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Dance Makers Collective

The Rivoli

Directed by Miranda Wheen

An immersive dance hall meets dance theatre performance, The Rivoli is a tribute to the iconic dance halls across Australia that were a celebration of social life before social media. A hit at Sydney Festival 2020, this joyous experience will bring small town halls to life and communities together.

'There’s a surfeit of inventive and jaw-dropping moments throughout the work and, to the ensemble’s considerable credit, they each flow seamlessly into one another and operate beyond the level of pure choreography."

Matt O’Niell, Australian Stage

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.


Dance Makers Collective is Western Sydney’s professional dance company. Established in 2012, the company comprises nine professional dance makers who have worked for major dance and theatre companies from around Australia, touring major productions internationally. Together, Dance Makers Collective create exciting contemporary dance works with “imagination, thoughtfulness and even a sense of humour” (Jill Sykes, Sydney Morning Herald) and their most recent production DADS, touring in 2021, was shortlisted for Outstanding Achievement in Independent Dance at the Australian Dance Awards.


Dance Makers Collective are continuing to expose the secret pockets of dance happening across Sydney. The Rivoli was such a loss to our dance history. Just imagine 400 or so people every Friday and Saturday night coming together, across generations, to dance together. We need this back! That’s why we’re making this show.

Miranda Wheen


Ulladulla Civic Centre, NSW | Land of the Dharawal (Tharawal) People
23 & 24 March | BOOK

Kangaroo Valley Hall, NSW | Land of the Wodi-Wodi People
26 & 27 March | BOOK

Dubbo Regional Theatre & Convention Centre, NSW | Land of the Tubba-Gah & Wiradjuri People
1 & 2 April | BOOK  

Bathurst Memorial Entertainment Centre, NSW | Land of the Wiradjuri People
6 & 7 April | BOOK  

Malachi Gilmore Hall Oberon, NSW | Land of the Wiradjuri People
9 & 10 April | BOOK  

Geelong West Town Hall, VIC  | Land of the Wadawurrung People
9 - 12 November | BOOK 

Augusta Centennial Hall & Cowaramup Hall, WA  | Land of the Wadandi & Pibulum People
17 & 19 November | BOOK 

Brighton Town Hall, VIC  | Land of the Bunurong People
25 & 26 November | BOOK

Previous Tour

March-April and November 2022


Director and Co-choreographer: Miranda Wheen
Producer: Carl Sciberras
Performers: Jana Castillo, Mitchell Christie, Eliza Cooper, Emma Harrison, Taiga Kita-Leong, Katina Olsen, Carl Sciberras & Ella Watson-Heath
Lighting Designer: Benjamin Brockman
Composer: Matt Cornell
Audio Content: Allison Chan, Ninah Kopel & Tim Roxburgh
Choreography and performances 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

If you are interested in touring get in contact!

Arts on Tour
02 8038 1880