The pure energy of Encounter Sydney arrives at the Opera House

Artist-musician Warren Foster Jr will play the role of “story keeper” on the show, with a monologue that begins, “My body is a story and I can extend it to yours.”

The show also features a soundtrack recorded by Jodi Phillis of The Clouds and Amanda Brown of The Go Betweens, and performed by the Western Sydney Youth Orchestra.

“The music sounds to me like something between an Almodóvar film and a huge expanse of cinematic sound that is as big as the impression we get from looking at the candles in the opera house,” Saunders said.

Dancer Josh O’Connor said dancing outside the iconic building was “definitely a challenge” for the performers whose backgrounds include Highland dance, samba and musical theatre.

“It’s totally different than being on a stage where you know where everyone is, where the light will shine on you and where the audience is sitting,” he said. “Hopefully, no one will trip, knock on wood.”

meeting sydney will perform on the forecourt of the Sydney Opera House from May 18-22 as part of the UnWrapped season of independent artist shows.


Sydney Opera House head of programming Fiona Winning wanted to bring the dance show to the city after seeing it perform in Parramatta at the 2020 Sydney Festival.

“Many outdoor jobs build a lot of infrastructure, but this job relies on the energy and visibility of dancers in an urban space,” he said. “Its combination of great music, performed text and physicality is powerful and exciting to watch.”

Winning said that the show was “a joy bomb in many ways, an eruption of energy and physicality”.

“Emma Saunders’ work with these young dancers uses simple provocations that respond to the actual setting: the monumental steps, the podium and the expanse of the front yard that overlooks the city,” he said.


Winning said UnWrapped was designed to support an industry brimming with energy and innovation but short on resources.

“We support the creation and presentation of new works and the presentation of recently released works that are unique and have something to say about contemporary life,” he said.

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