Austria, Finland, Poland and Spain 7 June — 4 July 2019

“★★★★ Bold… impressive athleticism and energy… has to be seen to be believed.” – Sydney Morning Herald


Dates 7 June – 4 July

Location Austria, Finland, Poland and Spain

Duration 70 minutes (no interval)

Content Warning This production contains haze


In June 2019, the Company embarked on an extensive European tour to Austria, Finland, Poland and Spain with Rafael Bonachela’s critically acclaimed ab [intra].

Dates & Locations
7 JuneFestspielehausSt Pölten, Austria
12 – 13 JuneKuopio City TheatreKoupio, Finland
14 – 15 JuneKuopio Music Centre (featuring 'Lux Tenebris') Koupio, Finland
18 – 19 JuneŁodź Grand TheatreŁodź, Poland
2 - 4 JulyGrec Festival de BarcelonaBarcelona, Spain

ab [intra]
ChoreographyRafael Bonachela
ComposerNick Wales*
LightingDamien Cooper
Costumes and SetsDavid Fleischer

*Original compositions for ab [intra] by Nick Wales
Additional Music from Klatbune by Peteris Vasks, with permission of Hal Leonard Australia Pty Ltd, exclusive agents for Schott Music Ltd of Mainz

Lux Tenebris

ChoreographyRafael Bonachela
ComposerNick Wales
Lighting DesignBenjamin Cisterne

Media & Audience Reviews

“★★★★ Bold… impressive athleticism and energy… has to be seen to be believed.” – The Sydney Morning Herald

“Sydney Dance Company delivers intensity to startle and delight” –The Australian

“★★★★ This is contemporary dance at its most evocative and beautiful…moments of sheer wonderment and unexpected emotional catharsis.” – Time Out

★★★★½ A dazzling, electrifying, heartfelt work. Highly recommended.” – Limelight

“Bonachela says in the program that he wanted ab [intra] ‘to capture the energy and drive I feel each time I walk into the studio’. He and his company have succeeded brilliantly.” – The Daily Telegraph

“★★★★½ The energy on stage is electrifying. The dancers display astonishing power and precision…ab [intra] is an impressive piece and clearly places the Sydney Dance Company as a leader in creating and performing new work.” – Arts Hub 

“★★★★ A beautiful display of interconnected athleticism… It’s a captivating journey” – Daily Review

“★★★★ I was gripped until the last second, after which I collapsed back into my seat.  If this is the sort of energy that Bonachela and his dancers walk into every working day, then it is a force to be reckoned with.” – Bachtrack

“★★★★ One of the strongest seasons for SDC in recent years.” – Herald Sun

“★★★★ Utterly mesmerising” – The Guardian

“★★★★★ The dancing is astonishing!” – ArtsHub

“It’s the perfect show to take your dance-sceptical friend to.” – Time Out Sydney

“Wickedly witty, brilliantly danced and hugely entertaining” – Arts Review

“Blindingly brilliant” –

“Forget everything you think you know about contemporary dance.” – Drum Media

“Massive congratulations to the whole cast, stunning dancers with so much power, grace and heart. Haven’t seen work that clean in a long time. Thanks for the inspiration Sydney Dance Company” – Benjamin Cure (Audience Member)

“I am so happy that I (randomly) bought a ticket to last night’s performance! It was absolutely exhilarating!” – Densie Devine (Audience Member)

“I just wanted to say the biggest ‘thank you’ to you and to the company  for the tickets on Monday night. I was completely blown away by Rafael’s  work and by the extraordinary abilities of the dancers. It was  breathtaking. Beautiful and athletic with moments that surprised me and  took my breath away. Completely in awe. Thank you.” – Audience Member

Cheat Sheet

Despite being one of the youngest art forms, contemporary dance is perhaps the most primal and physical. It is open to your own personal interpretation – you can view it in the same way you experience art and ask yourself how it makes you feel. Read our Collaborators Guide To Contemporary Dance here.

The performance of ab [intra] lasts for approximately 70 minutes with no interval and will take you on a journey into a world of exquisite athleticism and human connection.

“The dancers are always my faithful collaborators. They give themselves personally and intimately, they bring their own experiences to the studio and the trust we have as an ensemble delivers its own authenticity and openness.”

Rafael Bonachela
is originally from Barcelona and has been the Artistic Director at Sydney Dance Company for 10 years. He began his career as a dancer for the world renowned Rambert Dance Company in 1992 and later became Rambert’s Associate Choreographer.

As a choreographer, Bonachela has been commissioned to make works for Candoco, George Piper Dances, ITDANSA Danza, Contemporanea de Cuba, Transitions Dance Company, Dance Works Rotterdam, and more.

His internationally recognised talent has seen him work not only with contemporary dance at the highest level but also with artists from popular culture, such as Kylie Minogue, Tina Turner, Sarah Blasko and Katie Noonan, as well as leading fashion designers Dion Lee, Bianca Spender and Toni Maticevski.

Fun Fact: Rafael is an avid green thumb, with a vast collection of pot plants. His favourite? The Phalaenopsis, or more commonly known as the moth orchid.

The music of ab [intra] blends string instrumentals with electronic soundscapes. This season also sees the return of Rafael Bonachela’s long-time musical collaborator, composer Nick Wales. Wales works across contemporary dance, film, theatre, and classical music. He first worked with Bonachela in 2012 on the award-winning 2 One Another, and with Sarah Blasko on the score for 2 in D Minor.

Alongside Wales’ score, ab [intra] also features the string concerto, Klātbūtne (“Presence”) by Latvian composer Pēteris Vasks. Vasks’ compositions are informed by choral and folk traditions and are characterised for their spiritual introspection and emotional depth – full of strength, purity and serenity.

Fun Fact: Nick Wales was inspired by artists such as Ryuichi Sakamoto, Ben Frost, and Radiohead while working on the ab [intra] soundscape. Listen to his Spotify playlist.

For ab [intra], Costume and Set Designer David Fleischer decided to work with a minimalist, raw aesthetic. The stage is white to provide a clean, pure focus for the audience, while the wings are stripped back and exposed to highlight the industrial quality of the space.

The costumes include elements of both classical ballet wear, such as tights, bare chests, and leotards, and modern clothing such as trousers, skirts, bras, and t-shirts.

To contrast the energy from the dancers the Lighting Designer, Damien Cooper has used low energy LED fixtures so that the total energy usage is under 15000 watts.

Fun Facts:
Sydney Dance Company has been able to reduce its energy footprint for this season through using all LED fixtures. The lighting requires the same power as just 12 normal theatre lights and could be powered by only 6 standard power points.

There were 500 hours spent making the costumes.

Rehearsal Gallery

Chloe Young
Coco Wood
Dean Elliott
Emily Seymour
Jacopo Grabar
Kai Taberner
Liam Green
Luke Hayward
Choreographer, New Breed 2022
Mia Thompson
Madeline Harms
Morgan Hurrell
Piran Scott
Sophie Jones