Les Illuminations

28 August 2013 — 14 June 2014


An intimate evening of breathtaking dance, contemporary design and spectacular music up close with Sydney Dance Company and Katie Noonan. Featuring choreography by Rafael Bonachela and costumes by Toni Maticevski, Les Illuminations celebrates the centenary of one of the world’s greatest composers, Benjamin Britten.

Performed in two acts, the first dedicated solely to Britten’s music, Les Illuminations is a reflection of love in all forms. First performed in the early 1940s and devoted to lifelong companion Peter Pears, the score for Britten’s Les Illuminations is set around the suite of romantic poems by French poet Arthur Rimbaud.

Recently named one of Australia’s top 100 singers of all time (Herald Sun, 2013), this is the second time Katie Noonan joins Sydney Dance Company, having previously collaborated with Rafael Bonachela for LANDforms (2011). Les Illuminations marks Toni Maticevski’s second foray into contemporary dance costume design, with his first venture winning a 2012 Helpmann Award.

Performance History

World premiere at Sydney Opera House on 27 August 2013

The Studio, Sydney Opera House
28 – 31 August 2013

QPAC Concert Hall, Brisbane
14 June 2014

Roslyn Packer Theatre Walsh Bay
25 September – 10 October 2015 (As part of Triptych)



Rafael Bonachela

Benjamin Britten

Katie Noonan

Performed with members from Sydney Symphony Orchestra (2013) and Queensland Symphony Orchestra (2014)

Toni Maticevski

Lighting and Stage Design
Benjamin Cisterne

Original Cast
Juliette Barton, Thomas Bradley, Andrew Crawford, Janessa Dufty, Cass Mortimer Eipper, Fiona Jopp, Bernhard Knauer, Charmene Yap

Les Illuminations Campaign Photography
Ellis Parrinder


Les Illuminations is so hot it sizzles” Daily Telegraph

“Bonachela’s choreography is brilliant and the dancers are extraordinary while Katie Noonan is simply spellbinding.” – Daily Telegraph

“Utterly beguiling … some of the finest, most inventive evenings of dance you are likely to see on the world stage.” – Limelight Magazine

“The season was all too brief and a wider audience deserves to see a work that makes such a bold theatrical statement.” – SX

“An intriguing show and well worth seeing.” – Dance Australia

“Bonachela has found heart, truth and spirit in bringing elements of literature, music and dance together. It’s inspired and vigorous and these qualities seem to have found contagion in all involved, on stage and off.” – Crikey

“The dancers are absolutely superb; there is no question of their technical skill, style or strength. And the passion, in all senses of the word, and intimacy between them is palpable.” – XS Entertain

“If it does return to a venue near you, and I feel sure it will, book early for Les Illuminations. It will give you plenty to talk about.” – XS Entertain