360 Degrees | Sydney Dance CompanyFor almost a generation, the Sydney Dance Company was the artistic domain of Graeme Murphy. It is no secret that after his departure, the Company experienced a challenging period. However, in 2009, an internationally renowned choreographer, a man who describes himself as a ‘movement junkie’ was appointed to the Company’s artistic helm. Enter Rafael Bonachela, and his latest work, 360 Degrees. In a fastidious and exhilarating production, the Company delivers exquisite movement, sensory stimulation, and suspense.
In Hebrew, the number 18, chai, means life. Armed with formidable physicality, flexibility, precision and emotion, the 18 dancers certainly bring to life the intricate choreography for which Bonachela has been heralded. For an hour, the audience is taken on a multi-dimensional, journey of life’s various iterations: from the chaotic to the serene, and back to the destructive, in full circle. Each dancer is outstanding. However, Annabel Knight is a stand out for not only injecting passion into her performance, but never failing to perform. Imprecision does not enter the minds or bodies of Chylie Cooper and Chen Wen (Kevin) at any time.
Not only is one captivated by the whirlwind of dance formations, but also by the images and shadows projecting to all angles of the theatre by the two gigantic mirror sheets pointing inward on the stage. Against this continuously stimulating setting is an equally large drop down screen, which, in a highly considered fashion, either echoes or drives the particular dance sequence. From the angelic crescendos in Quelela (by Chris Watson) to the industrial influences embedded in Hana (Asa-Chang), each composition lends itself impeccably to the urban context of the piece. The costume design is minimal yet sophisticated, with the dual toned black and nude leotards offering dramatic effect. This virtual reality is best exemplified in the slick combination of multimedia and the traffic of movement in the tunnel sequence.
360 Degrees is like a tight, neat package that is as appealing when first presented as it is when unravelled and revealed.  

The Sydney Dance Company presents
Rafaela Bonachela

Venue: the Arts Centre, the Playhouse
Dates: 13-16 May 2009
Times: Wednesday - Saturday 8pm, Saturday matinee 4pm
Tickets: $70 /$60/$40
Duration: 1 hour
Bookings: theartscentre.com.au *, Ticketmaster 1300 136 166 *, the Arts Centre Box Office and Ticketmaster outlets. *transaction fee applies
Visit: www.sydneydancecompany.com

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