#33: A new home in Woolloomooloo (1973)


4 October 2019

1973 was a watershed year for Sydney Dance Company. With an invitation to perform at the grand opening of The Sydney Opera House and growing expectations to create quality cutting-edge contemporary dance, space was suddenly a huge issue. The Company needed more of it, and fast. In response, founder Suzanne Musitz set out to secure some, with the same attack and dedication that would define her leadership of the company.

Janet Vernon, Graeme Murphy Ross Philip reheasrse at woolloomooloo studios for ‘Tip’

Janet Vernon, Graeme Murphy Ross Philip reheasrse at woolloomooloo studios for ‘Tip’
“I found, after a lot of searching, a wonderful visionary man called Sid Londish. I told him that we needed a space and said, ‘You’re a developer, I thought you might have some’. He took a bunch of keys off a hook, and said ‘Come with me’. At the time he was operating out of a little cottage at the top of Bourke Street. We walked down to the bottom of the street, up a few stairs, and he opened the building that would become our home. It was sixteen thousand square feet and we were allowed to do whatever we wanted to it. He stated that we’d have to pay a dollar a year, to which I said, ‘Why do you want a dollar a year?’ His response was that if we were paying rent, then the water and the electricity were his responsibility. He was simply a legend. We then, finally, had three studios, a wardrobe department and a technical department. We even bought a bus that enabled the dancers to tour to the country and interstate.”

The space – tucked between the waterfront pubs and navy station – was perfect for the expanding group, and would be the Company’s home for the next 12 years.

Follow #SDC50Years on Instagram, Facebook andTwitterto revisit some of our highlights and greatest moments of dance over the past 50 years and share your favourite memories of Sydney Dance Company using #SDC50Years.

Experience the thrill of the now, Sydney Subscriptions are now on sale for our 2020 Annual Program.

Related Articles