Registrations are now open until 6 September for the seventh annual Dancerites, Sydney Opera House’s celebrated national First Nations dance competition. This year, Dancerites will take place as a digital event; all the dances will be filmed on Country and will be available to watch online.
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, ensure important cultural knowledge including language, dance, skin markings and instruments is shared from one generation to the next, and showcase the richness and diversity of First Nations culture.
In 2021, dance groups from across the nation will gather virtually to share their traditional culture and compete for a $20,000 prize.
The runner up will receive a prize of $5,000, and the group with the highest scored Wildcard Dance will receive a prize of $3,000. Finally, the Rites of Passage prize, acknowledges a group’s commitment to revitalising knowledge and practice, and celebrates the transfer of knowledge between generations. The Rites of Passage Winner will receive a prize of $4,000. There will be two Rites of Passage Awards, one for males and one for females.
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. Each group will record two performances. The first performance is the Traditional Welcome/Arrival or Farewell Dance, which must include your local language/s. The second performance is a Wildcard Dance. This can be any kind of dance and is an opportunity to fuse the contemporary with the traditional.
As a result of measures to limit the spread of COVID-19 in the community, the 2021 festival will be presented as a digital event broadcast on Stream, the Opera House’s online streaming platform, and on social media channels in February 2022.
To register and learn more, visit www.sydneyoperahouse.com/events/whats-on/first-nations/2021/dancerites.html.