Sydney Dance Company has started its 50th anniversary year with an exciting triple bill called Bonachela/Nankivell/Lane under the umbrella title of Season One. It features brand new works by Artistic Director Rafael Bonachela, who is celebrating his own 10th anniversary with the company, and Gabrielle Nankivell (Wildebeest), together with the mainstage debut of Melanie Lane’s WOOF, which was a hit at SDC’s 2017 choreographic development program New Breed.
Melanie Lane’s WOOF. Photograph © Pedro Greig
The three works each run around 25 minutes, and are performed without a set. Instead, dynamic lighting shapes the space and sculpts the exceptional dancing. Blackouts also punctuate each piece, but beyond that they are satisfyingly different creations.
The evening ends in electrifying fashion with WOOF, which was clearly the crowd-pleasing highlight on opening night. It begins with a low hum, which we soon realise is coming from the 12 dancers as they process on stage and form a stylised tableau. In silence now, they hold the pose, then move slowly to another position and recline into a different tableau, and then another.
With the dancers dressed in various golden and flesh coloured costumes, designed by Aleisa Jelbart, the effect...