#49: The Dancers of Sydney Dance Company


19 December 2019


Pedro Greig

Over 260 dancers have worked with Sydney Dance Company to date, from all over Australia and beyond. They have been as young as 17 and as senior as 75, and they’ve shared the stage with rock stars, actors, opera singers and orchestras. They’ve danced with puppets, run with athletes, navigated skateboards and rollerblades, and tackled everything from pas de deux in bathtubs to Tivoli kick lines. Some dancers performed with the Company just a few times, while many stayed for well over a decade. One dancer, Janet Vernon, Associate Director and muse for Graeme Murphy, performed with the Company for 31 years, as well as an additional year in the 1960s as one of the first dancers in Ballet in a Nutshell. They are the choreographers’ voice and pour their deepest and most personal selves into collaborating, creating and performing. They are the lifeblood of the company.

“The dancers are key to the success of Sydney Dance Company,” says Artistic Director Rafael Bonachela. “The ensemble are highly trained individuals with a deep knowledge of contemporary and classical techniques who are able to adapt to the extreme physicality of my work. I like working with dancers who have open minds and intelligent bodies. I look for dancers with personality, dancers who have a mind of their own, who like to get involved in the creative process so that a dialogue can exist, bringing even more possibilities for change and discovery.”

“I am lucky to have a team of 16 incredibly talented and committed dancers who are able to embrace and embody different styles and influences with an astounding level of discipline, tenacity and grace. This has been instrumental in performing some of the key works that we have presented in recent years, including William Forsythe’s masterpiece Quintett, which received critical acclaim and several industry awards. They come from a range of different backgrounds and they each bring something unique and distinctive to their role in the ensemble. I believe that in many ways this diversity reflects modern Australia.”

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