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Sydney Dance Company

5th and 6th April 2024.

National Theater Belgrade

ab [intra]

choreography: Rafael Bonachela
music original score: Nick Wales featuring Klātbūtne by Pēteris Vasks
lighting design: Damien Cooper
production and costume design: David Fleischer

duration: 70’
premiere: Roslyn Packer Theatre Sydney, 2018.

From tenderness to turmoil, “ab [intra]” journeys through the intensity of human existence, exploring our primal instincts, our impulses and our visceral responses. The music fuses lush cello concerto with ambient electronica and the exquisite dancers occupy a visually arresting ethereal world. This is a ferociously physical and heartfelt piece that will stay with you long after you leave the theatre.

Rafael Bonachela is a choreographer, artistic director and curator whose career has seen him successfully span high art and popular culture, working across a range of art forms, including contemporary dance, art installations, pop concerts, musicals, film, commercials and fashion. Bonachela was born in La Garriga near Barcelona (1972) where he began his early dance training before moving to London to join the legendary Rambert Dance Company where he danced from 1992 to 2004. In 2008, he premiered his first full-length production “360°” for Sydney Dance Company. A few months later, he was appointed Artistic Director, heralding a new era in Australian contemporary dance. His vision for the Company embraces a guiding principle that sees commissioned dance works by Australian and international choreographers, alongside his own critically acclaimed creations. Bonachela’s career has seen him collaborate with many artists in different fields such as composers (Ezio Bosso, Nick Wales, Tarik O’Regan, Matthew Herbert, Marius de Vries, Benjamine Wallfisch), musicians (Sarah Blasco, Katie Noonan, Kylie Minogue, Tina Turner, The Sixteen), orchestras (Australian Chamber Orchestra, London Sinfonietta, Sydney Symphony), visual artists (Angela de la Cruz, Jennifer Allora and Guillermo Calzadilla, Lenka Clayton), production desiners (Alan Macdonald, Ralph Myers, Tony Assness, David Fleisher), fashion (Toni Maticevski, Dion Lee), filmmakers (Daniel Askill, Tim Richardson, Dimitri Basil, Dawn Shadforth, Johan Renck, Clemens Habicht), poets (Sam Webster) and photographers (Pedro Greig, Jez Smith, Hugh Stewart). Bonachela’s work is strong, sober and sharp. The exploration of pure movement is where he finds his unmistakable style. The result is an incandescent dance that springs from the power of movement, in which energy and muscle strength combine with a great emotional sensitivity.

Sydney Dance Company is a legendary force in Australian contemporary dance. Its performances have appeared on the great dance stages of the world, from Sydney Opera House to Joyce Theatre in New York, Grand in Shanghai and Stanislavsky in Moscow. Its dancers have left audiences breathless, it has presented Australian art to the world, and brought the world to Australia. Dance in Australia would be inconceivable without it. Actively creating and touring new work under the artistic directorship of Rafael Bonachela, the Company maintains an ensemble of exceptional dancers. Sydney Dance Company has its origins in a group founded in 1969 by dancer Suzanne Musitz. Soon known as The Dance Company, from 1975-1976 the Company was directed by Dutch choreographer Jaap Flier, before the appointment of Australian choreographer Graeme Murphy in 1976. In 1979 Murphy and his partner Janet Vernon instituted the defining name change to Sydney Dance Company and proceeded to lead it for a remarkable 30 years. Murphy and his collaborators created work that enthralled audiences in Australia and in extensive international touring, including being the first western contemporary dance company to perform in China. Sydney Dance Company has been led since 2009 by Rafael Bonachela. Over the past years the Company has cemented its reputation as a creative powerhouse, with an acclaimed group of dancers presenting new work by Bonachela and other choreographers, designers, composers and musicians. Since 1985 the Company has been a resident of the purpose-built studios at The Wharf in Sydney’s Walsh Bay, minutes from the city’s famed Bridge and Opera House. Its studios offer the largest public dance classes in Australia, with nearly 80.000 attendances annually.

Bold… impressive athleticism and energy… has to be seen to be believed.
© Sydney Morning Herald

This is contemporary dance at its most evocative and beautiful… moments of sheer wonderment and unexpected emotional catharsis.
© Time Out

Highly recommended.
© Limelight

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