The Rivoli

Gladstone Entertainment Convention Centre
Saturday 17 June, 7:30pm

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 8 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: Miranda Wheen
Composer: Matt Cornell
Designer: Anya McKee
Producer: Carl Sciberras
Lighting Designer: Benjamin Brockman
Audio Content: Allison Chan, Ninah Kopel & Tim Roxburgh
Choreography by Dance Makers Collective and guest performers
Dance Makers Collective: Matt Cornell, Anya McKee, Sophia Ndaba, Katina Olsen, Marnie Palomares, Melanie Palomares, Carl Sciberras, Miranda Wheen & Rosslyn Wythes
Featuring voices and stories of: Cedars of Lebanon, Chinese Seniors Community Dance, Jo Clancy, Kate Howarth, John & Josie Lee, Barry & Sandra McKiernan, Bhenji Ra & Gwen Wilson
Photos: Gavin Clarke, Anya McKee, Heidrun Lohr

Sydney Festival Premiere, January 2020, Granville Town Hall

Performers: Matt Cornell, Luke Currie-Richardson, Emma Harrison, Katina Olsen, Marnie Palomares, Melanie Palomares, Carl Sciberras & Rosslyn Wythes
Featuring Future Makers, Dance Makers Collective’s Youth Dance Company: Sarah Goroch, Jessica Kuit, Beryl La, Bedelia Lowrencev, Cinzia Marrocco, Matina McAneney, Monica Moreno, Christopher Wade & Ella Watson-Heath
Live Band: Greg Poppleton’s Band

National Regional Tour, 2022

Performers: Jana Castillo, Mitchell Christie, Eliza Cooper, Emma Harrison, Taiga Kita-Leong, Katina Olsen, Aroha Pehi, Carl Sciberras & Ella Watson-Heath
Production Managers: Sam Read & Kaylee Ashton

Ulladulla Civic Centre, NSW | Land of the Dharawal (Tharawal) People | 23 & 24 March
Kangaroo Valley Hall, NSW | Land of the Wodi-Wodi People | 26 & 27 March
Dubbo Regional Theatre & Convention Centre, NSW | Land of the Tubba-Gah & Wiradjuri People | 1 & 2 April   
Bathurst Memorial Entertainment Centre, NSW | Land of the Wiradjuri People | 6 & 7 April
Malachi Gilmore Hall Oberon, NSW | Land of the Wiradjuri People | 9 & 10 April
Geelong West Town Hall, VIC  | Land of the Wadawurrung People | 9 – 12 November 
Augusta Centennial Hall & Cowaramup Hall, WA  | Land of the Wadandi & Pibulum People | 17 & 19 November
Brighton Town Hall, VIC  | Land of the Bunurong People | 25 & 26 November 

The Saturday Social, June 2022

Don’t you ever wish you could travel back to the Saturday night dance? Take a spin across a glassy floor, to a swinging live band under sparkling lights? This Saturday night, you can!

Join Dance Makers Collective and Superstitious in a solid hour of joyous dancing with your partners, family and friends. This free event, a spin-off of Dance Makers Collective’s 2020 Sydney Festival hit The Rivoli, takes inspiration from the peak dance hall and disco eras of the 1960s and 70s, reimagined for the modern lover of dancing.

Whether you have a dance partner, like a night out on the town, or have a boogie in your bedroom, The Saturday Social is the place for you