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#7: Collaborations and New Frontiers, ACO & SSO (2012)

21 March 2019

Sydney Dance Company’s appetite for risk and the vertiginous thrills that come with it have seen the Company embark on a series of daring and distinctive collaborations over the last 50 years.


Sydney Dance Company with the Australian Chamber Orchestra, creating ‘Project Rameau’ in 2012.

“For me, it’s all about collaboration,” says Artistic Director Rafael Bonachela. “I am really inspired by the opportunity to collaborate and I am always looking for ways to work together with other artists whom I admire and whose ideas and approach would be a good fit for Sydney Dance Company. It’s a way of staying connected to an ongoing source of stimulation.

(2) Sydney Dance Company's Les Illuminations featuring Juliette Barton and Thomas Bradley. Photo by Peter GreiJuliette Barton and Thomas Bradley on stage with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra for ‘Les Illuminations’ in 2013. Costumes by Toni Maticevski.

I love exploring new ways of working and communicating ideas more effectively. I don’t always know how a collaboration is going to work out and what the process is going to be like, but that is part of the creative adventure. There is always an element of risk, of course, but it’s worth taking.”

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Todd Sutherland in rehearsals for ‘Project Rameau’ featuring the Australian Chamber Orchestra as part of Illuminated in 2015

Past collaborations of note include Project Rameau with Australian Chamber Orchestra in 2012, celebrating the exquisite sensuality of Baroque music, Les Illuminations in 2013, which saw the company share a stage with Sydney Symphony Orchestra and singer Katie Noonan, and Illuminated in 2015, an encore collaboration with ACO celebrating monumental composer Benjamin Britten.

“Every time I see ACO, I want to be a better artist,” says Bonachela, “and that’s a beautiful feeling”. 


Creating ‘Les Illuminations’, performed at Sydney Opera House, alongside singer Katie Noonan and musicians from the Sydney Symphony Orchestra in 2013.

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