Dance Locale

Sydney Dance Company x The Festival Of Place 8 October 2020

Five locations. Five responses.

Forging connection with our home city and state and launching the NSW Government’s year-long Festival Of Place, Dance Locale celebrates, activates and promotes the beauty and diversity of public space in Greater Sydney and New South Wales.

More than a performance piece, this suite of five films encapsulates the inherent interplay between culture and location and embodies this dynamic relationship.

Across five short films by film-maker Rafael Bonachela and performed by dancers of Sydney Dance Company, the transformative power of contemporary dance brings to life iconic locations that embody the breadth and diversity of Sydney’s public spaces and acknowledges the connection between the public realm and the creative spirit.

Dance Locale launches the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment’s inaugural celebration of public spaces, The Festival Of Place.

And you can dance in your own locale in January, by registering here to take part in I Want To Dance With Somebody, our online participatory celebration.

Dance Locale Films

The five films in the Dance Locale suite were conceived and devised during the constraints of the Covid-19 restrictions. In partnership with the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment, Dance Locale has been realised to explore and celebrate the civic spaces of New South Wales, bringing the dancers of Sydney Dance Company out of the studio and into open spaces, and launches the Department’s Festival of Place, a year-long creative celebration of public spaces.

#1 Parklands

Filmed in Western Sydney Parklands. Stretching 27 kilometres over three local government areas (Blacktown, Liverpool and Fairfield), Western Sydney Parklands is the largest urban parkland in Australia. Featuring Company dancer Riley Fitzgerald, #1 Parklands embodies tenderness in a rugged landscape.

Filmed on Darug Country.

#2 Riverlands

20 years after the last medal was awarded, Sydney Olympic Park is a thriving urban site and a microcosm of Sydney; rich in geological, indigenous, colonial and industrial history, as well as the location of one of Australia’s most significant cultural and sporting achievements. #2 Riverlands, sees the dancers inhabit the rich diversity of Sydney Olympic Park, in perpetual motion.

Filmed on Wann-gal Country.

#3 Coast

The rugged coastline of Sydney is synonymous with the heartbreaking beauty of the city. Perched atop the cliffs of Maroubra at dawn, the dancers of Sydney Dance Company take a deep breath, in unison, facing a new day in a brave, new world.

Filmed on Dharawal Country.

#4 Harbour

Set against the world’s most famous harbour, and some of the world’s most iconic locations, #4 Harbour becomes the city, with the dancers anchored in the strong foundations of layers of history. From The Rocks and the Sydney Opera House to the buzzing urban precincts of Darling Harbour and the International Convention Centre, #4 Harbour fizzes with the energy of contemporary Sydney.

Filmed on Gadigal Country.

#5 Wagga Wagga

The rich Indigenous heritage of the Riverina’s capital is highlighted in #5 Wagga Wagga as Dance Locale draws to an understated, quiet and reflective conclusion and celebrates the true meaning of Wagga Wagga, a place of dance and celebration.

Filmed on Wiradjuri Country.

Dance Locale is created in partnership with


The Department of Planning, Industry and Environment

Follow #lovetheplaceyoulive and #festivalofplace on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.


Keep Australia dancing!

The love and support from our dance community is helping us to keep the Company moving forward during these challenging times. Cancelled performances and loss of ticket sales have had a huge impact on Sydney Dance Company this year.

Facing the biggest challenge in our five decades of defining contemporary dance in Australia, we are finding new ways to respond and to make work.

Dance Locale is for you, our audience, our community, our most important collaborator.

Now more than ever, if you are able, a gift of any size will truly have a transformational effect.

Follow @SydneyDanceCo and #SDCKeepDancing on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter


Directed by: Pedro Greig
Choreography by: Rafael Bonachela
Music by: Nick Wales
Aerial Pilot: Tim Roche


With thanks to:

Western Sydney Parklands
Sydney Olympic Park
Randwick City Council
Darling Harbour
International Convention Centre
Overseas Passenger Terminal
The Rocks
Sydney Opera House

Dr Uncle Stan Grant Snr AM
Aunty Isobel Reid
Aunty Lorraine Tye
Peter Ingram
Jonathan Jones
Wagga Wagga City Council


#5 Wagga Wagga

Music: Nick Wales with
Bree van Reyk – Percussion
Veronique Serret – Violin
Jess Green – Electric Guitar
Alyx Dennison – Synths
Bob Scott – Live Sound Manipulation

Music created in residence at Ukaria Cultural Centre Mt Barker South Australia

Assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body.

Sydney Dance Company acknowledges the Darug, Wann-gal, Dharawal, Gadigal and  Wiradjuri people, the Traditional Owners of the lands on which these films were made. We recognise their continuing connection to land, waters and culture. We pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future.

I Want To Dance With Somebody

After months inside and in celebration of the great outdoors, Sydney Dance Company wants to get you moving this summer. Whether you’re busting moves in a local park or strutting your stuff on a sheep station, gather your family and friends – it’s time to dance!

In celebration of The Festival Of Place and Dance LocaleI Want To Dance With Somebody is a virtual community dance party and you can take part, wherever you are.

Learn a short and snappy dance routine across a series of free online classes in January, and bring your best moves to the Zoom on Saturday 23 January, for an online dance-off! With live music on the day from Haiku Hands (“Australia’s most electrifying pop prospect”, NME), you can dance with not just somebody, but everybody!

To register your interest in I Want To Dance With Somebody and find out more, click here. We will send you all the details of how to learn a routine with Sydney Dance Company online, and how to either join in the comfort of your own back yard or loungeroom, together with friends known and unknown across the great state of New South Wales.