Riverside Archives

This event has occurred in the past


Venue Off Site Venues
Dates 10 January - 12 January 2020
Category Live Event

Sydney Festival presents
Directed by Emma Saunders
Commissioned and produced by FORM Dance Projects
Supporting Partners: Sydney Youth Orchestra and FLING Physical Theatre
Proudly supported by Riverside Theatres
Prelude curated by FORM Dance Projects

“Someone puts a boombox down on the concrete…I don’t get it, I don’t know how to be here…and I enter the space they’ve opened up and I dance.” 

You are here in this place where the eels lay down and the cars light up and the McDonald’s ‘M’ is the biggest moon in the sky. Parramatta. Summertime. Early in the evening. Encounter is your invitation to the neighbourhood.

In this en masse, site-specific work of joy, directed by Emma Saunders, Encounter explores the everyday extraordinariness of being young and being in this place: from Parramatta, Western Sydney to the Bega Valley, on the NSW South Coast.

Creatively developed with a cast of 16 young dancers and 48 young musicians of the Western Sydney Youth Orchestra, and in collaboration with a group of award-winning Australian artists including Felicity Castagna (writer, The Incredible Here and Now), composers Amanda Brown (The Go-Betweens) and Jodi Phillis (The Clouds), Encounter celebrates young people growing up in urban and regional communities.

FYI this free event will be at Prince Alfred Square (opposite Riverside Theatres) – No bookings required. Please bring picnic blankets and low chairs


Arrive early at Prince Alfred Square Park and bring your picnic blankets to enjoy Prelude, a warm-up to Encounter, featuring a rotating showcase of short performances by local dance revolutionaries and community dance leaders.

Artists include flamenco diva Pepa Molina; Bharatanatyam dancer Aruna Gandhi; Polynesian Cook Islanders Pacific Dreams; Feras Shaheen and his Dabke dancing mother, Diane Busuttil’s Feisty Femmes; Forge Tap Quartet; the rocking contemporary Dance Makers Collective; international Sharp Short Dance alumnus Billy Keohavong and more!

Director Emma Saunders
Choreography In collaboration with the dancers
Associate Artist Rob McCredie
Composers Amanda Brown and Jodi Phillis
Orchestrator  Jessica Wells
Conductor James Pensini
Writer Felicity Castagna
Visual Artist David Capra

Western Sydney Dancers
Sarah Kalule, Lawrencea Mateariki, Sabrina Muszynski, Joshua O’Connor, Naomi Reichardt, Feras Shaheen, Caylan Spendlove, Xara Zaineddine

The FLING Company
Esme Barker, Ebony Constable, Gabriela Green Olea, Ebony Ryan-Miners, Lara Scrivens, Bodhi Turner, Rory Warne, Luca Yi

Orchestra: Western Sydney Youth Orchestra
Spoken Word Pola Fanous
Trailer Spoken Word Bilal Hafda
Photography Heidrun Löhr 
Video and Trailer
Dominic O’Donnell
Production Manager Rebecca Poulter

FORM Dance Projects
Director and Encounter Executive Producer Annette McLernon
Program Manager Agnes Michelet
Business Manager Sally Ebert
Admin and Marketing Maya Gavish
Production Manager Rebecca Poulter

FLING Physical Theatre
Co-Artistic Directors
Rob McCredie and Gabrielle Rose

Sydney Youth Orchestras
SYO General Manager Mia Patoulios
SYO Artistic Program Manager Katie Garman

Encounter Thanks
Create NSW, City of Parramatta, Riverside Theatres, Packer Family Foundation, Crown Resorts Foundation, and all the artists, dancers, musicians and families. FORM Dance Projects’ Board and Staff; Sydney Youth Orchestras’ Board and Staff; FLING Physical Theatre Board and Staff



Performed at Prince Alfred Square, Encounter explores the everyday extraordinariness of being young and being in this place: from Parramatta, Western Sydney to the Bega Valley, on the NSW South Coast.

Visit Facebook Event

Explore more Riverside shows

Based on a true story, Robot Song illustrates the profound, transformative nature of creativity that when combined with unconditional love, becomes an unstoppable force. 
Let's DANCE is a double-bill by Chris Chua (BeatStorm) and Ryuichi Fujimura (Fall! Falter!! Dance!!!).


2 hours (No interval)

Ticket Prices