#5: The Living Flame (1979)


8 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 long muscles, their serpentine grace, their ultramodern cool. All of this set against a rousing chorus extolling the virtues of natural gas.

The three-day shoot was punishing, the melt-into-skin costumes making eating, drinking and toilet breaks near-on impossible, but the dancers were paid $1000 (a dizzying sum then) and the ad would run for 13 years.

In 2012, five of the original dancers –  Sheree da Costa, Janet Addison, Kathy Chard, Jennifer Barry-Knox and Glenda Percival –  reunited for a PR campaign to celebrate AGL’s 175th birthday.

You can catch Sheree da Costa on stage in Gideon Obarzanek’s Us50 in November, a grand-scale work featuring 50 performers made up of past and current Company dancers, plus members of our community.

Follow #SDC50Years in 2019 on FacebookInstagram and Twitter to revisit some of our highlights and greatest moments of dance over the past 50 years and share your favourite memories of Sydney Dance Company using #SDC50Years.

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