Recently adjacent to the current Australian Marriage Law Survey it has become de rigueur for performing arts companies in Australia to issue a media release that states its stance. In the current performance season, Sydney Dance Company takes it one step further with Artistic Director Rafael Bonachela donning a YES EQUALITY t-shirt at the theatre.
First sited in his customary introduction, standing below the stage from in front of the first row of the audience, as not only Artistic Director but for 2 One Another also Choreographer, humbly announcing that this internationally acclaimed full length work had reached the magnificent achievement of 100 performances. With a World Premiere at Sydney Theatre 13 March 2012, 2 One Another has toured to Melbourne, Wollongong, Adelaide, Alice Springs, Perth, Mandurah, Albany, Bunbury, Geraldton, Cairns, Mackay, Rockhampton, Townsville, Gold Coast, Port Macquarie, Dubbo, Bathurst, Orange - and that's just the performances in Australia. Add Peru, Ecauador, Colombia, Mexico, USA, Russia, Germany internationally, including New Zealand closer to home.
There's a theme running here too. Across the Arts we see an increasing resonance with portraying the humanness of our being, and an increased connection to beyond the human, to our spirituality.
In 2 One Another Rafael Bonachela explores the idea that we enter the world with nothing and we are then shaped by our experiences and relationships with the people we meet.
"I am fascinated by the interactions between people and as I spend time in the studio with the dancers I can't help but see them as a microcosm of broader human interactons. As a group they spend so much time together that their relationships and interactions at times seem to be a whole world in itself" Bonachela shares.
For lovers of the dance, and fans of Sydney Dance Company, there is another benefit in revisiting one of the major works of its repertoire, and the repertoire of its resident choreographer.
In looking back on performances of the last five years, in both his and the company's body of work, this piece marks the start in not only this human theme but also our connection in the world and outside it. We see influences of spirituality, growth, distraction, evolution, and questioning. Works based and named about Light and about the Soul. This and later works of Bonachela are deeply influential pieces not only in the design of dancers' movements, and in the collaboration with the dancers, but also in minimalist staging, unisex costume design, creative lighting variations, both choices of music and musicians, and in this case for 2 One Another even a collaboration with a poet, Samuel Webster. Across the five years we see contrasting strength vs vulnerability in the dance. Vitality. Energy. Excitement. Fluidity. Nuance. Athleticism. Flexibility. Subtlely. Softness. Power. And more.
As a final exclamation mark, in its latest incarnation, 2 One Another introduces a new statement, YES EQUALITY is included as new lighting design in its curtain call.
2 One Another returns to where it all started in its Sydney home for a short season at Roslyn Packer Theatre until this Saturday October 14th.
New Breed 2017 continues the commitment of the company to emerging choreographers at Carriageworks November 30th to December 9th.