2019 National Tour

50th Anniversary Triple Bill 2 May — 17 August 2019

★★★★ “Virtuoso display thrills with speed and stillness” – Sydney Morning Herald


Dates 26 March – 17 August

Location NSW, VIC, NT, SA, TAS

Duration 1hr 45mins (including interval)

Content Warning Strobe lighting, theatrical smoke and haze


Sydney Dance Company’s 50th Anniversary bursts into life with a thrilling triple bill from Rafael Bonachela, Gabrielle Nankivell and Melanie Lane, each having created a wildly inventive and spellbinding experience for the audience.

Celebrate our 50th year through these three extraordinary works that will take you on one unforgettable journey.

Follow #2019SDC #SDCTurns50 @SydneyDanceCo on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Buy a Gift Voucher here.

Dates & Locations
26 Mar – 13 AprRosyln Packer Theatre Walsh Bay, SydneyNSW
2 – 4 MayCanberra Theatre CentreACT
8 – 11 MayArts Centre MelbourneVIC
16 MayWarragulVIC
18 MayFrankstonVIC
22 MayBendigoVIC
25 MayMilduraVIC
27 JulyDarwinNT
31 JulyAlice SpringsNT
3 AugWhyallaSA
8 – 10 AugAdelaideSA
15 – 17 AugHobartTAS

Cast & Creatives


Choreography: Rafael Bonachela
Music: Alberto Ginastera, String Quartet No.2 Op.26
Costume: Bianca Spender
Lighting Design: Damien Cooper
Cast: Davide Di Giovanni, Holly Doyle, Riley Fitzgerald, Chloe Leong, Charmene Yap

Neon Aether

Choreography: Gabrielle Nankivell
Music: Commissioned composition by Luke Smiles, motion laboratories
Costume Design: Harriet Oxley
Lighting Design: Damien Cooper
Cast: Ariella Casu, Janessa Dufty, Dimitri Kleioris, Luke Hayward, Jesse Scales, Emily Seymour, Mia Thompson, Victor Zarallo


Choreography: Melanie Lane
Music: Clark, commissioned composition
Costume Design: Aleisa Jelbart
Lighting Design: Verity Hampson
Cast: Ariella Casu, Dean Elliot, Chloe Young, Janessa Dufty, Dimitri Kleioris, Jacopo Grabar, Liam Green, Luke Hayward, Emily Seymour, Jesse Scales, Mia Thompson, Victor Zarallo

Read the Bonachela / Nankivell / Lane program here.

Media & Audience Reviews

★★★★ “Virtuoso display thrills with speed and stillness” – Sydney Morning Herald

“Inspiring, surprising and energising, Sydney Dance Company’s opening season performance lit a spark that will hopefully burn all year.” – The Daily Telegraph

“A triple treat… three works that foreground the dancers” – The Australian

★★★★ 1/2 “Absolutely electrifying…When the dancers really let rip, it’s hard to stay seated in your chair….take a chance on dance.” – Audrey Journal

★★★★ “Elastic dynamic dancing… a thrilling dance work flush with wit and invention…  Grimy zombies getting down to the pulsating beat of late night parties was the audience favourite” – Daily Review

★★★★ “The dancing is as dazzling as ever” – Limelight

★★★★ “A satisfying mix of contemporary dance to audiences old and new” – Dance Australia

★★★★ “Breathtaking contemporary dance… Fresh, vital and athletic as ever” – Bachtrack

“The diversity of material that the dancers were asked to perform in this triple bill was remarkable and, in their usual fashion, they rose to the occasion and looked stupendous throughout.” – Michelle Potter

“Contemporary dance at its best” – The F

“An exceptional showing, serving a varied trilogy in turns frenzied, poetic and intense” – The Plus Ones

“Totally blew my mind, a triple bill of absolute bliss.” – Sheree da Costa, former Company Dancer

“What an astonishing night of dance from Sydney Dance Company last night. Three utterly unique & compelling works. Congratulations on 50 years, and to Rafael Bonachela for such extraordinary vision over the past 10 years!” – Glynis Traill-Nash, Fashion Editor of The Australian

“Poetic, athletic, jaw-dropping aesthetics!” – Gretel Killeen

WOOF kept us on the verge of ecstatic release, then sent us into the night burning with incompatible desires” – Audience Member

“One of the most impressive and joyful experiences of dance I have seen in a long, long time… A triptych of subtlety, humour, pleasure, light, absurdity, humanness, non-humanness, movement of energy and the spirit of freedom and intellect… It was end of Rome meets future utopia.” – Audience Member

Cheat Sheet

5 reasons why you can’t miss our 50th Anniversary Triple Bill

1. DON’T GET FOMO: It’s our birthday and we want to celebrate with you – the audience!

2. THREE FOR ONE: Enjoy three works for the price of one. Escape to three different worlds and be entertained for 97 mins.

3. CULTURE FIX: Date night or friends catch up sorted. Enjoy a meal on the harbour at sunset before an evening performance!

4. I SAW IT FIRST: Be the first to see two brand new works that have never been performed before.

5. FASHION FORWARD: Collaborations are with renowned artists, like Australian fashion icon Bianca Spender and UK electronic musician Clark.

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.

Bonachela / Nankivell / Lane is approximately 97 minutes and includes a 20 minute interval.

The title of this season is actually a combination of the three chorographer’s surnames – Rafael BonachelaGabrielle Nankivell and Melanie Lane. Together they create a formidable triple bill celebrating Sydney Dance Company’s 50th Anniversary year.

Bonachela’s new work features five dancers who perform to all five movements of a string quartet composed in the 1950s. It’s only fitting that the work be called Cinco, meaning five in Spanish.

Nankivell’s Neon Aether explores the sky, the imagination and the unknown. Referencing science fiction, the solar system and interstellar clouds, Neon Aether takes the audience on a journey through six episodes of the body ascending in space.

Completing the triple bill is Lane’s WOOF, which first premiered in New Breed 2017. WOOF imagines a post-human future where a re-invention of community takes place. It takes inspiration from classical dance, Renaissance art and pop culture and is accompanied by a bold musical score from UK electronic producer Clark.

WATCH: A preview of Melanie Lane’s WOOF.
READ: A Q&A with choreographer Gabrielle Nankivell

Rafael Bonachela, Cinco
“The impulse to feel, experience and understand a dance work in the theatre should be an individual one… when all explanations have been exhausted… the only thing left is to feel.”

Rafael Bonachela
 is originally from Barcelona. This year marks his 10th year as Artistic Director and resident choreographer at Sydney Dance Company. Since 2009, he has created 14 works for the Company’s repertoire. Read more.

Fun Fact: Rafael Bonachela’s work Cinco means ‘five’ in Spanish. In the Catalan dialect, it’s pronounced think-o.
Gabrielle Nankivell, Neon Aether
Neon Aether started out as the air before me into which I stretched my fingers, searching for a way to articulate things I felt but could not describe.”

Gabrielle Nankivell is an Australian performer and director with formative ties to Europe. Gabrielle’s work has been widely presented across Australia, Europe and Asia. She previously choreographed Wildebeest for Sydney Dance Company, which was nominated for a 2017 Helpmann Award for Best Choreography. Read more.

WATCH: Gabrielle create Neon Aether in the studio.

Fun Fact: For one section of Neon Aether, Gabrielle asked the dancers to think of themselves as rotating planets around each other. This is reminiscent of an orrery – a clockwork model of the solar system.
Melanie Lane, WOOF
“I hope WOOF evokes a multitude of experiences for the audience… Mostly, I think there is a definite sense of transformation, how being human can be messy, outrageous and beautiful.”

Melanie is a choreographer and performer based in Melbourne. As a choreographer, Melanie has established a repertory of independent works performing in international festivals and theatres including the Sydney Opera House. In 2018, Melanie won the Keir Choreographic Award for her work Personal Effigies. Read more.

WATCH: Melanie create WOOF in the studio.

Fun fact: Melanie frequently collaborates with UK electronic musician (and her husband) Chris Clark, to choreograph his live shows. He has also scored four of her contemporary dance works.

Rehearsal Gallery

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