Baz Luhrmann Seeks Dancers for STRICTLY SYDNEY Ballroom Dancing Event, Feb 23

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Baz Luhrmann Seeks Dancers for STRICTLY SYDNEY Ballroom Dancing Event, Feb 23

To celebrate the imminent Opening of a truly Sydney musical, Strictly Ballroom The Musical (previewing from 25 March), Baz Luhrmann has collaborated with Global Creatures and Destination NSW to create STRICTLY SYDNEY, the largest outdoor ballroom dancing event ever seen in Australia. This spectacular community event with 4,000 ballroom dancers will be held around the Sydney Opera House on Sunday 23 February from 9am.

Anyone can register now at www.thetelegraph.com.au/strictlyballroom to be involved in STRICTLY SYDNEY. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity with a chance to perform on the forecourt of the Sydney Opera House in the biggest ballroom dance-off of all time under the creative direction of Australia's own Baz Luhrmann.

Minister for Tourism, Major Events and the Arts, George Souris, said the STRICTLY SYDNEY mass participation event was sure to attract great interest from not only Sydneysiders but visitors from intrastate, interstate and overseas, who would come to Sydney to be part of this exciting and unique event.

"Baz Luhrmann is renowned the world over for his dazzling music and dance scenes in hit films like Strictly Ballroom, Moulin Rouge and, more recently, The Great Gatsby, which was filmed in NSW," Mr Souris said. "Staged against the backdrop of Sydney's magnificent Harbour, STRICTLY SYDNEY will not only showcase Baz's talent for co-ordinating these wonderful grand-scale performances but also give audiences around the world a taste of what's to come when Strictly Ballroom The Musical makes its World Premiere in April at Sydney's Lyric Theatre. I encourage everyone to register to take part in STRICTLY SYDNEY and experience the magic and fun of Baz Luhrmann's Strictly Ballroom The Musical in one of the most spectacular outdoor settings on earth."

This exciting event will be captured in an exclusive aerial shot, showcasing the impressive display of thousands of dancers in vibrant costumes outside one of the world's most iconic buildings.

People who wish to take part in STRICTLY SYDNEY must register their interest in advance of the day through the Sunday Telegraph - www.thetelegraph.com.au/strictlyballroom. A ballot will then be drawn to select the 4,000 dancers. The ballot will be drawn on Monday 10 February and winners will be notified on Wednesday 12 February via email.

Thomas Lacey, who will play Scott in Strictly Ballroom The Musical and Phoebe Panaretos who will play Fran will both be present at the Sydney Opera House on the day. Thomas said "As soon as I heard about STRICTLY SYDNEY I thought it sounded like an amazing opportunity for people to be a part of. So if you love to dance come along and join us...it's going to be great fun!" Whilst Phoebe Panaretos said "I am so thrilled that STRICTLY SYDNEY is a huge Sydney community event and I can't wait to see 4,000 dancers in front of the Opera House! It is a fitting welcome for Strictly Ballroom The Musical into Sydney."

By registering one lucky couple will win:

· An original matching dance ensemble designed by Catherine Martin.

· Tickets to the World Premiere of Baz Luhrmann's Strictly Ballroom The Musical on Saturday 12 April at the Sydney Lyric Theatre at The Star.

20 runners up will win:

· 2 tickets to see a preview of Strictly Ballroom The Musical on Thursday 10 April at the Sydney Lyric Theatre at The Star.

Every participant will receive a digital download of the official STRICTLY SYDNEY event aerial photograph.

In addition each couple will also be given a fabric square with matching numbers on them - a unique commemorative patch designed by Catherine Martin which is pinned to the back of each dancing couple.

All details about the event day including arrival times, duration, choreography and costuming you will need to bring will be confirmed closer to the event date after the ballot has been finalised.

Strictly Ballroom The Musical is being produced in Australia by Global Creatures and Bazmark together with the support of Destination NSW, the NSW Government's tourism and major events agency and the City of Sydney.

Strictly Ballroom The Musical is the inspiring story of a championship ballroom dancer who defies all the rules to follow his heart. This uplifting and courageous tale originated as a stage play that Baz Luhrmann devised with a group of students at the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) back in 1984. Strictly Ballroom the film went on to become one of the most successful Australian films of all time, earning more than $80 million at the box office. At the Cannes Film Festival it was winner of the Prix de Jeunnesse and runner up for the Palme D'Or, and when released in Australia, Strictly Ballroom swept the field at the 1992 Australian Film Institute (AFI) Awards, gaining 13 nominations and winning in eight major categories. With the success of the film, its closing song, a remake of the John Paul Young song Love is in the Air, re-entered the Australian charts and became a Top 5 hit in October 1992. In a brand new theatrical production Strictly Ballroom The Musical, directed by Baz Luhrmann, will bring this iconic story to life on stage.

For more information, visit www.strictlyballroomthemusical.com.

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