Lux Tenebris In Rehearsal

Rebecca Varidel
17th Feb 2016

"At Sydney Dance Company boys lift girls, girls lift boys, girls lift girls, boys lift boys, anyone can lift anyone" winks Sydney Dance Company Artistic Director and Choreographer Rafael Bonacela.

And this is true. We've already seen it, and again in our first glimpse during rehearsals of his new work in progress.

For me there is something very special about dance. It's that union of music and movement. That art that brings the mastery of the body to a higher state of being. Then you add the intelligence and creativity of the choreographer and you are one or two steps closer to Nirvana.

Take the forthcoming work of Sydney Dance Company Artistic Director and Choreographer Rafael Bonacela. Lux Tenebris is Latin. Its literal translation is light darkness. Throughout the history of his own works light and darkness seems to be of fascination to Bonacela. While we've seen it used integrally to highlight the staging of his previous works, now light and darkness is explored in his latest erudite work as the central theme. While the world premier for this dance in Sydney is still eleven days out, this new work shows signs of being his best choreography yet.

Eight months in the making he started by jotting down ideas of the duality around June 2014, although Bonaceli explains that darkness and light can be so much more than black and white. Light is most often associated with good, and darkness its contrast. Yet Bonacela expands darkness can represent meditation, and light can blind. His first jotting down of words flowed into collaboration with electronic music composer Nick Wales and the original music promises to be just as emotionally embracing. Early rehearsals in January this year also allowed the dancers of the company to explore what light and darkness meant to them and they responded with sketches, poetry and prose.

Lux Tenebris premiers in Sydney at the Roslyn Packer Theatre on February 26th. It is one of two works in the Sydney Dance Company double bill CounterMove and is presented with the return of Cacti by Swedish choreographer Alexander Ekman.

Image by Peter Greig.