competition, which will be held in Sydney on November 26.

Dance groups from around Australia – many spanning several generations – are expected to compete for a winner’s prize of $20,000.

The competition is the community highlight of ‘Homeground’, the Opera House’s annual celebration of First Nations music, art and culture.

Last year, more than 180 participants from 12 communities participated, with the Koomurri dance group – made up of members of the Yuin, Bundjalung and Gamilaroi Nations people – emerging as winners.

“Dance Rites invites audiences to engage with language, dance, skin markings and traditions of diverse First Nations cultures,” Sydney Opera House Head of First Nations Programming Rhoda Roberts said.

“By engaging with culture, we preserve and celebrate it, but the experience isn’t just about the audience – participants reconnect and reclaim their personal histories through dance, as well as build connection in their communities.”

Dance Rites was inspired by the Pow Wow Circuit in North America and Kapa Haka Festival in New Zealand. Registrations close on September 25.

For more information, call Ali Buckley on 0407 535 111 or email

Register at

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