Friday, August 31, 2018

Ab [intra] - Sydney Dance Company

Review by John Lombard

In ‘Ab Intra’ Sydney Dance Company choreographer and artistic director Rafael Bonachela seeks to capture the movement from internal to external - how an impulse of the soul can burst into energetic movement of the body.

The recurring motif in this piece of dancers walking with purpose in different directions captured this feeling of energy, with the motion of the dancers resembling the ceaseless movement of atoms.

Romantic duets between male and female dancers were a key feature of this piece, with stirring music by composer Nick Wales providing an appropriately ecstatic crescendo for the entwined lovers.

With a tuft of cloud visible in the vista-like set design by David Fleischer, in these sequences it was hard not to think of  Broadway Melody Ballet from Singing in the Rain.

Bonachela invigorated these courtships by letting the dancers play with lightness and weight in a way that felt refreshingly gender fluid.

Sexuality was a clear element in the work, with the half-dressed dancers resembling lovers swaddled between trysts.

Nick Wales’ compositions (including some additional music by Peteris Vasks) contributed to the sensuality of the performance with pulse-throb percussion, longing strings, and the painful thrall of electronic soundscape.

‘Ab Intra’ is a passionate and generous work, a meta-commentary on abandoning your body to dance and love.