Rafael Bonachela

I Am-ness


Rafael Bonachela’s I Am-ness calls for the convergence of the moving body and creative mind, charting a world in flux where simplicity dominates, and expectations are subverted.

Bonachela revisits the powerful and emotive work of the Latvian composer Pēteris Vasks, previously celebrated in the critically-acclaimed ab [intra].

Vask’s Lonely Angel sets a resolute yet hushed melancholy on strings, creating an ode to our shared sense of being, and canvassing the nature of existence with euphoric tenderness.

I Am-ness is an exacting search for the stuff of life.


Choreographer Rafael Bonachela

Music ‘Lonely angel’, meditation for violin and strings by Pēteris Vasks

Lightning Designer Damien Cooper

Costume Designer Rafael Bonachela


★★★★ “This poignant choreography is housed in a dark blue set moodily filled with mist and to a keening score for string ensemble – you can practically hear the violins sighing with unfulfilled yearning.” – Sydney Morning Herald

★★★★ “15 minutes of bodies, light and music connecting in quiet harmony” – Limelight

“… reflects… the co-existence of the physical and the conscious, the body and the mind, expressed by the morphing, intertwining, touching and responding, flowing and endless movement of the divine dancers creating a beautiful, rippling organism.” – The Wonderful World of Dance

“It is an ethereal work for a quartet of dancers, and it is one of those works that washes over you, sensual, reflective, and beautifully fluid.” – Fjord Review

I Am-ness is the usual expected display of skill, training and artistic excellence from the company.” – Arts Hub

”Bonachela’s exacting, labyrinthine choreography is fabulous as the dancers swoop, slither, roll, leap, separate and then writhe sculpturally together, jump and are caught by the other dancers…” – Sydney Arts Guide

Performance History

World Premiere
15–26 March 2023
Sydney Opera House