#30: Rafael Bonachela appointed as Artistic Director (2008)


5 September 2019

“There are no limits, no guidelines to what you will experience. The beauty about contemporary dance and experiencing it live is that what you take away from it, is unique to you.” – Rafael Bonachela

Rafael Bonachela and Company dancers (2009)
Rafael Bonachela was one of three chorographers approached by Noel Staunton, then Executive Director of Sydney Dance Company, to create a new program of work following the sudden passing of incoming artistic director Tanja Liedtke. The result was 360°: an evocative and cutting-edge piece, and Bonachela’s first commission for an Australian dance company. At this time Sydney Dance Company were beginning their search for a new Artistic Director and Bonachela was encouraged to apply, with Liedtke herself holding him in high esteem – having approached him just one year prior to consider collaborating on a large-scale project with Sydney Dance Company that she was preparing to lead.

Rafael Bonachela’s ‘360°’ (2008)
Duly appointed six months after the premiere of 360°, Bonachela has been at the helm of Sydney Dance Company to the present day and has significantly grown the Company’s repertoire, showcasing commissioned dance works from some of the world’s most in demand choreographers alongside 21 of his own original works.

Rafael Bonachela and Company dancers in rehearsals for ab [intra] (2018)
His innate talent and unparalleled passion for dance is largely responsible for the success of the Company today, with his work effortlessly bridging the mainstream and avant-garde. The last decade has also seen the introduction of the New Breedprogram,/advanced-training Pre-Professional Year aspiring dancers, a suite of  education  programs,, and a whole new frontier of collaborations.

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