Frame of Mind

Work by Rafael Bonachela

★★★★ “Bonachela’s Frame of Mind delivers an emotionally engaging and overarching choreographic mastery… electric.” – Daily Review



Frame of Mind “delivers captivating scores, wonderful choreography and dance fuelled with emotion” (ABC Arts). This emotionally charged work is set to a dramatic contemporary-classical soundtrack by Bryce Dessner from The National, and features an evocative set by Ralph Myers.



Choreography: Rafael Bonachela
Designer: Ralph Myers
Costume Design Realisation: Aleisa Jelbart
Lighting Designer: Benjamin Cisterne
Music: Original compositions by Bryce Dessner
Dramaturgical Consultant: Samuel Webster

2018 Sydney Performances
Roslyn Packer Theatre Walsh Bay, Sydney
16 – 27 Oct 2018

2018 International Tour
Movimentos Festival Autostadt, Wolfsburg
19 – 22 April 2018

Bogota, performing at Teatro Mayor, Julio Mario Santo Domingo
26 – 27 January 2018

Festival Internacional Santiago a Mil
19 – 21 January 2018

2017 National Tour
Riverside Theatres Parramatta, 23-24 June
Tamworth Regional, 28 June
Dubbo Regional, 1 July
The Art House, 5 July
Wagga Wagga Civic Theatre, 8 July
The Capital, Bendigo, 12 July
Frankston Arts Centre, 14 July
Theatre North, 19 July
Theatre Royal, 21-22 July
Sir Robert Helpmann Theatre, 2 August
Northern Festival Centre, 5 August
Middleback Arts Centre, 9 August
Chaffey Theatre, 12 August
Adelaide Festival Centre, 17-19 August
Araluen Arts Centre, 23 August
Darwin Entertainment Centre, 26 August

2017 US Tour
Lang Performing Arts Centre – LPAC Pearson Hall, Swarthmore College
24 February 2017

Fine Arts Center Concert Hall, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
28 February 2017

Citi Shubert Theatre, Celebrity Series of Boston
4 – 5 March 2017

The Joyce Theater, New York City
7 – 13 March 2017

2015 Performances
Sydney Theatre, Sydney
6 – 21 March 2015

Canberra Theatre Centre, Canberra
30 April – 2 May 2015

Southbank Theatre, Melbourne
6 – 16 May 2015

Media & Audience Reviews

“★★★★ …a potent blend of technique, daring and playfulness.” – Sydney Morning Herald 

“★★★★ …an ensemble of technically blessed young dynamos.” – Herald Sun

“★★★★ …danced crisply and flawlessly… it is passionate yet highly precise, demanding and often breath-stealing.” – The Guardian

“★★★★ …Bonachela’s Frame of Mind delivers an emotionally engaging and overarching choreographic mastery… electric” – Daily Review

“Frame of Mind delivers captivating scores, wonderful choreography and dance fuelled with emotion.” – ABC Arts

“Frame of Mind drills a hole into your heart and brain and makes you leak emotion in that sneaky, visceral way only dance can do.” – Concrete Playground Sydney

“Poetry in motion.” – Audience Member


Frame of Mind with the Australian String Quartet
Inside Rafael Bonachela's Frame of Mind
In conversation with Rafael Bonachela

Discover More

“In many ways, Frame of Mind is a work which engages with the aspiration we all have, to engage and be understood without the need for words: to be held, supported, confronted, lifted and guided by those we hold dear." - Rafael Bonachela Read More

Cheat Sheet

“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 and has been the Artistic Director and resident choreographer at Sydney Dance Company since 2009. In 2015, his work Frame of Mind was the winner of all four categories for the Helpmann Awards including ‘Best Choreography’, ‘Best Dance Work’, ‘Best Male Dancer’, and ‘Best Female Dancer’ for its critically acclaimed premiere season. Fun Fact: When creating some of the choreography, Rafael asked the dancers to find different ways to frame their partners’ movements and body parts. He also explored one of the literal meanings of frame, asking the dancers to find different ways to support their partner in a movement phrase like ‘a structure that surrounds and supports something’.

Byrce Dessneris an American composer and guitarist, best known as a member of the Grammy Award winning band The National. As a classical composer, he is in demand from today’s finest ensembles and institutions from Ensemble Intercontemporain to the New York Philharmonic, Kronos Quartet and Carnegie Hall. One of Dessner’s pieces, Aheym For String Quartet, was originally written as a musical evocation of flight and passage, inspired by his Jewish immigrant history and cultural identity. In the 2018 performances of Frame of Mind, the score was performed live on stage for the first time by the Australian String Quartet. Fun Fact: After watching a rehearsal of Frame of Mind earlier this year, Bryce Dessner suggested to Rafael Bonachela: “Have you ever considered playing [the score] live?” Rafael knew he had to make it happen, and hence our collaboration with the ASQ was born!

The set for Frame of Mind is reminiscent of a melancholic memory room. The dancers come and go through this room, sharing their stories with each other and the audience. There is a window on stage where the audience can witness the passing of time through the brightening and fading of light. The performance spans the duration of several days, moving through cycles of day and night. Fun Fact: The wall you see in the first act of Frame of Mind weighs nearly 800kg!