A celebration of social life before social media, when to meet was to talk, laugh and move to music together.
From the early 1930s to the late 1960s, the Rivoli Dance Palace in Parramatta was Western Sydney’s favourite dance hall. Demolished in 1973 to make way for an office development, now nothing remains of ‘The Riv’ except the stories of the people who danced there.
The action at the Rivoli Ballroom was broadcast on radio stations across Australia’s eastern seaboard for over a decade during the 50s and 60s. It was a place where entire families could gather to share in dancing and music. Today, the venue only exists in the memories of those who danced there.
This dance work began by imagining what such a venue would look like if it existed today. What kinds of communities would come together to reaffirm their shared identity through bodies and rhythm and music? We needed to look no further than this building to find diverse cross-sections of the community coming together to dance.
Throughout this work, you’ll hear the voices of people who danced at the Rivoli, as well as the voices of those who dance now, in this town. Dance has a way of bringing people and communities together in a way nothing else can. But in reflecting and strengthening certain communities, it’s also worth considering how these spaces can exclude others.
This work mirrors the interest that Dance Makers Collective has always had in social dances. In some ways, these spaces for social dance reflect the aims of DMC itself – to gather, share ideas, and to support each other creatively, socially, and artistically. To dance together.
The Rivoli features some of Australia's best dancers and a stellar live band. We invite you and your favourite dance partner to be swept into an immersive exploration of mid-century nightlife, desire and social connection. It is Dance Makers Collective’s most ambitious work yet, The Rivoli, an ode to a bygone dance era.
- Director and Co-choreographer Miranda Wheen
- Producer & Performer Carl Sciberras
- Lighting Designer Benjamin Brockman
- Composer Matt Cornell
- Audio Content Allison Chan, Ninah Kopel & Tim Roxburgh
- Choreography by Members of Dance Makers Collective and guest artists – Richard Cilli, Luke Currie-Richardson, Matt Cornell, Emma Harrison, Anya McKee, Katina Olsen, Marnie Palomares, Melanie Palomares, Carl Sciberras, Miranda Wheen & Rosslyn Wythes
- Featuring the voices and stories of Jo Clancy (Wiradjuri), Kate Howarth (Wiradjuri), John & Josie Lee, Barry & Sandra McKernan, Bhenji Ra & Gwen Wilson
- Image Heidrun Löhr
- Cast Eliza Cooper
- Cast Emma Harrison
- Cast Taiga Kita-Leong
- Cast Sophia Ndaba
- Cast Katina Olsen
- Cast Carl Sciberras
- Cast Ella Watson-Heath
- Cast Jana Castillo
- Cast Mitchell Christie
Show Touring Partners
Our Season 2022 is proudly supported by
Major Artistic Partner