Company dancer Dimitri Kleioris talks about the relationship between memory and music


29 April 2020

This week we spoke with Company dancer Dimitri Kleioris about how he and the dancers are staying creative in isolation and the importance of ‘rep memory’ sessions of works in their repertoire.

We had our last day in the theatre on March 18. I always love getting into tech week in the theatre, the space, the air, the feeling that in less than a week a full audience will join us to experience a brand new creation. This time was different. We knew that we weren’t able to premiere Rafael Bonachela’s new work Impermanence due to the current global situation, but our aim was to get all the elements solidified: lighting, staging, costumes, set and music. So when the time comes we have a finished work to perform.

Sydney Dance Company is a repertory company which means we have an arsenal of works up our sleeves ready to be performed around Australia and the world. The way we keep up with remembering all of these works is to have a ‘memory rep’ session. Every month we have an allotted time for each work where the music is played and the dancers physicalise the work on the studio floor in order to retain as much of the details of the work as possible in their bodies.

Have you ever heard a piece of music that’s taken you right back to a particular moment? Your first dance with your partner? The smell of your grandma’s kitchen while she is humming along to Tammy Wynette? The feeling of running through the bush? It’s the same in dance, only the memory that is triggered is the choreography. There is a lot of research that shows the relationship between memory and music. It’s quite incredible to feel the choreography almost magically drop into your body in real-time whilst moving on the studio floor with your colleagues. Or in your living room like we did in April.

Impermanence was still fresh in our minds and it felt great to go through. I can’t wait till we are all in the studio together again to bring to you this wonderfully poignant work by our Artistic Director Rafael Bonachela. The work is inspired by the devastating fire that brought down the spire of Notre-Dame de Paris. Whilst we were creating the work Australia faced both the bush fires and now Covid-19, echoing the ethos of the work that events and moments pass, nothing lasts forever.

Dimitri Kleioris
Company Dancer

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