Contemporary Women

20 August — 2 September 2012


Co-Commissioned by Sydney Opera House and Sydney Dance Company

The world premiere creations of four gifted female choreographers from around Australia have their debut at Sydney Opera House’s Spring Dance Festival. A stripped back stage frames the sheer talent of the women and Sydney Dance Company dancers. Marked by their individual style the four’s collective experience has seen them work with such prestigious companies as Sydney Dance Company, Expressions, Chunky Move, Lucy Guerin and Australian Dance Theatre.

Dream Lucid by Melbournian Stephanie Lake uses form, colour and magnetism to explore the flux between chaos and control. In Fanatic, Adelaide’s Larissa McGowan uses humour and superb physical expression to investigate what happens when Alien and Predator movie fans vent via Youtube. Desire, by Brisbane-based Lisa Wilson, explores a range of responses from emotional connection to aggressive sparks, and yield, by Sydney Dance Company’s Emily Amisano, considers how we come to know people through their actions, responses and boundaries.

Contemporary Women was presented as part of Sydney Opera House’s Spring Dance Festival, curated by Sydney Dance Company’s Artistic Director Rafael Bonachela, running from 20 August – 2 September 2012.

Performance History

Sydney Opera House
Spring Dance Festival
20 August – 2 September 2012


 Lisa Wilson
Music: Matt Cornell and Paul Charlier
Music: Edited by Matt Cornell
Cast: Emily Amisano, Juliette Barton, Lachlan Bell, Thomas Bradley, Richard Cilli, Janessa Dufty, Bernhard Knauer

Sam Haren, Steve Mayhew, Larissa McGowan
Choreography: Larissa McGowan
Dramaturg: Sam Haren
Sound Construction: Steve Mayhew
Cast: Natalie Allen, Bernhard Knauer/Chris Aubrey, Thomas Bradley

Choreography: Emily Amisano
Music: Fourtet, Seekae, Gold Panda
Music: Mixed by Grayson James
Cast: Lachlan Bell, Juliette Barton, Richard Cilli, Janessa Dufty

Dream Lucid
Stephanie Lake
Music: Robin Fox
Cast: Chen Wen, Andrew Crawford, Alana Sargent, Jesse Scales, Todd Sutherland, Jessica Thompson, Charmene Yap

Contemporary Women Campaign Photography: Ellis Parrinder


“For the choreographers chosen by Rafael Bonachela to make pieces for his Spring Dance festival, it must have been a bit like being taken into a Rolls-Royce showroom, given a bunch of keys and told to drive away in whichever model took their fancy.” – The Australian

“Bendy, twisty, kick-arse choreography…Enormous fun.” – The Australian

“Sleek sophistication.” – Sydney Morning Herald

“The levels of performance were flawless and fabulous.” – Crikey

“Fanatic …an orgy of movement, by turns robotic and organic, infused with affection, wit and, probably above all, a sense of playfulness.” – Crikey

“Wilson’s bold, uncompromising, distinctive, intensely physical choreography…’”– Crikey 

“In Yield, movement is the language. It also strongly portrays the battle of wills and balance of power in relationships, lending it something of a political, as well as personal, dimension.” – Crikey 

“Lake, it seems, has almost invented a discrete vocabulary just for this piece. And the hero sequence must surely be that in which virtual mannequins are ‘remote-controlled’, by other dancers. Brilliant!” – Crikey