Engage: 50 Years, 50 Memories

Ross Philip, Sheree Da Costa, Janet Vernon, Graeme Murphy. Sheherezade. 1979. Photo Branco Gaica_v3

#12: Shéhérazade (1979)

24 April 2019

Jill Sykes AM, dance critic for The Sydney Morning Herald, reflects on Shéhérazade. “Is it possible to pluck out a single outstanding memory from three decades of Graeme Murphy’s creativity with the Sydney Dance Company? Perhaps. And partly because of Branco Gaica’s iconic photograph from 1979 which… Read more

Paul Mecurio

#11: Cafe, Paul Mercurio (1989)

18 April 2019

Paul Mercurio joined Sydney Dance Company in 1982 and was with the company for ten years before his career hit stratospheric heights with his star turn in Strictly Ballroom. He reflects on the 1989 work Café, which he created with Kim Walker. Lea Francis, Kim… Read more

Deadly Sins

#10: Kinselas Nightclub (1983)

11 April 2019

In 1983, Sydney Dance Company staged its Flashbacks season in an unlikely venue: Kinselas nightclub in Darlinghurst. The building has a storied past: in 1932 undertaker Charles Kinsela had commissioned young architect Chares Delit to convert it into a funeral home, replete with a chapel… Read more


#9: Sydney Dance Company and Akira Isogawa (1998)

04 April 2019

1998 saw Graeme Murphy collaborate with fashion designer Akira Isogawa for the first time, sparking a long collaborative partnership that has resulted in some of the most beautiful costumes ever created for dance. The work was Salome, an intense and intoxicating retelling of the biblical… Read more

1989_On Tour

#8: 18 weeks, 93 shows (1970)

28 March 2019

Australian dancers are known as some of the hardest working in the world, due in no small part to the sheer exertion required to tour our vast continent. Dipping into a typical Sydney Dance touring schedule from 1970 reveals legions about the company’s grit, attack… Read more


#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.… Read more


#6: Love 201 (1971)

14 March 2019

Music is the animating force behind dance, the pulse, the propulsion, the heartbeat. Over its 50 years, Sydney Dance Company has commissioned 38 bespoke scores to match the daring and audacity of its movement. The very first went to Peter Sculthorpe in 1971 for the… Read more

Living Flame Poster-crop-2

#5: The Living Flame (1979)

08 March 2019

In 1979, Sydney Dance Company cemented their growing profile by starring in AGL’s unforgettable Living Flame commercial, choreographed by Graeme Watson and directed by Patrick Russel. In glorious technicolour blues, the dancers showcase the qualities that still transfix audiences today: the coiled power in those… Read more


#4: New Breed (2014)

28 February 2019

“As a choreographer, you need bodies to create; you need space,” says Artistic Director Rafael Bonachela. “It’s not like composing, or painting, which you can do in your lounge room. A company like Sydney Dance Company, which has its own space, which is now 50… Read more

Poppy_GMurphy the hospital scene

#3: Poppy (1978)

22 February 2019

Photographer Branco Gaica has shot thousands of photographs of Sydney Dance Company. “I developed all those photos by hand, so when I look at the images, I reimagine the night. One I’ve still got on my wall at home is Kim Walker in ‘After Venice‘: he… Read more