Work by Rafael Bonachela

arguably the single best piece created by and for an Australian dance company for many years” Adelaide Advertiser.


Touring nationally to QLD, NSW, WA
and Melbourne in 2022

A visceral and thrilling exploration of the juxtaposition of beauty and devastation, this full-length work by Rafael Bonachela features a new score full of emotional power from Grammy Award-winning composer Bryce Dessner.

Best known as a founder of American rock band The National and for his film scores for The Revenant and The Two Popes, Dessner was initially inspired by the tragedy of the Australian bush fires and the Notre-Dame fire in Paris.

Sydney Dance Company’s “awe-inspiring” (In Daily) ensemble is joined live on stage by the Australian String Quartet. This is epic, driven performance that packs an emotional punch.


The Creative Team

Choreographer: Rafael Bonachela
Composer: Bryce Dessner
Music Performed By: Australian String Quartet
Music Features: Another World by Anohni
Lighting Designer: Damien Cooper
Stage Designer: David Fleischer
Costume Designer: Aleisa Jelbart


Behind the Scenes: the creation of Impermanence

Impermanence/Disintegration - the album

Impermanence/Disintegration places Grammy Award-winning composer Bryce Dessner in partnership with Sydney Dance Company and the Australian String Quartet in constructing a dynamic, profoundly moving emotional response to the fleeting transience of life.

Influenced by the searing impact of the wildfires that ravaged Australia late in 2019 and the devastation of the Notre Dame fire, Impermanence reflects on the mutability of the structures around us, both tangible and intangible.

Click below to discover more about the album.

Media Reviews

★★★★ “Dance moves for the end of the world… Choreographer Rafael Bonachela sets his excellent dancers on a whirling, bounding trajectory that sustains them in duets, trios and interestingly constructed ensembles…” The Sydney Morning Herald

“…it is arguably the single best piece created by and for an Australian dance company for many years” Adelaide Advertiser

★★★★ 1/2 “A hypnotically beautiful work, stunningly performed by the Company’s 17 dancers to music that is visceral and moving” Limelight

★★★★★ “The music alone is worth hearing live in concert and Bonachela’s choreography adds a whole other dimension to these collaborative contemplations of humanity for our times.” ClassikON

“Extraordinary… Form and function meet seamlessly in every aspect — Bonachela’s huge, fast, juicy movement, Damien Cooper’s luscious lighting, David Fleischer’s imposing stage design and Aleisa Jelbart’s nature-­inspired costumes, all in the tight embrace of Dessner’s score.” The Australian

“A tear-jerker without being baroque, with a finger on the vein of our collective anxieties and dislocations, Impermanence is a triumph of collaboration and passion.”  The Arts Hub

“Moving and powerful, at-once capturing transience and fragility then strength and passion.”  Timeout

“Awareness of the impermanence of everything makes me feel that we must use every moment – that every moment counts – and that the transitory nature of life inspires a need for energy, urgency and radiance.” Rafael Bonachela

“The dancers, wow. They are incredible, so talented. I love the physicality of them, and Rafael’s work really suits my music. The new piece is very much for them – definitely the musical language is inspired by the company itself even to the point that I was seeing those dancers in my mind as I composed… a stunning, inexplicable alchemy happens with the melding of movement and sound. A third art form is born.” Bryce Dessner, The Australian

“There’s a certain sense of beauty about bringing something back, but also there’s this sense of regrowth and rebuilding on the experiences and perspectives of what we have all been through as people and as artists ourselves.” Liam Green, Company dancer

Impermanence was pure magic – fleeting – a moment in time of delicacy, softness, stillness and breath” Alyssa Hanley, audience member. 

“We have been twice now. So good!” Selina Baxby, audience member. 

“Unbelievable performance! We loved every minute – such superb choreography and amazingly talented dancers.” Melanie Jane, audience member. 

“We have a world top dance company in our very own city. We feel nourished by your art and it breathes sunshine and joy into our life. We so appreciate your generosity in a very personal way. We don’t quite get that feeling from any other dance companies.” Michael P., Subscriber


Performance History

16 – 27 February 2021
Roslyn Packer Theatre Walsh Bay, Sydney

2021 National Tour

12 May 2021
Warrnambool, VIC

15 May 2021
Frankston, VIC

19 May 2021
Mildura, VIC

22 May 2021
Bendigo, VIC

4 & 5 June 2021
Canberra, ACT

9 June 2021
Newcastle, NSW

12 June 2021
Tamworth, NSW