The forecourt of the Sydney Opera House has been transformed into a spectacular outdoor performance space to celebrate the First Nations dance competition.
Hundreds of spectators turned out on Saturday to watch ‘Dance Rites’, which unfolded in front of one of the world’s most well-known landmarks.
The festival sees hundreds of First Nations dancers from around Australia and the world compete in a celebration of traditional customs and contemporary culture.
Taking place among the breathtaking scenery of the Opera House and Harbour Bridge, the space, which is formely known as Tubowgule, was chosen as it has been a meeting place for ritual celebration dance for thousands of years.
The competition consists of several groups who all present three dances, with the winning team taking home $20,000.
An expert judging panel assess the groups’ technical aspects of their performance, the engagement with language, skin-markings and traditional instruments used.
Hundreds of spectators turned out on Saturday to watch Australia’s First Nations dance competition, Dance Rites, unfold against a breathtaking backdrop in Sydney
The Sydney Opera House Forecourt was transformed into a spectacular outdoor performance space for hundreds of First Nations dancers
A dancer clad in traditional attire performed in the sand which had been brought to the Sydney Opera House forecourt for the cultural festival
One participant wore a colourful traditional outfit as he took part in the First Nations dance competition
The competition consists of several groups of dancers who all present three traditional dances to the audience and a panel of expert judges
The groups, which included both the young and old, had tripled from 2015 – with more than 300 performers travelling to Sydney to compete for their chance at winning $20,000
The use of traditional skin-markings were also a key component of the dance festival, with an expert judging panel taking it into account when they watched the performances
Although the festival is predominantly a celebration of culture, the competition is fierce, with prizes up for grabs for the best performers
The dance festival attracts performers of all ages who proudly showcase their culture to hundreds of spectators
Participants are judged not only on their technical ability but their communication of language through dance and their traditional skin-markings
Taking place among the breathtaking scenery of the Opera House and Harbour Bridge, the space, which is formely known as Tubowgule, was chosen as it has been a meeting place for ritual celebration dance for thousands of years