In March 2020, Sydney Dance Company was all set to present a triple bill featuring a new work by Artistic Director Rafael Bonachela called Impermanence, which was choreographed to a commissioned score by American composer Bryce Dessner. Four days before the opening, COVID-19 hit and the performance had to be cancelled.

Close to a year later, an expanded version of Impermanence has finally made it to the stage, and – joy of joys – it’s a hypnotically beautiful work, stunningly performed by the company’s 17 dancers to music that is visceral and moving.

Jacopo Grabar, Rhys Kosakowski, Emily Seymour with the Australian String Quartet. Photo © Pedro Greig

The relationship between Sydney Dance Company and Bryce Dessner – who is best known as one of the founders of rock band The National and for his film scores for The Revenant and The Two Popes but who also writes contemporary classical music – began when Bonachela choreographed a 2015 work called Frame of Mind to music from Dressner’s album Aheym recorded by the Kronos Quartet.

Dessner happened to be in Sydney when the company...