De Novo

1 — 23 March 2013


From the frontlines of dance comes a program of three revolutionary works – a suite of playful, subversive and inspired pieces that push at the boundaries of performance.

This is dance that doesn’t play it safe. From the minds of three esteemed choreographers, channelled through the exquisite dancers of Sydney Dance Company, comes a trio of works that break new ground. Whether they’re mashing up pop culture or poking fun at the sacred cows of dance, these are pieces that throw caution to the wind and hurl themselves into the void of the new.

From an inspired collaboration with internationally acclaimed singer-songwriter Sarah Blasko and composer Nick Wales comes Emergence, a dance work by Rafael Bonachela, Artistic Director of Sydney Dance Company featuring the alluring costume creations of Australian fashion designer Dion Lee. A breathtaking cross-genre leap, Emergence sees the entire company ensemble take to the stage as a stunning soundscape take sensual, physical form.

Irreverent, humorous and brilliant, Cacti is the critically acclaimed brainchild of Swedish dance prodigy Alexander Ekman. At just 28 years old, Ekman is already in high demand internationally, and this piece, devised for the legendary Nederlands Dans Theater 2, shows exactly why. Cacti is not only a subversive, entertaining commentary on the pretentions of contemporary dance, it is also a brilliantly conceived and bracingly physical piece of choreography.

From Australian rising star Larissa McGowan comes Fanatic, a hilarious pop-culture collision that pits Alien vs Predator in an interstellar dance throwdown between two titanic sci-fi film franchises. Giddy and virtuosic, wry and recognisable, this is dance for the digital age – kinetic, immediate and exceedingly funny.

Inspired and unexpected, De Novo promises a very different evening of entertainment, as it unleashes three fresh wily dance works on an unsuspecting audience.

Performance History

World premiere 1 March 2013 at Sydney Theatre

Sydney Theatre, Sydney, NSW
1 – 23 March 2013

National Tour
Darwin Entertainment Centre, NT
14 – 15 July 2015

Araluen Arts Centre, Alice Springs, NT
18 July 2015

Middleback Theatre, Whyalla, SA
22 July 2015

Northern Festival Centre, Port Pirie, SA
25 July 2015

Chaffey Theatre, Renmark, SA
29 July 2015

Sir Robert Helpmann Theatre, Mt Gambier, SA
1 August 2015

Adelaide Festival Centre, Adelaide, SA
5–8 August 2015

Ulumbarra Theatre, Bendigo, VIC
12 August 2015

Frankston Arts Centre, Frankston, VIC
15 August 2015

Theatre Royal Hobart, Hobart, TAS
20-22 August 2015

Princess Theatre, Launceston, TAS
27 August 2015

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Choreography: Rafael Bonachela
Music: Nick Wales & Sarah Blasko
Costume design: Dion Lee
Lighting design: Benjamin Cisterne
Original cast: 
Natalie Allen, Chris Aubrey, Juliette Barton, Thomas Bradley, Chen Wen, Alisha Coon, Andrew Crawford, Holly Doyle, Janessa Dufty, Cass Mortimer Eipper, Bernhard Knauer, Alana Sargent, Jesse Scales, Todd Sutherland, Jessica Thompson, Charmene Yap
Running time: 37 minutes

Choreography: Larissa McGowan
Concept: Larissa McGowan, Sam Haren, Steve Mayhew
Dramaturg: Sam Haren
Sound Construction: Steve Mayhew
Lighting Design: Benjamin Cisterne
Cast A: Natalie Allen, Chris Aubrey, Thomas Bradley
Cast B:
Janessa Dufty, Bernhard Knauer, Cass Mortimer Eipper
Running time: 15 minutes

Choreography and Costumes: Alexander Ekman
Stage Design: Alexander Ekman and Thomas Visser
Lighting Design: Thomas Visser
Lyrics: Spenser Theberge
Cast: Juliette Barton, Thomas Bradley, Chen Wen, Alisha Coon, Andrew Crawford, Holly Doyle, Janessa Dufty, Keian Langdon, Cass Mortimer Eipper, Bernhard Knauer, Alana Sargent, Jesse Scales, Todd Sutherland, Jessica Thompson, Charmene Yap, Sam Young-Wright
Running time: 27 minutes

De Novo Campaign Photography: Ellis Parrinder


Sydney Dance Company has never looked stronger, sexier or more playful than in this thrilling triple bill… 10/10″ – Sun-Herald

Sydney Dance Company set fire to expectations with a stunning three-piece program” – 
Drum Media

…infectious playful energy and absolutely incisive wit.” – 
Time Out Sydney

Blindingly brilliant” –

Cacti is a delight: witty, effervescent, playful, surreal and joyously physical.” – The Australian

“… witty, smart and danced with kick-arse joy.” – The Monthly