Arts & Entertainment

Dance Rites

Photo: Prudence Upton

The Sydney Opera House will play host to two days of free music, art and performance, as the annual Homeground festival celebrates First Nations culture.

Leading the festivities will be Dance Rites, Australia’s first national Indigenous dance competition, which will take place in a specially made harbourside sand circule. Dancers will showcase movements, language, instruments and skin markings of their communities.

Opera House Head of Indigenous Programming, Rhoda Robertssaid: “Dance Rites will become a stand alone event once it grows, but because we’ve got the infrastructure there already over the weekend, we thought it was a great fit to include it as part of Homeground Festival.”

Dancers will entertain and pass on knowledge to crowds, while reigniting vanishing cultural practices.

Roberts said: “We’ve been doing Homeground for several years at the Opera House, it really brings about a cultural hub and brings the site alive.”

The festival will also feature Echoes of Fat Freddy’s Drop, an indigenous arts market, and menu items created by Australia’s only ‘hatted’ Indigenous chef, Clayton Donovan.

“The Opera House is very committed to embedding work. 600,000 works a year are programmed and only 2% showed that they were Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander. The Opera House has a programming system that no other performing arts venue has, which really says something about that level of commitment and how important it is. We’ve chosen to be leaders in our field, showing by example.” (GF)

Oct 9, 5–7pm. Western Broadwalk, Sydney Opera House. Info: www.sydneyoperahouse.com/dancerites

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