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Program

19 to 22 April - 18:00 h (Local Time)
Kraftwerk

Photo: Matthias Leitzke

SYDNEY DANCE COMPANY

19 - 21 April 2018, 20:00h, and 22 April 2018, 18:00h, KraftWerk
Introduction with Bernd Kaufmann and Jürgen Wilcke on 19 April at 19:15h in the KraftWerk

PROGRAMME

Frame of Mind (European premiere)
Choreography: Rafael Bonachela
Set and costume design: Ralph Myers
Costume design realization: Aleisa Jelbart
Lighting design: Benjamin Cisterne
Composition: Bryce David Dessner: Aheymfor String Quartet, Little Blue Something and Tenebre recorded by Kronos Quartet
Dramaturgical consultant: Samuel Webster

Duration: approx. 33 minutes
World premiere: 6 March 2015, Sydney

Rafael Bonachela's Frame of Mind focuses on the complexity of human emotions. The choreography is inspired by the desire to be at two different places at once, as well as by the desire to be understood without words. The stage set represents an interior – a somewhat dilapidated, yet atmospheric studio loft. Light falls through a large side window; alternating between bright sunshine and melancholy moonlight, it serves as a metaphor for the passing of time and shifting moods. It is in this room that Bonachela places his choreography, one that likewise triggers strong emotions. Energy-packed, sometimes rough-hewn ensemble sequences test the boundaries of the physical and alternate with intimate, fluid duets. The music is composed by Bryce Dessner of the New York band "The National" and was recorded by the Kronos Quartet. In 2015 the choreography was singled out for "Best Ballet or Dance Work" and "Best Choreography" at the renowned Helpmann Awards.

Wildebeest (German premiere)
Choreography: Gabrielle Nankivell
Composer and sound design: Luke Smiles, motion laboratories
Costume design: Fiona Holley
Lighting design: Benjamin Cisterne

Duration: approx. 30 minutes
World premiere: 5 November 2014, Sydney

Wildebeest was produced in 2014 for the Sydney Dance Company's "New Breed" programme for emerging choreographers and made possible by The Balnaves Foundation.

In Wildebeest, choreographer Gabrielle Nankivell contrasts people's most primal impulses and animalistic instincts with the routine and tamed refinement of modern life. Initially behaving as part of the herd, seeking security within the group or brutally battling it out for dominance, they later morph into robot-like beings. Despite the dangers constantly lurking from within and without, the choreography portrays "primitive" life in a tense, individualized movement vocabulary, whereas "conscious" man is ascribed highly controlled, repetitive and monotonous movements in a crowd. The choreography unfolds to the music of Luke Smiles, who has collaborated with Nankivell for a number of years. The soundscape he creates ranges from full, rich, naturalistic sounds to sterile electronic pulses mounting to an almost painful crescendo.

Lux Tenebris
Choreography: Rafael Bonachela
Costume design: Aleisa Jelbart
Lighting and stage design: Benjamin Cisterne
Music composer: Nick Wales
Music mix: Bob Scott
Sound engineers: Ilia Bezroukov, David Trump
Electric violin: Veronique Serret
Electric cello: Kate Moore
Double bass: Maxime Bibeau
Percussion: Laurence Pike

Duration: approx. 35 minutes
World premiere: 29 February 2016, Sydney

Lux Tenebris – light in the darkness – depicts a world of dark shadows and flickering light. Here Bonachela plumbs the extremes of human experience: How does darkness affect our emotions and perceptions? How do they change in the sparse points of brightness? What effect do both of these have on the instinctive bond between people? The choreography tests the limits of the ensemble's skill in terms of physicality and dance. Ensemble scenes are danced with a furious passion or an almost technoid character, only to give way to tender, intimate solos and duets. The choreography is accompanied by an electronic soundscape by Nick Wales, a "musical tug-of-war" (Wales) that illustrates the battle between light and darkness.

Total duration: 2 hours 18 minutes, including two intermissions

COMPANY
Consummate body control and powerful, fluid, and soaring movements traversing the stage are the hallmarks of the Sydney Dance Company's inimitable style. At the same time, it reveals an inner harmony that allows the dancers to clearly articulate the most complex of scenes. The group has evolved in recent years to become Australia's most renowned company.

Founded in 1969, the Sydney Dance Company, developed a largely neoclassical repertoire until 2007 under the direction of Australian Graeme Murphy. Things took a new direction with choreographer Rafael Bonachela, who became the company's artistic director in 2009. A new repertoire was created with a focus on contemporary dance and encompassing choreographies by Bonachela as well as internationally renowned guest choreographers like William Forsythe, Kenneth Kvarnström and Emanuel Gat.

The company is also responsible for Australia's largest public dance programme, introducing some 80,000 participants each year to the art of dance. The nationwide study programme offers a methodical curriculum for students and other interested individuals as well as for professional dancers.

The Sydney Dance Company performed the Bonachela productions 6 Breaths and LANDforms at the Movimentos Festival in 2011 and presented 2 One Another in 2015.

ARTISTIC DIRECTOR AND CHOREOGRAPHER
Elaborate and thoroughly intoxicating, Rafael Bonachela's choreographies are characterized by a force and subtlety with a broad range of expression and complex dance vocabulary. Born in Spain, the self-styled "movement junkie" explores and experiments with movements in all their permutations.

Bonachela began dancing with the London Rambert Dance Company in 1992 and was appointed the company's Associate Choreographer in 2003. He quickly became known as a dynamic and innovative choreographer with an unorthodox style that bridges the gap between high and popular culture. In 2006 he founded the Bonachela Dance Company, and has designed stage shows for Kylie Minogue, Tina Turner, and other pop stars. 360° was his first choreography for the Sydney Dance Company. He became the group's artistic director in 2009.

CHOREOGRAPHER
Australian choreographer Gabrielle Nankivell is concerned with forms of experience and the transformations and impermanence of life. Her choreographic work calls on the imagination, emotions, and intellectual engagement of the audience. The pieces are mostly based on her own texts in which she articulates perceptions. She then translates the melody of the language and the rhythm of the syntax to the language of the body, transforming the words into movements.
Trained in Australia, the dancer and choreographer worked for a time in Europe in countries including Slovenia, Portugal and Belgium. In addition to her choreographic projects, she also works as a movement consultant for stage and film productions. Her choreography Wildebeest created in 2014 for the Sydney Dance Company was named "Best New Work" in the 2014 Dance Australia Critics Survey.

She enjoys a long-standing collaboration with the composer and sound designer Luke Smiles.