Saturday, September 1, 2018

AB (INTRA) - Sydney Dance Company

Nelson Earl and artists of the Sydney Dance Company in ab(intra)

Photo: Vishal Pandey
Music by Nick Wales and Peteris Vasks -  Choreographed by Raphael Bonachela
Production and Costume design by David Fleischer - Lighting Design by Damien Cooper
Sydney Dance Company – Canberra Theatre – 30 August to 1st September 2018

Reviewed by Bill Stephens OAM

For his first full-length work in six years Raphael Bonachela has drawn on the extraordinary skills of his ensemble of virtuoso dancers to create an astonishing abstract work which explores their emotional and physical extremes.   

Ab(intra), which is latin for ‘from within’ is performed on what at first appears to be an austere setting, in spare, elegant costumes in subtle tones of nude, white and black, to a combination of electronic and orchestral music, the physicality and intensity of the dancers is mesmerizing as they perform the seamless flow of intricate solos, duets, trios and ensemble combinations which are beautiful to look at, and arrestingly achieved.

Damien Cooper’s extraordinary lighting design soon washes away any initial sense of austerity with its use of lines and haze to create a series of stunning environments. Nick Wales combined sections of a Peter Vasks cello concerto, recordings of Australian cellist, Julian Thompson, and his own electronic elements to create a moody, passionate soundscape to enhance the astonishing physical and dramatic connection between the dancers.

Izzac Carroll and Janessa Duffy in ab(intra) 

Photo: Pedro Grieg

In a work full of extraordinary moments, an erotically charged duet performed by Izzac Carroll and Janessa Duffy, the central tender and ecstatic duet performed by Charmene Yap and Davide Di Giovanni, and two amazing solos danced by Nelson Earl and Ariella Casu were stand-outs which astonished by the sheer virtuosity of their execution.

Davide Di Giovanni and Charmene Yap in ab(intra)

Photo: Vishal Pandey
Ab (intra) is another masterwork in a long line of outstanding dance works created by Raphael Bonachela for the Sydney Dance Company.    

This review first published in the digital edition of CITY NEWS on 31st August 2018