The Rivoli Dance Palace in Parramatta was once Sydney’s favourite dance hall. Demolished in 1973 to make way for an office development, nothing remains of ‘The Riv’, except the stories of the people who once danced there. 

Dubbo Regional Theatre and Convention Centre (DRTCC) presents Dance Makers Collective’s (DMC) THE RIVOLI, directed by Miranda Wheen. In a modern society where you hook-up by ‘swiping left’, old time etiquette was more about a step to the left and twirl.

This show, to be presented on 1 and 2 April, is unique on a number of levels, most notably being the extent of real-life local community involvement in the touring production.

Together with the ensemble of eight dancers from Dance Makers Collective, the Tin Roof Big Band will top and tail the show, including the famous ‘The Stroll’ where the audience are invited to join in.  There will also be plenty of opportunity to hit the dance floor proper after the show.

Sound bites of recorded real-life stories and oral histories by locals Ruth Carney, Paul Martin, Helen Emblem and Farhana Chandran on their passion for dance feature throughout the performance. 

“Ten outstanding local contemporary students invited to work alongside the professional dancers from DMC will perform in the opening and final scene; the final scene being a contemporary interpretation of a high-energy mosh pit,” said Linda Christof, Manager, Dubbo Regional Theatre and Convention Centre. “In addition, ten local Rock n’ Rollers will also feature in the performance.  All dancers have worked with the DMC artists earlier in the year and have been rehearsing ever since.”

To complement the season show, Western Plains Cultural Centre (WPCC) have curated a photographic exhibition called, ‘The Pleasure of Your Company is Requested’, which portrays a brief history of local dance balls across the region.  The museum exhibition is on display at the WPCC from 14 March to 8 July, 2022.

“This show is a bridge between social and contemporary dance in both form and content,” said Ms Christof. “The show begins as any dance hall would, with a live band and a nostalgic vibe but then the atmosphere changes towards the end.”

“The live swing band is a key element of the performance for creating the atmosphere of a dance hall.  The show is set in a traverse setting in the Convention Centre so it’s similar to a tennis court where all of the action is centre court on the floor with the audience seated on either side and the band performing on stage.”

Tickets for the April shows can be booked through the DRTCC box office, visiting the website, or by calling (02) 6801 4378.

Last Edited: 24 Mar 2022

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